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Getting into the Third Dimension

I never expected to do any sculpture, but I stopped by my friend, Esperanza Romero’s studio one day and she was working on a piece of clay.  She saw I was fascinated and set me up with a lump of clay and some advice for a beginner. And out came Diva.  I was hooked. I made more figures and have had them cast in bronze. Here they are.

 

This is Diva, our chihuahua when she was a puppy. I tried to capture some of her puppiness and, yes, her ears were that big. At least the appeared that way to me.

 

This one is called “Cacolina.” She was our first small dog. When a friend offered her to us as a pup, Mike said, “Thanks but no, we prefer big dogs.” Up until that time we had had mastiffs and great danes. “So the friend said, “Look, just take her home with you. If she doesn’t work out you can bring her back.” That was the end of mastiffs for us. She went on to mother a whole dynasty of little rough-haired terriers we called “Cacolinos.” I did this figure from memory.

 

I call this one “Siesta.” It’s from memory, too.

 

This is “The Kiss,” also from my imagination. Cacolina made her way into this one, too.

You Can Purchase One If You Like, Or More Than One

All of these pieces are for sale. I’ve decided to present them in editions of seven each. They will be designated: MLucia, 1/7…7/7, and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

If you see a piece you would like to acquire, please email me and we’ll discuss the arrangements. My email is: maureenluciabooth(at)gmail.com.

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Jan Reawakens Her Printmaking Enthusiasm in Granada

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Jan Stickland is coming back. After two serious operations in the past year, she decided to try her newly recovered wings with a solo trip to Spain from her home in Australia and an intensive printmaking workshop with Maureen here in Granada. She achieved both with high marks. When she left she was full of ideas, plans and a determination to buy an etching press and set up her own studio at home. “Maureen made me see that it was not only possible but necessary,” says Jan. “The truth is I always feel best when I’m making art.”

Jan is a country girl, raised in a village in the state of Victoria where her mother would pack her a lunch in the morning and she could spend the entire day walking alone in the woods. “I got to know every inch of that forest,” she says nostalgically. Having spent her professional life as a primary school teacher, with what she refers to as a “disjointed relationship with art,” Jan is now retired with her children grown up and independent. “It’s time to get back to art,” she says, adding, “I confess, though, that my principal motive for coming to work with Maureen was not mainly about printmaking. It was to relax and clear my head. But Maureen quickly took me far beyond that. This became a working holiday. We worked hard together and I learned more in a short time than ever before in my life, and not just about printmaking techniques and creative printing, but also studio practice and organization. In her studio Maureen seems always to have the materials she needs–down to an important scrap of grandmother’s lace or a pressed flower–close at hand. She buys most of her materials on Internet and they are delivered to her door.

This was Jan’s second visit to Spain. She was here last year after being chosen to represent Australia in the IMPACT 10 Encuentro, the tenth edition of the International Multidisciplinary Printmaking Conference created by the University of the West of England which was held in the city of Santander, Spain, from September 1 to 9, 2018. Jan had another compelling reason to visit Spain. Her son married a Spanish girl and they live in a hillside village in the province of Alicante just a 15-minute drive from the Mediterranean coast.

In answer to the question, “Why printmaking?” Jan replies, “It’s the serendipity, the magic that happens every time you pull that blanket back off a freshly pressed print.”

While Jan was here she also found time in the afternoons to stroll through the village and try its restaurants. One of those afternoons she coincided with the annual “Fiesta del Agua” and joined in the fun with the village young people. On her last afternoon, she accompanied Maureen on a delightful walk through a pine forest (“ahh, the smell…”) located 1,000 vertical meters above the village, where it’s 6-8ºC cooler on summer afternoons. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Jan coming back one of these years. It’s not just the printmaking. There is also her family down there in Alicante, just a short bus ride away.

Photos by Mike Booth
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Back for Seventh Successive Year

This group of high-school juniors, from Germany, Russia, the USA and Spain all attend Bremen’s  International Baccalaureate school and study art under Brenda Eubank. This is the seventh (eighth?) successive year that Brenda brings her students to Maureen’s studio to do a printmaking workshop. (Note: Brenda notifies us by email that the first workshop Maureen had with the students from Bremen was in 2011, so this year’s visit was the ninth. Time flies.)

