I’m Leanne, the artist, designer and photographer behind Sumac Studios. I have been designing and creating quilts since the mid-90’s, and with photography even longer. I designed my first quilt from a traditional quilt pattern during the ‘reproduction fabric scrap quilt movement’ when I loved working with two colors or fabrics.
In the past decade, my voice has emerged. By using color and concepts, I transport people to locations through design and photography. I like to think of it as …
- For those who have been … to bring back memories.
- for those who are planning to go …
- For those who will never go …
My first project was “Ireland Inspired”. It is a multi-year project that is a story about two parallel artistic medians that was interlaced into a single exhibit. The first, textile arts, translates a series of Celtic knots from Ireland’s Book of Kells. The second, visual arts, involves the love for travel photography. The interlacing occurs when Ireland’s rich colors captured through photography are infused into the textile art of appliqué.
Since then, I continue to pursue the idea of ‘Quilt Your Travel’ and ‘Quilt Your Adventures’. More recently, I have begun to bring travel locations concepts into quilt designs (e.g., Antarctica: Anticipating the Adventure).
What’s in a name?
Sometimes things are right in front of you, but requires a moment of quiet and reflection. After numerous attempts of settling on a name, it came to me one day as I was driving home to clear out my parents home in the autumn of 2021.
The original farm sign that my parents hung proudly on the family farm for more than twenty-five years was still hanging in the basement. As I reflected on moving that sign, I found myself transported back in time to “Sumac Stock Farms”.
In that moment, Sumac Studios was born. While sumac is a tree, it was also a combination of nicknames – my mother Su(e) for Suzanne and Mac, my father’s nickname in his youth. Both were key in nurturing my creative … my mother through creative arts projects in 4-H and my father who purchased my first camera. This my way to say ‘thank you’ and have their legacy continue.