September 4, 2014

The White Cliffs of Conoy

Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 1 The White Cliffs of Conoy are the remnants of old limestone and dolomite mines in the area near Bainbridge, PA. The mine tailings were piled up in mounds 60 ft. high.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 2
The formations are next to the Susquehanna River.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 3  There’s a full, and fascinating, story about the formations in the local newspaper.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 4
It was closed to the public until just a few weeks ago, so we jumped on the chance to go see it. 
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 5 Along with the odd beauty of the cliffs, the main attraction is the view of the Susquehanna from the top.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 6
Looking down, you can see and hear the Haldeman Riffles in the water.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 7
There are deep chasms between the formations.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 8
Parking is at the boat launch in Bainbridge, and there’s a newly paved 1.5 mile trail to the site. Along the way there are ruins of the once-thriving village and factories that accompanied the mines.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 9 All of these images were taken with a fisheye lens on my iPhone.  I did break out the macro lens for this image of mullien flowers,Verbascum thapsus.
Sue Reno, mullien buds, macro image
I’ve made a series of quilts about the Susquehanna River, including In Dreams I Climbed the Cliffs.  Now I’m thinking about the imagery and possibilities of these white cliffs. 
In Dreams I Climbed the Cliffs, by Sue Reno
As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

August 28, 2014

The Organic Landscape exhibited in Brazil

Sue Reno, The Organic Landscape
The Organic Landscape, as part of the SAQA exhibit Seasonal Palette, is on exhibit at the Festival Internacional de Patchwork e Arts Afins, Curitiba, Brazil, August 27 - 30, 2014.
Sue Reno, The Organic Landscape, Detail 3
The exhibit is a juried invitational, with artists creating work specifically for the theme and addressing one of the four seasons.  My work, The Organic Landscape, references summer, and depicts some of the ornamental plants I grow in my organic gardens.  Each artist was also asked to keep an artist journal of their inspirations and working process, and the journals are exhibited along with the works.  You can see the works online here, and the journals here.  If you are at all interested in process the journals are well worth your time to read. There is also an excellent hardcover catalog of the works available here
Sue Reno, The Organic Landscape, Detail 1  SAQA—Studio Art Quilt Associates—continues to improve their exhibition process and is consistently mounting great shows and marketing them extensively.  I am very grateful to the organization at large and the the curators of Seasonal Palette, Vicki Mangum and Kathleen McCabe, for the work they have done.  It is complicated and can be difficult to exhibit work overseas, and this is providing me with opportunities I would be hard pressed to duplicate on my own.  Below is the list of all the venues, past and future, for Seasonal Palette; if any of them are near to you, I hope you have the chance to view it.

Premiere at International Quilt Festival - Houston, November 1-4, 2012
Texas Quilt Museum, La Grange, Texas, January 10 - March 31, 2013
International Quilt Festival - Cincinnati, Ohio, April 2013
International Quilt Festival - Long Beach, California, July 2013
National Quilt Museum, Paducah, Kentucky, September 12 - December 2, 2013
The Original Creative Festival at the Sharonville Convention Center, Sharonville (Cincinnati), Ohio, June 12-14, 2014
Festival Internacional de Patchwork e Arts Afins, Curitiba, Brazil, August 27 - 30, 2014
New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, Massachusetts, April 5 – July 6, 2015
Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork, Alsace, France, September 16-19, 2015
Vicenza Festival, Vicenza, Italy, October 2015
Taiwan International Quilt Exhibition 2016, National Tainan Living Art Center, Tainan City, Taiwan, April 30-May 29, 2016

As always, thanks for reading and commenting!

July 25, 2014

Today’s Inspiration: Travel

I am posting each day of the Quilting Arts TV blog hop with a personal message about inspiration and creativity.  Today is the last day in the series, and today’s blogger is Susan Brubaker Knapp (, the new host of Quilting Arts TV