This year, under Maureen’s guidance, they made three collective artists’ books. It sounds complicated and it was but the results gratified everybody.

Have a look at the photographs, below.

(Thanks, Brenda, hope to see you next year.)

 

Photos by Mike Booth and Brenda Eubank
Thanks for Liking, Following and Sharing

 

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I just found this in my visitors’ book and was moved by it:

Dear Maureen and Mike,

Thank you so much for the most memorable printmaking experience I have ever had. At the same time I realized that you were a mother to me in so many ways, especially in printmaking. I will always cherish my time with you in the studio working out my complicated project.

You are very creative and have many ideas and I appreciate your mentorship in the business of art. You have taught me what it means to be a working artist.

Mike was a friend to my husband, Rich, and I know he enjoyed the walks and working together on the technical issues such as the wife. Mike is awesome! The paella was excellent and I loved meeting all your friends and family. And, to top it off, the spa treatment every other day did us wonders. You have been a true blessing all around. We will be sending some salmon from Alaska (wild caught) for sure.

Love you and Mike,

Rhonda  & Rich
XX OO XX OO

Thank you, Rhonda. The feeling is mutual. We hope to see you back here whenever you can make it.

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Alaskan Artist, Rhonda Horton, Braves 30-Hour Flight to Come to Maureen’s Workshop

Rhonda and her husband, Rich, had been planning this trip, their first to Europe, for more than a year. For Rhonda it was more than a vacation. It was an opportunity to work  intensively–one on one–for two weeks with an Old World master printmaker and to collect some ideas for establishing her own printmaking studio at home. At the end of her time in Granada she hoped to have produced an exquisite artist’s book. And she did.

Rhonda had scrupulously prepared a full set of pencil drawings on paper as the basis to create an artist’s book on Alaskan sea birds. After admiring them Maureen said, “These are drawings are great but to achieve maximum image quality on solarplates they should be re-drawn in India ink on acetates.” She showed Rhonda how it was done and Rhonda spent her few first morning and afternoons preparing beautiful new drawings.

Then they decided on a format, adaptated to some elongated sheets of handmade Indian paper that Maureen had selected for Rhonda’s artist’s book, and burned the images on the plates. Maureen happened to have on hand some beautifully textured handmade paper acquired from the Paperki paper mill in Hondarribia, Spain, 30 years ago for the cover of the book. Rhonda loved some work that Maureen had done with chine collé and decided to incorporate that technique into her book project, as well.

Then it was just a question of printing up the images and assembling them meticulously into three artist’s books. Rhonda called it “Quiet Song” after a poem that occurred to her on awaking one morning in Maureen’s Gallinero artist’s cabin:

Quiet song, show me the morning
A shout before noon, show me the day
Birds of the shore, show me the night.

A special element in creating ambiente throughout the whole process was Rhonda’s husband, Rich, occasionally sitting quietly at the end of the studio playing his guitar and singing. The delicious atmosphere he achieved was like having a Rennaisance troubador providing live-music accompaniment in an artist’s studio.

Maureen attributes the success of their work together to the fact that Rhonda arrived with a clear project in mind with the images already worked out. The finished product is an exquisite piece of work that reflects the input of both Rhonda and Maureen. The effort expended by both over two weeks is evident in the proud, hard-working faces of both in the second and third photographs in the montage below.

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The Shepherd Boy Who Sketched Mountainsides

José Quiros (“Rescoldo”) spent his youth shepherding his family’s sheep and cattle on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range above the Granada village of Güéjar Sierra in Spain. José had an abiding restlessness. There was something he was destined to do, but he had yet to figure out what it was. In the meantime he would put carefully-folded butcher’s paper and a pencil in his knapsack along with the lunch his mother prepared him for his day on the mountain. There was plenty of time to think up there and for putting his impressions down on paper.

