Home > Uncategorized > Maureen Booth Talks About Her New Printmaking Tutorial Videos

Maureen Booth Talks About Her New Printmaking Tutorial Videos

Maureen Booth is the master printmaker who has published what some fine-art-printmaking insiders consider to be the finest printmaking tutorials on the Web. She affirms, “Making videos is like making prints. The process is essentially the same. You just try to do it better every time.”

Anglo-Spanish master printmaker, Maureen Booth Anglo-Spanish master printmaker, Maureen Booth
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Maureen in her Granada printmaking studio. Maureen in her Granada printmaking studio.
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Q/ How did you happen to embark on this printmaking-learning-videos project, Maureen? Did you have sponsorship or institutional backing of some sort?
A/ Something of that sort would have been nice, but instead of growing old waiting for it to happen, video producer, Juan Carlos Romera, and I planned and executed the whole thing ourselves, and my husband, Mike, is doing the Internet promotion. The Printmaking Master Classes project was actually Juan Carlos’s idea. He’s been fascinated with etching ever since we shot some scenes of his short film, “Bive,” in my studio seven or eight years ago. That was my first experience in front of a camera. I played an English printmaker who falls in love with a Spanish fisherman.

What prompted you both to devote the time and effort—all summer on the first five videos—to this project? What were your objectives? And what made you think it would work as a business?
We looked the printmaking videos available on the Web in YouTube, Vimeo, etc., and decided that almost all of them lacked professionalism either in terms of printmaking techniques or audio and video quality, or both. We thought that the worldwide printmaking community deserved a better how-to presentation on the Web and we decided to do it ourselves. Our objective is to make use of the miracle of Internet to contribute something worthwhile to the cause of printmaking. If these videos make any money beyond covering expenses, so much the better, though doing business wasn’t our primary consideration.

How many videos have you done thus far? And what are your plans for the future?
This summer we produced five Printmaking Master Classes videos:

  1. Solar Plate Printmaking
  2. Liquid Metal Printmaking
  3. Traditional Printmaking
  4.  Creative Printing
  5. Making a Chop
The first four last approximately half an hour, the last one about half that. We’re currently writing the scripts and preparing the material for two more: 25 Printmaking Tips and Fine Tuning Acetates for Solar-Plate Prints.The future? That depends upon the present, doesn’t it…Your videos include a lot of solar-plate content. Solar-plate printmaking seems to be booming lately. What’s all the fuss about?
Solar plate work is becoming popular these days for a variety of factors which appeal to artists:

  • It offers fast results.
  • It’s versatile. You can do both intaglio and relief work.
  • It’s non toxic. You just need sunshine—or a sunlamp–and water.
  • It permits artists to turn the best of their sketchbooks into prints, thus conserving the freshness of the sketches.
  • It permits artists to write text directly on the plate, eliminating the complication of writing it backwards as on etching plates. This is important for people who like to put poetry into their prints, as I do.

What is the audience for these printmaking tutorial videos? It must be very limited, no?
Obviously fine-art printmaking is a limited field, but within the collectives that orbit around it the videos have a wide appeal, from newbie printmakers up to longtime professionals, including digital artists who have never touched an etching press (and when they finally do they are all enchanted by it!), professional artists from other media, art educators, and people from other professions who devote every moment of what little spare time they have to making prints.

What do you like best about your new videos?
I like it that other people like them. When you start out on a project like this it’s always with misgivings. Am I getting in over my head? Am I capable of doing this? But when you see the results and people from different collectives from different parts of the world start telling you how much they like what you’ve done, all your doubts turn into satisfaction and enjoyment.

Just what are people saying about the videos?
In general they like the emphasis on both creativity and practical solutions. The artists who have worked with me in my studio say, “It’s just like being back in your studio, Maureen.” It’s not only what people are saying, but who’s saying it. The videos have had praise from all over printmaking, from studio heads to curators, art professors and students. The nicest compliment was from a veteran paper manufacturer who said, “Maureen, these videos will soon be recognized as the standard of the industry.”

What made you decide for the download system as opposed to, say, DVDs?
We looked at both possibilities but in the end we opted for downloads due to the sheer elegance of the system. In the first place they’re immediate. You don’t have to wait a few days or a week to receive your videos. There’s no reproduction of DVD’s required, no packaging, no mailing, with the corresponding savings every step of the way, savings which are passed on to the customer. Our one doubt had to do with image and sound quality, but when we made tests and compared the downloaded version with the DVD the difference was negligible. That’s what made us decide on downloads.

If you had it to do over, Maureen, what would you do differently?
We are doing it over. We’ll have two new videos online before the holiday season. As for doing things differently, making videos is like making prints. The process is essentially the same. You just try to do it better every time.

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