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Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

The Story of This Print: El Último Día/The Last Day

The last day of waiting for Reyes

This is a very simple little print but I’m fond of it, perhaps because it’s based on a sketched portrait of my dear friend,  Reyes Hernández, perhaps because it came back to life after 35 years. I did the sketch in 1975. Reyes was visiting me at home. She was nine months’ pregnant, and  found herself uncomfortable sitting at the kitchen table where we were drinking tea, so she stood up and walked into the dining room where the window light illuminated her gently. “Don’t move,” I said, and went running for a sketchbook. Reyes gave birth to her first son, Raúl, the following day. And then that sketch lay dormant for more than three decades.

A couple of years ago I was flipping through the drawings in a drawer in my studio when I came across the Reyes sketch and decided to make a small edition of solar prints of it so I could give her one. In the end I added some dry point to give it a bit of texture. The color is a mix of magenta and primrose yellow, with a touch of black.

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?

The Story of This Print: “Chichirriqui”

Maureen's best-loved dog, Chichirriqui

Our best-loved dog was a magical toy-terrier bitch, one of the first after our changeover from big breeds (great danes, and Spanish mastiffs) to little ones (pekes, yorkie crosses, shih tsu halfbreeds). I never fully forgave Mike for naming her Chichirriqui. He thought it was a playful name. I thought it was disrespectful for such a serious little person as Chichi, who could sit on a chair with her chin on the table and keep everybody enchanted just by cocking her head, rolling her eyes and flicking her ears first in one direction, then another. She was a delightful little one-dog circus with a wide repertory of such techniques for keeping people’s attention properly centered on her: bundy jumps, pa’ ca pa’ yas, spin arounds and shivers. Read more…

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…

Six Things that Surprise Artists When They Stay in the Gallinero – II/II

El Gallinero's kitchen/sitting area with French doors to terrace, passage to work/sleep area.4.   The Focus—When is the last time you’ve had two or three weeks with nothing to think about, nothing to spend your time on but art? It sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? But that’s what happens to people when they arrive in Granada for one of my printmaking workshops. This is especially true of the artists who come to do one-on-one collaborative work with me. Their existence here is almost monastic.

They divide their time between the creative cloister of the Gallinero and my studio. We usually work together for five hours each morning. Then, after lunch, they make their own hours, either working in the studio or sketching glimpses of the village and the surroundings. Some of them stay in the studio past midnight. Read more…