Chiarina Loggia

A printmaker's progress


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Paper Dreams


Paper Dreams

Paper Dreams

I am thrilled to finally unveil my latest large piece, Paper Dreams, which was completed in 2015. Paper Dreams is probably the most complex and considered artwork I have created to date. Below is the artist statement I prepared for the work.

“Paper Dreams is a complex paper and wood sculpture created as a meditation on the impermanence and fragility of our dreams. Designed to loosely resemble paper strips going through a shredder, it consists of multiple photopolymer gravure prints with poetry, and reflects a significant period in my artistic life. By cutting and discarding portions of these prints, I surrendered the life I had created for them. In doing so I was able to create something new and beautiful, demonstrating how destruction and creation often go hand in hand, as do fragility and resilience.”

The idea for Paper Dreams began with a desire to create a complex paper construct made up of multiple hand-pulled prints, which would provide glimpses of figures in various moments and moods. This would be achieved through a combination of layering, folding and cutting of the prints. I had, over the years, created a large number of figurative works on paper, and in a decisive moment of clarity I realized what I truly wished to achieve. I wanted to create an artwork that represented who I was as an artist at this moment in time. Gathering all these images together in one piece would be one way to do that. At the same time, by tearing and discarding portions of these prints I was letting go of the life and dreams I had created for them individually. This was not an easy thing to do. I chose prints that I had deep connection to for their meaning and quality, as well as the treasured experience of creating them. They were an integral part of my life as an artist and a woman. Many of them were self portraits. By shredding them I was letting go of my own dreams. And in the letting go I found that I was able to create something new and beautiful with its own new life and meaning.

Below is a photo of the initial stages of layering and ordering the images. Some of the prints had to be cut and collaged onto new stips of paper to fit well. Here you see them before any collaging was done.

IMG_8005a

Paper Dreams in progress

Several new prints were created for the piece as well, and new and old poems were added throughout the work, all with dream motifs.  While choosing the images for the piece I realized that the word “dream” had been used in a good many of the individual artwork titles. Where I could, I left these visible. Below is a detail showing some of the poetry.

Paper Dreams, detail

Paper Dreams, detail

The photo above also shows how the layering affords mere glimpses at times of the images behind the front layers. I decided early on that this piece would be unframed and the poetry would be written in pencil, as this was an essential part of the theme of fragility. It was also necessary in order to lift layers to see those behind.

To anchor the pieces of paper I chose two strips of maple cut from one piece sliced in half and which had a  gorgeous live edge on the top. I found it rummaging through Detlef Grundmann’s woodworking shop and commissioned him to cut and sand it to size for me. I then finished it with GAC on the inside for a protective barrier where the paper would adhere to and with a finishing wax everywhere else. The pieces of paper were then glued on in four layers, two to the back piece and two to the front piece of wood. Finally the two pieces of wood were joined together as shown below. The back piece was wired like a regular frame for hanging

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Clamping the wood pieces together.

Below is a side view of the artwork showing its three dimensionality.

paper Dreams, side view

Paper dreams, side view

The title, Paper Dreams, works on several levels. It refers to the nature of the materials used in the artwork, wood and paper being the same material in different stages of creation. Primarily it denotes the fragile and transitory nature of life, attachments and desires and the deeply personal perspectives from which we view our world and ourselves.

Paper Dreams will have it’s unveiling at the 2016 Sooke Fine Art Show this July 22 – August 1 at the SEAPARK Complex in Sooke, BC. There will be a Purchaser’s Preview evening on Thursday, July 21, 7-10pm and an Artists’ Celebration on July 23, 7-10pm. If you are in the area please do visit the show and enjoy the many fabulous artworks on display.

To whet your appetite here is a final detail of the artwork.

Paper Dreams, detail

Paper Dreams, detail 2

Paper Dreams, photopolymer gravure on paper on wood, 34″x33″

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Chia Comics – My New Career?


I was recently invited to participate in an unusual art show, one that features comic covers.  In this show, every artist could exhibit up to three pieces and they had to be 8.5″x11″, unframed. Now comic covers are not something I ever do but I thought it would be a fun challenge.

