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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Solstice – The Return of the Light


Day 15-30-2

Stone Circle

Tomorrow marks the Winter Solstice. Beginning in the early morning hours, it marks the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern hemisphere. Being an event of significance in the allignment of the stones at Stonehenge, I thought this would be a good time to feature images of my visit there this past August.

The day I visited the site was a gloomy, dark one with no moments of sunshine whatsoever, so I have no iconic photos of the sun shining through the stones to show you. The crowd surrounding the stones created its own photographic challenge. I was nonetheless left in awe of their magnificence and the extraordinary feat of engineering that created the henge. Built in the Neolithic Period, between 3000 and 2000 years ago, with gigantic stones brought all the way from Wales, this accomplishment boggles the mind. And with so few clues as to its purpose and the culture that built it, it remains an intriguing and mystical glimpse into our past.

The approach to the stones was a long one. Seeing the tops of the stones appear filled me with such excitement, only to be dimmed somewhat by the enormous crowd surrounding them, everyone intent on capturing selfies.

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First Sight

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All Those Bright Dots

It took a while to circle completely around the stones, with every few steps offering up a new view and composition to contemplate. While it was disappointing to not be able to enter into the circle, it did make it easier to take photos  and to absorb the splendour of the stones unimpeded by throngs of people. Below are a few close ups and stone vignettes.

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Through the Circle

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Beyond the Stones

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Birds of a Feather

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Capstones

A full view of the stones without people was nearly impossible but the next photos come close.

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Full Circle

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Standing Stones

Some more photos from that day can be found here.

Wishing everyone here a Happy Solstice, and may the lenghtening of days bring light, joy and love into your hearts and lives.

 

 


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Tapestry – A Picture Book


Tapestry

Tapestry

This year seems to be a year for re-imagining older works. Earlier this year I created a work of art using portions of older prints in combination with new pieces, collaging them together into a paper scroll entitled Island Tapestry. Around the same time I was working on an even larger, more complex piece that I will blog about soon. This second piece left me with many remnants of prints I had cut up and gave me the idea to create Tapestry, the piece above, a multiprint patchwork of images that together create a cohesive whole.

I began with a loose idea of collaging darker pieces for the left third of the board and using lighter pieces for the rest. I had the dark pieces and found that they worked well as horizontal bands of color but I soon realized that I wanted more defined and recognizable imagery for the remaining two thirds of the piece. So I dug through my stack of prints and picked out the images that worked well as two-inch squares and assembled them into a pleasing, connected and vibrant collage. Some of these pieces were left as 2x4s or 4x2s for better impact and to break up the symmetry.

The images used for the piece were taken from prints both large and small, representational and abstract. Many are figurative. All give just a tiny glimpse into a larger world. As a good friend and fellow artist, Ann Semple, put it, “ it feels like the tapestry is a book and each piece is a short story that culminates in a complete tale”. The piece is indeed a “picture book”, though each picture only hints at the full story, leaving the viewer to fill in the gaps. The dark portion on the left is even more clouded, with the merest hints of the world, and acting as both a metaphor for the entire work and a visual foil to the more delineated imagery. The details below shows just how necessary that foil is.

Tapestry, detail 1

Tapestry, detail 1

Tapestry, detail 2

Tapestry, detail 2

Tapestry, detail 3

Tapestry, detail 3

I have always considered myself a storyteller with my artwork. Lately I am realizing that my storytelling is deliberately incomplete, that I prefer to tantalize the viewer with hints and impressions. In this way he is drawn in, reads between the lines and finds greater resonance with his own experience.

Happy reading. Please share your experience of it in the comments below.

Tapestry, a 12″x36″ multiprint collage on paper mounted on board, is offered at $650.


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In a Blue Mood


Camas in Bloom

Camas in Bloom

Spring brings a wave of blue in the garden when these tiny starry shaped wildflowers reappear to grace us with their loveliness.  I got down and photographed them on a morning after a spring rain, bringing back with me two very wet feet and one big grin for the treasure I had captured in my camera.

Iris

Iris

Not to be outdone by the tiny camas were these giant irises floating in my sea of blue.

Camas and Sea Blush

Camas and Sea Blush

Isolating the camas from the surrounding green grass and pink sea blush was sometimes difficult and sometimes unnecessary as in the photo above.

Almost blooming

Almost blooming

The stalks of deep blue greens are almost as captivating as the flowers in bloom.

For more photos of my blue flower photoshoot, go here, and if you’re lucky enough to live by the sea go out and see some for yourself!


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A Bed of Lotus


A Bed of Lotus

A Bed of Lotus

Remember my sneak peak? Well here is the completed artwork, all finished and mounted onto board!

It’s a multiplate print measuring 18″x24″ and titled A Bed of Lotus. Creating the artwork was a fun challenge, especially the surrounding abstract section, which was worked over quite a bit. Mounting it was an even greater challenge due to its large size. It required precise trimming of the paper, brushing of acrylic medium on both the back of the paper and front of the board and then some very careful aligning of both elements and pressing down to ensure that all would be glued together with no air bubbles. I used some strong muscle with a baren over wax paper on the piece to push down the paper which continually wanted to curl upwards. Finally I weighted everything down overnight to firm the bond.

I painted the sides of the board prior to mounting the print and waxed them to seal afterwards. A close up of one side is shown below.

A Bed of Lotus, side view

A Bed of Lotus, side view

Mounting the piece rather than framing behind glass was a little scary, so much could have gone wrong, but the final result is very pleasing and impactful as there is no glass to blunt the view of the print. It’s a much lighter piece to move around as well! A few more details are below.

A Bed of Lotus, detail 1

A Bed of Lotus, detail 1

 A Bed of Lotus, detail 2

A Bed of Lotus, detail 2

I intend to submit A Bed of Lotus to a show but if you’d like to save me the trouble I am offering it this week at $750.


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Island Tapestry


Island Tapestry

Island Tapestry

I put the finishing touches on this piece today, gluing and tying the beach stones that anchor it firmly to the sea. I hadn’t planned on this being part of my 100 Days of Facing The Coast project, but with the many seaside images in the piece I thought it would fit in nicely. The center Botticelli inspired image, captured at the seashore, is a reminder of Venus’ birth in the sea. If you look closely at her face below, you will see many fine white lines in it, glittering like dried seasalt on skin that has been kissed by the sun after a swim.

 Island Tapestry, detail 1

Island Tapestry, detail 1

The pattern of images is reminescent of a kimono with obi, my personal nod to another island I have been privileged to call home and which has left an indelible mark on my senses and my heart. More details below.

Island Tapestry, detail 2

Island Tapestry, detail 2

Island Tapestry, detail 3

Island Tapestry, detail 3

Island Tapestry, a 26″x34″ paper scroll with photopolymer gravure etchings, bamboo and stones, is offered at $650 this week.


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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.