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.

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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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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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Winter Solstice – Lighting the Way


Sandcut Sunset

Sandcut Sunset

              For the earth turns
While the dark night sings to the dawn

                          Too long December

Today is the winter solstice. It marks the day when the earth tilt begins to bring it closer to the sun, starting the lengthening of our daylight hours once again. As we move out of the darkness our spirits lift with the brighter days. For many this is a solemn moment in the year to be celebrated. It is no coincidence that Christmas falls around the winter solstice, for Jesus is worshipped for bringing light and hope to a troubled world. While I am not a religious person I do embrace spirituality, for I feel it is our path to an enlightened life. And I do believe that the light is there within us, wanting to be brought forth.

A few years ago I wrote a post around the winter solstice. It was a difficult piece to write, and when I reread it, it still brings tears to my eyes. Whenever the winter solstice comes around I am reminded of it, of how it resonated with so many, but also of the charge I laid on myself then to live life fully and true to myself. I think I am about waist deep in the sea now.


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Tuesday Tales – Reflections On Water


Water Sprite

Water Sprite

A few years ago, I put together a show called Mirror, Mirror. In this show I explored themes of self perception as seen through the eyes of others. When creating the works for the show, I wanted to include one artwork that used water as the mirror. One of the thoughts I wanted to put forth was the importance of the clarity of the mirror in presenting what it shows, for the clearer the mirror the more true will be the reflection. Or in the case of people, the more free of preconceptions or misperceptions they are, the more honestly they will see you.

Water, being such a motile and refractable medium, easily affected by conditions surrounding it, would act as a good metaphor for a person who is unable to perceive you clearly and fully due to their own internal and situational circumstances. For this piece, I photographed my reflection in a bathtub filled with water. The bathtub, being under a skylight, reflected some branches and leaves just outside the window, making the figure appear outdoors rather than inside. The light, being dim, was only able to capture the forms in silhouette. This worked very well for what I was trying to express. With the figure turned away from the viewer and the forms barely discernable through the abstract swirls of paint, the viewer is offerd only a small obscured glimpse of the person, and therefore left to wonder and form their own opinions with minimal “clarification”. In the second print below, I increased the level of bewilderment even further by turning the figure upside down and painting greater movement and abstraction into the piece. The figure is seen as through a fog, the fog serving to symbolize the cloudiness of our own assumptions about others, and how important it is to clear that fog in order to see each other more clearly.

Water Sprite 2

Water Sprite 2

At the time I created these pieces I was struggling with the fact that vastly different perceptions of me could be had by the people in my life. I understood that distance and poor communication played a large role in this, but in time I realized that the assumptions and conclusions they made often had less to do with me and more to do with their own experience and concerns. And I was left wondering if it is ever possible to see others clearly and fully, for we all carry ourselves and our experiences with us.

Water Sprite and Water Sprite, 2 , both 8″x8″ monoprints on 15″x20″ paper, are offerd this week at $200 each or $350 for both, unframed.

You can contact me at chiarina@charina.com for further info or to purchase.


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Tuesday Tales – Wishing and Hoping and Dreaming


Morning View

Morning View

It was well past morning on that warm September day in Châteauneuf-en-Auxois. We had taken hundreds of photos in and around the picturesque village and the impressive chateau high on its hilltop. But as we sat down to a late lunch by a cosy window I knew I had to take a few more. The window’s lovely stone arch and the delightful view beyond were captivating enough but the little clay figure looking out wistfully tugged at my heart. It spoke to me of longing and dreaming. I thought of how it awoke every morning to that alluring village view, watching the people stroll by and real cats race past, all the while stuck on that window ledge, unable to move. I thought of how we often find ourselves in similar situations, seeing life’s brilliant possibilities and wishing for something more but not quite knowing how to get unstuck from our present circumstance. I thought of the enormous effort and courage it can take to bring about change, and of the true possibility of falling down and being broken in the attempt. I imagined this happening to the little figurine, of getting knocked over and being shattered into little pieces. But as the light shone into the broken fragments, there would occur a transformation into a winged thing that would then fly out into that enchanting world beyond the glass. And I smiled, for we were the same, that figurine and I.

Morning View is a 5”x7” photopolymer gravure etching, offered this week for $90 unframed, $110 framed.  It was one of four pieces entered in the Portals Show at Coast Collective.

You can see more images of Chateauneuf-En-Auxois here.


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It takes a village to put on a one woman show!


January 7…this post should have been written yesterday, but MY epiphany happened today, as I was on my way to delivering the artwork to the gallery that will house my one woman show, In Her Eyes, for the next month. After long days of measuring and cutting mats, titleing  artworks, then framing and bundling them up, with no less than five good friends, I suddenly realized what a group effort putting this art show on has become.  

Sure, I conceived and produced the 40 artworks that are in the show, but from the very beginning of this long labour my friends and family were instrumental in getting it off the ground. Whether it was to snap photos, listen to my musings, cheer as I produced the works or be their inspiration, they were there every step of the way, encouraging me to go forward and bring the work to completion. And they became my evangelists, proclaiming the good news to anyone who would pay attention! I most literally would not have been able to do this work without them.

I once read an article about how the story of artists who achieved acclaim later in life was invariably a love story, for their art, and usually stomachs, were often fed by loved ones close to them. I have yet to achieve any extraordinary acclaim for my art work but I am most definitely blessed to be living my own love story, one that is full of caring, giving people.

The photograph below is one I snapped during an emotion charged photoshoot at the Butter Church. I think it speaks a thousand words.

Terri and Jane

This Saturday night, I will be privileged to celebrate my artistic achievement with my friends and family. If you are in the vicinity of the Martin Batchelor Gallery in Victoria, please come and celebrate with me these extraordinary people whom I hold so dear.