Chiarina Loggia

A printmaker's progress


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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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Photo Fridays – Hobbiton – There And Back Again


Hobbiton

Hobbiton

One of the highlights of my recent trip to New Zealand was being able to visit the Hobbiton movie site. It was left as just a shell after the filming on LOTR finished but with the Hobbit production it has been restored to its former glory and left intact for visitors to flock to.

The attention to detail on the site is astounding. Every hobbit house is lovingly created with signs of habitation and use, even smoking chimneys and fresh baked bread. The walking tour is nice and leisurely with guides who are friendly and knowledgeable (although with hardly any new info for this die-hard Ringer), pointing out details that probably never even made it into the movies. The stopover at the Green Dragon was wonderful. So authentic and so many little touches, like a framed poem from the book, that made it quite enchanting. Still drooling over the huge cookie and ginger beer and cider on offer there.

The Green Dragon

The Green Dragon

Best of all was standing right in front of where it all begins, Bag End, with the door left invitingly open (despite the “no admittance except on party business” sign). The interior is unfortunately not there, as this was a separate movie set. I did learn that the tree on top of Bag End is not real! Could have fooled me! It is however painstakingly replicated from a real tree.

Bag End

Bag End

Then there is the party tree, which you can see right below Bag End, just like it appears in the movie, and this one is as real as it gets. Quite amazing that this location was found in the heart of a private farm. All that needed doing was remove the sheep and plant some greenery and you have Hobbiton.

The Party Tree

The Party Tree

The last hobbit house on the tour is Sam’s, with the bright yellow door. It’s just down from Bag End, as it is in the book. It is easy to imagine him running up to Bag End frequently as a youngster and later as gardener to the Bagginses. Of course in the book he ends up living in Bag End too but in the movie we see him returning to his own home at the very end of the movie. I must confess I got a little choked up standing in front of that door, thinking of Sam brokenheartedly returning home from the Grey Havens without Frodo, to be consoled by the warm welcome of his family and sighing “Well I’m back” as he enters through the door. And I thought of how, in his later life, after Rosie has passed away, he too would leave Bag End to follow Frodo into the West.

Sam's House

Sam’s House

There are no hobbits left in Hobbiton, but it is easy to imagine them just out of sight or happily inside their homes as you wander through. If you ever get down to New Zealand be sure to visit Hobbiton in Matamata as part of your Middle Earth adventure.

More photos of Hobbiton can be seen here.

Great weekend to all!


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Photo Fridays – Seaside Serendipity


I love shooting people and I love shooting landscapes. I especially love shooting people in the landscape, so that they become part of the landscape and the landscape informs the viewer a little about who they are.

Across The Water

Across The Water

Sometimes a scene presents itself that you just have to photograph. When I saw this child and his mother standing across from the boat that had the same colors of his sweater I knew I had to shoot it. Fortunately I was able to find a position to shoot from that both kept them anonomous and spontaneous while creating a lovely composition.

Fisherman

Fisherman

This man’s face is partly obscured by shadow and his downward gaze, but the bucket, clothing and pier tell us a little story about him while leaving us free to fill in the details.

Beachcomber

Beachcomber

The beach places this child on land, yet he is wearing a life jacket. Has he been or will he be on water soon?

Saltspring Family

Saltspring Family

With their backs to us and faces and hands hidden we can only guess what this family is doing or looking at. We know the day is cool and wet, but they are probably having a good time.

Wishing you all good times this weekend!
Chiarina


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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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Tuesday Tales – When Benches Beckon


PE-Whiffin Spit

Sunset Spit

I love the outdoors. Few things are more enjoyable to me than a long walk or run on one of the trails or beaches of this beautiful island I call home. And when a bench is perfectly perched along the way to provide a captivating view and a moment’s respite I am always happy to pause and immerse myself in that singular space.

Benches have held a fascination for me for a long time. I rarely pass one without photographing it and the particular surroundings it lives in. I say ‘lives’ for I find benches to be alive with the memories of those who have sat in them and the desires and intentions of those who have placed them in their outdoor homes. Benches speak of time, the long years they sit there watching the seasons change and the fleeting moments they share with a multitude of passers-by. They speak of love, of those who have passed but are not forgotten and those who sit together and create new memories. They speak of action, of runners’ stretches and lunches eaten. But most of all they speak of dreams and reveries and contemplations of life. They call out to our human souls and bid us to sit quietly and listen.

The print above, Sunset Spit, was created from a photograph taken while on a walk along Whiffin Spit in Sooke. The Spit, a long stretch of narrow land jutting out into the Sooke Basin, is a walker’s delight with a winding path and water all around. There are numerous benches placed along it and I photographed several, but the light and view from this one was especially magical. The shadows were long and the wind was blowing but it was tucked away in a bit of shruberry facing the setting sun, providing a quiet haven of seclusion and repose in which to reflect on a lovely day spent with a good friend.

This print, measuring 31/2″ by 5″ on 8″x10″ paper, is offered at a reduced price this week only (January 15-21, 2013) of $50 unframed or $70 framed, plus shipping costs. Please contact me at chiarina@chiarina.com if you would like to purchase it.


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Portraits In Prints


Portraits In PrintsRecently I had the pleasure of giving a talk on my work in conjunction with a show I was taking part in, Stinking Fish Artists: AT THE MAG

To prepare for the talk, I created two slideshows of my work, one on process and the other higlighting some of the recent figurative works I have done. I’d like to share them here, along with the introductions I gave during the talk. I hope you enjoy.

