Chiarina Loggia

A printmaker's progress


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Tuesday Tales – Look Through My Window


Look Up

Look Up

I love photographing people at windows. My very first photoshoot and figurative artwork were of myself at a window. The decision to shoot in this location was both practical and conceptual. I wanted to shoot indoors but in natural light. I wanted strong light and shadow. Mostly I wanted to allude to a sense of longing and a desire, yet a hesitancy, to be seen. Placing myself at a window helped me do that.

A window is a curious object, both a porthole to an exterior world but also a barrier to it not easily crossed. Unlike a door, you can neither step out nor let anyone in with ease. And unless someone happens to look in and the light is right, you can remain quite hidden behind it.  A window can be a literal comfort zone you peak out of or dare to show yourself from.

I played with this idea of hide and seek with this image. While the woman at the window is tantilizing any onlooker with a daring glimpse, the viewer of the artwork does not get to see it. Rather we see her from behind and mostly in shadow, leaving her form and intention mostly to our imagination. The scene outdoors is also nebulous. These mysterious shapes and places help to bring the focus onto the delicate and strongly backlit lace blouse held invitingly open like a matador’s cape. The rich, warm tones in the shadows add a sensuality and glow that also draws the viewer in.

Look Up, detail

Look Up, detail

Look Up, a 5″x7″ photopolymer gravure etching, is currently for sale on the Escape Into Life Art Store for $135, unframed, minus 15% off for the summer sale.


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Photo Fridays – Here’s Looking At You Kid!


Here's Looking At You Kid!

Here’s Looking At You Kid!

This photo, taken by my awesome partner, D, totally encapsulates the fun of two shutterbugs travelling together. A few moments before this shot, D was shooting me from across a ledge in the Colosseum (see below). As he was shooting I was surrounded by a swarm of school kids who happily and, for the most part, blindly got in his shot. So we went with it and he got this amazing pic. Note the very cool kid with the thumb’s up behind me who made this photo the memorable one it is. Good times.

Cool Colosseum

Cool Colosseum


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Tuesday Tales – Time to Say Goodbye


Wraparound Home

Wraparound Home

I linger in rooms
Vibrating with memories
Time to say goodbye

A few weeks ago and two years after leaving this home, I created this print of a house that was a part of my family’s life for almost two decades. It was a constant throughout our sojourns in foreign lands and a comfort to settle into when the journeying ended. It was the place that saw my children grow into young adults and saw me grow into a welcoming community. It was the abode of dinner parties and  Friday night movies, broom burning and blackberry picking, afternoon winds and moonlit trees, long summer days spent at the beach and quiet winter snowfalls that kept us housebound. But change is an inevitable part of life and the time came when we each had to move on.

As I wandered through the house on my last day there, I photographed the empty rooms, saying my farewells to them, while remembering all the happy and sad times, the important events and the quiet days, the hours of labour and love that went into making this house a home. I shed a few tears for the imagined future that would not occur for our family here. And I left my memories and gave the house over to the new family who would come in and make it their home. I hope they are filling it with more wonderful memories and allowing it to wrap itself around their hearts as it did to my family.

More images of my old house can be seen here.

The print above is not for sale, as it is too dear to part with. However, I am offering a special price for any commissions ordered this week, $100 for a 5″x7″ and $60 for a 3.5″x5″, both on 10″x11″ paper, using a photo that you provide. These can be images of people, pets, homes, anything at all that you would like converted into a unique archival work of art. Email me at chiarina@chiarina.com with a digital photo and I will do the rest, turning your photo into a family heirloom!


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Photo Fridays -Perfect Timing


Letting Off Steam

Letting Off Steam

Came across this link yesterday to a collection of perfectly timed photographs and thought I’d share one of my own. While some of these look to be photoshopped, many were either planned very well or, like my own, timed by happy chance to achieve an awesome effect.

