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Archive for July, 2015

Gina Miller Granada

Gina Miller (ne Magalotti) and my husband Mike were classmates at university in Michigan. Like so many others they revived the friendship via Facebook a couple of years ago. She had worked as a teacher in the US and Canada, married Australian Ross Miller, moved Down Under in the mid 70s, and was able to realize there her ambition of teaching art. She recently retired. After Ross, a hard-travelling Aussie with an art degree, moved back to Melbourne he had a distinguished career as an art teacher and school administrator. He had the unique experience of being commissioned to create a school from the ground up. He left the project eight years later as principal with more than 2,000 students and 200 staff.

“I was worried about Ross when he retired,” says Gina. “He’d had such an intense professional life. What was he going to do in retirement?” Gina need not have worried. Ross built a sculpture studio in the back yard and started going out there every morning. His latest exhibit in Melbourne, with more than 40 pieces, was a sellout.

Gina had been yearning for some time to do a workshop with me and when their daughter Danielle announced her wedding in the UK, Gina and Ross programmed a week’s layover in Granada. The idea was for Gina to do the workshop while Mike and Ross went rambling round the nearby mountains and the city of Granada. But Ross stepped into my studio on the first morning and never left. Have you ever seen the otters at the zoo playing on the water slide? That’s what Ross and Gina were like in the studio. “This is just what I was needing,” said Ross. “It’s a perfect complement to sculpting!”

Their plans now are to return home and set up a printmaking studio. I’m sure it will be a great one. Here are some pictures that Mike made on the last day of the workshop.

From the visitors’ book:

Maureen,

A truly enlightening experience from the very first moment you step into the studio. Maureen, like all good teachers has an ability to instill self-confidence and adapt to your own artistc themes, style and concepts.

Her personal success and experience as an artist is considerable, but she willingly shares her vast knowledge and experiences of technical processes and aesthetic values. Our folio production over three days seems equal to weeks of work. Thank you so much for an inspirational journey.

Saludos,

Gina and Ross Miller

Selby, Victoria, Australia

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Carmen Cano is the sister-in-law of my assistant, María José. She lives in Almería, a province adjacent to Granada. Carmen is a fine-arts graduate and she teaches art in an Almería high school. Eager to encourage her talented 13-year-old daughter, Elena, in all things arty, she contacted me and asked if they could come up for a couple of days and get their feet wet in solar water. They left this morning and they are both solar converts. “We’ll be back soon,” says Carmen, “and for a longer stay.” Here are some pictures Mike made.

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