“That’s Inked Up” Features El Gallinero

Thats Linked Up

We just ran across this little feature on El Gallinero published last year on That’s Inked Up, a wide-ranging, thoughtful and attractive blog for printmakers published by Chicago-based Artist,Curator,Educator,Writer, Teresa J. Parker. This is her website: http://www.teresajparker.com/

And this is the Gallinero article on That’s Inked Up. Thanks so much, Teresa.

This Morning in the Garden

Granada butterfly quinceIt’s one of those mistish mornings when the sun isn’t sure whether it’s going to shine or retire, with that shifty light that most people consider bad for making photographs. Our cold rainy spring has started to ease up and things in the garden have begun to sprout. Mike, who has one of those whatever-shall-I-do-this-morning mornings, picked up a camera and headed into the bush. This is what he came up with. Read more…

Things We Love About Granada — II/II

Alhambra panorama

  • Our Spanish neighbors, tremendously generous, helpful and hospitable
  • Excellent fish, fruit and produce
  • Paellas and barbecues on the terrace over wood fires
  • Good sports facilities in Granada and most of the towns & villages
  • Spacious and beautiful countryside for all outdoor pursuits
  • Granada kid and lamb
  • The lifestyle. Not as “relaxed” as you might think, as we both work, but not as insane as in other places
  • Advanced attitudes on issues like human rights, freedom of speech, equality, abortion, social justice
  • The roads. We didn’t realize how good they were till we visited the United States
  • The way Spaniards hold their drink. In 40 years in Granada we haven’t seen a punch-up.
  • Our  artist and writer friends
  • Always changingl morning and evening mountain light
  • Poetry readings, book presentations, art exhibits
  • Historic architecture, including the Alhambra
  • Coffee/coffeeshops/breakfasts
  • Professional waiters
  • The outdoor markets
  • Gardens
  • The way Spaniards cherish children
  • Nearby car trips
  • Old-fashioned fruit: quince, medlars, madrones…
  • Semi-tropical fruit: mangos, loquats, avocados, love apples…
  • The morning glories

Things We Love About Granada — I/II

Pintora Granada Autumn

  • Mountain hikes and picnics
  • Hunting wild mushrooms/pine cones/firewood/aromatic herbs
  • Wildflowers
  • Breakfasts on the beach at Motril
  • Lunch at the beach bar
  • Summer nights everywhere
  • Strolling in Granada
  • Wine and tapas with friends
  • Cold, damp winter days, roasting chestnuts in the fire
  • Spanish friends who treat us like family
  • The incredible little wrens nesting in the morning glories
  • Every-day-but-Sunday garbage collection
  • A whole new culinary tradition both cooking and eating
  • The wines: varied, good, cheap
  • The extraordinary health services
  • Our stone farmhouse in the country
  • The prices
  • The climate. We didn’t come here for the sunshine, but we enjoy it.
  • The siesta. Quality of life!
  • The beautiful graffiti around the city done by “El Niño de las Pinturas”
  • The street life. The sidewalk cafes are a way of life day and night.
  • The health clubs, pools and spas; fine and reasonably priced
  • The reservoir for swimming and kayaking
  • The Sierra Nevada skiing, dining and bar hopping
  • Grocery shopping at excellent, inexpensive supermarkets
  • The water

Fancy a Guitar Making Course in Granada?

Henner Hagenlocher, maestro guitarreroFancy a guitar making course in Granada? Here’s your opportunity: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Granadas-luthery-School/200572580064211. Henner Hagenlocher is an old friend and a consummate guitar craftsman. Longtime Granada resident, he builds some of this city’s finest guitars. Henner speaks everything. Satisfaction guaranteed! Henner's hand work

A Closer Look at Granada Grafitti Artist, El Niño de las Pinturas

Last March, when Cathy and Mike Naro were here from Chicago, Mike and I took a stroll around Granada while Cathy and Maureen worked in the studio. I wanted Mike Naro to see the extraordinary work of Raul Ruiz, the Granada grafitti artist. I made a few pictures of the street murals we visited and published them here on Maureen’s Printmaking Courses in Spain blog. Mike, who was a bit skeptical about walking out of our way to see street art, said, “This isn’t grafitti; it’s art!”

The other day I ran across this video of Raul creating one of his mural-sized portraits in a live performance in the Centro de Lenguas Modernas of the University of Granada on the occasion of the closure of their 2011-2012 academic year.

If you’re tempted to see more of El Niño de las Pinturas, here’s a link to his YouTube channel.

Bea Chang Takes a Work Break in Granada

Bea Chang, hard at work on the Gallinero terrace

Here’s Bea, hard at work.

