Art for when you can’t travel

Can’t travel this summer? Art can have a transformative effect on your surroundings and therefore your mental health. Remembering past travels or dreaming about future trips can lift your mood and brighten your day. My latest suite of monoprint collages considers the beautiful destinations of our world and captures them along with patterns in nature, thanks to images I’ve taken on past travels.

Fibonacci pattern monoprint collage with cyanotypes and vintage maps of England by Elizabeth Busey. 18 x 18 inch. Prussian blues oranges nature patterns
Lucent. Monoprint Collage. 18 x 18in. $475 ($575 framed)

Lucent is one of the first monoprint collages where I used one map for the entire composition. The British map I used had some gorgeous oranges and greens, perfect foils for my blue-green cyanotypes. I’ve not been to England yet, but after a lifetime of BBC television, I feel like I’m a resident.

Fibonacci shaped monoprint collage with unique monotypes, cyanotypes, silkscreen and gold leaf. Elizabeth Busey 18 x 18 in. Blue, blue-green, teal.
Time of Portage. Monoprint collage. 18 x 18in, $475 ($575 framed.)

Have you ever had to carry all of your belongings yourself when you travel? Time of Portage includes the greens and blues of lake systems throughout the continent. Maps of chains of lakes evoke thoughts of canoeing or kayaking, where at some point you need to carry your boat and your belongings to the next lake. How light can you travel? Find out how to portage here.

Monoprint collage pinecone shape. Mountain topographical maps, cyanotypes of lace, plants. Elizabeth Busey 18 x 18 inch. Prussian blue, blue-green.
Adornment. Monoprint collage. 18 x 18 in. $475 ($575 framed.)

I miss flying. My Iphone is filled with images of snow-covered mountains rising up like an embellishment from lower plains. Adornment includes a vintage illustrated map of Alaskan mountains that decorate the landscape. Cyanotypes of actual lace, plus the scalloped edges of a cabbage reminded me of the preciousness of our landscape, particularly our glaciers.

Fibonacci shaped monoprint collage chartreuse yellow-green monotypes, cyanotypes of nature patterns, vintage maps. Elizabeth Busey 18 x 18 inch.
Midsummer Ramble. Monoprint collage. 18 x 18 inch $475 ($575 framed.)

Where I live, summertide means being enveloped in green. At some points, green becomes an all encompassing experience — you hear green leaves rustle, you smell the  pungent aroma of growth. New leaves brush against you softly. Midsummer Ramble evokes this experience, with road maps that meander and embrace the landscape.

Fibonacci pinecone shaped monoprint collage with nature pattern cyanotypes, vintage maps Adirondacks Seattle, gold leaf. Elizabeth Busey 18 x 18 inch blue-green, prussian blue
Where You Have Been Planted. Monoprint collage. 18 x 18 inch, $475 ($575 framed.)

Travel is an enigma. At times it can remind us how insignificant we are, while at other times we are reminded of just how crowded parts of our world can be. I find that people who have experienced both have a greater empathy towards our Earth and its inhabitants. This is even more true if they have lived in such disparate places. Where have you lived and what effect has place had on you? Where do you need to travel to gain a better understanding? Atlas Obscura’s newsletter is a unique and quirky resource for finding the paths less traveled.

Pinecone shape Fibonacci monoprint collage using vintage flight path Indiana cyanotypes nature patterns gold leaf. Elizabeth Busey. 18 x 18in. Prussian blue.
Flight Path. Monoprint collage. 18 x 18 inch, $475 ($575 framed.)

Each of these collages begins with a monoprint. A carved piece of linoleum is used to create the Fibonacci shape — which in this case mimics a pinecone. People everywhere love the Fibonacci curved lines that point toward a mystical ordering throughout nature. Flight Path continues this theme of ordering, as it uses a vintage Indiana aviation map. The gold circles are small airports that were in use during the great age of aviation. (When was this?)

Can’t travel this summer? Perhaps some new artwork on your walls can help you remember … or dream.

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