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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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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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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Latest Artwork – Sneak Peak


Untitled, detail

Untitled, detail

Today I have the unusual situation of having the exact number of followers of this blog as I do Facebook fans. They’re not large numbers but together they represent a sizable number of people who find my artwork interesting enough to follow and engage in with me.

To thank you all I am giving you a sneak peak into my latest work. It is one that has spent a lot of time percolating in my head. The central image is an 11″x16″ photogravure I have partially printed once before. It is surrounded by a large abstract monotype and the entire piece measures 18″x24″. As always the result on paper is not exactly what I had imagined but I am enjoying the bright colors and am very pleased with it. It is as yet unfinished and untitled. Maybe you might have some ideas for a title?


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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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Tuesday Tales – The Language of Colour


Night Flights In Blue

Night Flights In Blue

Colour holds a strong emotional power for me. As a visual artist it is probably not surprising that it would be one of my main forms of communication. Yet unlike verbal expression, colour is a language that can be quite enigmatic for it evokes deeply personal responses.

Why did I choose blue for this piece? It highlights and compliments the earth tones of the skin, both cooling and accentuating the body’s heat. It recalls the mysteries and immensities pondered in our most solitary moments . Mostly, it conjures those longings and desires which lie hidden in our deepest dreams.

What does the colour blue mean to you?

Night Flights In Blue, a 13″x14″ monoprint, is offered this week for $300, unframed. You can contact me at chiarina@chiarina.com for further info or to purchase.


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Music Mondays- Dreaming In Color


Dreaming in Colour

Dreaming in Colour

This week’s song is Better Man by Pearl Jam. It’s one of their most famous and well loved. With deceptively simple lyrics it packs a punch and leaves itself open to a wide range of interpretations as seen here. The video below is the album version with lyrics.

These are the lyrics, by Eddie Vedder, lead singer:

Waitin’, watchin’ the clock, it’s four o’clock, it’s got to stop
Tell him, take no more, she practices her speech
As he opens the door, she rolls over
Pretends to sleep as he looks her over

She lies and says she’s in love with him, can’t find a better man
She dreams in colour, she dreams in red, can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man
Oh

Talkin’ to herself, there’s no one else who needs to know
She tells herself, oh
Memories back when she was bold and strong
And waiting for the world to come along
Swears she knew it, now she swears he’s gone

She lies and says she’s in love with him, can’t find a better man
She dreams in colour, she dreams in red, can’t find a better man
She lies and says she still loves him, can’t find a better man
She dreams in colour, she dreams in red, can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man
Yeah

She loved him, yeah, she don’t want to leave this way
She feeds him, yeah, that’s why she’ll be back again

Can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man

Finally this is an awesome live version. Watch how the audience takes over the singing and how it builds to a dynamic mind bowing climax! I’m seeing Pearl Jam in December and can hardly wait!!! As other fans have said “Can’t Find a Better Band”!

Would love to hear your impressions of the song and its lyrics. Some say Eddie Vedder wrote it specifically about this parents’ relationship but I think it resonates with people on many levels, as all good art does.  For my part I feel it’s a place we all find ourselves in sometimes in our lives, unhappy in a situation but unable or unsure how to get out of it. So we settle or lie to ourselves that this is as good as we can expect, all the while dreaming of better things.

Ps, the artwork, Dreaming in Colour, is a recent piece. I chose it to include it in this post because of its title and use of red, though the interpretation of it can be as wide ranging as that of the song.