So I began by thinking who my superhero would be and whether I could use the imagery from any of my previous artwork in this challenge. One thing I knew from the get go was that it had to relate to my life as an artist. The pieces had to say something about me and what drives me to create art.  I started to think about the prevalent themes and subjects in my work and the thing that stood out the most was my desire to communicate about relationships and perspectives and how I have often taken personal situations and presented them in a way that could resonate with many viewers. In doing so I have often been the subject of my artwork, so I decided that I had to be the superhero of my comics and my “power” would be to shine a light on people so that they could perceive themselves and their relationships with more clarity. And I knew exactly which pieces would work for this, three pieces from my Mirror, Mirror show, in which I delved into the theme of personal journey through exploration of self as viewed through the mirror of others’ perceptions.

The pieces I would choose to turn into comic covers would be some of those that included the red hand held mirror, the mirror being the means through which I would exercise my power of revelation. The mirror is of course a device that reflects what is shown in it. What is seen is affected as much by the clarity of that mirror as by the scope of what it reflects. These have been themes that I have explored at length in my work.

I wanted the word “mirror” to be incorporated into the name of my superhero and the name came to me in a flash of illumination. I am Italian and the word for mirror in Italian is “specchio” (the “cch” being pronounced as a “k”). Because the mirror being used was red this would be “specchio rosso”, but being female I changed it to Specchia Rossa. The coolest thing about this superhero name is that the first four letters of my name are “chia”! So the name relates on numerous levels. And it just sounds awesome! Of course I had to call my company Chia Comics!

The three covers had to tell a story and their tag lines had to relate to the original pieces.

So the first comic cover below, coming out this August, is based on my piece Here I Am, and its tagline is “For all the world to see!”. This first issue introduces Specchia Rossa and her power of illumination to the comic world, the tag line relating to both her power and her launch into the world.

For All the World To See

For All the World To See

The second cover, due out in September, is based on the piece, Will You Look In The Mirror? Its tagline, “Will you look in her mirror?”, challenges those who come into contact with Specchia Rossa to take an introspective and honest look at themselves if they dare. Was it not Socrates who said “An unexamined life is not worth living”?

Will You Look In Her Mirror?

Will You Look In Her Mirror?

The final cover, available in October and based on Who’s the Fairest?, is taglined “How will you fare?”. It is a little play on words that reminds us of the importance of courage and honesty in our relationships. Will you be presented with a “fair” image of yourself in Specchia Rossa’s mirror?

How Will You Fare?

How Will You Fare?

These three pieces will be printed onto heavyweight acid-free art paper and presented unframed for the Co-Mix Art Exhibition along with many other fabulous pieces by local artists. If you are in town, you are welcome to attend the opening at Martin Batchelor Gallery on Friday, August 15, 7-10:30 pm, and Saturday, August 16, 10am-5pm, and meet the many artists and wonderful comic covers on display. Show will continue to August 30.


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What You Build


What You Build

What You Build

It has been a while since I have posted about my artwork. Family matters have kept me occupied and away from my computer. It has been a good time, with my son getting married and my sisters coming for an extended visit, but it has ended on a bittersweet note with a lot of departures, including both of my children leaving for parts East as they embark on new adventures. My house, a-flurry with people and belongings for several months, is now a quiet refuge from which I can refocus my creative energies.

When thinking about a piece to present for my Tuesday Tales postings, this piece kept coming into my head, yet, for the longest time, I couldn’t fathom why. It is an older piece, almost five years old, which was part of my first solo show, entitled In Her Eyes. I have talked about that show here, here and here. This is a small image of my son, the photo taken while he was rebuilding our deck, hence the protective glasses. The title, What You Build, alludes to not only what he is doing but to the act, and art, of building a life, hopefully surrounded by family and loved ones. As I thought about the title I realized why this piece kept coming into my mind. With all the recent events and changes in my life I was naturally thinking about the life I had built around and for my children. And just as my son learned the tools and techniques to build a deck I knew that he had developed the tools needed to build his life as a married man, and I hoped that I had helped in that process.

