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.

IMG_8005a

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

IMG_8357 a

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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The 100 Day Project


Sea sighed17

The 100 Day Project kicked off this Monday and I am thrilled to be taking part. Specifically I am participating in my local chapter of the project, the Cascadia Story Project‘s 100 Days of Facing the Sea. The idea is to spend 100 days creating, with the sea as inspiration. I’ve opened an Instagram account here to post my daily images and musings to the group and would love to have you follow along. I’ll also be posting regularly here on the project.

Other than attempting to visit the sea daily and letting it inspire me, I haven’t decided on a specific theme. I expect to let the creativity flow in an organic way and hope to have produced something of value by the end. In any case I know the simple act of being mindful and present during this time will bring its own rewards and joy.


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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 – Breathe


Breathe

Breathe

As I look back on 2013 (how did it end so soon?) I see that I have posted about 100 times, with 45 of these being Tuesday Tales. That’s quite a step up from the meager 5 posts from last year! I have really enjoyed sharing my thoughts and artwork with my growing WordPress community and I cherish the connections made here and all the new blogs I now follow and love. I would like to extend a huge thank you to all my followers for coming along on this journey. I will strive to make it a worthwhile one to share. And I would like to wish you all much joy, love, laughter, adventure and creative fun in 2014!

My final offering for the year is this small piece titled Breathe. It is an image of my daughter taken at a time of change and crossroads for both of us. I know a new year is something we all approach with mixed emotions. Thoughts of the past year, with all its ups and downs, mingle with hopes and determinations for the new one. In all this frenzy of thought and emotion I encourage everyone to take a moment and breathe. Rest in this moment and feel all the beauty of this life you are living. Namaste!

Breathe, right side

Breathe, right side

Breathe, left side

Breathe, left side

                                                                                                                     Breathe, a 6″x8″x1.5″ photopolymer gravure etching on paper collaged onto board, is offered this week at $60. Please contact me at chiarina@chiarina.com to purchase of for further information.


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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 – The Woman In the Mirror


Inside, Outside

Inside, Outside

 

The mirror is a common motif in my mother’s artwork.  It was prominent, obviously, in her mirror-themed exhibit.  Mirror images are not only a necessary part of the printmaking process, but also appear in many of my mother’s prints to distort and mystify images.  I have seen her hand write paragraphs in mirror image so that they will appear inverted in her prints.  Symbolic mirrors also abound in her work.  Her pieces, such as Inside Outside, often play with duality.  The left-hand-side, monochrome portion of this piece, what I choose to be the Inside, is presented in the first-person.  This face looks as though it might be looking in a mirror, like this is how my mother sees herself.  The face on the right-hand-side, however, is looking away, is covered, is in color.  This second, Outside face might be how others see her, might be her in the ‘real world.’  Because her gaze is not present here, this version of my mother is more objective.  Her own judgement doesn’t give this half of the print any bias since she doesn’t witness it like she does when her mirror image is presented in monochrome.  Which side is the truer version of my mother?  How do mirrors change who we are?  Mirrors provide one of the only ways to look at ourselves, yet many people perform for themselves when they look into mirrors, so how honest can this view be?

I am currently working on a short story (spoiler alert) in which the protagonist is a young girl’s imaginary dragon.  This dragon doesn’t know what he looks like.  He has never looked into a mirror.  As the story progresses and he finally gets a glimpse in some particularly reflective water, he sees himself, not as her imaginary dragon, but as the monster that lives under her bed.

So does looking into a mirror allow my mother to see her true self?  Or does looking into a mirror transform her into something else?

Inside, Outside, an 8″x10″ photopolymer gravure etching, is offered this week at $200, unframed.


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Two Thumbs Up For Kindness


Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

Today I read an article in The Chicago Sun Times about the passing of Roger Ebert, probably the most well known movie critic ever to grace the media. It was quite a long, well written article about the man and his life, well worth a read. Many of us will remember his long running weekly show along with Gene Siskel, Siskel and Ebert At The Movies, where the term “two thumbs up” was coined. I loved that show and often decided on what movies to watch depending on their reviews.

The article had much to say about his life, quite an amazing one, but what struck me the most what was Ebert  himself wrote in his autobiography. The words brought tears to my eyes for their profound observation of life as a human. The sentiment is one I agree with deeply and so I wanted to share it with you here.

“‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs,” he wrote, at the end of his memoir, “Life Itself.” “No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.”

It is instinctual with me, to want to contribute joy in this world with my artistic pursuits, but sometimes other motivators get in the way which often lead to frustration. I was glad to be reminded of this essential directive today. Thank you and may you rest in peace, Roger Ebert.


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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 – Water, Water Everywhere


Cascade I

Cascade I

cascade II

Cascade II

Water, Water Everywhere

 

Water—it rains down on the earth, seeking every nook and crevice, cleansing and bringing forth life.

 Water—it surrounds these hard lands we live on with vast oceans of sustenance for our souls.

 Water—it separates our world into islands of diversity, while providing passage to wonderment and discovery.

 Water—it brims within us, bursting forth through effort and emotion, to be borne away by cycling winds.

These two monotypes were created for a show entitled Water. They represent the flowing, circling life force that water gives our world. The second one ‘flows’ from the ghost imagery of the first, which also contains ghost imagery of a previous print.

They are offered this week at $150 each, unframed, or together for $250.

What are your thoughts on water?