In 1985, when he was 21, a friend advised José that there was a British artist living in the next village down the road and that maybe he could show her some of his work. This is how Maureen met José. After looking at his drawings and paintings she took him  directly to the Granada art school to meet José García Lomas, the etching professor there, the same one who had been her maestro in the Fundación Rodríguez Acosta printmaking studio a few years before. The old master was impressed with José‘s sketches and managed to get him into his etching classes mid term via the back door.

José spent the next four years etching off and on with Pepe Lomas and, after he left the art school, remained a lifetime friend of his etching master. Their favorite times together were scouring the Andalusian countryside for archeological artifacts. When Pepe saw José’s building project finished he said, “This is a work of art, the whole house, not just the wall hangings.”

_DSC6653José’s building project wasn’t a house in the beginning. It was a painting studio. He needed a place to paint. That’s how the building got that south-east looking panoramic window on the second floor overlooking the mountains. Besides offering a stunning view it admits beautiful light for working. “The steep rocky canyon reminded me of my longtime desire to have a house of stone and wood,” says José. “Maybe I was influenced by the stone walls and stations along the old tram line that passed beneath our village on its way up to the Hotel del Duque, and maybe by the grand old hotel itself.” The hotel, which opened as a gambling casino around the turn of the 20th century, remains in excellent condition today, though it has been repurposed by the church as a center for ejercicios espirituales, “spiritual exercises.”

Whatever the inspiration, José decided to do the building project himself, with his own two hands. It took him seven years. His only previous building experience was three months as a hod carrier. Never mind, he would invent solutions as he went along. He was lucky in that his building project coincided with a period in Granada–the late 80s–when many noble houses and public buildings were being demolished to make way for coldly-geometrical Bauhaus-influenced modern apartment blocks. “There were wonderful old bricks, pillars and beams lying around all over Granada,” says José. So he would approach the foremen on the demolition crews, explaining to them that he was building a house and asking if he could haul away some of the vintage materials they were throwing away. “Those were the days when centuries-old pine and oak beams, some of them engraved, were being cut up to fuel bakery ovens in Granada,” says José. “So nobody told me no,” adding reflexively, “It’s curious how life has provided me with what I’ve needed as I went along.”

aguila_realIt wasn’t until the house was nearly finished that José discovered it had unexpected magical qualities. “The big round ojo de buey window was one of the last elements I put in,” he says. “I sat down to amire it–I remember it was late spring–and suddenly I noticed a pair of golden eagles flying back and forth to the rock face opposite, taking food to their chicks.

The house sits in an interesting area surrounded by trees and little family patches of mountain agriculture. The River Genil runs down the bottom of the valley and there are walking and mountain biking paths that will take you up to the source of the river and beyond into the high Sierra Nevada.

Asked what kind of person might buy his house, José replies, “I don’t know. Maybe an artist or musician, or some other sensitive person.”

As for what he intends to do after selling the house, his reply is straightforward: “Do? I’ll do the same thing I do now, enjoy life.” That said, he does confess a long-standing desire to mount a Mongolian pony.

 

Contact José Quiros at: joserescoldo (at) gmail.com
As José doesn’t speak English, if you don’t speak Spanish you can email me at: mikebooth61 (at) gmail.com.
Text and photos by Mike Booth
Thanks for commenting and sharing.

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Dear Old Friends Bob and Eunice Stack Throw a Spanish-Style Goodbye Wingding after Their Umpteenth Summer Stay in Güéjar Sierra

Güéjar Sierra, August 20, 2018–Monday lunchtime in the Restaurante La Hacilla and a long table of friends is assembled to eat lunch, laugh together and bid goodbye to old friends and regular summer visitors for the past 45 years, Bob and Eunice Stack, who head back to New York with their family on Wednesday. It’s always great to spend time with Bob and Eunice and enjoy their flawless hospitality. They are the best–and best loved–people we know, real role models for growing old gracefully. Thanks for a lovely lunch dear friends.

Here are the photos. Click on one to enlarge them. Then right click the enlargement to download it.

