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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Textured Papers and What Lies Beneath

every once in a while..
I find myself so lost 
in that 
art groove..

that I know exactly what to do...

and just let the paper, paint, whatever...
talk to me..
have it's way with me..

it happened like that with this new collection..
with pages 
from an antique natural history book..
spineless, coverless, and pages bent, sepia toned and dog eared....   

I had always loved this book of course, 
suddenly it seemed to speak to me..

about what lies beneath...
what is hidden ..
and what we mark to remember...

 the pages were crumpled, folded and beautifully wrinkled...
revealing the beauty below..

and it seemed natural
suddenly to capture that..

I think of all the people that loved this book..
it must have been printed and bound so beautifully when it was new...

 been read and re-read ... with pages turned back to 
reveal the hyacinths..
or a single rose..

these are the first few pieces..
and I have several in process, that I will share with you soon...
but I thought you would want to see what I have been up to..

I will have some pieces for my shop...
but these are all going to 
EsScentuals.. to hang in the 
gallery, 142 Bis...
for the 25th anniversary celebration!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Art Journaling Tips

I am just finishing up
my March Art Journal pages

and decided I would share some
art journaling thoughts
with you...

it's been years since I have facilitated
a journal group and I have learned a lot since those days..
consistent practice will create knowledge...

so here are a few thoughts..
since I have so many new followers lately..
and my journal posts are some of my most popular posts..

ingredients: cardboard, sketch paper and original pencil drawing, background is gesso,  fine pumice gel, acrylic paint, walnut ink, alcohol inks..

1. Dirty the Page...
My process is simple, I create 2 pages each month, in a vintage record book. 
Find a substrate in a size that appeals to you. Large or small..
  I know artists that journal everyday.. find what works for you.. and stick to it..

Everyone has at one time or another been intimidated by a blank page..
and if not a blank page, then surely by a beautiful journal..
I overcame that issue by beginning with journals that were falling apart..
or were fairly inexpensive..
now a page in any book is just a page...

each month I am faced with this:

The blank pages of my vintage record book..

I generally begin.. 
by writing about what is going on in my life, using pen, pencil, art stick, whatever is closest to my hand.. and because I have a whole month to work, the writing often covers both pages..
but often I will just begin by slapping some gesso or paint directly onto the page and then I begin to journal... with text and image.
It is only paper, and it is for you... so you cannot make a mistake..

2. Obscuring Text
One of the things I love about art journaling is that you are in control of exactly how much writing, IF  ANY that people will see, that is, if you intend to show other people your pages...

Sometimes I leave some writing visible...
usually it is something innocuous..
or universal in subject matter..

May 2010, ingredients: gesso, paper, transfers on paper, transfer on fabric, paper ephemera, acrylic paint, pencil, colored pencil, upholstery thread

but very often, there are things too painful to share...
or things that are simply private...
and so I obscure almost all of the text as in the 
April 2013 post below

April 2013 Caterina Giglio, art journal pages. ingredients: gesso, acrylic paint, H2O'S. pencil, colored pens, antique ephemera, thread. 

3. Use Images that Speak to You
I often use butterflies and dragonflies in my pages, they are symbols that represent transformation and  they convey a sense of beauty and grace..
Hands represent creativity and in the spread below, from 2007, I used them to show that I was taking my health into my own hands..
changed my diet and changed my life...  
the heart pops up when you open the book...

Art Journal pages, 2007, Caterina Giglio. ingredients: acrylic paint, paper ephemera, papers, pen and ink, pencil. 

4. Bricolage
One of the great things about art journaling is that you don't need anything fancy to art journal, you can de-stash to your heart's content.. I always use scraps of paper, thread and my own photos to convey what is going on in my world...
often the paper bits on my desk are just the things that I need 
to journal...
However, I have also been known to use pricey paints, wrapping papers and to cut my own rubber stamps for use in my journals..
my journals are really art books that I create 
for myself..

I am never concerned when my pages don't make sense..
it isn't about sense..
it is about feeling..
and energy that is transforming
onto the page...

Art Journal pages, Caterina Giglio, November 2010.
ingredients: black gesso, china marker, khadi papers, transfers on paper, thread.

5. Tell your Dreams and Stories
The spread below, is a dream that I had in May of 2012. It concerned my brother who died in May of 2009. When I woke, I went right to my journal and documented the dream and how I felt about it. Then I covered my journaling with the images.
In my dream the dragonfly was dead, but the story I told was about the dragonfly rising in flight....
my belief about life after death and a reconciliation with my brother...
I did not realize until later that I had rewritten the dream, until I finished my pages..

To me, art journaling is about writing your own stories and creating your own endings..

Art Journal pages, Caterina Giglio, 2010.
ingredients: gesso, acrylic paint, paper ephemera, pencil, pen, watercolor, fabric wings, walnut ink, thread. 

6. Experimentation
 My journal is a safe haven for trying out new techniques, and products and styles. 
 I consider my journal to be part diary, part visionary journal and part of it is a lab
for exploring new frontiers...
for experiencing a fearless joy of discovery...