Sue Reno, vintage photo of Ladies Hostel, Mysore, India

Today’s Inspiration is Travel.  I was born with a wanderlust.  I’ve been fortunate that I get to indulge in travel from time to time, while still being a responsible adult and fulfilling the responsibilities of home and hearth.
Sue Reno, vintage photo of Bombay, India
I can say that travel literally changed my life.  When I was in college, I signed up, more or less on a whim, to spend a semester in India. To the best of my knowledge, our group was the only American student group officially in the subcontinent at that time, and to say we had adventures would be an understatement.
Sue Reno, Mysore India, street scene
I fell in love with the country, the beautiful and gracious people I met everywhere, and the gorgeous silks and handwoven khadi cottons I discovered and brought back home.
Sue Reno, Ginger Merged with the Pennsylvania Dutch aesthetic I grew up  with, the experience formed the basis for my initial and ongoing artistic practice. SueReno_Mysore23
I had the opportunity to return to India a few years ago, revisit some of my old haunts, and have some new adventures.  I did a series of blog posts you can access at the tab at the top, or by clicking here.  When you have a bit of free time, why not sit down with a beverage of choice and explore the country with me?
 Sue Reno, Shivanasamudra Falls, India
I’m certain you have enjoyed your travels around the blog-o-sphere with all the artists featured on the Series 1400 Quilting Arts TV DVD
Quilting Arts TV DVD Cover Image
You can learn more about it on the Quilting Arts TV Website.

I hope you will tag my blog by whatever method works for you—there’s options on the right, under my profile-- and revisit my site often.  I don’t post by a regular schedule, but I do post when I feel I have something worth saying and sharing, and I would love to have you along to share the journey.

And as always, thanks for reading and posting.

July 24, 2014

Today’s Inspiration: Photography

I am posting each day of the Quilting Arts TV blog hop with a personal message about inspiration and creativity.  When you’re done reading here, pop on over to the featured artists of the day to enjoy their blogposts.  Today’s bloggers are: Cheryl Sleboda ( AND Jane Sassaman ( AND Julie Creus (
Sue Reno, Japanese Anemone, macro
Today’s Inspiration is Photography.  In this, as in most things, I am an autodidact. My training consists of taking lots of photos, in a multitude of situations, using varying degrees of technology, and learning from them all.  I do a lot of editing, separating the wheat from the chaff, and it’s safe to say that easily accessible digital technology has been a game changer for myself and myriad other artists.
Sue Reno, Hyacinth with raindrops, macro
I practice photography several different ways.  I have a Canon DSL camera and some good lenses that I use to take the studio portraits of my finished work.  It was a steep learning curve, but I now produce photos I can use for my website, exhibit entries, and magazine submissions.
Sue Reno, Bamboo Emerging
I also have a Sony cyber-shot that I use to take a lot of the in-progress photos of my work that find their way into my blogposts.
Sue Reno, Kousa Dogwood, work in progress
But by far the camera I use the most is the one in my iPhone.  It’s always handy, and takes very good pictures.  There are a wealth of apps you can use to customize the way you take photos—I currently favor Camera+ and ProCamera—and how you edit them—Snapseed is my favorite.
Sue Reno, Daffodil pistils and stamen, macro
A few years ago I began experimenting with attachable lenses for my phone, first a Diffcase set, and currently an Olloclip.  They have allowed me to explore the intricacies of the macro world, and the distortions of the fisheye view.
Sue Reno, winter landscape, fisheye
I take my (almost) daily photos with my phone to train my eye.  Some of the imagery may show up in my work, but I mainly use it to remind myself to be present in the moment and look around at the world. I also enjoying sharing them on my Flickr feed, as well as Twitter and Facebook.  I can’t solve all the problems of the world, but I can put a spot of beauty out there each day.
Sue Reno, Pokeberry sepals, macroAt the other end of the photo technology scale is my work with cyanotype.  It is one of the oldest forms of imagery, discovered in 1842.  You can read the history here on Blueprints on Fabric, where I order my pre-treated fabric (no affiliation, except as a satisfied customer). Despite, or perhaps because of, its simplicity and direct application, I find it to be a fresh and exciting art form, and I use it extensively in my work.
Sue Reno, Groundhog and Green Bean, detail
I discuss using photos as inspiration with Susan Brubaker Knapp in a one of the episodes on the Quilting Arts TV DVD  Susan also uses photography in her artistic life and in her work, with beautiful results.
Quilting Arts TV DVD Cover Image
Read more about it, including the PBS schedule, on the Quilting Arts TV Website

