Hola from the Sierra Nevada Spain.  As many of you know I spend time here each year tending my garden, implementing my permaculture project and walking the mountains. One of the blessings of this place is the interesting and inspirational people that cross my path. Artists are, for obvious reasons drawn to this beautiful area and I have become friends with quite a few over the years. I thought it could be interesting to share with you some of their work and stories.

Christine Morro is one such artist, writer, photographer and teacher. Her home is Long Island where she works as an artist. Seventeen years ago she happened upon Capileira,one of the highest villages in the Sierras, she was deeply moved and so began a yearly pilgrimage. She has a deep love for the wild side of nature and the stillness and vastness of these landscapes allows her to honour and explore this side of her artistic soul. We live in an age where going slow is a luxury, Christine has made this into an art. Sharing time with her or simply looking deeply into one of her photographs or paintings becomes a moment of stopping, breathing and seeing the mountains that I know so well in a fresh and new way.

She lives and works from her studio Casa Lenador. The vistas are breathtaking and give Christine ample opportunity to communicate with the landscape that has now become part of who she is. Her art springs from this delicate and intimate relationship. She walks the mountains regularly, listening, gazing, feeling and when moved responds by creating delicate but strong zen like prints in blue or plays with water colours. This current collection Christine had named Blue Mountain.

As we print ourselves I was, needless to say, fascinated by the art of monoprinting and she was kind enough to give a demonstration and even let me paint and print my own piece of art. What is apparent is that this is a spontaneous painterly method of printing. Quite unique, as the end result has a lustrous luminous quality.
 
The process begins with Christine painting on a plate. She uses tools that she has personally made from objects she has gathered on her meanderings: sheep’s wool, grass, wood etc. then proceeds to paint, creating scratch marks on the plate. This is a reflective space where all that she has absorbed from the mountain is transferred to the plate.

Self portrait Christine

Once the artwork is complete it is placed on the printing press, covered with quality paper, blankets then rolled.

You are never quite sure what the end results will be. Unfortunately my pics do not do justice to these beautiful works of art.

Below is Christine putting some water colours into a series. These little cameos dialogue with one another and are best viewed in a group.

Christine likes to infuse her work with elements from the mountain, below is some earth pigment that she played with.

Christine has a little ritual of taking 8 sheets of paper on her daily walk, she finds a spot: the mountain speaks and she paints in watercolor then back in the studio reworks in pastels. The results are rich and deeply evocative of these sierras that I know so well.

If you are looking for inspiration and interested in learning more about the art of printmaking here are a few books from Christine’s collection. You can also visit her website
www.forthetimebeing.weebly.com
and her prints are available for sale.

Thank you Christine for an inspiring visit and sharing with me your tranquil space, your art and a life that is lived so authentically.

*Land art Christine

Warm Wishes