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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
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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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Homenaje a Maureen

Somos Pineros

Homenaje a Maureen.
Hom

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We’ll Be Going Back Next Year–Maybe We’ll Be Lucky and Coincide with Karen

After booking a two-week printmaking workshop with me last month it occurred to Karen Urquhart to consult Google to see if there was any activity during her stay in Granada in her other passion : swing dancing. As it happened the fourth edition of the Monachil Festival of Swing was on during last weekend, the first three days of her stay. Monachil is a mountain village about five miles from us as the crow flies (which by road converts into 15 or 20 kilometers down our valley and up theirs). We had never heard of their swing festival so we asked Karen if we could driver her over there and check it out. Mike took along his cameras.

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The Printmaker from the Oakland Ghetto

Maryly took advantage of a tour of Andalusia with her writing group to tack a workshop with me on the end. She’s glad she did, as together we explored the surprising possibilities of solarplate printmaking and the creative printing of the resulting plates. Maryly was serious about it; she took copious notes.

One of the many stories Maryly had to tell, one that I found extremely interesting, was about her printmaking studio, located in a renovated neon sign factory turned into artists’ studios. It’s located in the middle of what she refers to as “the Oakland ghetto.” Asked if the neighbors were “artist friendly” she affirms, “The whole factory is walled and gated, and there’s space inside to park cars, so the artists don’t have much contact with the locals.” From here it sounds like an interesting setting for creative work.

Here are a few pictures Mike made during Maryly’s workshop.
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The Importance of Having a Great Assistant

We talk a lot about the creative part of printmaking but there’s another aspect which is also creative, but somewhat less: the production side. If you’re going to sell prints you have to edition them. Depending upon the numbers involved–I try to keep my editions under 50–editioning can become a trudge.
Enter the assistant, who can make all the difference. I’ve had a few. When Rodrigo, who was excellent and had worked with me frequently for a number of years, went back to Argentina, I was left on my own. Then an old friend of ours, Maria Jose Braojos, wife and co-producer of Juan Carlos Romera, the video producer who has made all my videos, offered to help me out. I was delighted.
Maria Jose and I have been working together for more than a year now and she has proven to be the ideal helper. It’s not just for her technical ability and her punctillious character, which keeps print quality highly uniform. It’s also because she’s great company, always cheerful and optimistic, always generous with her time and discreetly helpful with her suggestions. Maria Jose’s great, and I want this post to be an homage to her. I asked Mike to make some pictures of us working in the studio yesterday and he kindly said yes. (If you ask me he went off the rails a bit, but he’s entitled to his creativity, too.)
I hope you enjoy this photo essay on a morning of editioning in my studio. Better yet, come on over and we’ll do some work together!
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Revolution, Rain or Shine

As some of you may already know Mike is digitizing his archive of black and white negatives from the old days. Besides the photos of our pueblo going back to 1969 (which he is publishing on a website SomosPineros.com) he has also unearthed family pictures which we had forgotten even existed. It’s a lot of fun. Here are some pictures he made of me participating in an anti-NATO demonstration in Granada’s Plaza Bibarramblas on a rainy day in 1984.
Did we manage to stop Spain’s entry into NATO? No but, 30 years later, we have the satisfaction of knowing we tried.
P.S. I’ll fill out this slide show with some portraits Mike made around that same time of the wonderful left-wing poets, painters, journalists and academics who usually participated in those Quijotesque political demonstrations.

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