 

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Virtually Lost to Art Since Her Art School Days, Sarah Initiates a Welcome Return

Sarah Jarvis studied painting and textiles (Chelsea School of Art) and then lived in the business world all her working life. Though, it’s not as if locating, gutting and renovating, equipping and running an Andalusian farmhouse hotel with her husband, Matt, since 2014 isn’t work. Still, the yearning for art in her life never left her. Her dream was to convert one of the rooms in their country house into a printmaking studio. But there were so many questions pending. It had been a long time. Was she capable of making her plan work?

At this point she discovered Maureen on the web. “I just googled ‘Printmaking Spain’ and there she was,” says Sarah, who showed up at the studio a few days later. After looking over some of Sarah’s sketches, Maureen suggested that Sarah base her first prints on some animal drawings she had done a few years ago and showed her how to prepare the images on acetates in order to create solar-plate prints.

The first print was a sign of things to come. It was crisp, bold and arresting, with a graphic quality that a lot of printmakers strive a long time to achieve. By the time she went home Sarah had a stack of prints. When Maureen said to her, “You’ve got the beginning of an exhibit there,” Sarah’s eyes lit up. She was on her way.

Asked to discuss her experience in the studio with Maureen, Sarah said, “It was amazing, actually. Maureen has allowed me to feel that I could become an artist. She’s given me the necessary confidence. She doesn’t train people to be like her. She looks for the best in each person. Also, the setting here is so inspiring, from the mountains, the grapevines and the flowers, to the Gallinero (henhouse) artists cabin. It’s all so idyllic.”

Sarah’s parting comment says it all: “I’m going to create a studio of my own. Now I’m convinced I can do it.”

 

 

 

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“Three days with Maureen helped me find my former artistic self.”

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Kate MacKinnon is one of those unusual people who thrive on learning and never stop. She just spent three days in the studio with Maureen and got stuck into a new challenge: printmaking. As with everything else, she’s serious about it.

Kate graduated with a degree in psychology from Hobart William Smith Colleges, a great little liberal arts school in upstate New York, then hitchhiked around Europe for four months before going to work in 1989 for Chase Manhattan Bank–which later became part of JP Morgan Chase–and stayed there until 2017 when she took an early retirement.

She seemingly came out of that experience unscathed. She’s not the least bit “bankish;” in fact she’s eminently normal. So how did she manage it? “I always worked in technology,” she says, “and I was surrounded by intelligent people. I learned on the job, from them. I had some people skills.” Kate underrates herself. Her people skills are such that she could swim in shark-infested waters if she had to.

Asked what she discovered working with Maureen she replies, “I discovered how much she knows about printmaking and, just as important as that, how willing she is to share her knowledge. Time spent with Maureen in the studio one-on-one not only teaches you printmaking. She also conveys some rich lifestyle wisdom. Some of it’s Spanish, some of it’s of her own creation. She’s living every artist’s dream.”

“One of the great things about working with Maureen is the accommodation. It’s a cabin built into a mountainside with great comfort, workspace, privacy and views. I slept well the first night and on the second day started taking siestas. And there’s an added attraction. It’s just 40 steps–I counted them.–from the studio.”

 

 

A Fun-and-Easy Show in Our Village This Summer

I’ve been invited to exhibit during the Semana Cultural (Cultural Week) runup to our  village’s summer fete. I’ll be showing a good friend from here, Inma López. We inaugurate the show on Sunday, the 29th of July and it’s on through the month of August. I haven’t exhibited in a long time but this time it’s like everything else in our pueblo, friendly, fun and easy. The town hall installed beautiful new lighting in the exhibition space and came up to the house with a truck to pick up my work.

Here are the pictures Mike made for my part the catalog, along with some of Inma and me after the hanging. She’s a great person to work with. More than 30 years ago, when I was giving outdoor painting classes to the kids in the village, she was one of the participants–at the age of 14.

See you there if you can make it. If not, Mike will make some pictures at the inauguration and post them here.

