The curse of the greedy printmaker

Gentle readers, please hear my confession.  I am a greedy printmaker…  Here is my story:

One of the biggest challenges for me in printmaking is getting the block and the paper to line up the same way each time.  Printmakers call it registration.  Even 1/16th of an inch off can make the print look blurry and the edges show the raw colors I have been using rather than the gentle color blends.

Registration has plagued many printmakers, even Picasso.  If you look at his Bust of a Woman (after Cranach, 1958) you can see his problems with registering a six-block linocut.  He nearly abandoned linocuts, but learned from printmaker Amera about the technique of reduction printmaking.  After that, his registration improved.  But it is interesting that his first attempt, even with the misregistration, is highly valued.  Not so for me. Continue reading “The curse of the greedy printmaker”


An exhibit that only goes up

August is a very hot month in the Midwest, and in past years has been very dry.  This year is no exception. My exhibit at the City Hall Atrium in Bloomington, Indiana, is designed to quench the viewer’s thirst.  Entitled “Force of Nature…Wellspring of Life,” the show has fourteen of my prints that have something to do with water.  Some celebrate the beautiful calming aspects of water, while others consider its carving, sculpting force.   Still others show how our agricultural practices are shaped by water’s availability or scarcity.  My latest print, Day’s End on the Ontario Shield, highlights the intricate patterns created by the freezing and thawing of glacial waters over the millenium.

Elizabeth Busey, Day’s End on the Ontario Shield, Linoleum Reduction Print, 2011.

Continue reading “An exhibit that only goes up”


A great and terrible beauty

I love topography.  I spend more time than I’d like to admit on Google Earth, gazing down at the patterns of the earth.  Many of these patterns are created by water, and so all of my topography prints have some reference to water.

I also live in the Midwest — specifically the Ohio River valley.  We have had record rain this year, but each spring brings back the reminder that we live in a watershed.  It has been heartbreaking to listen to the news coverage of the river flooding that is occurring along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.  Rivers are a vital part of our landscape, providing transportation, fertile fields and recreation.  We are not, however, the master of water.  The levees and flood walls we build don’t just make the water go away, they push the water somewhere else.  To someone else.

Elizabeth Busey, Remembering and Forgetting.   Linoleum Reduction Print, 2010.

Continue reading “A great and terrible beauty”