The pictures you take on vacation say a great deal about you. What are you interested in? What do you want to remember? My phone isn’t filled with the traditional sites, but rather with patterns and shapes I want to remember. A recent long weekend trip to Chicago yielded no “Bean” pictures; instead I focused my lens on patterns…
The Lurie Garden — part of Millenium Park — were ALIVE in late June. Plants of all sorts tried to fulfill their biological imperative by attracting insects of all types. Some species of blackbird was very offended by volunteers working nearby.
Buildings are just big mirrors
I did take a few photos of the many skyscrapers in Chicago. But here too, I’m not looking at a skyline, but rather how the buildings reflect the sky.
Images of the strange and obscure
I always have a few pictures that are purely for me to remember something unusual. The above leaf is from a plant in the Lincoln Park Conservatory. I have spent a great deal of time looking at leaf cells and the mathematical explanations for their formations. This is one I have never seem before. It looks less like a leaf, and more like a weaving pattern or WWII code. Sadly I forgot to take an image of its identification tag, so I may never know.
My vacation images tell me that besides being fascinated with all things pattern, I also want to see the commonalities that exist within nature. (It also says that I take abysmal selfies and don’t like to be in crowded places.)
Patterns ground me. I’ve tried to make work that had nothing to do with patterns, and it didn’t feel like me. In the midst of midterm election shenanigans in the U.S., working with the Voronoi diagrams has provided me with times of peaceful creation and discovery.
It has been a dark winter. When I lived in Seattle, I craved sunlight so much that I would sit in our tiny Honda CRX during rainy lunchtimes on the off-chance of glimpsing some rays. Our midwestern winter has been mostly grey and overcast. Perhaps that is why I’ve been delving into the joys and trials of yellow.
Elizabeth Busey, In Anticipation of Sweetness. Reduction Linocut,
18 x 18in circle, Edition of 16.
Elizabeth Busey, Yielding Gracefully. Reduction Linocut, 17 x 25″
During my exploration of the sassafras leaf, I was operating under the assumption that the colors I see in the fall were always in the leaf, but became more apparent in autumn. For the yellows and oranges we see, this is basically true. But not for the red. The red that I found so challenging and unfamiliar is in fact produced by the leaves as a sort of battle against the inevitable arrival of winter.
Everything about our holiday season was late this year. Including this post. It took me until the day after Christmas to dive into a color with which I am not too comfortable… red.
Deciduous holly berries are the only brightness
in my December garden.
Red is one of those colors in nature that works like an exclamation point. In my yard, outrageously colored holly berries (from a deciduous shrub) are the only bright spot in a garden of muted browns. Red male cardinals fight with grey squirrels for the seed I have set out.
I have been toying with some ideas for a few months. I have visions of layering and new materials. Of well, something different. But something too different can be scary or frustrating, so perhaps something somewhat different would be a good place to start. This was the conversation I had with myself this morning. When you work alone, you have to be your own motivator and artistic therapist.
I don’t know how Thomas Edison did it. Popular lore claims that he discovered 1000 ways to not create a light bulb before he achieved illumination. I’ve been experimenting with encaustic printmaking this fall, and while I have learned a great deal…let’s just say that I have not achieved my light bulb.
I received some nice news this week that one of my favorite prints, Breath Intertwined (a close-up view of two red bud leaves)was accepted as part of the 2015 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition. This print went to Boston last fall, and is currently at the 57th Mid-States Art Exhibition in Evansville, IN. I thoroughly enjoyed creating this print, and this encouraged me to do another up-close leaf print.
My trusty Tama To needs sharpening after the completion of my latest prints. (For new readers, this is a fabulous tool that cuts small circles in wood or linoleum.) Like my last huge square cellular print, I decided to run two different color series, and the result is two very different prints.
Elizabeth Busey. Ambrosia. Linoleum Reduction Print,
Edition of 13, (28 x 28in), 2013.
It has been over a month since my last blog post. Since then, I have been consumed by a very large intricate square print…and hundreds of circles. So without further ado, here are the two resulting print series:
Elizabeth Busey. That Which Surrounds and Supports Us.
Linoleum Reduction Print, 28 x 28in, 2013.