August 7, 2016

52 Ways to Look at the River - Update 9

52 Ways to Look at the River, Quilt back in progress
 There's been a flurry of activity in my push to incorporate the 52 Ways to Look at the River panels into a permanent assemblage.  I've spent a lot of time thinking about options and testing different configurations and materials.  I decided to make one large assembly rather than a diptych or triptych, as I thought splitting it up would dilute the impact.

From there it was a question of what material to use to mount them on.  It would have been (relatively) quick and easy to attach them to a large piece of industrial felt. In my trials, however, I didn't like the look, and I didn't like the way it handled and hung.

I work primarily in the quiltmaking format for a reason.  I  like the drape and the texture and the overall impact.  So I am making a large quilt to serve as the substrate and will be attaching the panels to it.  The first step was to paint the yardage to serve as the quilt back, above, and front, below. They are shown here drying on my driveway, and are lighter as finished.

52 Ways to Look at the River, Quilt front in progress
Here's a detail of the front panel.  I got lots of lovely, watery texture from the aging asphalt surface.

52 Ways to Look at the River, Quilt front in progress, detail
 Much of the front panel won't be seen, as it will be covered by the panels, but the parts that do show between them will add lots of color, texture, and continuity.

I've got it layered up and am finishing the quilting on it now.
52 Ways to Look at the River, bonus panels in progress
I also made a large, watery wool and silk panel on felt, which I then cut up to trial different mounting possibilities for the panels.  I decided on stitching them onto dark grey felt, to frame them and unify the sizes.  All the panels started with a 6" x 12" background, but I didn't make a particular effort to contain any stretching or warping as I worked on them.  I like the way that fiber responds and distorts to being felted and stitched.  Getting them all onto the felt backgrounds was a big project.
52 Ways to Look at the River, panel 7 in progress
I am somewhat paranoid about mixing up the order in the final assembly, so each one got a big painted number on the back after I attached it.  

52 Ways to Look at the River, reverse of panels in progress
 All of the photos I'd been sharing of the panels as I made them were iPhone shots--good, but not consistent in terms of lighting and focus, etc.  So I also spent some time taking their official portraits with the DSLR and the photo lights, and edited all of those shots.  I'm very happy with the results:
52 Ways to Look at the River, Panel 35
52 Ways to Look at the River, Panel 35
There's still a lot more to be done, but I am getting closer to the finished work.  I know many of you enjoy reading about process, so I hope you have enjoyed this recap of the past month's studio happenings.

A reminder that two of my works are on exhibit at wonderful venues this month: The Organic Landscape, as part of SAQA's Seasonal Palette, is at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, MI, through August 31st.  This is the last stop on an overwhelmingly successful four year world tour that I am honored and grateful to have been a part of.
SAQA's Seasonal Palette at the Gerald R. Ford Museum
SAQA's Seasonal Palette at the Gerald R. Ford Museum
The Organic Landscape by Sue Reno
The Organic Landscape
And Ice Jam is at the Fiber National 2016 Exhibit at the Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton VA, through August 21st. (Photo courtesy of an Alert Reader.)
Ice Jam at Fiber National 2016, Workhouse Arts Center
Ice Jam at Fiber National 2016
Ice Jam by Sue Reno
Ice Jam
As always, thanks for reading and commenting.


Ruth (Australia) said...

Yes, I definitely like hearing about the process. The fluid effect on the painted panels fits so well with the river theme. Did you mean the texture from asphalt was a result of lying on the driveway to dry?

Sue Reno said...

Ruth--Yes, that's it exactly. The asphalt is old and has a lot of surface cracks. As the fabric paint dries, it picks up the markings of the surface.

Clara Nartey said...

I love reading about the process too, Sue. Looking forward to the final work.

Sue Reno said...

Thanks Clara! I'm looking forward to finishing it.