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Posts Tagged ‘3.5 decades printmaking’

Maureen paints in what little spare time she can find.

Maureen Booth, Master Printmaker

Fine-Art Printmaking as Cottage Industry

Maureen converted a stone cottage in Spain into an international fine-art-printmaking business. It took her 34 years and an Internet connection.

Granada, Spain, September, 2012—When artist Maureen Booth moved with her husband and two children to an Andalusian village 40 years ago, fleeing from a suburban British all-mod-cons existence, they were seeking a simple, authentic lifestyle. They didn’t have a car, a television, a washing machine or a phone.

Today Maureen reigns over a multi-faceted fine-art-print operation which spans the world. “The changes weren’t really that complicated,” says Maureen, “keeping in mind that they took place over a long period of time. They were driven by a combination of curiosity and the creative restlessness the Spanish call “inquietud.” Beyond that it was just a logical evolution from painting to printmaking and, of course, an Internet connection.

Maureen’s “evolution” has taken her from a little painting studio in a converted goatshed to the international etching studio of the Rodriguez-Acosta Foundation in Granada where, at the end of the 70s, she was selected on the basis of her drawings to spend three years studying printmaking. When the foundation closed Maureen bought one of their etching presses and set up her own printmaking studio at the bottom of her garden.

There followed years of making prints, editing her own and other artists’ work and running printmaking workshops in her studio and other places around Europe. Today she creates highly-personal hand-pulled fine-art prints in limited editions on a variety of exquisite handmade papers. (All of Maureen’s work is original; she does no digital copies.) She has also had time to raise three children and exhibit her work worldwide. Three years ago she converted a onetime chicken house into a rustic apartment for artists who come to do workshops in her studio. Word spread and her Gallinero (Chicken Coop) residence was soon well booked by artists from more than a dozen countries who come to participate in Maureen’s workstyle and lifestyle. Her latest initiative, started last summer, is Printmaking Master Classes, a collection of printmaking tutorial videos for download.

“Ironically,” says Maureen, “it was Internet that made my recent projects possible. I say ‘ironically’ because in 1999 when my husband Mike offered to make me a website I replied, ‘What for? I’m an artist.’ How little I knew then! Today I’ve got a website and two blogs of my own, plus participating in a half dozen other sites. It was through Internet that I got my first international print commission, a print of the Torre del Oro in Seville for a California medical association that was holding a convention there. The commission was concluded in a single afternoon exchanging three or four emails. I’m still amazed.

It was also through Internet that artists began to come from abroad for my workshops and collaborative work in printmaking. It is so rewarding for me to work with print artists from far-off places. They’ve made me realize that printmakers form a fellowship that knows nothing of national boundaries. It’s as if they were all from the same place with the same concerns and aspirations.

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