Tag Archives: inspiration

Starting the New Year with hope, perspective and joy

New Year’s Day is my favorite holiday. No rushing about, no presents or expectations that probably won’t be met. Rather we have clean counters, a fresh page on the wall calendar, and time spent making homemade long-life noodles topped with smoked salmon and pesto cream sauce.

To begin the New Year, I send you some images with my best wishes for you in 2016.

HOPE Planetree of St Stephan

© Elizabeth Busey. Planetree of St. Stephan. Reduction linocut. 28 x 28in, edition of 13, $550 unframed.

HOPE — Marc Chagall must have had hope as he created his ethereal blue windows for the Church of St. Stephen in Mainz, Germany. These blues inspired this linocut. May you find hope this year, and remember, hope is an action.

PERSPECTIVE Tranquil Terraces Dawning

© Elizabeth Busey. Tranquil Terraces Dawning. Reduction linocut, 10 x 33in image size, edition of 19, $275 unframed.

PERSPECTIVE — May you evaluate all the opportunities that are provided to you and choose wisely. Spend your time on the things that are most important and will make the most difference to you, the ones you love, and the world.


©Elizabeth Busey. Captured. Reduction linocut, 23 x 18in image size, edition of 15, $200 unframed.

UNEXPECTED JOY — May you find delightful surprises to punctuate the turbulence that all life brings. Why not share these joys with others?

Thanks for reading my blog. More linocuts to come in 2016, plus new explorations of other media.  Peace, Elizabeth



A bit of hope for the season

Making art when you are worried or under stress can be hard.  I created this linocut, entitled Hope Despite the Evidence, in response to a dear friend’s medical crisis. An homage to the great printmaker M.C. Escher, it portrays barren, flooded fields that capture a hopeful scene of blue skies and white clouds in a reflection. A wise friend observed recently that hope is more than an emotion — it is an action. Today I saw hope in action…

Hope Despite the Evidence

©Elizabeth Busey, Hope Despite the Evidence. Reduction linocut, 17 x 25, edition of 25.

Hope arrived this morning at my progressive church in Bloomington, IN in the form of about ten members of our city who are of Turkish descent. Many are graduate students or faculty at Indiana University, but they are also members of a nonprofit organization — founded in the Midwest — that encourages Muslims to bring Noah’s Pudding to Christian congregations as a way of creating community and understanding.

The making of Noah’s Pudding is a cultural observance in the homes of both Muslims and Christians in the Middle East. It is created (with no animal products) by boiling grains and legumes and sometimes almonds with water and sugar to create a congealed pudding. After sitting overnight, dried fruits, other nuts and spices are simmered, and the entire creation is served cold topped with pomegranate. Recipes are large, and the intent is to make enough so you can share cups with all of your neighbors.

Our minister said that this observance had been scheduled long before the violence in San Bernadino, CA took place this week. He also observed that he could think of no better action that we could take in response to this violence than to establish warm relationships with our Muslim brothers and sisters.

The pudding was delicious, and it was a joy to meet people who have traveled far from their warm, Mediterranean homes in order to study and to teach. They filled our stomachs, and our hearts. I am already wondering how we can reciprocate.

Hope is an action…

You can read more about the tradition of Noah’s Pudding here.


Expanding your mind away from the studio

Some months it is difficult to find studio time, and this November is one of those months for me. After attending Art Biz Breakthrough, an art marketing conference in Golden, Colorado, I am off to care for an important person in my life.


Elizabeth Busey, Universal. Reduction Linocut. 10 x 20in, ed of 18.

When I am away from my studio, I miss it. I wish I was the kind of person who could take her sketchbook and create wherever she was, but I’m not. The outside world is my inspiration, not interiors or portraits. So to keep my sanity and the creative juices flowing, I do two things: (more…)


Looking for a breakthrough

One of the most challenging things for me about being an artist is that about half of the time I must be a businessperson. I must find collectors for my work, if for nothing else than I need to buy more paper. But in truth, I also need to find homes for my work because that conversation — between me and collector — is crucial.

A butte in Golden, Colorado looms over the quiet college town.

A butte in Golden, Colorado looms over the quiet college town.

Some may be lucky enough to have a gallery that just handles all of the business side of creating art, but I am always seeking new ways to market my work to the world. So last week I took a break from my usual studio routine to attend Art Biz Breakthrough, a conference in Golden, Colorado produced by artist coach, Alyson Stanfield. I have worked personally with Alyson in 2015 and will again in 2016, but the event still gave me lots of great things to think about. (more…)


When art really moves you

July was walk-about month for me and my family. I look forward to these trips because they are a time to look at new things, have different experiences, and generally refresh my artistic brain. We decided to go to two very different European cities — mostly because they offered activities that would please both forty-something parents and newly-minted young adults.

Our time in Amsterdam yielded two museum experiences that I enjoyed. A Matisse paper cut-out exhibit at the Stedelijk Museum felt so familiar, as I remembered the reproduction that hung on my bedroom wall throughout my adolescence. I admired Matisse’s use of white space. An early morning visit to the Van Gogh Museum took us through the artist’s development from dark and realistic, to brighter colors and abstracted perspectives. I could clearly see the influence of Japanese woodblock printing during one period of his painting, where shapes were darkly outlined, as if in an homage to a key block.

Lovely to see… but not earthshaking. We then traveled by train to Berlin. In a past life, I studied political science, took Russian, and learned a great deal about Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Our AirBnB 1901 apartment was in Prenzlauer Berg — an area that was part of East Berlin. I imagined the people living in this apartment — with its soaring ceilings and thick walls — during the second World War and the time of the Stazi.

Our first real site in Berlin was an evening trip up the dome of the Reichstag. The former dome burned in 1933 and provided the impetus for the Nazi party to seize political power. The current glass dome was not completed until 1999, nine years after German reunification. Access to the site is free, but requires advanced tickets procured with your official documents. Inside it is quiet as people gradually ascend up to the top, where you can lean back on a circular wooden bench and watch the clouds go by. In a country that has known such conflict and pain, the dome provides a sense of peace and a hope for clear-eyed action in the future.

A view of the ascending and descending ramps in the dome of the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany.



A new leaf…on life and art

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.


Selfie with me and two layers of ink



Inspiration Everywhere

I haven’t posted new prints for a while, because I have been working on four at once.  I am scheduled to have a show in the main gallery of the IVY Tech John Waldron Arts Center in December.  After a recent visit I realized that there is a great deal of wall space!  The more layers of ink that I use on each print, the longer that print takes to dry.  So I’m alternating between four.

While this is very productive, I’m not finding this process has the same level of experimentation that I enjoy.  So I’ve been looking for other areas of inspiration — and I’ve found them.



On the road for inspiration

After my crush of spring and summer art shows, I was very grateful to have some time away from my home, studio and art tent.  We are lucky to have family in western Montana and like to visit them during the two months of “high season” in July and August.

Rather than flying, my family loads our trusty van and treks west across some tremendously beautiful topography.  My favorite area has always been North Dakota, where undulating yellow-green fields of rapeseed surround glacial lakes of amazingly dark blue water.  Somehow driving gives me a different sense of the land than flying over it.



Freeways of Fuchsia or Where is your Inspiration Super Highway?

In my last post, I wrote about my use of a stencil to create a linoleum reduction print that had colors that were not analogous.  This is my interpretation of a leaf of Rugged Jack Kale:

Elizabeth Busey, Freeways of Fuchsia.  Linoleum Reduction Print, 16 x 24in image size, 2011.