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A printmaker's progress


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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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Inspired by Emily


Touching the Wild Inside, detail

Touching the Wild Inside, detail

The piece above was originally made for my solo show, The Body Speaks. I tweaked the colors and shapes a little and painted its  frame to look like stone for its latest appearance in a show at Coast Collective Gallery entitled Inspired by Emily.

Emily Carr is one of Canada’s best known and beloved artists. Hailing from Victoria, BC, she travelled extensively around Vancouver Island, painting its landscape and people in bold, modernist paintings embued with spirit and sense of place. For this show, I didn’t want to emulate her style. Rather, I chose pieces that reflected her love of the natural world and her strong connection to it.

In the piece above and below, a woman’s body morphs into a tree while she places her hand on a stone wall. Unlike Daphne, she is not escaping the advances of an ardurous Apollo. Instead she is reaching out to become one with her natural surroundings, sharing spirit,  warmth and strength, and shedding the cloak of civilization to find her true authentic self. One of Emily’s great strengths as an artist was remaining true to herself as a woman and artist, finding her own path in this world. This is my homage to her spirit and my reminder to myself to follow my own unique path.

Touching the Wild Inside

Touching the Wild Inside

Touching The Wild Inside can be viewed at Coast Collective Gallery until September 7. 2014.

Two more of my pieces will also be in the show, Two In The Wood and The Language of Trees, 2

Opening reception for Inspired by Emily is Saturday, August 30, 2-4pm


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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 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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Tuesday Tales – Small Is Beautiful


Luce

Luce

A few months ago I created some small works for a mini print exhibition. The prints had to be no larger than 4 inches square. It was a challenge to create on this miniature scale. What I decided to do was to take some larger works and make new prints by shrinking and cropping the images to the new sizes. I photographed the older prints, then  prepared the images to make new plates which I then inked in creative ways, including adding tiny chin colle, to make the new mini prints. The results are the images above and below.

Farfalla

Farfalla

Aria

Aria

They are shown here much larger than life. In reality they are little gems that not only bear but beckon close scrutiny.

The prints above are available this week, unframed on 7″ x8″ paper, for $45 each.

Note: as I am travelling at present, this week’s Friday and next week’s Tuesday postings may be delayed.

Cheers to all!


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Tuesday Tales – Telling Tales


In His Arms 2a

In His Arms

A picture paints a thousand words, but does it paint the same words for everyone? This week I’m changing things up a bit and asking the readers to tell me their tales. Rather than describe the inspiration for this piece I would like to ask you what it evokes in you. What emotions, thoughts or ideas does it engender? What tale would you weave around this image? If you have a story or related image please post a link to share with everyone. And maybe I’ll tell a tale about your piece.

In His Arms is a 6″x8″ monoprint and is offered this week only at $80 unframed, $100 framed.


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More Than A Portrait – Or how one photo shoot spawned an ‘out of comfort zone’ stampede.


Dream Lover

Fear is a wonderful sparring partner. If you tackle it head on and pin it to the ground it will give up the hidden gifts in its back pocket.

This summer the opportunity to shoot a naked male came my way. While I struggled with why I would want to include an etching of a male nude in my January show, I finally decided that the challenge of doing the shoot was reason enough, for this show is all about transparency and stepping out of my comfort zone.  I had already photographed a young woman in the spring. It was an easy shoot with a lovely but hesitant model who, over the course of the shoot, relaxed into it and grew to enjoy having her picture taken. With this shoot I was the hesitant one but Michael’s ease in front of the camera put me at ease and gave me the courage to go for the shot I was aiming for. Dream Lover, above, is what came out of it.

About the same time my good friend, Terri, was desiring to do some stepping out of her own so she asked me to take some ‘figurative’ photos of her. We headed for what we thought was a secluded outdoor location only to find that it was a thoroughfare for hikers. After her umpteenth scramble to cover up, Terri threw clothing to the wind and decided to just go with the flow. My favorite picture of that shoot is one of her perched precariously on a tree limb with head thrown back in laughter while a hiker walks away in the background. It perfectly encapsulates the fun and empowering experience that I was privileged to share with Terri that day. Below is a small etching from that shoot, entitled Make Me Warm Or Take Me Home

Make Me Warm Or Take Me Home

After this I became a woman on a mission. The fear and trepidation of shooting others gave way to a heady excitement as I decided to create portraits of people who were important in my life and/or represented important ideals and to include these in my show. I thrilled in the bonding experiences and in the pleasure of being able to give something beautiful to those who meant so much to me. My sister, Fi, gloriously happy in her seventh month of her first pregnancy became one subject. My dear friend, Jane, with her exuberant laughter and joy, became another, as did her daughter, Jaime, who was the subject of that first shoot back in the springtime. My own children both agreed to sit for me and gave me portraits full of their promise, strength and beauty. My good friend Jonathan, whose pictures of me were the catalyst for my show, let me into his private world, and Jon, the young soldier with a big heart and wicked sense of humour, allowed me to glimpse his competitive and disciplined nature. Finally, Angelica, my beautiful mother-in-law, gave me a poignant portrait of herself on the eve of her departure back East. The following etching is the one of my sister, titled Come Alive.

Come Alive

Altogether, twenty portraits have been created of ten amazing people, all of whom I am deeply grateful to for helping me wrestle the gifts out of fear’s pocket.