It struck me, though, that I was not only thinking of my family but about my art and this blog. What You Build had been one of many works in a show in which community played a tremendous role. While a significant focus of my blog has been to share and document my art and art process, I now see that an equally important goal for me is to build a community, one that loves to share and revel in the creative force that lies in all of us. And I see that the communication has been woefully one sided and focused on my perspectives. So I have decided to change things up a bit and post more spontaneously on art related subjects, spotlighting not only my own but the creative works of others and welcoming greater imput and discussion from my readers. I will continue to post my Tuesday Tales as new works are created but these posts will be less regular.

So with this in mind, I welcome you, dear readers, to share some fabulous creative work you have done or come across recently.

And today I would like to share this post, Waiting For Michael, about Kate McGloughlin, a painter/printmaker whose work I came just across. Not only is her work wonderful, but the post eloquentfully illustrates the healing power of art.

 


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Tuesday Tales – When Trees Talk


The language of Trees, 2, detail 2

The language of Trees, 2, detail 2

Tuesday flew by this week so my tale is playing catch up.

I love trees. I especially love arbutus trees. Their sinuous lines, rich color and smooth texture underneath their thin, peeling bark make them a striking presence in the woods. They love the sea and grow mostly within 3 miles of the ocean.  They thrive on crags and bluffs and love to twist towards the sun and literally hang out over water.

Last year I took part in a show called Human-Nature. This show explored our changing and profound relationship to nature and how it shines a light on our own human nature. I discuss the show in more detail here.

One of the works in the show was The language of Trees, 2, shown above and below. This piece began with the image of the trees, the straight fir and the twisting arbutus, dipping its branches down to the water. They seemed to be talking. In fact the shape they formed was reminiscent of Japanese Kanji. Because the arbutus are such water lovers, as am I, I decided to combine the image with some dried kelp found on the local beaches. The kelp in the work below is reminiscent of the Japanese hiragana for “su”, which ends every action word. Together these elements reference the voice of nature and and the importance of listening to and connecting with the natural world we live in.

Language of Trees, 2

The Language of Trees, 2

The Language of Trees, 2, detail 1

The Language of Trees, 2, detail 1

This piece is one of a pair. The Language of Trees, 1 is sold but I have made etchings of the tree images separately, as seen below. They are titled Kanji 1 and Kanji 2 .

Kanji 1

Kanji 1

Kanji 2

Kanji 2

The Language of Trees, 2,  a 16″x24″ mixed media piece, is offered this week for $250.
Kanji 1 and Kanji 2, 3.5″x5″ photopolyer gravure etchings, are offered this week for $$50 each or $90 for the pair.


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Serendipity


Yesterday I happened to read this beautiful poem just as the  song below began to play and somehow the two together meshed into something much more powerful and soul stirring. I’ve always loved the REM song but somehow hearing it sung operatically in Italian brought it to another level and because the words were not imediately recognizable I could read the poem instead while listening and this made the poem that much more poignant and beautiful. I encourage you to do the same and also to follow this lovely blog by a sensitive and beautiful soul.

And just for reference, here is the original REM song with its extraordinary video which also coincidently has added words that raise the poignancy of the song.


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Tuesday Tales – When Benches Beckon


PE-Whiffin Spit

Sunset Spit

I love the outdoors. Few things are more enjoyable to me than a long walk or run on one of the trails or beaches of this beautiful island I call home. And when a bench is perfectly perched along the way to provide a captivating view and a moment’s respite I am always happy to pause and immerse myself in that singular space.

Benches have held a fascination for me for a long time. I rarely pass one without photographing it and the particular surroundings it lives in. I say ‘lives’ for I find benches to be alive with the memories of those who have sat in them and the desires and intentions of those who have placed them in their outdoor homes. Benches speak of time, the long years they sit there watching the seasons change and the fleeting moments they share with a multitude of passers-by. They speak of love, of those who have passed but are not forgotten and those who sit together and create new memories. They speak of action, of runners’ stretches and lunches eaten. But most of all they speak of dreams and reveries and contemplations of life. They call out to our human souls and bid us to sit quietly and listen.