While waiting in line for tickets under the Eiffel Tower last September I passed the time taking photos from the most interesting angles I could get. Fortunately the sky was full of wonderful cloud formations that really helped enhance the shots. None were as successful as this one though, when it came to capturing a fun effect. While the tower seems to be letting off steam, it was the crowds below, waiting in the hot sun, whose patience was being tried. Fortunately I found a way to “let off steam”, and get some gnarly shots in the process.

More of my Effel Tower pics can be found here.

Enjoy and great weekend to all!


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Tuesday Tales – The Seattle Public Library in Print


Diamond Light, 1

Diamond Light, 1

I was reminded recently of my trip to Seattle this past February. It was a little holiday to celebrate both Valentine’s Day and the nearly one year anniversary of my new relationship. While there we stopped into a pet food store and the saleswoman in it remarked on how she had seen us across the street and was delighted to notice what a lovely and loving couple we were. That was one of the highlights of the trip.

Another highlight was to visit the Seattle Public Library. I’d been to Seattle many times but had never been in that building. What a sweet gem it is, with its angled glass and steel frame creating a multitude of diamond panes that sparkle and reflect light in wondrous ways throughout the building. Of course I had to photograph it from every possible angle! You can see some of those pics here.

I took a couple of those images and turned them into etching prints. buildings aren’t my usual subject for my artwork but I thought the architectural forms could translate into interesting abstracts. A second print of Diamond Light is below. Its colors are not as strong as the first but being a ‘ghost’ print it becomes an even more abstracted and impressionistic image.

Diamond Light, 2

Diamond Light, 2

The final print is of a second image, one with a rather ethereal quality that appears both futuristic and retro at the same time. This print is titled Panes Grey, a little play on words alluding to the commonly used artist color, Payne’s Grey, that perfectly reflects the Pacific Northwest quality of light in winter.

Panes Grey

Panes Grey

All three prints are 3.5″x5″ photopolymer gravure monoprints on 10″x11″ paper, offered this week at $60 each, unframed.


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Photo Fridays – Camas Chameleon


Camas 1

Camas 1

Camas 2

Camas 2

Camas 3

Camas 3

Camas 4

Camas 4

Just found a post I had intended to publish while on holiday but never got around to, so decided to post it today.

Some fun with Adobe Lightroom, from original to black and white. Any preferences?

Happy weekend to everyone! Wishing you all wonderful adventures.


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Tuesday Tales – Ten Thousand Hours


Sake

Sake

I am posting a day late today because of a surprise CBC radio interview which not only preempted my plans for the day but derailed the post I had planned to write. The interview was in connection with a show I am participating in that opens this Saturday, July 13, at the MAG. The show’s title is Ten Thousand Hours, which refers to the idea that it takes roughly that amount of time, about ten years, to become expert or proficient in your field. The group I am exhibiting with is the Stinking Fish Artists. It is an eclectic group, working in a variety of mediums, most of whom I am sure have spent that amount of time and more on developing their art and craft. And it shows. I have only had a little peak at the show but what I saw blew me away! What a privilege it is to be showing with this talented group once again.

What I realized yesterday was that it has been exactly ten years since I not only took my first printmaking course but also since I first joined this group, about a month later. And here we are 10 years later putting on a show called Ten Thousand Hours (and it wasn’t my idea!). What serendipity!

Of course time and practise alone do not make you an expert in your field. But it certainly makes you better at what you do! People often think an artist is born with a talent for art. I think the talent lies in a certain ability to process experiences and insights and the willingness to share those insights with the world. The skill to do this well is what takes time and practise. And it is passion and heart that makes an artist spend the time on his craft. I invite you all to come out to see the works of these passionate artists. Show runs July 11 – August 4, Thursday -Sunday, 12-5pm.

