Chiarina Loggia

A printmaker's progress


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Tuesday Tales – The Ghost of Winter Past


Yesterday I attended a demonstration by Sara Robichaud, a wonderful abstract painter who creates large, lyrical works on canvas. She was introduced to us as a ‘process painter’, someone whose fascination with and exploration of her materials is an integral component of her work. I thought about this afterwards and realized that while we create vastly different work we do have this love of process in common. As a printmaker this is inevitable as there is so much technique and process that distinguishes this type of art making. The processes involved in transferring imagery from one surface to another are what create the unique character of prints. How a print is made is also the single most asked question regarding my work, for printmaking processes are singularly mysterious to the general viewing public.

One of the processes which I love to use is the incorporation of ghost imagery into a work. With every hand-pulled print, whether created as an edition or a monoprint, there is a careful inking or re-inking of the plate before it’s run through the press. However, there is always a bit of leftover ink that remains on the plate after the print has been pulled. Sometimes this leftover ink is interesting enough to pull a second ‘ghost’ print. Occasionally a beautiful ghost print can be made with minimal modifications as in the example below.

In Deep

In Deep

lagoon

Lagoon

Most often some additional inking and reworking is needed to create a new print with enough interest and depth of color. Having done many of these, and enjoying the creativity in inking that it sparks, I now will often purposefully do my first inking and print in order to create my ghost template for my intended print. The two prints below are an example of this. They are titled Winter Path, 1 and Winter Path, 2.

Winter Path, 1

Winter Path, 1

Winter Path, 1 shows a lovely winter setting inked in rich color with contrasting warm and cool elements that invite the viewer into the scene, up the path and through the textured arch into the light beyond. The crispness of the air and wetness of the snow is almost tangible.

Winter Path, 2

Winter Path, 2

In my reworking of the image for Winter Path, 2, I inked only the central portion of the plate, leaving the ghost imagery of the first printing to act as a form of vignetting to help focus the viewer’s attention more clearly on the arch, with its heavy load of snow and dark shadow below. The arch itself acts as a lens leading your eye to the colorful shrubs and light beyond. I included some linear elements over the ghost imagery to strengthen the lines of the arch and to add a more dynamic and painterly quality to the piece. However the quality that the ghost imagery brings to the piece which I value the most is the sense of distance in time, of memory and dreams that it imparts. This is no longer a lovely winter scene but a memory of that walk along a path in a winter past.

What speaks to you more, the scene or the memory?

Both prints are offered this week at $80 each, unframed, or $100 framed.

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Tuesday Tales – Wishing and Hoping and Dreaming


Morning View

Morning View

It was well past morning on that warm September day in Châteauneuf-en-Auxois. We had taken hundreds of photos in and around the picturesque village and the impressive chateau high on its hilltop. But as we sat down to a late lunch by a cosy window I knew I had to take a few more. The window’s lovely stone arch and the delightful view beyond were captivating enough but the little clay figure looking out wistfully tugged at my heart. It spoke to me of longing and dreaming. I thought of how it awoke every morning to that alluring village view, watching the people stroll by and real cats race past, all the while stuck on that window ledge, unable to move. I thought of how we often find ourselves in similar situations, seeing life’s brilliant possibilities and wishing for something more but not quite knowing how to get unstuck from our present circumstance. I thought of the enormous effort and courage it can take to bring about change, and of the true possibility of falling down and being broken in the attempt. I imagined this happening to the little figurine, of getting knocked over and being shattered into little pieces. But as the light shone into the broken fragments, there would occur a transformation into a winged thing that would then fly out into that enchanting world beyond the glass. And I smiled, for we were the same, that figurine and I.

Morning View is a 5”x7” photopolymer gravure etching, offered this week for $90 unframed, $110 framed.  It was one of four pieces entered in the Portals Show at Coast Collective.

You can see more images of Chateauneuf-En-Auxois here.


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Tuesday Tales – Telling Tales


In His Arms 2a

In His Arms

A picture paints a thousand words, but does it paint the same words for everyone? This week I’m changing things up a bit and asking the readers to tell me their tales. Rather than describe the inspiration for this piece I would like to ask you what it evokes in you. What emotions, thoughts or ideas does it engender? What tale would you weave around this image? If you have a story or related image please post a link to share with everyone. And maybe I’ll tell a tale about your piece.

In His Arms is a 6″x8″ monoprint and is offered this week only at $80 unframed, $100 framed.


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Tuesday Tales – A Question of Time


Time races forward

Streaming tendrils of the past

Gossamer weavings

A few years past I took part in a show with the theme of Interleaving.  Interleaving is a term traditionally used to describe translucent, protective papers between the pages of an often illustrated  book.

Thinking about the nature of the interleaf, of how it protects precious text and illustrations and of how its translucent fabric gives the smallest glimpse of what lies below, I began to see how time works in the same fashion. For time is the ultimate interleaf, acting as a shifting veil between past, present and future.

The passage of time is something I think about often. I view my life in distinct blocks of time, defined mostly by the places I have lived, which have been numerous. I see these as the building blocks from the past that determine who I am in the present. Yet I notice how time fades memory, eroding these blocks into weathered ruins that I revisit and treasure. My creative outpourings then become my interleavings, stemming the tide of time, forming a protective barrier to the inevitable loss of memory that it brings.

Sometimes my musings about time find their way into my artwork in unintended ways. The monotype illustrated here is an example of that. Done as a demo for a monotype class, it illustrates the projective power of abstract imagery. Working quickly and instinctively, my mind inevitably chose to follow a well worn path.

Ruins

Ruins

Beginning with the ‘ghost’ imagery of a previous monotype, most evident in the top left quarter with the faded leaf and crumbling pot, the reference to memory and left over objects in far away spaces is apparent. The roll of rich, dark, broken color across the bottom half takes on the shape of an ancient bridge or aqueduct, alluding to past worlds and cultures. The pale strip of land beyond and the veils of color on the right speak of distance and time and its obscuring effect. The addition of delicate leaves and thin blades of grass growing at the base of the ‘aqueduct’ bring us to the present, from which we ponder over our fragile connections to the past. The piece is titled Ruins.

Ruins, a monotype, measures 5″x7″ on 10″x11″ paper, and is offered this week only at $60, unframed.