Chiarina Loggia

A printmaker's progress


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Photo Fridays – Toes R Us


Toes in The Sand

Toes in The Sand

Two years today and I am feeling very blessed.

Photo taken last month while kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park on New Zealand’s South Island.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!


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Tuesday Tales – Tsukubai


Tsukubai

Tsukubai

A tsukubai is a small basin usually set at the entrance to Buddhist temples and gardens in Japan. They are meant for a ritual washing of the hands as an act of purification, often before entering into the tea ceremony room. The use of natural materials, such as stone for the basin and bamboo for the cups and cup rests reflect the Buddhist appreciation for nature. The low height of the basin requires the visitor to crouch thereby encouraging humility and reverence. In fact the word tsukubai means “to crouch”. Sometimes the water for a tsukubai will be piped in through a bamboo reed, the shishi-odoshi, which falls onto another levered piece of bamboo that, when filled drops down and then rebounds with a clack onto the stone. The repetition of this sound of water falling and the sharp clap has a meditative effect. It’s power is shown famously in the beautifully filmed fight scene from the movie, Kill Bill, below. You can hear the shishi-odoshi at the start of the scene and it gains prominence around the 5 minute mark.

The tsukubai in my piece was shot in Japan when I lived there. The photograph was very dark but I loved the composition with the criss-crossing lines and reflections. The darkness of the image allowed me to bring up lots of texture which was enhanced by the single exposure technique I used in creating the photo etching plate. Inking the plate had its own challenges for both lights and darks were washed out and I had to paint some of the lines and color back in. This resulted in a more painterly and abstracted image in the final print which I am quite happy with.

Tsukubai is a 9″x12″ mixed-media monoprint wrapped around an 8″x10″x1.5″ board, so the edges of the image are on the sides of the board, as shown below.

Tsukubai

Tsukubai

It is offered this week for $100. Please contact me at chiarina@chiarina.com to purchase or for further info.


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Music Mondays – Be The One


Moby has for a long time been one of my favorite artists. His music has a haunting, often sad quality that I find helps me enter into “the zone” when I am working on my artwork. This song, Be The One, is particularly dark and intense, and the video, edited from a group of self shot clips while travelling, takes the art of the selfie to a whole new level.

The lyrics (see below) are four simple lines repeated throughout the song, creating a hypnotic chant that, combined with Moby’s intense and brooding stare and the intensifying music, draw you into his soul. The song is distressing and disconcerting, with a sense of heartache that is all too readily recognizable.

Be The One

I’ll never see what you wanted… love
I was the hell that you needed… oh
I was the one when you needed love
I was the one when you needed love

Please share your reactions to this song, and if you have any favorite Moby songs of your own.

What music helps you get into your zone?


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Photo Fridays – Auckland Blues


Auckland Blue

Auckland Blue

Our first day in New Zealand was  sunny and warm. Though we were in a city the air had a fresh, tropical fragrance and everywhere you looked was loveliness. This was the setting for the ferry terminal that would take us to Waiheke Island the next day. You can see Rangitoto Island and its volcano in the distance. We were hooked!

This is me below, just arrived, still in my flight fleece,  ecstatic to be here!

Hurray!

Hurray!

Great weekend to all!


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Tuesday Tales – Homecoming


Coming Home, 2

Coming Home, 2

Returning home after an extended holiday abroad always leaves me with a somewhat disconnected and discomfitted feeling. Apart from the jetlag and often the climate change, the readjustment to the quotidian can be difficult. While there is comfort in things old and familiar, there is no longer the excitement of new discoveries and experiences. More than that, there is no longer a strong sense of making the most of every day, of capturing memories and living in pursuit of pleasure. There is an invariable feeling of sadness and loss that accompanies that realization.

But there is an even larger shift. Meeting new people is replaced by the return to friends and family. And that is when the strongest readjustment happens. For I am no longer who I was before I went away. My experience has changed me in subtle ways I myself am slow to realize. My horizons have expanded while my sense of place has diminished, for I find myself filled with the discovery of distance realities while trying to reacquaint myself with the familiar. And the people at home have changed too, for they have adjusted to living without me for a time.

Strangest of all is the shift in my routine with my travelling partner. Our adventure together has ended and we are once again returning to the exigencies of our daily lives, together but settling back at our own pace into our own new rhythms.

Yet while I get on with the business of my days, and adjust to the change and unrest my experience abroad has brought into my life, I also appreciate the good fortune of being able to travel. And I acknowledge that change is a good thing, for I realize that it has enriched my life in ways I will be discovering for a long time.

I’ve just returned from Middle Earth (or New Zealand as some call it), so I will end with this quote from a little hobbit you may be familiar with. “It’s a dangerous business…going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R.Tolkien

Coming Home, 2 is a 5″x7″ photo etching on 10″x11″ paper. It is an image of a very lovely place I stayed in while travelling through France two years ago. I like how the sunlight appears to welcome the weary traveller, shining its light on the road that leads to home.

