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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:


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.


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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Brenda and her group of exceptionally civilized young people left yesterday, after three days of solarplate printmaking–an exemplary working holiday. They take with them, along with a big package of prints, the experience of making solar plates in actual sunshine and the joy of being young in Granada for one short week. Come back and see us when you can!

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Brenda is back for the fourth or fifth year with her art students from the International Baccalaureate School in Bremen, Germany. They’re off to a roaring start. Here are the first pictures Mike made today. More to come in the next couple of days. Stay tuned.

(Click on the photos to enlarge them and open up a slide show.)

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Mary Marjerrison, Italy/USA

Mary, originally from the U.S., moved with her husband to Italy where they have taught in international schools for many years. Formerly an art teacher, today she is on the management staff of the International Baccalaureate school in Milan and tries to find the time to stay in touch with art. That’s what brought her to my studio in March of 2011. Mary took advantage of her afternoons here to prepare the solarplate acetates for the following morning. Perhaps her efficiency in the studio also had to do with the fact that she didn’t have a lot of experience with solar plates and was eager to learn. It’s often more difficult to work with people who already know a lot about the subject. I think she made more successful prints in one week with me than most artists make in two. Even so, Mary insists that she didn’t have enough time and that she needs to come back and do some more work as soon as possible. Here are some photos of her experience here.

 From the visitors’ book: “I can’t imagine a more lovely, inspiring, gentle, fulfilling way to spend a week! Your stories and your life have touched me deeply–unforgettable, really.  Thank you ever so much for your generosity and for passing along your expertise. Teaching is a grand gift and you have given it with gusto. You are right, a week is too short. All too soon the scent of olive wood smoke will be gone from my clothes, but the soul of this experience will not be washed away. P.S. Many thanks for the wonderful tea breaks.” .

Michele Bennett, Sydney, Australia

The visit of Michelle and her charming and talented husband, Claudio, was actually a layover on their way from the U.K. to Australia. Michelle’s day job is as a graphic designer–fascinating in that she can take it with her in a laptop wherever she goes. Working with her was a pleasure as her eye for graphic design adapted quickly to fine art. I am always saying that the first criterion for good printmaking is that it be graphic. Towards the end of their stay Michelle said to me, “Do you give painting lessons? I would love to learn to paint.” So we spent the last two days of their stay painting together out on the terrace over my studio. One day Mike invited some friends over and made a paella. Claudio and a guitarrist friend treated us to an after-lunch jam session right at the table. Delightful! The latest news from Australia is that we may be seeing Michelle and Claudio back in Europe before too long. That would be great.

From the visitors’ book: “I certainly won’t forget this experience. Meeting you Maureen has been a great gift. No only through all the learning of printmaking and painting but also with the friendship I’ve gained. I’m just so glad Claudio and I came. It’s been the perfect beginning of our new chapter in life. Thank you so much; I will never forget it!”

Michelle Ringgold

Michelle Ringgold included a workshop with me in her Big Dream Tour of Europe in 2010. Besides being a formidable photographer–so good that Mike was concerned that she did all of her pictures with her iPhone instead of a “proper camera”–the work that Michelle did with me in the studio was poetic and inspired in her own feelings and experiences. Shortly after she arrived Michelle mentioned  that she suffered from chronic insomnia. She had even resorted to a sleep clinic in Seattle where they covered her head with sensors and wires and wished her a pleasant night’s sleep. “I still can’t sleep,” she said. A couple of mornings later she commented joyously, “I slept all night!” By the end of her stay she was having regular siestas after lunch. We decided that the best medicine for insomnia was art-induced happiness.

From a blog comment: “I so enjoyed my stay in the the lovely Gallinero. Its beautiful and serene surroundings left me renewed and relaxed. Maureen and Mike are wonderful people and fun to spend time with. Cherished are my memories of printmaking in Pinos Genil!”


Nevine Sultana, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Nevine, a print collector and promoter of young artists from her country, Bangladesh, is here now, in the middle of a month’s stay in the Gallinero. She has just finished a two-week workshop in my studio and has been surprised by the quality and originality of the work she has turned out. She’s already bought a new etching press as soon as she gets home she’ll be breaking it in. The first one she donated to the art department of the University of Rajshahi. This is Nevine’s first visit to Spain and her childlike sense of delight permits her to make the most of it. “Spain is wonderful,” she says. “It’s like being in a movie!” She particularly enjoyed a big family outing in the country including a paella made over an open fire. Nevine’s other discovery during her stay here has been Dolly, our eight-month-old terrier pup. Until now Nevine never really understood what dogs were for, but she has formed a profound friendship with Dolly.

From the visitors’ book:

I had such a wonderful time at your place. The Gallinero was such a treat and the studio was amazing. Dolly was an extra bonus. I will miss her so much. I really enjoyed my stay here and look forward to coming back. Mike, a big thank you for taking such good care of me. The paella was amazing! Maureen a big thank you for all your kindness!

Photos by Mike Booth and Nevine Sultana

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Rosie Pantry Pussy

Remember Rosie, The Pussy from the Pantry?

She’s about seven months old now and she’s turned from a dried-up waif to a plump royal princess. Mike and I were chatting in the kitchen this morning after breakfast and she was posing on the arm of the sofa. His camera happened to be on the table and he made this picture.