Bea Chang,a writer whose formative years have taken her around the world, leaves today after spending a week in the Gallinero working. Though Bea is on a joyous two month Morocco-Spain-and-Ireland tour, she’s aware that her classmates in the creative-writing masters program at the University of Washington are spending the summer working on their critically important end-of-term projects.  So she Googled “writers refuge Spain” and up popped the Gallinero.

Bea has been our most discreet, least demanding guest. She said she wanted to work and we left her to it. Her project is to write a series of short stories based on her travels this summer. “It’s like travel writing,” says Bea, “but in fiction, not non fiction. I loved the Gallinero because it was secluded and quiet, so conducive to writing.”

Bea, we wish you all the best in getting an A+ on your project, in getting it published and becoming famous. And we hope to see you again soon in the Gallinero.

I Think Printmakers Have Whinged Enough

Behemoth and Leviathan

“Behemoth and Leviathan,” a print by William Blake

What’s a Gallinero? And why would you want to stay there?

Printmakers Like Rabbits Stunned in Headlight Beams

At left, “Behemoth and Leviathan” by William Blake–Fine-art printmakers today are facing challenges of sea-change magnitude. The very existence of printmaking as we know it is at stake. The issue, of course, is digital and we should have seen it coming. In fact, many of us did but remained inert, like rabbits stunned in headlight beams. “Digital” has been everybody’s issue since the electronic scientific calculator replaced the slide rule in the mid 1970s. Computers changed everything. They brought us an ever-growing set of delightful mod cons but along the way they took a terrible toll on printmaking, threatening print artists’ livelihoods forever.

Thanks to digital innovations artists who have always made their livings creating and selling hand-pulled prints must now compete with images created in inexpensive unlimited series using digital copying technology. The operative word here is “copy,” though funnily enough it almost never appears in the sales pitches. There the digital copiers prefer to refer to their ware coyly as “giclee prints.” The term “giclee” is a recent invention, essentially meaningless hype when applied to fine art, but to the uninitiated it sounds chic in the way “call girl” does when referring to whores. Read more…

The Nicest Comment Ever

What’s a Gallinero? And why would you want to stay there?

Cathy Naro and Maureen Booth at work in Maureen's printmaking studio in Granada, Spain

Cathy Naro and her husband, Mike, were here for two weeks last month and when they got home Cathy wrote a comment on Maureen’s Printmaking Courses in Spain blog which was the sweetest thing anybody ever wrote about Maureen and her workshops. Let’s share it here:

To any painters and writers, as well as print-makers – if you are considering a creative holiday at Maureen and Mike’s, DON’T HESITATE! After a 2 week stay last summer, I brought my husband back with me this April, and he couldn’t believe I didn’t rave about the experience more (actually I did, but seeing is believing!) Both Maureen’s light filled studio and the workspace in El Gallinero are perfect for inspiration and production. Maureen is an inventive, creative, supportive teacher and, in short, is my favorite art collaborator (I miss you already!) Yet it’s not all about the work, there are buses to transport one to Granada or the mountains, there’s the full moon over the uninhabited mountain view from the terrace, and there’s a sleepy little village a 5 minute walk away. A favorite last memory is a long (4 hour!) lunch in the sun there by the river… Come for a stay with your projects, your music, and your ideas and you will be glad you did. Best, Cathy and Mike Naro, Chicago, IL

So, our thanks to Cathy Naro, lover of the siesta, the salt-water spa and the four-hour lunch!

Regime Change in the Cypresses

What’s a Gallinero? And why would you want to stay there?

Early-flowering Japanese quince bushSpring Again, Already?

Granada’s inspiring springtime is here again. It always takes us by surprise, first with the almond blossoms then in quick succession the Chinese quince and loquat flowers and then the songbirds returning from Africa to nest in our fruit and cypress trees.

Politics in the Cypresses

There’s been a regime change in the cypresses this year. After years of grudging coexistence between the plump wild pigeons and the predatory magpies, the former got tired of defending their eggs and their chicks from the latter and have nested somewhere else. The nests of the pigeons have been taken over by pairs of smaller, apparently more docile birds. We always think of doves as pacifists but that turns out to be a myth. They defend their nests tenaciously and are keeping the larger, more truculent magpies nicely at bay.

Other birds are appearing, as well: blackbirds, European robins, big streamlined black-and-gold orioles, friendly songful finches, wrens and the magnificent (though very plain Jane in appearance) nightingales that nest in the willows down along the river. It only takes two rival nightingale males to form a glorious all-night singing contest which is directed at The Gallinero, and in stereo.