May 14, 2016
Elizabeth Busch is an artist who draws, paints, sews, and sculpts space. From her workshop in Maine, Elizabeth works in two mediums: Kinetic Sculpture and Art Quilts.
“My quilts are sewn paintings, acrylic on canvas that is then hand quilted. This part of the process allows me to become physically reacquainted with a piece created at arm’s length on the wall, and to add another visual dimension to it. I believe that the work communicates with many because color and mark making are a universal language.”
Elizabeth Busch will teach a five day Workshop, The Painted Quilt: Creating Small Works at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops October 30 to November 5, 2016.
Elizabeth recently explained her philosophy of art, and teaching.
How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?
My first workshop was in 1987. The director of the Fiber Department at the Fredricton New Brunswick, Canada, School of Art saw an article about me and my Painted wall quilts in a then new magazine called Threads. She contacted me and asked if I would be interested in teaching a workshop to her fiber majors. I replied: “I’ve never done such a thing…what would I teach?” She said, “How about what you DO?” … and the rest, as they say, is history.
What is your favorite part about teaching?
There is nothing quite so thrilling as seeing a ‘lightbulb’ go off for a student. I so enjoy meeting new and former class participants, sharing ideas and problem solving with everyone, using my favorite tools and processes. I absolutely love to teach, to watch others learn and grow in such a short period of time!
What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?
Problem solving with several other people, seeing different results that materialize for everyone, and letting that ‘door open!’ I teach exactly what I do in my own work: it is fun, simple, and freeing. If you liked Kindergarten, I think you’ll like my workshops!
What are you currently working on in your own art?
I recently finished a large scale Public Art commission for the Maine State Library, Museum and Archives at the state capitol in Augusta, ME. I have supported myself as an artist since 1987, and the major portion of that income is from such commissions. Most of those commissions are my Kinetic Sculpture. I generally teach 4-6 workshops per year and in between do my ‘soul work,’ my own Art Quilts. I am so fortunate to have a balance between my major source of income (Public Art Commissions); teaching workshops (in which I get to travel, meet wonderful people, and share my processes with them), and creating my own Art Quilts.
Where is your art currently being exhibited?
One of my pieces is now traveling internationally with Quilt National 2015, another is traveling with SAQA Silver. I have 8 new current pieces in my studio that are ready to go somewhere new…I hope! And the Maine Public Art Commission, “Home,” is permanently installed in the atrium of the Maine State Museum. In a few weeks I will be traveling to San Diego as one of three jurors for “Breakout: Quilt Visions 2016.”
Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?
No. I do not have gallery representation. I did years ago, but find that teaching workshops, creating public art commissions, and exhibiting in shows feeds all of my financial and soul’s needs.
Do you sell your work in any online gallery?
No, I do not.
What is your favorite art quote?
“If you don’t like what you’re doing, don’t do it! It won’t work.” –Berenice Abbott, photographer
Describe your studio.
I have lived for 40 years in an 1856 Maine farmhouse, complete with attached barn and shed. 40 years ago there were chickens, ducks, a horse and a ‘beef critter’ in the barn. My two children, husband and I ‘lived off the land…’ kind of, but not totally. Now, the children are grown and gone, I’ve been divorced for 20 years, and the barn and shed are my glorious studios! I do share the barn studio with an occasional friendly little mole who skitters across the floor when I least expect it.
Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.
Five can’t do without…unsized cotton duck, Textile paints, my Bernina 960, hand needles and embroidery floss, big work walls…and lots of good lighting!