Sake, the photo etching above is one I did a few weeks ago as a demo for the class I was teaching. It is an evocative still life of objects dear to me for their connection with times and places in my life, in particular with Japan, where I was introduced to the art of printmaking.
For comparison, the print below, untitled, is an alumigraph print I did in my first printmaking class ten years ago.

untitled

untitled

This print is long gone but Sake, a 3.5″x5″ photopolymer gravure etching, is offered this week at $70, unframed or $90, framed.

What are your thoughts on the idea of ten thousand hours? Or about what makes a great artist?


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Photo Fridays – MISSA Time


The Floating Building

The Floating Building

Tuesday I posted about my recent class that I taught at MISSA (The Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts) this past weekend and what a wonderful creative time it was.  I went back there during the week to take some outdoor shots of the lovely building the class was in. The image above shows this ‘floating building’. We had the entire upstairs area to work in. More pics from MISSA can be found here.

While we were blessed with wonderful space and surroundings it was the human surroundings that made the weekend so special. The positive creative energy that we shared was tangible. This sharing is one of the great benefits of art workshops, for most visual artists work in isolation.  Not so for printmakers. The significant costs of equipment and space needed for printmaking often requires them to work in shared printmaking studios. While this can be distracting it is usually a positive perk that adds to the joy and artistic development of the artists. I wrote an artist statement about this for a printmaking show a few years ago. I would like to share it with you here.

Printmaking – A Labour of Hope

 The dulcet tones of Buddhist chants play quietly in the background. Around the room you can hear the pleasant sound of voices sharing advice, anecdotes and laughter. But it is the soft, squirreling of paper being rubbed on plates and the groan of the press’ wheel being cranked that declare where we are, in a printmaking studio.

I glance down at my plate to decide whether it is ready for printing. This is the crucial stage in the process. After all the planning and plate-making it all comes down to the inking. Have I chosen the right blend of colors? Have I left the right amount of ink to give me the dark and light passages I seek? I can only guess now, and hope. For printmaking requires a large dose of hope. Unlike a painting, where you can see exactly what you are producing, in printmaking you are never sure of what your image will look like until you pull the print.

It’s my turn at the press. I place my plate down first and then my paper, being careful to follow the registration lines so that the image is centered as I have planned. Over this fall the newsprint and blankets which will protect all and allow for accurate pressure. I grab the wheel and begin to turn it, the tension and excitement mounting in me in equal measure as my creation is being squeezed into life on the press bed in front of me. I give the press rollers two passes over my work then lift up the blankets and finally, holding the far end down so that it doesn’t shift, I gingerly raise the near corner of the paper and reveal the print.

Oohs and Aahs from my fellow printmakers accompany the reveal, that wonderfully exciting moment that is the fruition of many hours of concentrated labour. I look at my first trial proof critically and find the little flaws that need correcting. But it is a good image and I am pleased.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


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Tuesday Tales – Good Beginnings


Radar Hill

Radar Hill

This past weekend I taught a class on photo etching. I always like to begin my classes with one or more demos for my students; for no matter how much I explain the process nothing clarifies it like showing how it’s done. When choosing an image to use for a demo, I like to pick one that has all the properties needed to highlight the uniqueness of the process: good contrast and design, interesting texture and above all the possibility for creating that vintage quality so particularly suited to a photo etching.

The photograph for the etching above had these qualities in spades. However, there are no guarantees of success and until the plate is made and the print is inked and pulled off the press you never quite know what you will achieve. The element of surprise is high with printmaking. It is one of the most challenging but also exciting aspects of this medium. Nothing is as satisfying as the moment of the “reveal”, when you see the results of all your hard, and hopeful, labour.

The reveal on this print was one of those wonderful moments when you are especially pleased with your results, not only for having made a lovely print but for having created something that amazed  your students and got them excited to begin pulling their own prints.

And what amazing prints they pulled! You can see some of their wonderful creations here.

Thank you to all my students for a fabulous weekend of fun, creative energy.

Radar Hill, a 3.5″ x 5″ photopolymer gravure etching, is offered this week at $70 unframed.