 

 

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Three Experienced Artists Discover Solar Plate Secrets in My Studio

Maruja Cantos, Carmen Lopez-Nieto and Isabel Manteca left yesterday after spending time with me in my studio exploring the creative possibilities of solarplate printmaking. Solarplate has an undeserved bad reputation because it is so often limited to simply reproducing photographs, which reduces the results of the technique to bad photocopies.
For me the secret of quality solarplate prints is to create your images directly on the acetate, taking care to balance the contrasts and assure clear linework. What you do not achieve on the acetate will not appear in the print. I also place a lot of emphasis on the creative printing of the plates. There are so many options when it comes to printing solar plates.
Working with professional artists, given their years of experience with images, becomes an intensive collaborative experience. It’s also fun.
On the last morning, Mike and I accompanied them to the village churrería for a breakfast of churros, the Spanish version of irresistibly unhealthy fried batter. Breakfast ended with the traditional flurry of Spanish goodbye hugs and kisses and they were off, all promising to come back soon. I hope they do. They were all such delightful people.

 

An International Group of Young Artists from IB Bremen Get Into Inked Plates

Brenda Eubanks-Ahrens is back this year with the cream of her art class from the International Baccalaureate School from Bremen, Germany, eight young people with artistic leanings. I’m always impressed when I see just how serious they are about image making. It’s so satisfying working with these kids. For most of them it’s the first time they’ve ever been in an artist’s studio, and I feel privileged to have introduced them to their first one. Perhaps a bit of art magic will stay with them throughout their lives.

The weather was perfect; we ate out on the terrace in the shade of the grape vines every day. Mike was the cook and almost didn’t have enough time to make the photographs. In the end he was able to supplement those he made with some that my assistant, María José, made with her cell phone. (Thank you María José.)

Here are the photographs:

 

 

 

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As close as I can remember, Lorna Ryan-Burden came to work in my studio with me the first time in 2011. This talented Australian artist came with her husband, Roger, who researched a lot of tapas bars with Mike, while Lorna delved into solar-plate and liquid metal printmaking with me in the studio.

A couple of years later they stopped by again, on their way from Australia to England to visit family. By then Lorna had evolved her techniques a lot and won a few printmaking prizes around Australia. She was full of the enthusiasm that comes from winning prizes and selling work.

I was surprised and delighted last fall when I received an email from Lorna saying they were planning to come back to Europe in the spring of 2018 and could they stop by for a week in The Gallinero and some creative printing practice with me in the studio. They have just left after a very productive week. Have a look at the photos Mike made in the studio shortly before they left. Already we’re looking forward to their fourth visit from Australia.

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Making an Etching

How Long Since You’ve Seen This Excerpt from “Goya’s Ghosts?”

Those were the good old days. That said, it’s surprising how little has changed.

Printmaking with Kids

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Children Loose in My Studio with Indelible Felt Pens

Our friends ask me frequently, “When are you going to do a workshop for children?I would love for our kids to participate.” So last Saturday I invited  a group of friends’ kids, along with our own grandchildren, to a day of printmaking in my studio. Some of them didn’t really know why they were here; they were sent. Some were frankly reluctant at first.

How does one overcome that reluctance and get them centered on the work. I found out a long time ago that it’s not so complicated as it seems. You put a sheet of acetate in one hand and a felt pen in the other and tell them to do whatever they like. No art teacher ever told them that before and it makes them feel empowered. That, and seeing their first print, maintains their enthusiasm.

Aside: One of the fathers was there when I passed out the materials, actually a well-known local painter. He stood over his daughter and started giving her instructions.  I suggested he might be more comfortable out in the sunshine and she immediately got seriously to work. Moral to the story: Children are actually people and people like freedom.

After creating their first image, seeing it burned on a solarplate and run through an etching press onto paper, they wanted to do more printss. I couldn’t keep up with them. The only way to slow them down was to announce lunch. What do kids like to eat? Anything followed by chocolate pudding.

They all went home with a couple of prints, some more, and a new  experience under their belts. The parents were also delighted. Some of them actually expressed an interest in doing some prints themselves.

