Chiarina Loggia

A printmaker's progress


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Crabfest – Or How I Saved a Turkey This Thanksgiving


Gothic Victoria

Gothic Victoria

Yesterday I headed over to Port Angeles to their annual Crabfest, or how they marketed it to us Cannucks, Save A Turkey Fest this Canadian Thanksgiving. The day began with waiting in line to board the MV Coho ferry in a torrential downpour for half an hour and then having to sit outside on deck on the crowded, cold ferry for the one and a half hour journey over to Port Angeles. But the rain stopped long enough for me to take some awesome shots of Victoria’s inner harbour and Fisherman’s Wharf receding in the mist.

Victoria's Inner Harbour

Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Houseboats

Houseboats

Stormy Sky

Stormy Sky

On board, some hot tea and the warm company of my friends made me forget the cold, and a renewed storm afforded me some great shots of  slick seats, flapping flag and even a rainbow.

Friends at Sea

Friends at Sea

Storm at Sea

Storm at Sea

Rainbow at Sea

Rainbow at Sea

Of course we Canadians always follow directions, and proceeded to muster as shown while waiting to disembark.

Muster Station

Muster Station

Port Angeles is always a pretty site to see with its dramatic backdrop of the Olympic mountains. This day was misty but we lucked out with some gorgeous sunshine for a few hours.

Port Angeles

Port Angeles

Before heading to the crab dinner we checked out the vendors and locals and got some awesome clothing accessories!

Crabfest50

Crabfest60

Cutest Canine

Cutest Canine

Crabby Accessories

Crabby Accessories

Finally it was time to eat, and what a messy, delicious feast it was!

Crabfest73 Crabfest77

 

We sat out another storm before boarding the ferry home. For some it had been a long day, but we all agreed a super fun one, out with our best friends, good eats and fun times.

Crabfest81

More pics of our Crabfest outing here.

Wishing all my Canadian friends a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

 


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Tuesday Tales – Summer’s End


Summer's End

Summer’s End

As we cherish the last few days of summer, there is a crispness in the air that brings on feelings of nostalgia for times gone by.

This piece was created for my first solo show, In Her Eyes, and I talked about doing the photo shoot that produced this image in the lead-up to the show. As I look at it now, I am reminded of the tremendous fun and feelings of empowerment that the shoot engendered. More than that, I am reminded of a  friend that I cherish and, hopefully, honour with this piece. The title of the piece was inspired by this Foo Fighters song of the same name. It has that same feeling of nostalgia and remembrance.

That first solo show was over four years ago and it’s been over three years since my last one.  Perhaps it’s time to think about doing another.

Summer’s End, an 8″x10″ photopolymer gravure etching on 15″x20″ paper, is offered this week at $250.
Contact me at chiarina@chiarina.com for further info or if you’d like to purchase it.


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My New House Guests


IMG_6505-2ab

After a long stint at INDEXG Gallery in Toronto my first art brownies have come home, and I like them here keeping me company in my kitchen. I think I will ask them to stay.

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Him and Her

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Have you had artwork returned to you only to discover that you are really glad they came home to stay?


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Photo Fridays – The End is the Beginning


My First Studio

My First Studio

Endings are just beginnings for something new. This is the thought I hold fast to as I contemplate leaving my art studio.

About seven years ago I opened the School House Studio, forming an artist co-op with three other artists. It was in the Metchosin Elementary School, the old portion of which had been converted into The Metchosin Arts and Cultural Center. The image above is of me standing outside the door to my studio, early on, when we were the only renters and before the building got a facelift.

Since that time an art gallery and other studios have opened, and some have closed, and my studio mates have changed numerous times. Below is an image of an early incarnation of the studio.

School House Studio

School House Studio

In addition to being a place to create my own art, the studio has served as a place for me to teach printmaking and drawing classes, host art events and shows, film video clips, have photo shoots and of course, share a cup of tea with many who have visited. It has often felt like a second home and has been a refuge from the world when I needed one. More images of the studio in use below.

The etching press

The etching press

Inking a plate

Inking a plate

Printmaking class

Printmaking class

It is with very mixed feelings that I say goodbye to this studio which has been a huge part of my life for a long time. Just like with a home, I must put aside any dreams for a future there as I move away. But unlike a home I will take with me the community of artists and art lovers that I have become a part of through the studio into my new work space. In the end, it is this community that forms the foundation for my future more than any place.

I will be leaving the studio at the end of April. If you are in the neighborhood do stop in for a cup of tea before then.
I will also be having a huge closing studio sale on April 12 from 1-5pm. There will be tons of artwork, and other art related stuff like frames and tables, for sale. Yes, I am very prolific! There will also be an online sale on Friday, the 11th. More details to follow.

Wishing everyone a wonderful, creative weekend!

 

 


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Tuesday Tales – I Sit Beside The Fire


Island Heat

Island Heat

My dear friend, Sven, passed away yesterday, just as the sun was setting. He was holding his wife’s hand and he is now out of pain, two very good things. His hearty laugh will no longer be heard and his big bear hugs will no longer be felt, two very sad things. I could go on and on about what a wonderful person he was but my heart is not in it right now. I am too full of grief and sorrow, especially for his wife who now has to carry on without him.

When looking for an artwork that could be a suitable tribute to him I came across the piece above, called Island Heat. The image of two empty chairs looking out onto the sea with the fire behind them seemed fitting, and it reminded me of my favorite poem from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings. It is a sad, wistful poem that the old hobbit, Bilbo, recites to his younger nephew, Frodo, before he sets off on his harrowing adventure. The poem is titled I Sit Beside The Fire And Think. The second to last verse always chokes me up, more today than usual, as I sit and think of Sven. I hope he is off on an adventure!

