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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Music Mondays – Quedate


Was reminded of this video the other day when I received a comment on it in reply to one of mine. It’s a beautiful song by Lara Fabian that someone thought would work well with images of my artwork, most likely taken from my website. Amazing what you find when you do a Google search on your name! The images are low res so not optimum viewing but I think they marry well with the song. What do you think?

In any case the song, and singer, have been a lovely find. Enjoy Quedate (Stay)!


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Tuesday Tales – Look Through My Window


Look Up

Look Up

I love photographing people at windows. My very first photoshoot and figurative artwork were of myself at a window. The decision to shoot in this location was both practical and conceptual. I wanted to shoot indoors but in natural light. I wanted strong light and shadow. Mostly I wanted to allude to a sense of longing and a desire, yet a hesitancy, to be seen. Placing myself at a window helped me do that.

A window is a curious object, both a porthole to an exterior world but also a barrier to it not easily crossed. Unlike a door, you can neither step out nor let anyone in with ease. And unless someone happens to look in and the light is right, you can remain quite hidden behind it.  A window can be a literal comfort zone you peak out of or dare to show yourself from.

I played with this idea of hide and seek with this image. While the woman at the window is tantilizing any onlooker with a daring glimpse, the viewer of the artwork does not get to see it. Rather we see her from behind and mostly in shadow, leaving her form and intention mostly to our imagination. The scene outdoors is also nebulous. These mysterious shapes and places help to bring the focus onto the delicate and strongly backlit lace blouse held invitingly open like a matador’s cape. The rich, warm tones in the shadows add a sensuality and glow that also draws the viewer in.

Look Up, detail

Look Up, detail

Look Up, a 5″x7″ photopolymer gravure etching, is currently for sale on the Escape Into Life Art Store for $135, unframed, minus 15% off for the summer sale.


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Tuesday Tales – Time to Say Goodbye


Wraparound Home

Wraparound Home

I linger in rooms
Vibrating with memories
Time to say goodbye

A few weeks ago and two years after leaving this home, I created this print of a house that was a part of my family’s life for almost two decades. It was a constant throughout our sojourns in foreign lands and a comfort to settle into when the journeying ended. It was the place that saw my children grow into young adults and saw me grow into a welcoming community. It was the abode of dinner parties and  Friday night movies, broom burning and blackberry picking, afternoon winds and moonlit trees, long summer days spent at the beach and quiet winter snowfalls that kept us housebound. But change is an inevitable part of life and the time came when we each had to move on.

As I wandered through the house on my last day there, I photographed the empty rooms, saying my farewells to them, while remembering all the happy and sad times, the important events and the quiet days, the hours of labour and love that went into making this house a home. I shed a few tears for the imagined future that would not occur for our family here. And I left my memories and gave the house over to the new family who would come in and make it their home. I hope they are filling it with more wonderful memories and allowing it to wrap itself around their hearts as it did to my family.

More images of my old house can be seen here.

The print above is not for sale, as it is too dear to part with. However, I am offering a special price for any commissions ordered this week, $100 for a 5″x7″ and $60 for a 3.5″x5″, both on 10″x11″ paper, using a photo that you provide. These can be images of people, pets, homes, anything at all that you would like converted into a unique archival work of art. Email me at chiarina@chiarina.com with a digital photo and I will do the rest, turning your photo into a family heirloom!


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Tuesday Tales – The Seattle Public Library in Print


Diamond Light, 1

Diamond Light, 1

I was reminded recently of my trip to Seattle this past February. It was a little holiday to celebrate both Valentine’s Day and the nearly one year anniversary of my new relationship. While there we stopped into a pet food store and the saleswoman in it remarked on how she had seen us across the street and was delighted to notice what a lovely and loving couple we were. That was one of the highlights of the trip.

Another highlight was to visit the Seattle Public Library. I’d been to Seattle many times but had never been in that building. What a sweet gem it is, with its angled glass and steel frame creating a multitude of diamond panes that sparkle and reflect light in wondrous ways throughout the building. Of course I had to photograph it from every possible angle! You can see some of those pics here.