“My medium of choice is printmaking. I know this is a medium that not many people are familiar with and one that is often confused with reproduction work. So I will begin my talk with a brief explanation of the process of printmaking and of how I came to become a printmaker.

Many years ago, in the late 80s I was living in Japan. While I was there I attended the CWAJ Print Show in Tokyo, a show that was put on as a yearly fundraiser for a college women’s group and one that featured the work of many of Japan’s foremost contemporary artists, as well as the works of quite a few foreign artists living in Japan. The artworks in the show blew me away. They were unlike anything I had ever seen before. Unlike oils or watercolours, they had a quality and structure that defied understanding, and the subject matters, being highly influenced by Japanese culture, held a fascination and beauty that was very appealing. The descriptions of the works were baffling to me: etching, aquatint, mezzotint, lithograph, serigraph, wood cut, as was the fact that many of these pieces were done as editions yet were considered original works of art of great value. No amount of explanation or reading up on the terminology really helped to understand the processes involved in creating the works. But I happily immersed myself in the print scene and even bought a few prints myself, not understanding how they were made but appreciating their beauty nevertheless. At the time I continued my studies in ink brush painting and watercolour and continued with that as I moved around the world. In the year 2000 I returned to Japan and once again found myself captivated by the amazing print scene there but it wasn’t until I moved to Victoria, BC in 2002 that I finally took my first printmaking class at MISSA at Pearson College. I finally, through the process of actually making prints, understood what printmaking was all about. I came to understand that it was a process of transferring an image from one substrate to another with the use of pressure, and in the process of doing so a unique and intriguing work of art is created. There are many ways of doing this transfer process and the one I have become most fascinated with is the process of photo etching. What I love about this process is that it uses light to create an image and it allows for the use of photographic imagery to be used and manipulated to create the final work. The following slide show takes you step by step through that process. It begins with a series of images that begin with the original photograph and end with the print and then it moves on to how the plates and prints are created. The large black box you will see in some of the slides is one of my light boxes that exposes the plate to light to create the image on the plate. So here is the first slideshow.

Portraits In Prints, Part 1

As you will have noticed most of my imagery is figurative work. I began doing figurative work a few years ago when I decided I was going to do a self portrait. I had a need to express something important to me and  to push some boundaries in my life and in my art and I realized that a self portrait could do the trick. Well this first self portrait snowballed into many series of figurative works that culminated in three solo shows, several small group shows and some critical acclaim with a total of five awards at various large juried art shows on the island. But the most important thing it did was allow me to finally create works that were inspired from within, that helped me find my voice to tell my own truths and to ask my own questions. I could create artwork that mattered, that not only reflected my journey through life but helped me along that journey, and I soon found that it helped others as well for it connected with viewers on a deeper, more emotional and personal level than my artwork ever has before. I found I was finally able to create artwork that could act as a mirror for others to find their own truth and see their journeys in and that is very satisfying and exciting to me. So here is Part Two of Portraits in Prints. It shows a good number of the figurative works that I have created in the past few years. I hope you enjoy.

Portraits In Prints, Part 2


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Human-Nature


Today marked the first day of the show, Human-Nature, which I am in, along with fellow artists, Jane Baigent and Arlene Nesbitt, and I spent the better part of it taking photographs of the work. It was a fun show to hang and thrilling to see how well the pieces worked together despite coming at the theme from different perspectives and using varied media. While I shot photos a number of visitors wandered in, all expressing a delight in and appreciation for the work. This bodes well for our opening reception tomorrow night, when we will be honored to present the work to the public.

Below is our artist statement for the show.

“This show explores our changing and profound relationship to nature and how it shines a light on our own human nature. The dichotomy of the destructive and protective forces both within and around us, the illusion of permanence, the beauty as well as dismay in disaster, the ebb and flow and convergence of people and place are themes that the three artists ponder and feel passionate about.

Jane Baigent loves to play with scale. She creates large sized images on canvas, portraits of places that exist only as drawings. The bold, finely textures renderings of rockfaces and tidelines appear eerily human in form and at the same time these close-ups of nature resemble much larger landscapes seen from a great distance. The depictions of stone eroded by wind and water allude to the impermanence of all things.

The inspiration for Chiarina Loggia’s work comes from her journey through this life. Meditations on love, loss, passion and compassion, solitude and connection, constancy and impermanence, strength and fragility, beauty and sorrow abound in her work. Places she has lived have left their indelible mark on her spirit and her artistic sensibilities. The figurative elements in her work combine with landscapes, words, natural materials and three dimensional forms to reveal a love of story-telling through visual imagery.

Passion is uppermost in Arlene Nesbitt’s work. Her watercolours are redolent with energy and emotion and infused with a love and respect for our natural world in all its beauty and force. The battle between destructive and nurturing forces are played out on her abstracted landscapes in vibrant organic forms and color.

All three artists feel a strong sense of the interconnectedness within our planet. They feel the pull of the natural world and its call to arms; they present its beauty and also a plea for stewardship so it may continue to sustain us all. The result is a powerful presentation of evocative and inspired artwork.

First follow Nature, and your judgment frame
By her just standard, which is still the same:
Unerring Nature, still divinely bright,
One clear, unchang’d, and universal light,
Life, force, and beauty, must to all impart,
At once the source, and end, and test of art.

by Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744)

The show is on at The Main Gallery at Cedar Hill, 3220 Cedar Hill Rd, Victoria B.C., V8P 3Y3

Opening reception, August 2, 7-9pm

Artist talk – August 9, 7pm

Show continues till August 13, 2012