Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Year of Journaling

As promised,
gentle reader, 
I have all the photos
of my year long journaling process..

and I will give you more insight, techniques and of course

Strathmore Mixed Media Journal
Ingredients: gesso, plaster cloth, acrylic paint, ribbon, handmade papers, paper ephemera, upholstery threads, tea dyed fabric.

Technique: Hand applied plaster cloth, painted and sanded

I am always a bit stunned to see it posted
as a body of work..

it has been such a big commitment 
to keep yearly...
and I cannot help but to feel 
a deep sense of accomplishment..
not just about what I create,  
what I change about myself..
and what I give thanks for...
but it is also about what I 

Cover detail of Caterina Giglio's 2017 Art Journal 

I always begin the year by creating a self portrait, this reminds me to look closely at myself
and to really make some good decisions about my new year, my new direction both personally and professionally. Last year, I was beginning a new personal transformation. I was born with jet black hair and with all the grey hair moving in, I had been dying it black for many years. I decided that I would allow the white to grow in gradually, rather than allowing the white to grow in and cutting it very short. 
I seriously had no idea how difficult this change would be for me.
I looked into mirrors and saw my reflection back in store windows and did not recognize myself.
I often felt that I no longer knew who I was..
who are YOU? 
I thought...
 and what have you done with my Cat?

I am still chewing on this..

Ingredients: Personal photos, gesso, pencil, acrylic paint, collage, paint pens, colored pencil, graphite pencil.
Technique: Gesso transfer on paper, Water photos, painted and collaged.

As usual in February I began by writing myself a love letter. This is a very old personal tradition, longer than the selfie. I believe that others can love me only to the extent that I love myself. 
Since I did not grow up with a lot of self esteem, I have been faithful in cultivating this.
Each February, I write about the things that I love about myself.
The first time I did this, I have to admit, 
I did not fill the whole page..
 I have learned to love me, 

 in the last few years, 
I have decided to be a cheerleader for love..
and I really like that about myself..

The writing for February is underneath the images and the paint, both on the blank page and then on top
of the first coat of gesso..

Ingredients: pencil, gesso, acrylic paint, stencils, paper ephemera, wrapping paper.
Technique: Monoprinting, Stenciling   

I wrote directly on the mono print below..
give yourself permission to speak your own language..
be unperturbed that others may not like
or appreciate what you do..
I was reminding myself to speak with my authentic voice.. 
The issue in March is not the point, it was self inflicted, but I can say that I wrote down old
hurts and let them go..

What I love about this intuitive process is that I realized that the script on the right side of the spread really looked like a new language.. I love how that happens ... 

Ingredients: gesso, acrylic paint, collage papers walnut ink, wrapping papers antique print, watercolors
Technique: Mono printing, decollage

Feet, feet, do you know the way...?
To the future that is..
I was having issues with my right foot, which slowed me down a bit and has taken a chunk out of my work out. So I was not at all surprised to see feet showing up in the spread. I rarely use magazines, my personal feeling is that I would rather not use another person's art in my work..
at all.

But.. I was so very drawn to these images and decided to use them for this end..
to flesh out exactly why I had this persistent issue and to allow myself
the opportunity to project what I want to see in my future...

The spiral represented the work I needed to do and the circular path it takes
to find the answers.

Ingredients: gesso, acrylic paint, monoprints magazine ads, wrapping paper, handmade papers, chalk markers, Pencil.
Technique: Hand painted photocopies, Monoprinting. 

The Month of May went by in a blur, a rush of activity. I was working on my Naturalists' Notebook show and was preoccupied by meeting my deadline..
packing and flying out for the show. 
This spread captures for me, the fast pace and the determined focus of creating a one woman show.
The butterfly is my symbol for feminine transformation.

Ingredients: Pencil, collage, gesso, tissue paper, collage paper, wrapping paper, acrylic paints.
Technique: Gesso transfer, decollage.