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Photography by Miguel Ángel Martínez and Mike Booth

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by Mike Booth

In an Intensive Workshop with Maureen

New Zealander, Wendy Kerr, is an experienced printmaker. She also likes to travel. She showed up in Granada recently for an intensive week of collaborative printmaking with Maureen.

They worked together on refining Wendy’s solarplate techniques. In the beginning Wendy was worried about the suitability of her drawings. Maureen said to her, “Don’t worry about your drawing, let’s just have fun.” Thus unchained, Wendy began to make prints, to play with inked crumpled newspaper (previously used for cleaning plates) and to experiment with chine collé (The Italian term is more fun: “fondino.”) and other creative printing techniques.

Towards the end of the week Wendy said, “I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun making prints,” adding, “I don’t think I’ve ever worked more intensely, either.”

When I dropped her at the Granada train station I said, “Come back and see us when you can.”

Her answer: “I’ll be back next year.”

Here are a few photographs.

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I recently received this lovely note from Wendy. I’m proud to share it with you:

Back in New Zealand and now remembering the wonderful printmaking experience I had with Maureen (and let’s not forget Mike)’.

Her marvellous richly resourced studio is a printmakers heaven. All those goodies stashed away just waiting to become someone’s best print ever. Most printmakers are lovers of paper and Maureen’s collection of wonderful print papers, as well as her ‘museum’ of tissue and other interesting papers and materials for chine colle etc are an inspiration to creativity.

Maureen’s skills and talents are a rich resource for the visiting printmakers too. She gave freely of her wide experience and guided me to create some very good work.

I loved being ‘’ín residence”. The accommodation is delightful; peaceful and picturesque, and just a skip down the steps each day to the studio.

Thank you Maureen and Mike. Hope to see you again next year. Wendy.

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by Mike Booth

Ever Been Poleaxed by Delight?

For many summers we’ve been driving up to the forest above a neighboring village to gather pine cones for starting fires. They’re ideal for the job, dry and resinous. We need them as the firewood we use—olive, almond and live oak—is hard to light and in wintertime all of our heating and most of our cooking is done on wood fires. Sometimes we take along a picnic. One time we were up there in a sunny clearing enjoying a potato omelette and some red wine while our two little terriers ran around chasing lizards and butterflies. When we finished lunch and rolled over on our backs on the blanket, staring aimlessly skyward, we discovered a pair of golden eagles circling quite a bit lower than usual. They were thinking about lunch, too.

Prohibition

A couple of years ago it occurred to the forestry authority to prohibit collecting anything in the natural park forests. But we still need pine cones, so I came up with a business plan. I would drive up there before dawn on a Sunday morning, while Smokey Bear was still in bed, and load the back of the car with big 100-liter black plastic garbage bags full of pine cones.

It’s a half-hour drive up there from our house and when I left last Sunday at 7:00 a.m. it was 19º down there and a bracing 13º up on the mountain. I turned off on a forestry trail, followed it for a kilometer and parked at the edge of the road. There were enough plump pine cones within a 30-meter radius to fill the four bags that would fit in the back of the car. After scurrying around filling two of them I sat down on a carpet of pine needles for a break. Then it struck me: the silence, the solitude, the pine-scented air… I should come up here more often.

Churros and Glee

Add to that the larcenous glee of stealing the pine cones and you have most of the makings of a perfect Sunday morning. All that was lacking was a double coffee and a plate of the fried batter rings the Spanish call “churros,” and I would see to that at the bar on the way down.

I was headed due south on the dirt trail when I burst out of the woods and found myself on the rim of a great bowl, looking down into a vast valley full of valleys crosslit from the east by the morning sun. Then, as I lifted my gaze I was confronted by one of our old friends, the eagles, soaring low in the distance beneath seven layers of mountain ridges receding into the haze of the upper reaches of Sierra Nevada.

