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Posts Tagged ‘printmaking Spain’

It was such a beautiful morning yesterday that Mike took his camera and macro lens out in the garden. The red flowers and baby fruit are from our pomegranate tree. Spanish for “pomegranate” is “granada,” by the way. A neighbor gave us a cutting of the blue morning glories on the right many years ago. They came with a warning: “Be careful, they can take over your garden.” They did. The wispy little white flowers are honeysuckle. They form banks in the garden and perfume the atmosphere out there all summer. The yellow star is a zucchini flower. We put zucchini in everything. The two yellow flowers are some sort of squash, which appeared on top of the compost heap. Our lemon tree is called a “limonero lunar” in Spanish. It flowers every month so during most of the year we have both flowers and fruit.  Here’s the pictures.

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P.S. This one’s for cousin Carole.

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

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Words and pictures by Mike Booth

A couple of times a month I take Maureen to Granada to restock the prints she sells in a couple of gift shops who cater to mainly tourists. While she attends her clients I wait for her in Plaza Nueva, and practice my street photography. Plaza Nueva is one of Spain’s–and the world’s–finest people-watching spots. Yesterday was one of those days.

When she finishes her work we usually go for a drink to one of our favorite bars–Los Diamantes–conveniently located in the square. The bar was full to overflowing but after just a couple minutes’ wait we spotted two seats at one of their long, community-style tables and sat down next to a couple of adolescent Asian girls. They turn out to be from the Philippines. We started chatting to them and “a drink” turned into half a dozen. We never drink that much any more but the moment was right for sipping white wine and laughing. Oh, and eating the Diamantes tapas, some of the finest in the land.

The conversation was like the ones you have with strangers on airplanes, wide ranging and sincere. I ask one of the girls what work she did in Philippines. “Shopping centers,” she said. I couldn’t decide if she was a check-out girl or a window decorator. I opted for the upper road: “Oh, you are an office worker involved in finance or publicity…”

“No,” she replied, “I have teams for all of that. We build shopping centers. I just direct the teams. Suddenly my 19-year-old student on a gap year was a 31-year-old professional.

As I already had my camera out I continued to make pictures in the bar. Here are the results:

Click on the images to open a slide show

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Mike ran across a video on the web the other day and he immediately called me to have a look at it. It was an ad for Graydin , a coaching service (with offices in New York and London) that advises high schools around the world on ways of empowering their students. According to their website their service is founded on the premise of “Ask, don’t tell.”

As I sat down at the computer he said, “See what this reminds you of.” This fascinating video lasts less than three minutes but in that time it became clear to me what he was driving at. My reply to him was: “This is what I do.”

The truth is I never thought of myself as a coach, nor my work as coaching. I’ve been a printmaker for more than 30 years and a dozen years ago I began offering summer printmaking courses in my studio. As time went by my workshops turned more and more into mentoring for individual artists. It just seemed to make sense. Being able to give my undivided attention to an artist (whether a student, a beginning artist, or a full professor of art) and to work collaboratively for two straight weeks was so much more productive than a group workshop. We advanced so much faster and farther. And my students really noted–and appreciated–the difference.

So, if you look at the top of this page you’ll find a new subtitle under Printmaking Courses in Spain. It says “One-on-One Coaching for Print Artists.”

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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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Lola Higgins arrived at Maureen’s studio a couple of weeks ago, a timid, uncertain recent graduate from the Edinburgh College of Art, the art department of the University of Edinburgh. She had made a few solar prints there but didn’t like neither the process nor the results very much.

Lola´s plan was to reproduce some of her photographs as high quality solarplate prints. When Maureen suggested going beyond mere reproduction, to start from scratch with freehand drawing in India ink on a laser acetate, Lola’s reaction was: “Draw? I can’t draw!”

With a little bit of encouragement Lola started drawing and never stopped. She went from strength to strength and, with Maureen’s help, turned her drawings into stunning solarplate prints. She finished up after 10 days with a portfolio with which the maestra affirms she should start visiting galleries in London, her home town. (See photos of the prints on the drying racks below.)

After Lola left, Maureen said to an artist friend, “I d0n’t think I’ve ever seen a young artist make so much progress in so little time.”

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The printmaking continues and the results are gratifying

The TASIS artists and photographers surprised themselves with the quality of the work they produced in Maureen’s studio. Have a look:

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Hasta luego, TASIS. You’re brilliant.

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