Sailing through the Caribbean was the way we spent most of our days in June. It was a family cruise, daughters, grandchildren, in laws... and there were a lot of us, so we had a lovely time, watching grandchildren explore, enjoy water and islands.. and for the most part, just relaxing.
Creating something simple and yet grand is always a challenge when I am at sea. 
How do you capture  that endless, magnificent blue and do it any justice?


Ingredients: Gesso, pencil, papers, acrylic paints, 
Technique: Hand painted papers torn in strips to form an image.

Every family has something to deal with. My family always wrestles with issues of the heart. I have written about it many times over the years. My father died of congestive heart failure. Currently I have Aunts and cousins who are or have dealt with heart issues. In July, one of my Aunties was hospitalized and we all had grave concern for her. My pages reflect the angst I was feeling, as my heart went out to her and my own thoughts about healing 
the heart, patching it up and holding it together. 
I turned to cloth as it is a meditation for me to stitch...

Ingredients: gesso, acrylic paints, wrapping paper, unbleached linen, safety pins, collage, cheesecloth.
Technique: Hand stitched cloth heart applied to the page.

San Diego is the place that my brother in law and his family get together to spend their vacation. They rent cottages right on the pier and it is close to shops, and restaurants  and of course the beach. It was lovely to be back in California, as we had lived there many years ago and I tried to capture both the peacefulness of the visit and the texture of the place..
...... living right over the water....

Ingredients: acrylic paint, gesso, Personal photos, wrapping paper, modeling paste, walnut ink, pencil, colored pencil, drawing, Art Graf pencil.
Technique: Stencils with modeling Paste, Starfish drawing on mixed media paper.

My husband was out of town. He was working in Texas on the remediation for a hurricane, called Harvey, when another hurricane began to make dance moves toward our state. We called her Irma and she looked very big and very scary. 
If you followed my blog then, you know that we were not in the mandatory evacuation area, but we decided to leave anyway so we did not have to subject ourselves to the ordeal.
My pages show the storm and I hope convey the feeling of both being vulnerable and my utter sense of fragility in the face of such complete power. 
On the drive home we were enchanted by butterflies all along the route..
It amazes me how one symbol can illustrate so many different things...

Ingredients: Acrylic paint, walnut inks, paper ephemera, handmade paper, chalk markers.
Technique: Decollage

I was lamenting the fact that we do not have a pretty autumn here, in fact the trees shed leaves that have a muddy brown color. So I went with that, making my own leaves from paper dyed with walnut ink. We rarely have windy days but we did in October and my page reveal the winds of change coming. The death of the year always makes me pause. In my pages, I wanted to show bits of the background, the leafless trees and things scattered in the breeze.

Ingredients: Acrylic paint, hand made papers, personal photos, handmade leaves, cheesecloth. antique prints, paper ephemera, walnut ink, glazing medium.

My pages are really simple, and there isn't much to say.
We journeyed to visit our kids for the Thanksgiving holiday, so we spent lots of time, with family, eating and drinking and enjoying the time. Thankful for family.
Simply feeling full and abundant.

Ingredients: gesso, pen, acrylic paint, walnut ink, personal photo, 
Technique: Dry brush painting.

Swept away by the music is the best way to summarize my December pages. I keep a metal wire basket on my art journaling desk. Each month the left over papers from each spread as well as the unused papers go into that basket as well as scrap pieces of wrapping papers. In December I challenge myself to create a bricolage spread..
using just what I have available in the basket. 
Listening to music... collaging to the beauty.. just allow it to unfold. 

Ingredients: pencil, paper ephemera, wrapping papers, acrylic ink, walnut ink, glazing medium.
Technique: Decollage

And now I think I will go to the studio
and ponder my
self portrait...

Thank you for viewing and reading..
I so appreciate your kind comments...


Friday, January 12, 2018

Video Tour of my Art Journal

At the beginning of each new year,
dear hearts..
I look forward to sharing my art journal post..

I love to see all the work together in one post..
It is always so powerful for me to view all the work together ..
12 months is a large 
body of work..

and this year, 
I decided to film it as well..

it was interesting to page through and remember
so many things about the year..

Next week I will shoot all the spreads..
list all the ingredients and list the 
techniques ...