It is offered this week at $70, unframed. Please contact me at chiarina@chiarina.com to purchase or for further info.

What about you, dear reader? Do you have any homecoming experience or insight you would like to share?


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Music Mondays- Rain!


I just ran in a deluge, so my thoughts today are on rain, and the first song that comes to mind with that is, of course, Rain by Madonna. What I’ve always liked about this song, other than its somewhat haunting melody, is, unlike many gloomy rain songs, its allusion to rain as something wonderful, cleansing and a harbinger of hope. “Your love’s coming down like rain…” So perfect. And did I mention that I love what the director, Mark Romanek, does with the video, including making it appear like awesome composer, Ryuchi Sakamoto, is directing it?

What’s your favorite rain related song?


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Tuesday Tales – The Art of The Selfie – Part Three


unbound a

Unbound

Unbound is a print fron an early selfie that I shot with a timer. I was just experimenting with the camera but when I saw this shot I knew I wanted to make a photo etching from it. It had an air of quiet strength and determination that I responded to immediately. I liked the saucy pose and sassy tilt of the body, the confident hands holding the string, and the anonymity of the person represented. This was every woman’s stand for freedom and self governance, with boldness and assurance.

This piece has resonated with others quite strongly and positively, and I’m happy to say it has been mostly women. The image above was the first print I made and it sold almost immediately. It also garnered a Juror’s Choice Award at the Sidney Fine Art Show in  2009. I have since sold two more prints, a mini version of it, and the multi-layered piece titled Fire And Rain seen below.

Fire And Rain

Fire And Rain

I have three versions remaining that are still available. They are shown below.

Unbound 5

Unbound 5

Unbound 6

Unbound 6

Unbound 6

Unbound 6

Unbound 6 has the poem “Playing hide and seek

In dreams and deeds defining” on the sides.

The final piece this image shows up in is below. It is called Coming Loose, and you can see that I have combined it with several images, including one featured in last week’s post.

Coming Loose

Coming Loose

Unbound 5, an 8″x8″ monoprint on 15″x20″ paper, is offered this week at $250 unframed
Unbound 6, an 8″x8″x1.5″ mixed-media monoprint on board, is offered this week at $120.
Coming Loose, a 14″x15″ mixed-media monoprint, is offered this week at $450 unframed, or $600 framed.

This ends the selfie series of posts (for the time being, as I undoubtedly will showcase more in the future).

No questions today though as always I welcome your thoughts and feedback.


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Music Mondays – A Royal Love Affair Down Under


I’ve just returned from an awesome three week trip to New Zealand. While there I had hoped to discover some new music to share with you. What I mostly heard was a lot of 70s, 80s and 90s hits being played on the airwaves, with a particular love for Men At Work’s Down Under, making me wonder if I had landed in Australia instead.  Of course talk of Lorde and her grammy wins was all the rage on the radio station yet never was it played. So I searched for it on Youtube when I returned and, sure enough, I had heard Royals before. Lorde’s voice is wonderful and the song is good and atuned to today’s youth. But  I’m still hearing the thunder! Vegemite sandwich anyone?


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Tuesday Tales – The Art of The Selfie, Part Two


Fore And Aft, side a

Fore And Aft, side a

Fore And Aft, side b

Fore And Aft, side b

This artist book includes two selfies that I shot myself using a timer. The images are repeated several times in different color schemes, and the book is folded in such a way that when it lies flat three of the images are seen together as one, as shown below.

Fore And Aft

Fore And Aft

Fore And Aft

Fore And Aft

The concept for the piece began with the idea of a folded book that would allow partial views of the images when closed or seen from certain angles. I then thought it might be interesting to have the images repeat, with variations in mood and presentation. This is something I like to do with my prints, to explore many possible presentations and interpretations of one image. To do so in one piece would be an interesting challenge.

When I came upon the design I realized the book would have complementary fronts and backs and it was an obvious next step to show front and back profiles of a person. I chose these quite suggestive images as a presentation and affirmation of female sensuality and empowerment. I considered adding some poetry to the piece but I decided the blank spaces gave the imagery some breathing room and I preferred to allow the viewer to experience the images without the distraction of words. The title itself, is both obvious and subtly multilayered.

Of course I didn’t stop there. I created a new piece with the ghost imagery from the “fore” image, and added some imagery around it to create the piece below. This is probably the most daring selfie I have turned into artwork. It was a challenge, both to create and exhibit, and the artwork itself symbolizes that challenge to norms and acceptability that artists do and must put out to the world.

The Gauntlet

The Gauntlet

Fore And Aft, an 8″  by 22″  artist book on a 24″ juniper base by Detlef Grundmann, is offered this week at $550.
The Guantlet, an 8″x10″ monoprint on 15″x22′ paper, is offered this week at $200.

What challenges do you face most frequently in creating your art? And how do you work through them?

Do you think an investment of self is necessary in creating art that resonates?

Do you think an artist’s role is to challenge societal norms and ideas?  If so, how do you do it in your artistic practises?