I took a couple of those images and turned them into etching prints. buildings aren’t my usual subject for my artwork but I thought the architectural forms could translate into interesting abstracts. A second print of Diamond Light is below. Its colors are not as strong as the first but being a ‘ghost’ print it becomes an even more abstracted and impressionistic image.

Diamond Light, 2

Diamond Light, 2

The final print is of a second image, one with a rather ethereal quality that appears both futuristic and retro at the same time. This print is titled Panes Grey, a little play on words alluding to the commonly used artist color, Payne’s Grey, that perfectly reflects the Pacific Northwest quality of light in winter.

Panes Grey

Panes Grey

All three prints are 3.5″x5″ photopolymer gravure monoprints on 10″x11″ paper, offered this week at $60 each, unframed.


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Tuesday Tales – Ten Thousand Hours


Sake

Sake

I am posting a day late today because of a surprise CBC radio interview which not only preempted my plans for the day but derailed the post I had planned to write. The interview was in connection with a show I am participating in that opens this Saturday, July 13, at the MAG. The show’s title is Ten Thousand Hours, which refers to the idea that it takes roughly that amount of time, about ten years, to become expert or proficient in your field. The group I am exhibiting with is the Stinking Fish Artists. It is an eclectic group, working in a variety of mediums, most of whom I am sure have spent that amount of time and more on developing their art and craft. And it shows. I have only had a little peak at the show but what I saw blew me away! What a privilege it is to be showing with this talented group once again.

What I realized yesterday was that it has been exactly ten years since I not only took my first printmaking course but also since I first joined this group, about a month later. And here we are 10 years later putting on a show called Ten Thousand Hours (and it wasn’t my idea!). What serendipity!

Of course time and practise alone do not make you an expert in your field. But it certainly makes you better at what you do! People often think an artist is born with a talent for art. I think the talent lies in a certain ability to process experiences and insights and the willingness to share those insights with the world. The skill to do this well is what takes time and practise. And it is passion and heart that makes an artist spend the time on his craft. I invite you all to come out to see the works of these passionate artists. Show runs July 11 – August 4, Thursday -Sunday, 12-5pm.

Sake, the photo etching above is one I did a few weeks ago as a demo for the class I was teaching. It is an evocative still life of objects dear to me for their connection with times and places in my life, in particular with Japan, where I was introduced to the art of printmaking.
For comparison, the print below, untitled, is an alumigraph print I did in my first printmaking class ten years ago.

untitled

untitled

This print is long gone but Sake, a 3.5″x5″ photopolymer gravure etching, is offered this week at $70, unframed or $90, framed.

What are your thoughts on the idea of ten thousand hours? Or about what makes a great artist?


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Tuesday Tales – Good Beginnings


Radar Hill

Radar Hill

This past weekend I taught a class on photo etching. I always like to begin my classes with one or more demos for my students; for no matter how much I explain the process nothing clarifies it like showing how it’s done. When choosing an image to use for a demo, I like to pick one that has all the properties needed to highlight the uniqueness of the process: good contrast and design, interesting texture and above all the possibility for creating that vintage quality so particularly suited to a photo etching.

The photograph for the etching above had these qualities in spades. However, there are no guarantees of success and until the plate is made and the print is inked and pulled off the press you never quite know what you will achieve. The element of surprise is high with printmaking. It is one of the most challenging but also exciting aspects of this medium. Nothing is as satisfying as the moment of the “reveal”, when you see the results of all your hard, and hopeful, labour.

The reveal on this print was one of those wonderful moments when you are especially pleased with your results, not only for having made a lovely print but for having created something that amazed  your students and got them excited to begin pulling their own prints.

And what amazing prints they pulled! You can see some of their wonderful creations here.

Thank you to all my students for a fabulous weekend of fun, creative energy.

Radar Hill, a 3.5″ x 5″ photopolymer gravure etching, is offered this week at $70 unframed.