About Maureen Booth

Maureen Booth, master printmakerHow I Got Started
I started out in art many years ago as a fledgling painter in my home town of Manchester, UK. I signed up for evening painting classes and stayed there under the guidance of Peter Shaw, a good painter and mentor, until I had done three or four paintings, including a couple of portraits. At that point Peter cut me loose. “You’ve got all the basics down. If you continue working with me it will only affect the freshness of your own style. So you’re on your own. Go paint!”

Flash forward a few years, and I had moved to a Spanish fishing/tourist village with my then husband and two children. We opened a small hotel and restaurant with a couple of friends and only had to work every other week. That is when I rented a studio and started painting seriously. I sold everything I painted, so I thought the life of an artist was easy(!)

Our village ourside GranadaA New Beginning
At the beginning of the 70’s I changed my life radically: new husband, new village, new house, new studio, same kids, plus a new one. Our village, where we’ve lived ever since, is 60 kilometers inland from the hustle and bustle of the Mediterranean coast, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, nine kilometers outside of Granada. I find that just close enough and just far enough away.

It was almost 10 years later that I was invited to participate in the Fundación Rodríguez-Acosta‘s international etching studio, where I worked for three years under the direction of the Maestro José García Lomas. Pepe had studied printmaking in Rome and was a wonderful person and teacher. He died a few years ago, but not before he had left a vast legacy of exquisitely trained fine-art printmakers sprinkled around the world.

Maureen Booth in her Granada printmaking studioAfter the Fundación closed in 1981 I had the opportunity to buy one of their etching presses along with all the trimmings: tables, drying racks, etching press, some lovely handmade paper and a couple dozen tins of etching ink, some of which I still use! It didn’t take me long to learn the advantages of printmaking for a working artist. (See this interview, which explains how my printmaking and editing activities evolved.)

The kitchen of Maureen Booth's Gallinero Artists' Residence in GranadeaAn “Artists’ Cabin” Changes the Dynamic
The latest development here was building/renovating my Gallinero artists’ residence at the end of 2010. “Gallinero” means “chicken house” and the cabin is named that because it’s located on the site of our former chicken coop. I’m not sure why, but from the very beginning the Gallinero started to attract printmakers from all over the world to stay here and work with me in my studio either in group workshops or in one-on-one collaborative printmaking projects. In the first year and a half I have had artist guests from eight or nine countries, some of them more than once.

Maureen and Mary MarjerissonWhat Techniques Are Printmakers Looking For?
So when it came to select the subjects for my first printmaking-master-class videos, I didn’t have to cast around much. My artists had already expressed to me what they liked best about my workshops. They were fascinated by solar-plate printmaking, a technique which has earned a somewhat indifferent reputation because people use it sloppily, merely copying existing photographs. And most have not been properly trained to do even that. A solar plate is like any other plate; you cannot make a great print without a carefully-created matrix. That requires time and knowledge, but it’s worth it all.

The artists also like what I call “liquid metal printmaking,” essentially smearing an old plate with an adhesive plumbers’ gunk and drawing and making relief impressions on it. The results when these plates are dried and printed inevitably surprise and delight their authors.

And there’s a lot more. You can either come to Granada and get your hands dirty with me, or have a look at my new Masters Class Videos!

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: