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Archive for the ‘Printmaking Granada’ Category

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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.”

 

 

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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.

 

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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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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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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.

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