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Posts Tagged ‘El Gallinero’

Mel Strawn’s Theoretical Observations on Solarplate Printmaking

Mel and B Strawn in the studio with Maureen in February 2010Mel Strawn and his lovely and talented wife, Bernice (“B”), spent three weeks working with Maureen in her studio during last February. Mel and Maureen worked mainly on solar-plate techniques using Dan Welden plates. While Maureen is eminently intuitive, Mel, a lifelong art professor who started making digital prints in 1981,  likes some theoretical grounding. So when he got back home to Salida, Colorado, he started thinking about what exactly the two of them had been doing with the solar plates. Here are his preliminary conclusions. Read more…

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The Gallinero Rocks!

David Little working in El Gallinero

Thanks to Spanish Musician, David Little

“I can’t do serious work at home,” says 27-year-old Spanish musician, David Little, founder, songwriter, vocalist and lead guitarist of the Málaga-based Spanish rock group, V de Vodka. “At home I’m surrounded by friends, family, bars and all sorts of other distractions. But I’ve got work to do. I’ve got to get a record out! It was clear to me I had to find a secluded and inspiring place where I could hole up for three weeks and do all the arrangements for the 10 songs destined for our new record.” Read more…

Take a Look at This One-Minute Video from the Granada Tourist Bureau

Curious about what Granada and its province has to offer visitors? Here’s a quick roundup:

Brenda Eubank-Ahrens and Her International School of Bremen Art Students Spend Three Intensive Days Working in The Gallinero and Maureen’s Studio

Brenda Eubank-AhrensBrenda visited Maureen’s Pomegranate Editions a year ago (thanks to their mutual friend, Alice Doeldissen) and when the tour was over Brenda asked Maureen if she could create a workshop the following summer for  a dozen or so of her 17-year-old art students from the International School of Bremen. The answer was yes, and the  the group has just spent three intensive days working with Maureen in her studio and El Gallinero learning solar-plate etching techniques. The artistic level of these 17 year olds was remarkably high, and that coupled with their enthusiasm made for some interesting results (see photo presentation below).

Their school has recently joined the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, and this was a select international group of students. Many of them were from Bremen and other parts of Germany, but other countries were represented, as well: the U.S.A., Mexico, Poland… As everyone knows, printmaking makes one hungry, so when the morning’s work was finished all the students, along with their two monitors, Brenda and Frankie, sat down to a hearty Spanish-style lunch at the picnic table on Maureen’s terrace.

Here is a selection of  photographs which will give you an idea of what their visit was like:

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Barbara Milman Leaves Today

Barbara Milman at work in Maureen Booth's studio in GranadaGranada, April 29, 2011–It’s 9:00 a.m. and we’ve just finished signing the last of her prints. She and I are both delighted with what she’s achieved over the past week. Barbara, a longtime resident of the San Francisco area–and ex-president of the California Society of Printmakers–had never done any solar-plate printmaking before, but it didn’t take her long to see the light.

An exceptionally focused artist–“I came here to make prints, not to do tourism.”–Barbara dedicated the first couple of days to mastering the basics. Then on the third day she produced an exceptionally lovely solar print, then another, then a whole series of them.

We’re going to miss her as, besides being a fine artist, she’s good people with interesting ideas and charming conversation. I’m including here an album of photographs which Mike made during Barbara’s stay in the Gallinero.

Small World, Milanese Connection, First Writer

Our old friend, Barbara Mason (from the Atelier Meridian in Portland, Oregon), was kind enough last summer to recommend my etching workshop to a friend called Mary Marjerrison. Mary showed up a couple of weeks ago with her friend, the author, Nancy Tomasetti, the Gallinero’s first writer. Did they come from Oregon? No, they came from Milan, Italy, where they both live. It’s a small world. Hence the silly title of this post.

Mary Marjerrison in Maureen Booth's printmaking studioMary, who works in administration at an international school in Milan was able to rob a week for printmaking thanks to the very civilized Italian tradition of the “Settimana bianca,” a week off school in March. Perhaps it’s because she was previously an art teacher, or because of her high energy level (How many grandmothers do you know who run marathons?), but Mary got straight down to work, preparing her solar-print acetates in the Gallinero in the evenings and showing up each morning prepared to burn the images onto plates.

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. Maybe that’s why the Chinese say, “Before you can fill a glass it must be empty.” 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. That’s excellent news.Maureen and Mary in the studio

While Mary and Maureen were in the studio all morning every
morning, Nancy stayed ensconced in the Gallinero with Nancy Tomasetti working in El Gallineroher feet up by the fire and her laptop on–you guessed it–her lap. The first thing they did when they arrived was to reorganize the furniture in the kitchen, relegating the little Spanish-style kitchen table with the brasero (brazier) under it to a rear corner, dragging the old coffee table out of the pantry and swiveling the sofa around so it faced the wood stove. (It worked well; we left it that way.)

Nancy is from New York but studied in Wisconsin. She still has a house on the shores of Lake Michigan, and goes back there ever summer to spend time with old friends and family.

Besides working on her latest short story, Nancy, who had never visited the Alhambra, took a morning off work to see Granada’s–and one of Europe’s–prime tourist attractions, and one of the few which actually lives up to its advanced billing.

In all, I couldn’t have hoped for a more rewarding visit from these two Milanese-American artists. I hope they do make it back sometime.