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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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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My New House Guests


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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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Tuesday Tales – The Art of The Selfie – Part Three


unbound a

Unbound

Unbound is a print fron an early selfie that I shot with a timer. I was just experimenting with the camera but when I saw this shot I knew I wanted to make a photo etching from it. It had an air of quiet strength and determination that I responded to immediately. I liked the saucy pose and sassy tilt of the body, the confident hands holding the string, and the anonymity of the person represented. This was every woman’s stand for freedom and self governance, with boldness and assurance.

This piece has resonated with others quite strongly and positively, and I’m happy to say it has been mostly women. The image above was the first print I made and it sold almost immediately. It also garnered a Juror’s Choice Award at the Sidney Fine Art Show in  2009. I have since sold two more prints, a mini version of it, and the multi-layered piece titled Fire And Rain seen below.

Fire And Rain

Fire And Rain

I have three versions remaining that are still available. They are shown below.

Unbound 5

Unbound 5

Unbound 6

Unbound 6

Unbound 6

Unbound 6

Unbound 6 has the poem “Playing hide and seek

In dreams and deeds defining” on the sides.

The final piece this image shows up in is below. It is called Coming Loose, and you can see that I have combined it with several images, including one featured in last week’s post.

Coming Loose

Coming Loose

Unbound 5, an 8″x8″ monoprint on 15″x20″ paper, is offered this week at $250 unframed
Unbound 6, an 8″x8″x1.5″ mixed-media monoprint on board, is offered this week at $120.
Coming Loose, a 14″x15″ mixed-media monoprint, is offered this week at $450 unframed, or $600 framed.

This ends the selfie series of posts (for the time being, as I undoubtedly will showcase more in the future).

No questions today though as always I welcome your thoughts and feedback.


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Tuesday Tales – The Art of The Selfie, Part Two


Fore And Aft, side a

Fore And Aft, side a

Fore And Aft, side b

Fore And Aft, side b

This artist book includes two selfies that I shot myself using a timer. The images are repeated several times in different color schemes, and the book is folded in such a way that when it lies flat three of the images are seen together as one, as shown below.

Fore And Aft

Fore And Aft

Fore And Aft

Fore And Aft

The concept for the piece began with the idea of a folded book that would allow partial views of the images when closed or seen from certain angles. I then thought it might be interesting to have the images repeat, with variations in mood and presentation. This is something I like to do with my prints, to explore many possible presentations and interpretations of one image. To do so in one piece would be an interesting challenge.

When I came upon the design I realized the book would have complementary fronts and backs and it was an obvious next step to show front and back profiles of a person. I chose these quite suggestive images as a presentation and affirmation of female sensuality and empowerment. I considered adding some poetry to the piece but I decided the blank spaces gave the imagery some breathing room and I preferred to allow the viewer to experience the images without the distraction of words. The title itself, is both obvious and subtly multilayered.

Of course I didn’t stop there. I created a new piece with the ghost imagery from the “fore” image, and added some imagery around it to create the piece below. This is probably the most daring selfie I have turned into artwork. It was a challenge, both to create and exhibit, and the artwork itself symbolizes that challenge to norms and acceptability that artists do and must put out to the world.

The Gauntlet

The Gauntlet

Fore And Aft, an 8″  by 22″  artist book on a 24″ juniper base by Detlef Grundmann, is offered this week at $550.
The Guantlet, an 8″x10″ monoprint on 15″x22′ paper, is offered this week at $200.

What challenges do you face most frequently in creating your art? And how do you work through them?

Do you think an investment of self is necessary in creating art that resonates?

Do you think an artist’s role is to challenge societal norms and ideas?  If so, how do you do it in your artistic practises?


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Tuesday Tales – The Art of The Selfie


Chia, 1

Chia, 1

Selfie has been named Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013. It seems the rest of the world has caught on to a practise used by artists for centuries. However while the modern selfie is often a quick snapshot done to document or share a moment or event with others, often online, the traditional artist self portrait usually carries greater meaning and symbolism.

I have created numerous self portraits throughout the years, mostly as photopolymer gravure etchings based on photographs. Some of these photographs were taken by others, while others I shot myself. For the next few weeks I will be sharing some of these “selfies” with the idea and hope of starting a dialogue about the intent, meaning and value of self portraits.

The piece above is an early self portrait. I shot the picture myself while sitting around in my studio during a studio tour. I had brought my camera that day to shoot the artwork in the studio, and during a quite moment I decided to shoot some selfies. I particularly liked this one for the fact that it doesn’t appear to be a selfie. The pose is relaxed, I am looking away from the camera and it is cropped enough so that you can’t tell I am holding up a camera. As a self portrait it exudes a certain confidence and gravitas that I decided would be fitting as my gravatar for the numerous websites I post on (including this one). I have also used it for my business cards. Being an image of an artwork, it is a true gravatar, for it describes the work I do as a printmaker.

