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A printmaker's progress


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Tuesday Tales – The Language of Colour


Night Flights In Blue

Night Flights In Blue

Colour holds a strong emotional power for me. As a visual artist it is probably not surprising that it would be one of my main forms of communication. Yet unlike verbal expression, colour is a language that can be quite enigmatic for it evokes deeply personal responses.

Why did I choose blue for this piece? It highlights and compliments the earth tones of the skin, both cooling and accentuating the body’s heat. It recalls the mysteries and immensities pondered in our most solitary moments . Mostly, it conjures those longings and desires which lie hidden in our deepest dreams.

What does the colour blue mean to you?

Night Flights In Blue, a 13″x14″ monoprint, is offered this week for $300, unframed. You can contact me at chiarina@chiarina.com for further info or to purchase.


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Music Mondays- Dreaming In Color


Dreaming in Colour

Dreaming in Colour

This week’s song is Better Man by Pearl Jam. It’s one of their most famous and well loved. With deceptively simple lyrics it packs a punch and leaves itself open to a wide range of interpretations as seen here. The video below is the album version with lyrics.

These are the lyrics, by Eddie Vedder, lead singer:

Waitin’, watchin’ the clock, it’s four o’clock, it’s got to stop
Tell him, take no more, she practices her speech
As he opens the door, she rolls over
Pretends to sleep as he looks her over

She lies and says she’s in love with him, can’t find a better man
She dreams in colour, she dreams in red, can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man
Oh

Talkin’ to herself, there’s no one else who needs to know
She tells herself, oh
Memories back when she was bold and strong
And waiting for the world to come along
Swears she knew it, now she swears he’s gone

She lies and says she’s in love with him, can’t find a better man
She dreams in colour, she dreams in red, can’t find a better man
She lies and says she still loves him, can’t find a better man
She dreams in colour, she dreams in red, can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man
Yeah

She loved him, yeah, she don’t want to leave this way
She feeds him, yeah, that’s why she’ll be back again

Can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man

Finally this is an awesome live version. Watch how the audience takes over the singing and how it builds to a dynamic mind bowing climax! I’m seeing Pearl Jam in December and can hardly wait!!! As other fans have said “Can’t Find a Better Band”!

Would love to hear your impressions of the song and its lyrics. Some say Eddie Vedder wrote it specifically about this parents’ relationship but I think it resonates with people on many levels, as all good art does.  For my part I feel it’s a place we all find ourselves in sometimes in our lives, unhappy in a situation but unable or unsure how to get out of it. So we settle or lie to ourselves that this is as good as we can expect, all the while dreaming of better things.

Ps, the artwork, Dreaming in Colour, is a recent piece. I chose it to include it in this post because of its title and use of red, though the interpretation of it can be as wide ranging as that of the song.


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Tuesday Tales – A Balancing Act


In Good Company

In Good Company

The Japanese love odd numbers and things off center. When I first lived in Tokyo many years ago I immediately fell in love with their pottery and china but couldn’t fathom why their tea and dinner sets came in groups of five. I thought how awkward this would be for entertaining. Do they have gatherings of two couples with a child or a single person? Is that last place at a table for six always left empty? Or do they buy double sets of everything? They didn’t seem to have particularly large families, or dinner tables for that matter. Quite the opposite. Most Japanese families were small and living in cramped quarters. I soon learned that the number four in Japanese is synonymous with death so that number is avoided. But why five and not six? I received no clear explanation on that. Some said it was to avoid divisible numbers, especially with gift giving, for to be divisible means to be more easily broken. Others claimed this was the ideal family size.

Then came the study of ikebana. I now had to learn to arrange flowers of vastly uneven lengths in odd shaped vases and tilted at extreme angles, all held together in the tiny circle or square of the sharply needled kenzan. While confusing at first, it developed my appreciation for the beauty and the delicate balance of its minimalist design.

In fact I Iearned that balance was key in many aspects of Japanese life, and it was not rooted in evenness or stability but in a dynamic interplay of all things. I brought those lessons to my own life and my own art, and I have learned that the greatest harmony and beauty is achieved not when we have our feet planted firmly on the ground but when we embrace the mutability and precariousness of life.

In the piece above I tried to infuse that sense of delicate harmony and pay tribute to my Japanese sensei. There are five cups but not all the same. The teapot is mirrored with the ghostly presence of another, for comfort is closely tied to the knowledge and memory of treasured traditions. The vertical elements are reminiscent of Japanese scrolls and banners. The colors in the piece are the subdued tones seen in much Japanese art both past and present.

In Good Company, a 12″x16″ monotype, is offered this week for $250, unframed. You can contact me at chiarina@chiarina.com to purchase or for further information.


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Music Mondays – Quedate


Was reminded of this video the other day when I received a comment on it in reply to one of mine. It’s a beautiful song by Lara Fabian that someone thought would work well with images of my artwork, most likely taken from my website. Amazing what you find when you do a Google search on your name! The images are low res so not optimum viewing but I think they marry well with the song. What do you think?

In any case the song, and singer, have been a lovely find. Enjoy Quedate (Stay)!


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Photo Fridays- Celestial Pasture


Celestial Pasture

Celestial Pasture

Continuing with the arbutus theme, this week’s photo shows the brilliance of their greens and reds against a sunny blue sky. They make a  magnificent tableau when looking heavenward and I can’t help but think that they are also marveling at the glorious sight of the deep blue sky, and on this day of the “cielo pecorello”, an Italian term for the fluffy, close knit clouds that look like a flock of sheep in the sky.

Wishing you all a brilliant weekend full of celestial delights!


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Tuesday Tales – In And Around The Lake


In and Around the Lake

In and Around the Lake

This piece is an early mixed-media monotype, created as a semi abstract, impressionistic landscape. It is one of my first prints to be embellished with oil pastels. Most of the creamy pastel work is in the water but there is enough of the paper and printed texture left to shine through in little glints of light. I don’t remember if I made this piece in the fall but it has very autumny colors. We don’t get the rich smorgasbord of color out West as they do in the East so the odd punch of color really stands out. This image is more reminiscent of the blaze of colours I grew up with. The title also comes from a song popular “back then”. Any guesses?

In And Around The Lake, a 10″x10″ mixed media monotype is offered this week for $150.
You can contact me at chiarina@chiarina.com for more info or to purchase.