The print above, Sunset Spit, was created from a photograph taken while on a walk along Whiffin Spit in Sooke. The Spit, a long stretch of narrow land jutting out into the Sooke Basin, is a walker’s delight with a winding path and water all around. There are numerous benches placed along it and I photographed several, but the light and view from this one was especially magical. The shadows were long and the wind was blowing but it was tucked away in a bit of shruberry facing the setting sun, providing a quiet haven of seclusion and repose in which to reflect on a lovely day spent with a good friend.

This print, measuring 31/2″ by 5″ on 8″x10″ paper, is offered at a reduced price this week only (January 15-21, 2013) of $50 unframed or $70 framed, plus shipping costs. Please contact me at chiarina@chiarina.com if you would like to purchase it.


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Portraits In Prints


Portraits In PrintsRecently I had the pleasure of giving a talk on my work in conjunction with a show I was taking part in, Stinking Fish Artists: AT THE MAG

To prepare for the talk, I created two slideshows of my work, one on process and the other higlighting some of the recent figurative works I have done. I’d like to share them here, along with the introductions I gave during the talk. I hope you enjoy.

“My medium of choice is printmaking. I know this is a medium that not many people are familiar with and one that is often confused with reproduction work. So I will begin my talk with a brief explanation of the process of printmaking and of how I came to become a printmaker.

Many years ago, in the late 80s I was living in Japan. While I was there I attended the CWAJ Print Show in Tokyo, a show that was put on as a yearly fundraiser for a college women’s group and one that featured the work of many of Japan’s foremost contemporary artists, as well as the works of quite a few foreign artists living in Japan. The artworks in the show blew me away. They were unlike anything I had ever seen before. Unlike oils or watercolours, they had a quality and structure that defied understanding, and the subject matters, being highly influenced by Japanese culture, held a fascination and beauty that was very appealing. The descriptions of the works were baffling to me: etching, aquatint, mezzotint, lithograph, serigraph, wood cut, as was the fact that many of these pieces were done as editions yet were considered original works of art of great value. No amount of explanation or reading up on the terminology really helped to understand the processes involved in creating the works. But I happily immersed myself in the print scene and even bought a few prints myself, not understanding how they were made but appreciating their beauty nevertheless. At the time I continued my studies in ink brush painting and watercolour and continued with that as I moved around the world. In the year 2000 I returned to Japan and once again found myself captivated by the amazing print scene there but it wasn’t until I moved to Victoria, BC in 2002 that I finally took my first printmaking class at MISSA at Pearson College. I finally, through the process of actually making prints, understood what printmaking was all about. I came to understand that it was a process of transferring an image from one substrate to another with the use of pressure, and in the process of doing so a unique and intriguing work of art is created. There are many ways of doing this transfer process and the one I have become most fascinated with is the process of photo etching. What I love about this process is that it uses light to create an image and it allows for the use of photographic imagery to be used and manipulated to create the final work. The following slide show takes you step by step through that process. It begins with a series of images that begin with the original photograph and end with the print and then it moves on to how the plates and prints are created. The large black box you will see in some of the slides is one of my light boxes that exposes the plate to light to create the image on the plate. So here is the first slideshow.

Portraits In Prints, Part 1

As you will have noticed most of my imagery is figurative work. I began doing figurative work a few years ago when I decided I was going to do a self portrait. I had a need to express something important to me and  to push some boundaries in my life and in my art and I realized that a self portrait could do the trick. Well this first self portrait snowballed into many series of figurative works that culminated in three solo shows, several small group shows and some critical acclaim with a total of five awards at various large juried art shows on the island. But the most important thing it did was allow me to finally create works that were inspired from within, that helped me find my voice to tell my own truths and to ask my own questions. I could create artwork that mattered, that not only reflected my journey through life but helped me along that journey, and I soon found that it helped others as well for it connected with viewers on a deeper, more emotional and personal level than my artwork ever has before. I found I was finally able to create artwork that could act as a mirror for others to find their own truth and see their journeys in and that is very satisfying and exciting to me. So here is Part Two of Portraits in Prints. It shows a good number of the figurative works that I have created in the past few years. I hope you enjoy.

Portraits In Prints, Part 2