Thanks for viewing 
and thank you for
stopping by..

Ciao, ciao!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

December Journal Pages

Well gentle reader..
as you see, 
I did not finish the cover
of my art Journal..

In fact, I am still wrestling with it..

I will finish it by this weekend..
and I will shoot it for YT
so you will see it finally..
I will shoot all the pages and put them in a blog post
 listing all the  ingredients
for you as I 
always do ...

But this post is about December..
which was just amazing..
one of the best holidays that we have had..

just wonderfully fun, sweet and peaceful...

so my pages reflect that peace
and I was making them as I listened to music..
I grew up with classical music..
my mother taught piano..

so I love music without words

one of my favorite current composers
Phillip Glass
and I was listening to 
as I made this..

If you are not familiar with his work go listen
on YT
you have surely heard his music on many
films, Kundin, and The Hours
are two of my favorites..

as usual the pages are bricolage..
I had some music wrapping paper
on my desk..
and it was on the page
before I realized what this was all about..

Just following the flow of the music..
listening with the heart..
and opening 
to receive whatever my muse has in store for me..

Ingredients: pencil, acrylic paint, glazing medium, wrapping papers, antique paper, walnut ink..

Alrighty then..
I will be back soon..

Thank you so much for all your kind
comments and remarks..

I so appreciate you


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018 Brings Changes!

Happiest New Year..

I am slowly getting back to my studio..
and working on a couple of 

and speaking of deadlines...

I met this one a while back
and will be sharing the art with you when it returns...

I hope you will pick up a copy of 

Somerset Studio

My work and article are featured
in the January issue..

Naturalists' Notebook article and technique, featured in Jan/Feb. issue of Somerset Studio

and I have used my holiday break wisely..
thinking and chewing 
on the possibilities of the 
New Year
and what I want to do and create
and most of the changes for me... 
ultimately you...
dear viewers and readers..
center on 


  1. While I love creating videos for you all, and I adore being able to offer you techniques and projects as a gift from me to you and to use for your own personal enjoyment, I have to admit that they take a lot of time, energy, and money.. so I will be producing fewer Vlog posts on YouTube, but I hope they will be even better. 31 videos was a lot and I thought I would try to film around 24 this year.
  2. While I know many of you have asked for classes and I have chewed on the idea, endlessly, I have decided NOT TO TEACH. I have been an instructor for most of my adult life, from a training co-ordinator in retail and as an artist, I have taught everything from bow-making to life drawing and mixed media, and while I love sharing what I know, I love CREATING even more, and I want to spend more time in my studio, "Just making cool stuff" to quote a dear friend.
  3. I know that blogs are considered dead, and many people just don't take the time to read, but I am recommitting to my blog, "beautiful old dinosaur" that she is.. and I will be taking more time to share about the things that give me fits in the studio.. what works and what doesn't.. while trying not to moan on endlessly about it all and perhaps I can put into words what I am really trying to convey as I work. I used to look for something finished or accomplished to share and now I am going to just share where I am... if it is boring, let me know!

A new year always brings change..
and as we know, it is the only constant in our lives..
so embracing change is the only way to stay sane..
like a willow bending in the wind..

I intend to bend to the pull of my creative direction..
and follow my muse where she

In the studio, besides my deadlines, I am working on
my art Journal and I am trying to decide what to do with the cover..
I want to have that finished for my year end reveal..
so if I finish that, you will see it ALL ..
and if not, you will see December pages
next Tuesday, 
at least..

My first video will be on my 2016-2017
Art Journal
and I will share techniques and what was happening in my life
to inspire the pages for each month.. 

I send you all my kindest 
New Year wishes..

may it be a good one,
without any tears..


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Happy Holidays

Maybe it is the 
in me..

but I love a good celebration..

great food..
glorious music..

I always looked forward to the 

perhaps because there are so many of them..

