Chiarina Loggia

A printmaker's progress


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When Modern Meets Tradition – A Wedding Portrait


Tony

Tony

Christina

Christina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, I had the pleasure of creating these two beautiful portraits of my lovely niece and her charming husband. The pictures were taken by their professional photographer on their wedding day and I was given permission to convert them into these photopolymer gravure etchings. In so doing I was able to give the images my own artistic touch.

The photographs I had to work with were in black and white, but I decided a rich sepia tone would warm them up and give them the vintage quality I was going for. The texture created by the printmaking process also enhanced that sense of a bygone era, and the use of oil paint on rich printmaking paper ensured an archival work of art, rich with the tradition of an old art technique.

This classic tradition contrasts nicely with the totally modern clothes, poses and presentation in two separate, side by side pieces of art. The couple is not together, nor looking at each other or the camera, but a strong connection is created by the dark, rich tones, their gazes somewhat in the direction of the other and the obvious fact that they are bride and groom.

I am happy to report that the couple was overjoyed with the final result and are very eager to hang their portraits in a prominent place in their home.

 


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Tuesday Tales – Two In The Wood


 Two in the Wood

Two In The Wood

Today is my birthday and as I count my blessings, not only do I run out of fingers and toes, but one of them stands out shining brightly. So I dedicate this post to D, who shelters me in his home in the woods and in his warm, abiding heart.

This piece was created several years ago when I first began exprerimenting with monotypes. It is primarily brayer and palette knife work with added collage of printed handmade papers. The contrasting light and dark elements is a study of opposites attracting and complimenting each other, allowing each to shine against one another. It has special meaning for me today as I was gifted with this beautiful quote.

“I will love the light for it shows me the way. Yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”
Og Mandino

Two in the Wood, a 10″x12″ monotype on 15″x20″ paper, is offered this week at $200, unframed.


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Music Mondays- Still


Room With a View

Room With a View

This week’s song is one of my favorites from a band which is generally not known for their mellow sound, but when they do acoustic they do it like nobody’s business!

Still by Foo Fighters. Enjoy!


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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 – December Dream


December Dream, 3

December Dream, 3

The wind danced in the firs, throwing their undulating shadows over the new fallen snow, as the moon beamed its song across the sky. But it was the cold touch of the windowsill beneath her hand that drew her attention, bringing her out of her reverie.  With the waning of the year the moment was here at long last. As her fingers hesitated over the button at her waist, she felt his eyes on her, waiting, anticipating. Shivers of heat warmed her flesh as she looked up and slowly followed the cool light towards the shadowed contours on the bed.

December Dream is an image dear to my heart. It is based on the first self portrait I ever made, titled December, described here. I reworked and enlarged the image to create a new series of prints, this time using a photograph of the December print as my image rather than the original photograph. The full series of prints can be seen here. This image is one for which I felt a story needed to be told, hence the drabble above. A drabble is a short work of fiction told in exactle one hundred words. As with haiku poetry, it challenges my ability to say a lot with few words. While it is a work of fiction, the autobiographical references are there, as are the emotional resonances that, combined with the imagery, create an enigmatic interplay between dream and reality.

December Dream, 3, a photopolymer gravure monoprint measuring 12″x16″, is offered this week at $750, unframed, or $900 framed.

What do you think, dear Reader? Does the drabble fit the image well? Have you ever tried your hand at writing one? Please post or link, I would love to read some.


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Tuesday Tales – The Magic Around The Corner


Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

A few years ago I wrote a post about my daughter turning of age, calling it Time The Beckoning Thief. This past Sunday we celebrated her birthday again and I couldn’t help but take note of the changes in our lives that time has brought. We are both with new partners and in new homes. She is about to graduate from university and take on the challenges of this new stage in her life. My work has continued to evolve and be a source of tremendous joy and growth. But the most significant change for me has been the realization that magic can truly be just around the corner, for I have experienced it. Back then I was awash in memories and longings. Now I am filled with life’s possibilities and certainties, for I have experienced joys and adventures only hitherto dreamt of and I face the future with the knowledge that life will still surprise and amaze me.

And sometimes what amazes me is the constancy of certain things, like the bond between mother and daughter. Despite the changes in our lives, our love and need for each other remains steadfast. I am so proud of my daughter. She is an inspiration in ways too numerous to express. And she continues to be my muse. The image of her below is one of my favorites, for how it captures the contrast of strength and fragility, youth and wisedom that so characterises her. I have printed it several times in different ways, including one in which she is painted blue! The title, Sandro’s Dream, refers to the resemblance of her face here to Sandro Botticelli’s Venus in his Birth of Venus.

Sandro's Dream, 2

Sandro’s Dream, 2

Birth of Venus, detail, by Sandro Botticelli

Birth of Venus, detail, by Sandro Botticelli

Sandro's Dream, 2, detail

Sandro’s Dream, 2, detail

For this print I textured her face with tiny crackles to resemble an old frescoe. I did this to allude even further to her Italian heritage. The scenery on either side of her places her firmly in the present, on the beautiful island home we share.

Sandro’s Dream, 2, a photopolymer gravure etching measuring 16″x12″, is offered this week at a special price of $500 unframed.


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Tuesday Tales – Telling Tales


In His Arms 2a

In His Arms

A picture paints a thousand words, but does it paint the same words for everyone? This week I’m changing things up a bit and asking the readers to tell me their tales. Rather than describe the inspiration for this piece I would like to ask you what it evokes in you. What emotions, thoughts or ideas does it engender? What tale would you weave around this image? If you have a story or related image please post a link to share with everyone. And maybe I’ll tell a tale about your piece.

In His Arms is a 6″x8″ monoprint and is offered this week only at $80 unframed, $100 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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April Dream She Will – from poem to print


 
 
 

 

April Dream She Will

April dream I will

Of cool nights and warm kisses

Moonlight sings to me

The moon was full and beaming over the water last night as I looked out my window, and as thoughts of the month’s passing filled my mind I was reminded of the poem I had written, above, and the ensuing print that followed.

The poem was intended for a birthday calendar I made several years back but never made it into its pages for I didn’t have a suitable image to accompany it. When I made the print above I knew I had found its partner.

The print, a photopolymer gravure etching, began with this photograph, taken for and of me by Jonathan Dvorak.

After a ‘crop and shop’ I made the transparency that would be used to transfer the image onto a solar plate. I then inked the plate and transferred the final image onto printmaking paper with the use of an etching press. You can find more detailed info and a slideshow on the process here:  http://chiarina.com/page/glossary

I pulled two prints of the image, both times with colors to suggest a cool light in a darkened space. In both cases I wanted to highlight the quality of the light on the skin and clothing. By using a lot of black with just hints of other color I was able to create deep shadows and cool, nighttime color in the light areas. The second print is below.

April Dream She Will, 2

The tight cropping of the initial image takes the final print beyond a self portrait, drawing the viewer in to focus on the heart being laid open while introducing an element of mystery that creates a distance and stirs the imagination. Together with the light and shadows, it results in an intimate, seductive dreamscape that I believe captures the essence of the poem.

Both prints are available for purchase, e-mail chiarina@chiarina.com for pricing.

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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.