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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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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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Landscape of a Woman Series


Landscape of a Woman, 2

Landscape of a Woman, 2

Last night I decided to play with some old pics taken with my previous camera. These were smaller sized photos, with quite a few slightly blurred, hand-held selfies. I wanted to challenge myself to see whether I could resurrect some life into them.

I cropped this one and layered it with a landscape I shot recently. I then did the same with the photo below.

Landscape of a Woman, 3

Landscape of a Woman, 3

I had done the same with a previous image here.

What do you think? Do I have the beginnings of a series?


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Let’s Get Physical!


rolling it on

rolling it on

A recent German study found that recent retirees who engaged in active creative activity showed improved brain function and psychological resilience compared to those who attended art appreciation courses. The physical act of creating art seemed to be the key to this improvement for it strenghtened brain connections and enhanced memory processing.

So get your paintbrushes, pencils, or what have you and get physical!

Great weekend to all!


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Photo Fridays – Perched Village in Provence


Gorgeous Gordes

Gorgeous Gordes

Gordes, one of France’s beautiful perched villages in Provence. Breathtaking as you approach, so lovely to walk through, oh so hard to leave. Wonderful memories.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend making memories!


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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 – Morning Tea


Ocha No Asa, center

Ocha No Asa, center

                                                                                  Fuji cools the sky
                                                                          Reflected in the rice fields
                                                                                            I sip my o-cha

Ocha No Asa (Morning Tea) is an artist book I made a few years back. It is quite a complex piece which depicts one of my favorite subjects, tea, in one of my favorite places, Japan. The tea cups above and below are shaped after some I bought in Japan. These above are placed on a backdrop of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest and most famous mountain. Its peak was visible from my first apartment in Tokyo, rising gloriously over the cityscape in the most amazing sunsets.

The calligraphy panels on either side are reminiscent of waka, classical Japanese poetry that is visually evocative and often difficult to decifer for the artistic rendering of the words.

Ocha No Asa, center

Ocha No Asa, center

The front panels of the book, see below, echoes the noren, or divided hangings, found at the entrance of restaurants. The circle is a common symbol found on noren. These panels are meant to open and invite you in for a cup of tea.

Ocha No Asa, front

Ocha No Asa, front

The back of the book features two more cups, collaged handmade papers and the title of the book in both Romaji and Japanese hiragana.

Ocha No Asa, back view

Ocha No Asa, back view

Ocha No Asa, back

Ocha No Asa, back

Ocha No Asa, an 8″x7″ artist book, is offered this week for $150. You can contact me at chiarina@chiarina.com for further info or to purchase.