Is anybody out there a cat expert? I think she looks like a Russian Blue. (That would make her a chubby tsarina, wouldn’t it.) She’s the housiest cat we’ve ever had and the only one who ever greeted me when I walked by her. She says “Brrrm…” It makes my day.

Rosie Pantry Pussy

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Maureens new microgallery

When our son got married and left home we inherited his bedroom, a place with a separate entrance at the west end of the house. For years we used it as an overflow area and called it “the Print Room,” because I stored some prints there. Mainly it was home to my paper cutter. (That black artifact on a wooden stand behind my right elbow in the photo is a cast-iron guillotine built around the end of the 19th century in Leipzig, Germany. It still cuts paper, cardboard and solar plates beautifully.) With time, however, the roof began to leak and the Print Room became a cold, damp, unpleasant place.

After last Christmas we finally got around to fixing it up and I confess I’m delighted with the results. The idea was to clear out alll the junk, put on a new roof on it and convert it into a mini gallery for showing some of my prints and paintings. We just finished hanging the work a couple of days ago and I think it looks great.

Maureens new microgallery

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Happy Winter Solstice!

Maureen Tanya MikeAround this time every year—time for summing up the past year and making resolutions for the next—I am reminded of John Lee Hooker, who has become a reference around our house and the occasion for a lot of laughs between Mike and me for saying in one of his songs, “It’s 1952, babe, I’m gon’ turn over a brand new leaf.”  Does anybody ever turn over a brand new leaf? I wonder. It’s our experience that we have to take what we’ve got and use it creatively to muddle through. And, given the cards that the bankers and politicians have dealt us in recent years, just to muddle through feels like a victory.

  • For us, on the muddle-through scale, the past year has been extraordinary. I’ve had a lot of work making and editing my own prints and some for other artists, along with conducting one-on-one printmaking workshops for artists in my studio. Along the way I’ve made some wonderful new friends—most of them from Australia– and renewed friendships with those who have returned.


  • Our children are well and prospering and our nine grandchildren—including two wonderful great grandkids—ranging in age from 29 to two months, are sources of tremendous pride and satisfaction, and we’ll be seeing most of them over the holidays. The one missing will be Elisa, our five-foot-one Spanish/Viking granddaughter, and her family who have moved to Nottingham in the U.K., though we hope to see them in the coming year.


  • CacolinasWe’ve scaled down our animals both in size and number. For years we had Great Danes, mastiffs and large lurchers. Then some 20 years ago a friend gave us a delightful little mongrel bitch pup—Cacolina–who became the foundation dam for our own charming strain of short-legged, wire-haired Cacolinos. At one point we had five of them, along with a half a dozen cats. Now we’re down to a single Shih-Tzu-cross bitch, Cuca, who makes us laugh a lot.
  • Maureen MicaAnd two cats: Mica, the grey grandmother who still tries to hunt with no teeth, and Rosie, the newborn kitten who turned up virtually dessicated in our pantry, responded to skim milk from a syringe and soon became fat and sassy.
  • That is not to say everything was fine in the past year, nor does the world situation inspire optimism for the future. On the negative side of the ledger we’ve got enough corrupt Spanish politicians to derail a train, record unemployment, and honest people’s homes being repossessed by banks we’ve just bailed out. Not to mention weekly drone assassinations, school shootings and black ops on the international scene. At times like this I feel lucky to be an artist who can take refuge in my work.

Regarding next year, we hope you have a happy and prosperous one. As for us, It’s 2014, babe, we’re gon’ turn over a brand new leaf!

Big Spanish-style hugs from Maureen and Mike

(John Lee Hooker’s Brand New Leafhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aerY_iNF-BY)


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Around the AlhambraI had some precious time on my hands this summer so I made a few more liquid-metal prints in my Alhambra series. During the time I was working on them Carmen Vargas, a friend from Almería, came by my studio and we spent a couple of days printing up her most recent plates. Carmen brought with her a round piece of plexiglas she had found in a tip. (Most good artists are tip rats!) “Here,” she said. “See what you can do with that.” After Carmen went home I continued with my own prints. That round piece of plexiglas was still laying where she left it. “Shall I make a round liquid-metal print? Why not?” So I made one, printed a couple of proofs and left them on the pile.

A couple of days later I was on the phone ordering some etching paper from Totenart in Valencia and César, the friendly, efficient sales person there said, “We’ve got this handmade paper in a round format with a deckle edge all around. Would you like to try it?” As it turned out, that round paper was the perfect match for my round plexiglas plate. That’s the story of this print.

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Maureen Booth screenprintMy 40%-Off Summer Sale was a surprising success. It seems a big discount is a big incentive. So I’ve decided to extend it till Oct. 2 for all those clever people who didn’t look at Internet during the month of August. You’re not too late. You can now download any and all of the videos at a discount of 40%. So you can now purchase a single video, normally $19.95, for $11.97. And all six of them are just $71.82, down from $119.70.

I had a lot of fun making these printmaking instruction tapes with video producer, Juan Carlos Romera, and they have received a warm reception from the printmakers who have downloaded them thus far.

To take advantage of this extended offer you’ll need this discount code: 90U010R3. When you reach the payment stage of the order process on my Printmaking Master Classes site, just introduce the discount code when prompted.

Happy printmaking! September is a wonderful month to make prints.

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