Tomorrow’s featured blogger: July 25: Susan Brubaker Knapp (

Up next: Travel

July 23, 2014

Today’s Inspiration: The River

I am posting each day of the Quilting Arts TV blog hop with a personal message about inspiration and creativity.  When you’re done reading here, pop on over to the featured artists of the day to enjoy their blogposts.  Today’s bloggers are: Lyric Kinard ( AND Margie Ullery (

Today’s Inspiration is The River.  I’ve lived near the Susquehanna River for most of my life.
  Sue Reno, In Dreams I Flew Over the River, detail
As a child I had an uncle who owned an island in the river.  One year when the river was very low, he drove a old Farmall tractor across to the island, and did some hobby farming there.  It seemed like a magical place to me.
Sue Reno, In Dreams I Saw the Colors Change
I was in college, working a summer job in Harrisburg, PA, when Hurricane Agnes dropped torrential rains that turned the normally placid river into a raging force of destruction.  I saw firsthand the power that the river possessed.
Sue Reno, In Dreams I Climbed the Cliffs
The Susquehanna still seems magical to me.  I never tire of visiting it, in its many moods.  
Sue Reno, If I Woke at Dawn
Some time ago I began dreaming about the river, and started a series of quilts that incorporate needlefelting with wool and silk fibers.
Sue Reno, In Dreams I Flew Over the River
I demonstrate my technique for needlefelting on the Quilting Arts TV DVD.  I hope you will try it and adapt it as your own, reflecting your own environment.
SueReno, RiverThemed Needlefelting, QATV
Read more about series 1400, including the schedule, on the Quilting Arts TV Website
Quilting Arts TV DVD Cover Image
Tomorrow’s featured bloggers:  Cheryl Sleboda ( / Jane Sassaman ( / Julie Creus (

Up next: Photography

July 22, 2014

Today’s Inspiration: The Garden

Hello and welcome!  Today is my turn to be featured on the Quilting Arts TV blog hop. The theme of Series 1400 is all about finding creativity and inspiration, so I have been posting each day with images and prompts about my personal inspirations.  Today’s inspiration is The Garden.Sue Reno, Plume Poppy
My earliest memory is of helping to plant a vegetable garden, poking pea seeds into the ground.
Sue Reno, The Organic Garden
Gardening has been a lifelong priority, both for the food and flowers, and for the sheer delight and satisfaction of watching things grow.  So it’s only natural that my garden has been a recurring theme in my art quilts.
Sue Reno, Columbine
I use a variety of surface design methods to put imagery onto fabric, including cyanotype;
Sue Reno, Bleeding Heart, detail
heliographic prints:
Sue Reno, Jack in the Pulpit, detail
and digital prints:
Sue Reno, Fireball, detail
While I’m outside, digging and pruning and weeding, I keep a sharp eye out for the native wildlife that visits my garden from time to time, which led to the creation of my Flora and Fauna series.
Sue Reno, Vole and Viburnum
I collect animal skulls, photograph them, make cyanotype prints of the images, and incorporate them with vintage textiles and heliographic prints.
Sue Reno, Skunk and Garlic Mustard
They are quite cheerful works for the most part, celebrating the lives of the creatures that share my environment.
Sue Reno, Squirrel and Locust
Part of my artistic practice involves taking (almost) daily pictures of my environment and posting them to social media.  Most are taken using my iPhone with a clip on macro lens.  I love the different perspective that is revealed in the macro world.
Sue Reno, columbine bud, macro
You can find my photos on Flickr, my Twitter account, and Facebook.
Sue Reno, white zinnia flower, macro
I hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of my work, and will check back often to see what I am creating. 
Sue Reno, wood poppy bud, macro
As always, thanks for reading and commenting, and be sure to hop over to the other featured blog for today,  Rebekah Meier (  You can see my episodes and the work of all the talented artists by purchasing the Quilting Arts TV DVD
Quilting Arts TV DVD Cover Image
Read more about the series, and the PBS schedule, at the  Quilting Arts TV Website

I shared the experience of filming my episodes for Quilting Arts TV on my blog back in March—see it here. There are links to previews of my episodes here.  And I’ve added a QATV tab on the blog header to make it easy to read back through all the QATV related blogs.  Enjoy!
Sue Reno, on the set of Quilting Arts TV

Tomorrow’s featured bloggers:  Lyric Kinard ( / Margie Ullery (

Up next: The River