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Archive for the ‘Pinos Genil’ Category

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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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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Most of the Butterflies Were in My Stomach

Miguel Ángel Castillo phoned the other day asking if I wanted to play a small part of a veteran butterfly activist in his latest film. I said sure. Could they shoot in my studio? Sure. Ever since I worked with Juan Carlos Romera on ¡Bive! seven or eight years ago I have been entranced with movie making. (Juan Carlos also made my printmaking tutorial videos.)

Miguel Ángel is a retired science professor who is full of the kind of creative energy the Spanish call “inquietudes.” He is a butterfly activist with his own mariposarium at home, he makes short films and he takes excellent care of his friends. Asked what got him into film making he says, “I always wanted to try it, and when I did I loved the process. Also it’s an opportunity to be in contact with bright, talented young people. I find that very enriching.” Don’t be tempted to think that his film is one of those boring ecological treatises. It actually has an assassination in it. though it lacks a helicopter.

So, Miguel Ángel and his crew of seven technicians and actors showed up yesterday morning and started running cables and setting up lights and the camera. It was a hot day and it took us till 3:00 p.m. to shoot what was was essentially three scenes, so we were thirsty, worn out and starving when we finished.

Miguel Ángel was right on cue. “Where’s the nearest place to get a nice lunch?” he said. “I’m inviting.” Mike suggested Casa Guillermo, just down the hill in our village. The food is good there and we could sit at the tables on the river’s edge. The meal which lasted from three until five, included a wonderful selection of Andalusian soul food: jamon serrano, pipirrana salad, grilled morcilla and alonganiza, churrasco steak, chicken and ham croquetas, pitchers of beer and assorted soft drinks; one fundamentalist actually drank water, with ice cream and kinky little cylindrical cakes for dessert) lasted from three until five.

One of the best dishes was papas a lo pobre, (“poor man’s potatoes) sliced potatoes with green peppers stewed in quite a lot of olive oil. Jordi, the sound man from Valencia, wrinkling his nose disapprovingly, asked, “What’s that puddle under the potatoes, oil?” “Yes,” I said, handing him a slice of bread. “Here, dip some bread in it,” and I showed him how it was done. Jordi became an instant devotee of papas a lo pobre and an expert olive oil soaker upper. (Don’t try this at home with just any old olive oil. Ideally it should be the silky golden aceite de oliva virgen extra from our village, Pinos Genil.)

The crew had a two-hour drive back to Almería, but Mike and I were home in less than five minutes, stripped off as we were descending the garden stairs, showered in the hose, dried off and hopped into bed, where we stayed for hottest three and a half hours of a 39ºC (102.2F) day. There’s nothing wrong with a day in which you get up from your siesta (just a bit groggy) at 9:00 p.m.

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You’ve seen Pinos Genil in the old days in the previous post. Here’s what Pinos and its people look like today, summer and winter.

Here are a few links to Somos Pineros posts on contemporary Pinos:

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People ask, “Why did you come here? Why did you stay?”

The answer is straightforward enough. We liked Spain, at least the version of the country and its people we encountered in our village, Pinos Genil. And Spain seemed to like us. We arrived here in the fall of 1969. (“Ha llovido,” say the Spanish. “It has rained since then.”)

Mike started making photographs from the beginning, especially of the events in the pueblo: the fiestas, romerías, harvests, etc. He recently digitalized his old negatives and started publishing them on a photo-blog, SomosPineros.com. In case you’re interested in seeing what our village and our neighbors looked like a few decades ago I’m going to upload a few pictures here and give you some links to posts on Somos Pineros.

Later, in a second post, I’ll show you some recent pictures from this year and last, so you can see how things have changed around here. Here we go.

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Here are some links to  posts about the old days in Pinos:

Stop back in a couple of days to see pictures of Pinos Genil today.

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Here’s the second half of the photographs from the IB Bremen printmaking workshop 2016.

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May first every year is festive in Granada, but this year it was even moreso. Granadinos, including those of our pueblo, Pinos Genil, celebrated three fiestas on the same Sunday:

  • Mothers’ Day (Día de la Madre)
  • Labor Day (Día Internacional de los Trabajadores)
  • The Day of the Cross (a Spanish rites of spring celebration that they refer to as El Día de la Cruz)

Any one of these commemorations can justify dressing up, going down to the village square, eating and drinking a little too much, singing, dancing, oogling the beautiful young people and generally getting a bit unruly.

What follows is a selection of photographs that Mike shot that day for his Somos Pineros.com (We’re from Pinos!) photo blog.

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