Rebekah Theresa Alvarenga ’23: Spain Printmaking Workshop
As a student interested in the creation of artist books, I applied for funding to learn the foundations of print making with the master printmaker Maureen Lucia Booth in her studio outside of Granada, Spain.
About the Experience
As a student interested in the creation of artist books, I applied for funding to learn the foundations of print making with the master printmaker Maureen Lucia Booth in her studio outside of Granada, Spain. I returned home with not only foundational knowledge in traditional printmaking from a master printmaker but also with my very own handmade artist book about my grandfather.
I arrived in Granada with little knowledge of printmaking. Maureen specializes in the nontoxic printmaking technique of solar plating and taught me other techniques like intaglio, using Indian ink, liquid metal, and chine collé. In the first week, I practiced these techniques multiple times and learned how to experiment with variations in timing and light. Additionally, I created my own artist chop, learned how to mark and store my prints, and plated. In between instruction, Maureen discussed printmaking in Europe, her art journey, and mentored me on my own journey.
In my second week, Maureen suggested that we make an artist book about my Abuelito Jesus who lost his land four times in Honduras. As part of the Root Causes Story+ 2020 team, I researched my family’s history in Honduras and came across his story. He lost his land due to government construction, a hurricane, inheritance disputes, and eventually from Standard Fruit Company, now known as Dole. Since his story reflects a larger history of imperialism and colonization in Central and South America, Maureen and her husband Mike, a writer, guided me on how to portray this research through printmaking and text. I created seven solar plates representing the four times of land loss, a portrait of my grandfather, a cover, and an artist statement. We printed several accordion style books using these plates so I could experiment with watercolor and chin collé styles, resulting in eight copies of “Casitas de Cartón.”
In the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, I got to experience the life of a master printmaker and immerse myself in the small village life of Andalusia. I expected to leave this experience with just foundational printmaking experience, but ended up with a lifelong project and friend.
Maureen’s blog post about our time together: https://printmakingcoursesinspain.com/2023/06/