I included the piece above in my first solo show, In Her Eyes. Later I  reworked it into a multilayered piece, which I called Gravatar. This piece won an Honorable Mention at the Sooke fine Art Show in 2010. I reworked the piece again, calling it Gravatar 2, for my show Mirror, Mirror. The image is repeated several times in this piece to allude to its multiple use online, and snippets of online communications from my Facebook page, blog and twitter accounts are included to further illustrate the use of this gravatar.

Gravatar, 2

Gravatar, 2

I used the same image a third time for a show in July 2012 at IndexG in Toronto. The piece, shown below, and the concept for its use in that show is described here. This time I called it simply Her.

Her, sideview B

Her, sideview B

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Her, side view a

Her, side view a

While creating this print I made a second one using embelishments on the ghost imagery of the first print. That print is below, titled Chia 2. It is my favorite though probably not my last of this series.

Chia, 2

Chia, 2

Chia, an 8″x10″ photopolymer gravure etching on 15″x 20″ paper, is offered this week at $200, unframed.
Gravatar 2, a mixed media monoprint on 22″x30″ paper, is offered this week at $400, unframed.
Her, a photopolymer gravure etching measuring 2″x4″x1.5″ on board, is offered this week at $100.
Chia 2, an 8″x10″ photopolymer gravure etching on 10″x 11″ paper, is offered this week at $200, unframed.
To purchase or for further info please email me at chiarina@chiarina.com.

It can be said that any work of art is a self portrait for the artist invests a great deal of himself in his work. Would you agree?

If you have ever created a self portrait would you like to share it here and describe what it means to you?

What famous artist self portraits do you most admire?


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Tuesday Tales – Waiting For The Butterfly


Fragile

Fragile

This weekend I ran a half marathon. It was my sixth. The course was relatively easy and, despite the cold and rain, I had hoped to run a personal best. Sadly it turned out to be my personal worst, not time wise but in terms of disappointed expectations. I had struggled with diminished energy and achy muscles throughout the race and when I saw the clock at the finish line I was completely demoralized. Overcome with fatigue and a sudden urge to cry I found myself struggling to breathe. Fortunately oxygen from the paramedics on hand and the care of my close buddies recharged me and restored my equilibrium in short order.

This event did leave me wondering why I push myself so hard to achieve, whether it’s with running or, more commonly, with my art. Why do I give myself difficult challenges and why am I so hard on myself? How could a difference of five minutes in a two-hour race matter so much? Why do I continually place my work under the scrutiny and opinions of jurors? I think the hard truth is that I believe I have the capacity and possibility for great things and shouldn’t waste these. I’m not the type to think I could do better but never try. I have the confidence to try and risk failing. Yet at the core I also have a fragility and timidity that I battle, even though I know it is a part of me I must accept. I think we all have this duality of strength and fragility at the core of our beings. It is a balancing act we all play out. Sometimes we chase our dreams most fiercely and that it good. And sometimes it feels right to simply sit and let the butterfly land on us. I think I may try that for a while.

Fragile, an 8″x10″ monoprint, is offered this week at $250.


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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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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


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Will You Look In The Mirror?


Will You Look In The Mirror?

Will You Look In The Mirror?

A simple request, yet how daunting it can be to face the truth that is reflected there. And how well do we see from the narrow field of our own perceptions?

Photo shoots are an exciting exercise in trust and surrender. Allowing yourself to go with the flow and trusting in your instincts can often yield surprising results and revelations.

The image captured in this photopolymer gravure etching was one of the last to be taken in a photo shoot that had me scrambling back and forth from the camera to a mirror as I attempted to capture some enigmatic double reflection shots. Working intuitively and almost blindly, I surreptitiously arrived at this composition that, upon first viewing, immediately struck a chord with me. I was captivated by the light, the expression on my face, the angle and prominence of the hand held mirror. Upon further ‘reflection’ I realized this image told a greater story than at first realized.

It struck me that whether it is the viewer or the woman in the mirror; neither is getting a full view of the person. The woman is half hidden from the viewer and is in shadow. The light from the window behind her shows her reflection more clearly to her in the little mirror but being so small it also only gives her a partial view. So both do not see the whole picture and what they see differs in scope and clarity.

So it becomes not only a choice of whether to look in the mirror but what mirror to look through.  Why does the woman choose to look at herself through the smaller mirror instead of looking up to see the larger reflection? Why is her robe open, yet she has placed herself in a corner, half hidden behind her own mirror? Is she playing a game with the viewer, tantalizing him with the promise of revelations? Do her surroundings have something to reveal as well?

Why do I find such enigmatic set-ups so fascinating? I suppose the easy answer is that I like to create works for the viewer to ponder and ‘reflect’ upon. Or perhaps I am playing my own game with my viewers.

This etching will be one of a series of prints that will include this little red mirror in an upcoming show I am pleased and excited to present, entitled Mirror, Mirror, opening on July 30th  at the Collective Works Gallery in Fernwood, Victoria.  Will you come take a look? Opening reception starts at 7pm. Show runs until August 12.