Chiarina Loggia

A printmaker's progress


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Photo Friday – Tofino Cappuccino


Tofino Cappuccino

Tofino Cappuccino

The weather is finely warming up just in time for the long weekend. I’ll be teaching ON the water (in a floating building) this weekend so will get my fill of sea views and have an awesome creative time to boot. Pics to follow.

Have a great weekend everyone and  special Canada Day and Independence Day shout outs to all the Canadians and Americans out there!


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Tuesday Tales – The Art That Binds


Lombok Glow

Lombok Glow

Pottery is an art form that, for me, evokes a sense of history and permanence. It is a tangible reflection of a culture, often the last to remain after all other elements are lost. It also has a physicalilty in its weight, shape and texture that engages all your senses and somehow instills a feeling of connection and tranquility when perusing its beauty. That is why I love to include images of pottery so often in my work.

Years ago I lived in Jakarta, Indonesia. While there I got to experience firsthand the colorful melting pot of cultures and traditions throughout this nation of many islands, big and small. One of the islands I unfortunately didn’t get to visit was the island of Lombok, just east of Bali. Fortunately, its famous and beautiful Sasak pottery could be easily found in Jakarta.  This pottery is quite unique in both materials and design. It comes from three villages on Lombok, each having their own distinctive designs. The pots are made without kilns. Instead the clay is laboriously ground, then built up, shaped, designed and varnished with coconut oil and other clays before being allowed to dry  first in shade, then under the hot tropical sun. The results are lustrous, earthy pots ranging from deep siena tones to rich blacks. You can see some beautiful examples here.

I couldn’t get enough of this beautiful pottery and bought a wide range of it. The pot illustrated above is one of my favorite ones and is a rich mix of black and earthy red with bars and triangular patterns etched on its surface. I love its shape as much as its color and texture. It is pictured below.

Lombok pot

Lombok pot

I have used this pot as inspiration for a number of prints. You can see one example here. The pot is used here to invoke that sense of timelessness implicit in the piece.

The etching I created above  has just returned home after being part of a multi-province tour of a mini print exhibit based in Vancouver, called BIMPE. It is used here to represent history and culture, bathed in memory’s warm light.

Lombok Glow, a 4″x6″ monoprint, is offered this week at $100, unframed.


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Phot Fridays – That Was Then This Is Now


Firenze

Firenze

More than a dozen years ago I painted this watercolour of Florence from a photo taken on the steps leading up to Piazzale Michelangelo, a large piazza overlooking the city which affords spectacular views of the city. I preferred the view from the steps, which, together with the trees and foliage, framed the rooftops of the city in a pleasing way. My painting included the entire cupola of the Duomo but for some reason I cropped that edge out of the picture. You can see another cropping below that includes it.

Firenze, detail

Firenze, detail

Perhaps I didn’t like that second spindly tree trunk, or more likely, my skills at photography, and record keeping, were not as developed, but these two pictures are all I have left of the painting which has long ago been sold. What I do still have are the memories of that place  and time, and of creating the painting afterwards, working for weeks totally absorbed in the process, loving the movement of wet paint on paper and developing meticulous layers of luminous color.

When I revisited Florence earlier this month I naturally had to return to that spot and revisit my memory of being there. I remembered my children skipping up and sitting on those stairs. I remembered it being wintertime. I remembered the restaurant at the back of the piazza called La Loggia, but I couldn’t remember if we ate there or not. I remembered it being a happy time.

Of course I had to photograph the city from the same vantage point. One of those photos is below. The interesting spindly trees on the right of the wall were gone and in their place were several large cranes that marrred the view, but the most significant changes were the ones in my life. My children had grown. I was with a new partner. I observed the city with fresh eyes and I took away new memories. I noticed the steps were a pilgrimage of crosses. I helped a street musician take a snapshot of himself with the same backdrop for a cd cover he was planning. I reveled in the warm sunny day and giggled through more attempts at selfies of ourselves with both phone and SLR cameras. And I shot a photo of La Loggia, though I didn’t eat there. One thing that hadn’t changed was that it was a happy time.

Florence, 2013

Florence, 2013

La Loggia

La Loggia


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Tuesday Tales – The End Is The Beginning


Day's End

Day’s End

Travelling is one of life’s sweet delights. The thrill of new places, new adventures and the joy of stepping out of your daily routines always outweighs any discomfort or challenges along the way. But all adventures must come to an end and the homecoming is a bittersweet return to normalcy as you settle back into your daily life. The trick is to bring back some magic with you to inbue and enrich the everyday upon your return.  I have just spent a month travelling in Italy.  Though still foggy with jetlag I am brimming with an overload of inspirations brought back from my travels that I am excited to infuse into my work and my life.

But first I must take a deep breath and let all the wonders sink in and turn into vibrant memories.

The piece above was in a show entitled Shoes while I was away. It came home just a few days before I did. It inspired the poem below. I thought it would be an apt offering upon my return to normal life.

The Road

The road before me
Lies shimmering with promise
Dawn awakens dreams

Bravely I journey
Through forks and perils hidden
Day is lit with hope

Silently I sigh
As I slip out of my shoes
Day’s end calls to me

I wander on roads
Vibrating with memories
Dusk fades into night

Day’s End is a 9″x12″ reduction linocut, offered this week at $120 unframed, $140 framed.

 


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Photo Fridays – Enraptured


Rapture

Rapture

While on holiday in Italy recently I became enraptured of the many beautiful sculptures I was fortunate to see. Some of these were wondrous creations in museums by the likes of Michelangelo and Bernini. Others, like this little jewel above, decorated tombstones in cemetaries, to be seen only by those familiar with the deceased or those lucky enough to walk by.

Great weekend to all!