Self Help

I was almost down to the level of the Río Quentar at the bottom of the valley, only half listening to a Spanish self-help guru on Sunday-morning radio discussing the healing effects of nature when a “cabra montesa” (Spanish ibex) appeared in front of me, like a traffic warden, securing the road for her half-grown kid from last spring’s brood, who trotted out of the bushes behind her. Maybe I’ll go back again next Sunday.
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Good morning Frances

I found this note below written in my visitors’ book a few days after Frances and Mike Parker left. It made me so proud I want to share it with you.

Teachers are born with a gift and you have this gift in bucket loads.

How can I ever thank you enough for your energy, talent, passion, wisdom and generosity? I have learnt so much from you in such a short time. Not just about technique and process, much deeper lessons in how to live an artistic and creative life, lessons that I will take with me and draw on to enrich my work and relationships.

The studio space, the adorable Gallinero, the village, the river and most of all Mike and your hospitality and generosity have made our visit so memorable.

Frances & Mike Parker

Thank you for your too-kind words, Frances. I wish you and Mike the greatest success wherever you go, whatever you do. I suspect you’re going to etch a deep mark on Australian printmaking.

Not having done fine art prints before she’s making up for lost time.
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Tasmanian artist, Frances Parker, and her husband, Mike, arrived last Sunday. Monday morning at nine she stepped into my studio and, after a 15-minute introduction, sat down to make her first print. At the end of that day she saw it come out of the etching press, having made not a single wrong move. The print could have been made by a professional. It was clear to me then that she was an experienced and talented artist who had been needing to make fine-art prints for a long time.

It’s the end of the week now, and we’ve just put the last of her work in the press so she can take it home nice and flat. Her new house includes beautiful studio space and a nearby friend has an etching press where she can also work. I’m looking forward to seeing the prints she produces over the next few years.
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Frances and Mike had unusually good luck as the dates of their visit coincided with the annual “Fiestas Patronales” in our village. (You can see my husband Mike’s photos of one night of the fiesta here.) So every evening there were lots of activities, lots of music and dancing and lots of exotic tapas with the beer, in all an intensive course in fiesta.

Photos by Mike Booth and Mike Parker

.Thanks for sharing.

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Watch This Young Artist

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One day in 1770 when Captain Cook was sailing past a little island on the northeast coast of Australia his compass started misbehaving. He presumed it had to do with deposits of magnetic minerals found there and named the place “Magnetic Island.” (Those were the days when the Brits could name and claim territories just by sailing past them.) In the end it turned out not to be magnetic, but never mind. 

Two and a half centuries later Chelsea Candy was born there and grew up to be one of the most authentic people we have ever met. Her effortless manner of just being herself makes the people around her feel more like themselves, a delightful event when it (seldom) happens. Twenty-nine years old now, she’s built a studio beside her house and has decided to become a printmaker. After working with her for 10 days I’m sure she will succeed.

Chelsea showed up here a couple of weeks ago to extend and polish her printmaking skills. I have seldom seen an artist so well centered and hard working. Driven by an overriding enthusiasm to learn as much as she could Chelsea was in the studio every morning and afternoon turning out traditional acid etchings, solarplate and liquid-metal prints (See below, though her best prints, made on the last day, missed getting photographed.)

So busy she was making prints that she didn’t even get to see the Alhambra, the one excursion here that nobody misses. “Don’t worry,” she said, “I’ll see the Alhambra next time.”

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More Photographs from IB Bremen’s Printmaking Workshop in Granada with Maureen Booth

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They Arrive as High-School Art Students, but I Think They Leave Feeling a Little Bit More Like Artists,

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Like half of the artists who arrive at my studio affirming that they can’t draw, many of Brenda’s students were shy about their drawing skills. So I dispelled that doubt at the very beginning. “Don’t worry about drawing, ” I said, “Just make some images on these acetates and we’ll burn them onto solar plates. You can used textures, impressions, text, and you can even draw! The results were gratifying both for them and for me. These extremely attentive and polite Bremen young people took immediately to printmaking like ducklings to water.

Mike, who was also the cook, made these photographs on their last day. As there are “too many photos” he has suggested publishing half of them today and the other half tomorrow. He doesn’t want you choking on them.

(Click on an image to enlarge it and open a slide show.)

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