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Posts Tagged ‘printmaking studio’

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.

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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.

Is My Husband Clever or a Lunatic?

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

Maureen Booth's new printmaking videos site

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Or Both? Which is Most Likely the Case

Mike has made me another blog. It’s called Maureen’s Printmaking Videos and you can see it here: http://maureensprintmakingvideos.com. “But I already have a blog for my videos,” I protest. “No matter,” he says, “you can never have too many.” He always says that. To him websites, blogs and social networking sites are like store fronts; the more you have the more doors are open where clients can walk in. “Besides,” he says, “I discovered a new WordPress theme (Sundance) which is specially designed for displaying videos and it has some cute little buttons.”

The Cute Little Buttons in question: "little buttons"So, your guess is as good as mine. Why has he created me yet another blog? Is he an Internet-strategy genius? Or was it the cute little buttons?

Have You Discovered Pinterest.com?

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

Screen shot of Mike Booth's Pinterest.com page

We´ve recently discovered Pinterest.com and we’re excited about it as it seems to be an ideal showcase for the work of visual artists, a constant concern at our house. Essentially Pinterest is an online scrapbook application. Instead of pasting magazine illustrations, family photographs, etc. into a scrapbook, you “pin” them onto a virtual board which Pinterest provides you. Besides images you can also pin videos, which adds a lot of interest (and possibilities for artists) I think.

It seems that Pinterest is the fastest-growing Internet startup ever, going from zero to 12 million visits monthly in just a year. That’s 12 million possibilities for visitors to see your work displayed there every month. And it will soon be 20 million, and then 50. And then who knows?!

Have a look at the Pinterest site that Mike recently created and is still building and see if it doesn’t give you some ideas of your own.

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

The Story of This Print: “El Patio del Harem”

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

"El Patio del Harem" Liquid-metal print by Maureen Booth

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Back at the Alhambra

I’ve started on a series of medium-sized liquid-metal prints on Alhambra themes. Granada’s medieval fortress and palace has been for centuries a source of inspiration for artists, writers and photographers, so much so that today it’s difficult to get an original take on it. This time I’m relying on the inherent looseness of the liquid-metal technique to try to achieve Alhambra images with some originality.

I had one of those wonderful printmaking experiences at the beginning of this project. The first proofs I pulled from the first plate, El Patio del Harem, looked frankly great and I thought, “This is it, I’ll print up an edition.” But before I could start, I took a close look at one of the plates from which I had just pulled a proof. In the ink residue left on the plate I could still see beautiful detail. So I rubbed a light layer of yellow ink into it, rolled some fresh silver ink on top and put it back through the press, making a “ghost print.” I was shocked to see how superior the ghost was to the live one. I have placed the original print at the top of this post, the ghost below. See if you don’t agree with me.

"El Patio del Harem-Ghost" Liquid-metal print by Maureen Booth

This print was done with liquid metal on an old, previously-etched copper plate, a still life with fruit. I put the cold solder on with a palette knife and when it was still quite sticky I drew into it with a stylus. I didn’t press any texture elements into it until about an hour and a half later. I left it overnight to harden and printed it on 600 gr. handmade paper. The ghost print was printed on 375 gr. Paperki handmade paper. I like this one better.

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

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…