Detail of art journal page, Caterina Giglio.
ingredients: crackle paint, cardboard, paper ephemera, acrylic paints, pencil, fabric.

playing with crackle paints and Italian collage
in my journal..
experimentation is the cornerstone of any studio..
the best things happen when I say, 

"I wonder what would happen if I did..." 

working in an abstract form in my journal allows me to express my emotions
without using figures to represent the people or situations that 
are manifesting in my experience..

Caterina Giglio, Art Journal page, detail of Italian collage..

and finally... you don't need to be an artist to journal...
a visual journal is a wonderful way to keep a diary of images that represent what is happening around you. Just keeping a small book of paper ephemera that comes to you each month would be a great way of documenting life..

the pencil remark on this last page reads..


ciao, ciao..

There are a number of fabulous teachers out in the field right now... here are just a few:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Beach Combing, Shells and Magic

there is something magical
about beach combing

it is clever..
you never know when it will 
sneak up

Meg DeWeese and Mr. La Dolce Vita, on the beach in St. Petersburg

were off and ready to stroll..
wiggling toes in sand..

and feeling
a tug on the heart from the waves...

magic makes memories...

and pulls us pensively inward...

there is a true color to magic..

and you know it when you see it...


and just barely shimmery...

you feel it..
a sparkly kind of feeling...

try as you might...
to savor it...
it is transitory..

like a melting snowflake,
a good bottle of wine,
or words written in sand...

and so all sweet things
must end...



Monday, March 9, 2015

Monet to Matisse..

On sunny warm days...
one should always venture out
and take in art shows...
and stroll around 
banyan trees..

shouldn't one?

the weather has finally cooperated and we 
are enjoying warm sunshine..
which makes me want to get the beach...
gentle reader...
but we will save that trip for another day...

when Meg DeWeese, 
my dear friend and the owner of 
and 142 Bis Gallery..
decided to vacation with us,
it seemed a perfect
opportunity to see the Monet to Matisse show
St. Petersburg

Moi and Meg with Girl Standing By Window..

the MFA
is a gorgeous building 
near the water 
a huge park...

the grounds are sumptuous and tree filled...

and since the MFA
would not allow photography 
you get trees instead...

Palms and banyans...

but knowing how you all love the color green
and most of you are tree huggers as well..
I did not think that would be too much of a hardship for you...

I tried to capture the scale and size of this banyan...

which spreads almost a block wide...

the branches of this tree above are enormous...

and as it sends it's tendrils to earth, 
it takes root and turns into a larger tree...

it was a beautiful day...
to be near the water in a gorgeous park...

the show was decent... 
the company was divine...

Ciao, Ciao!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Who are you? Artist or Maker?

There is a lot of discussion
about artists changing their job title
from Artist to 

The basic contention is that it places attention on the doing rather than the being..
and from what I have read there is a backlash against the so called
"pretention" of artists...

Interweave Store, the creators of 
Cloth, Paper, Scissors
have a new Zine, titled 
Artists & Makers...

which has seemed to help spark some artists
to begin to call themselves
instead of 

I just wondered how you feel about it
and what you call yourself... 

here are the definitions of both...

Artist- 1. A person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.
2. A person who practices a fine art such as painting, sculpture etc.
3. A person who works in the performing arts.

Maker- 1. A person or thing that makes.
2. A manufacturer.

Spring issue Somerset Apprentice

As for me..
it is pretty simple,
the Indo/Euro root word of ART..
meant, to fit together
to relate to...

the Latin root ARS was skill or craft 

I am an artist, who makes something from nothing..

Tips from the Pros, Somerset Apprentice, Spring issue

and I am delighted to have my work featured
Somerset Apprentice
the spring issue is really beautiful...
pick it up and take a peek...


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Art is Everywhere

if you look closely..

you can find works of art everywhere..

it struck me as I was editing my
of this show last weekend
Mount Dora...

that repetition of form was in abundance...

and line was everywhere...

"the essence of drawing is the line exploring space"
Andy Goldsworthy

a tiny bit of red will make anything
stand out..
the color of blood arrests the eye...

"some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun"
Pablo Picasso

grouping things together
pulls the eye forward...

"the creative urge matters. Stories matter. Images matter. it matters that you were born with a genius, a guiding spirit, a daimon that may know more about your destiny than you do."
Phil Cousineau

form, color and line together 
create interest...

"I paint with shapes"
Alexander Calder

juxtaposing shiny with texture
and natural elements...
is charming...

is always intriguing..

the vessel
is infinitely fascinating..
and there is a universal desire to look within and to fill
the void..

Curiosity breeds creativity...

"art comes from everywhere. It's your response to your surroundings"
Damien Hurst

is everything...

"Creativity belongs to the artist in each of us. To create means to relate. The root meaning of the word  art is "to fit together" and we all do this every day.
Corita Kent

repetition of form
orders chaos....

"the task of art today is to bring chaos into order"
Theodore Adorno


ciao, ciao!