Perspective is everything. I’m not just talking about two or three point perspective here, but also the question of “Why do you do what you do?” What is your motivation? This is a question ask of every linocut I undertake.
Using my imaginary view finder
In all of my linocuts, I take a subject matter that is familiar and try to look at it through a different view finder. Take your thumbs and pointer fingers into L-shapes and make a square. When you crop the scene, how does it change your experience of the subject matter? I am most struck by how I experience topography, especially when viewed through the window of an airplane.
Perspective in art is difficult. My early lessons came from sketching the interior of the Indiana University Art Museum, designed by famed architect, I.M. Pei. There are few right angles to be found except between the walls and the floor. So when I began my exploration of nature patterns and topographies, I was delighted to find that I could do this without using traditional perspectives.
With some of my topographies, like Tranquil Terraces Dawning, I immersed the viewer in the patterns, which give a sort of roller coaster feeling of being about to plunge down into the rice paddies. But with clouds, this makes less sense…
The reality is that sometimes, what you are exploring is interesting only in relation to something else. With clouds, your eye really needs some cues if you are to understand the scale and the vastness of each formation. You need a horizon. I slipped a horizon into my second linocut, Highway Caprice. Now with my latest linocut, I’m back to horizons again.
I have printed two layers of ink here, and you can see where the horizon line might be, but all will be revealed only after I do some carving and lay down some darker inks. The image for this linocut was captured east of where I live, after a tremendous storm over early spring fields. More will be revealed soon…
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 — 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 — 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.
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
At the printmaking evening at WonderLab I was thrilled to unveil my bromeliad flower. I finally realized that rather than trying to put another strong color on the print, a transparent one would be best. A bit more carving and a transparent blue brought out the shadows of the very pink flower.
One of the biggest challenges of reduction printmaking is registration. We were printing with spoons at the museum, so I created a mini-registration jig complete with pins and tabs. I cut the hole for the block in a piece of foam core — just large enough to hold the block snuggly. My printers did not need to take the block out at all, just use the brayer to ink the block. Then the tabs could be clicked into place and the spoon rubbing began.
I live in a university town. I am continually aware of the predictable changes in life — graduations from high school and college, weddings and first jobs. People move in and out of our town with regularity. Other changes — a surprise award, an illness or a job loss — are not so expected. And their results not so predictable.
Elizabeth Busey. Unforeseen. Linoleum Reduction Print
25 x 17 in, 2013.