|Carving with my trusty Foredom drill makes short work of a small block.
My two latest linocuts deal with jewels — jewels of the living kind. Out of Many, One is a bird’s-eye view of part of the Great Barrier Reef. Made up entirely of coral polyps, this living structure stretches over 1,400 miles off the eastern Australian coastline.
From above, the reefs seem to glow as if illuminated by an underwater light. And yet the National Academy of Sciences estimates that it has lost half of its coral since 1985 due to coral bleaching. Warmer oceans stress the coral, which depend on a symbiotic relationship with algae-like protozoa that photosynthesize and provide the coral with nutrients. Stressed coral expel these protozoa and begin to fail.
|Elizabeth Busey, Out of Many, One. Reduction Linocut. 28 x 14in, Edition of 10, $350 unframed.
Beloved, my latest series of reduction linocuts, looks at places that are in danger because of global warming. Ephemeral Sanctuary looks at the delicate islands that ring the southern United States and the Caribbean, such as The Bahamas, St. Lucia, Barbados, Bermuda and many others. My husband and I spent our honeymoon on Bermuda. These pink sand beaches and shallow aqua waters hold a special place in the hearts of many throughout the world.
|Elizabeth Busey, Ephemeral Sanctuary. Reduction Linocut, 10 x 33in, Edition of 13. $375 unframed.
I have been up against a self-imposed deadline. During February, I am the featured artist at the Bloomington Bagel Company. Besides the fabulous bagels, the venue has a large white, well-lit wall, and my people (folks who like or buy my art) eat there. So I wanted to get several leaf prints finished.
|Everyseed bagels are my sustenance of choice.
But be safe — don’t eat in your studio.
|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.
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.
|Pine Cone on Rives BFK with Chine Collé.
They say that spring is “just around the corner,” but many in my small corner of the Midwest are dubious. Light snow and bone-chilling winds accompany us as we swerve around some pretty massive potholes. Driving into one is tough on the car’s suspension, and all I can do is grit my teeth and hope that these obstacles will be fixed soon.
|My latest large print in process…
In my last blog I wrote about prints I was fighting with — prints that were intended for the Los Angeles Printmaking Society’s Give and Take Exchange. Here are the two resulting prints:
|Elizabeth Busey. Kaleidoscopic Meristem. Linoleum Reduction
Print, 7 x 9in, 2014.
|Elizabeth Busey, Prismatic Tatting. Linoleum
Reduction Print, 7 x 9in, 2014.
When I was in art classes, one of the benefits of the class was the assignment — that gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) nudge from the instructor to try something new. Now that my art practice takes place in my basement studio, pushing boundaries and innovating is much harder. During my weekend visit to the Boston Printmakers Biennial this fall, I came upon a display for Gamblin relief inks. I decided to order a set of these inks and give them a try. Here’s my first print with the new inks…
|Elizabeth Busey. In Celebration of Thin Places. Linoleum Reduction Print
17 x 25in, 2013.
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.