I Sit Beside The Fire And Think

I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door.

J. R. R. Tolkien

Island Heat, a 5″x10″ photopolymer gravure etching is offered this week at $100, unframed, $120 framed.


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Collected Resonance


Fragile, detail

A little over a month ago I was offered a reading role in a local performance of The Vagina Monologues on March 31st. I knew little about the monologues and its parent organization, V-Day, but I was excited at the prospect of doing this performance piece in front of a live audience.  I have since learned about the tremendous effort that V-day exerts to end violence against women, with the monologues being performed internationally in support of local anti-violence organizations.

As a lead-up to the monologues and to assist with the fundraising, I organized an evening of art and poetry at my studio last Friday evening. It was well attended, money was raised through donations and purchase of artwork, and much fun and joy was shared by all. Most amazingly a number of collective poems were written that somehow flowed beautifully despite each person being able to see only a few words of one other person’s contributions. Here are the poems, in the order that they were created.

Crackle, spark, bang, stumble
shine, catch, resonate, echo
with me, with them, all of us to play
in the sun, in the rain,
running up bear mountain is a pain
rolling down again is even worse,
But no matter, just pick yourself up and carry on
you never know if there will be another dawn.
For the zombie horde is pounding at the door
with this moment all has changed- Know this!
I command you! there is no way out to a better end.
A witch’s potion with bats wings and pigs toes to soothe the heart

In the forest so daunting, so deep
grows a vineyard of succulent grapes
that taste like rainbows dipped
in cotton candy, soft and sugary, sticks to all
it touches. With it’s fingers and toes with
the softness of a
kittens paws perched on my leg in a tentative
greeting, tears start flowing like a winter river
taking all the credit
so much to feel, so much to give.
I am colour and light that moves across the canvas
Just as the water flows to the sea, so, do
we drift in and out of the pillow of grey matter.

Love is what we want it to be
How many ways to express
the fullness of my heart, so much longing to touch
gently breathe. Nothing, everything, matter dissolves
Boundaries fluctuate and breathing stops
for a moment. But, really, eternal
love is careful attention to the details, the tiny, infinitesimally small
details of a simple life with simple lust and luscious lips
Let me lead and show you the way
to happiness. For love is a verb, a prayer, a
waking dream in a meadow bathed in sun
full of vibrance

For the final poem we were given the theme of love to write about and it was a wonderful counterpoint to the powerful reading of Eve Ensler’s impassioned piece, Over It.

Thank you to all who came and shared their beautiful artwork and poetry, to Jane, Wayne and Detlef who helped organize and set up for the event, to those who purchased art and helped raise over $300 for our benefit organization, Pacific family Services Centre, and to Neely and Jen, our tireless organizers of V-Day Langford.

The Vagina Monologues

March 31, doors open 6pm for silent auction, show starts at 7pm

Isabelle Reader Theate

1026 Goldstream Avenue, Langford, BC

(250) 474-5967

Tickets


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In Her Eyes – The Afterglow


photo by Jason Schultz

We are defined by our firsts. Some we anticipate: my first job; some we dread: first death in the family. Some happen very early: my first kiss, with a French boy! at the age of  ten; some take a while: my first art award many, many years later. Whatever they are and whenever they happen we arrive on the other side of them forever and fundamentally changed.

 My first solo art show in a gallery took over a year in the making and many before that in the dreaming. The preparations took on a fever pitch in the final weeks and it was with very mixed emotions that I dropped my babies off at the gallery two days prior to the opening night. But the work was done, all that I could get done, for nothing is ever as completely ready as you would like it to be, and all that remained was for the art to finally be seen.

 Opening night turned out to be a brilliant evening spent in the company of friends, family and a few new fans, all of whom had gathered to celebrate with me. To say I was overwhelmed by the turnout and congratulations would be an understatement! The evening passed all too quickly in a blur of happiness and excitement. Fortunately, I had some awesome friends who recorded the event with their cameras! Images from the evening can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42284018@N06/sets/72157623200117436/

 As special and exciting as the opening was, however, it has been the intensity of  the response to my work since the show’s opening, often from unexpected persons, that has given me the greatest joy and satisfaction. To be told my art was ‘poignant and beautiful’, ‘moving and incredibly fine art pieces with depth of meaning’, ‘brilliant’, ‘honest and soothing’, ‘courageous’, ‘stunning like a winter solace’, just blew me away. All artists hope that their work will resonate with people. To see it doing so on such a deep and personal level has been tremendously gratifying and encouraging, and it is a large part of what keeps me inspired to continue with it. Art for me has always been a form of communion with others, a way of both revealing my inner truths and reflecting what I perceive of this world. The challenge and excitement for me is to take it beyond a one way form of communication, and with these works, I think I have succeeded in doing that to a certain extent.

 On the practical side of things this show has been an exercise in self promotion, for there can be no communication unless the work is seen by others.  This blog has been a primary way of “getting the word out” and facilitating that two way communication that is so important to me and my work. So if you are reading this and are in the vicinity of the Martin Batchelor Gallery in Victoria, I invite you to see the show before it closes on February 4th and let me know your impressions of the work. I’ve also posted a gallery of selected artworks from the show on my website here: http://chiarina.com/gallery/in_her_eyes_artshow/

 And so, two weeks after the opening, I find myself on the other side of my first solo art show. It is an achievement that fills me with new confidence and an experience that pushes me forward with new clarity and humility along my career and life paths. I know it has made me a better artist and, in the process, I hope a better person.

 I would like to give a heartfelt thanks to all who have made it out to the show and to all who have and continue to support my work. I would not be here without you.


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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.