Saint Nicholas Day... 
Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe... 
St. Lucia Day... 
Hanukkah ....
Christmas Day... 
Three Kings Day/Epiphany ...
 Boxing Day

to name just a few...

this time of year is marked


all over the world..

and what always
makes me smile 
is how much we have 
in common..

there are presents..

and candles..

lights and parties..
and perhaps you are like us,
a couple of traditions

as well...

but whatever occasions
you mark..

I send you the richest blessings..

as I am reminded 
that we call them
for a reason..
we all celebrate
one thing

wishing you all a 
prosperous and healthy..

New Year..


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

November Art Journal Pages

Gratitude is a seed ...
that once planted..
lives eternal..

We had the good fortune
to spend 
Thanksgiving with family..

Kids and grandkids and extended family..
it was a lovely trip and we had a beautiful time..

and my pages simply reflect
the gratitude I had to spend time
with people we love,
and to see the world through the
eyes of our grandchildren..

which is such a gift..
to see wonder, and pure joy..
is so very restorative...

Ingredients: acrylic paint, walnut ink, colored pencil, pencil, personal photo

My hands are full,
my life is rich,
and I give continual thanks..

I am working on my December pages
and I will have the whole journal
finished for my annual reveal..

and in addition, this year
I will shoot a Vlog post 
and share all the pages, what they mean to me
and how I created them...

See you next week
with my Annual Holiday Post..

Ciao, Ciao!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Le Jardin De Amants-The French Paper Series

have favorites...

I try not to..

but there it is..

we do have favorites..

Detail of The Essence of Joy, Mixed Media Collage,  Caterina Giglio

and this collection is one of 


The Essence of Joy, 8 x 8 Mixed Media Collage, Caterina Giglio

while I love my work..

Detail from Jardin Mosaic, Italian Collage, Caterina Giglio

everything I create,

there are some pieces
that were so effortless to create
and I felt so in tune
when I created it that
I had the feeling
I was connected to everyone
and everything..

what inspires me to continue to create,
is that holy union..

Jardin Mosaic, 11 x 14 Italian Collage, Caterina Giglio 

and those works 
stand out...

this series has some favorite Italian Collage pieces
 Italian Collage is a form of Chine -Collé.

Chine-collé is a special technique in printmaking, in which the image is transferred to a surface that is bonded to a heavier support in the printing process. One purpose is to allow the printmaker to print on a much more delicate surface, such as Japanese paper or linen, which pulls finer details off the plate.

Vintage Fleur 8 x 8 Italian Collage, Caterina Giglio

Italian Collage, 
which is a what I call
the process that I use to 
press many layers of collage together
using a pasta machine..
and applying lots of gel medium
is very different..

Detail from Vintage Fleur, Italian Collage, Caterina Giglio

Floating, 8 x 8 Italian Collage, Caterina Giglio

Besides using copious amounts of glue..
I am not creating a 
I am simply pressing papers into the substrate...
and the substrate is 
mixed media paper 
or watercolor paper..

Detail from Floating, Italian Collage, Caterina Giglio

It is time consuming and tedious..

#31 Mixed Media Collage, 8 x 8, Caterina Giglio, 

but my favorite part of this collection..

Detail from #31, Caterina Giglio

Detail from Rustica, Caterina Giglio

is the ephemeral quality of the 

Rustica, 8 x 8 Mixed media Collage, Caterina Giglio

the images..
snippets of memory ...

Strolling Paris, 11 x 14 Italian Collage, Caterina Giglio

I tried to capture
the whirl of image..

Le Petite Illustration, Italian Collage, Caterina Giglio

as one saunters past..

Carnaval Fleur, 6 x 6, Mixed Media, Caterina Giglio

store fronts...
and restaurants..

Petite Fleur, 5 x 5, Mixed Media, Caterina Giglio

Deux Fleur, 5 x 5, Mixed Media, Caterina Giglio

and the flowers...

Rouge, 5 x 5, Italian Collage, Caterina Giglio

in each box..
on each table..
bouquets of tiny beauty..
offering themselves
for nothing other than
 pure enjoyment..

My show opens tonight in
Fort Collins, CO
but you can see prices and view the entire collection
using this link

142 Bis Gallerie

Grazie, Grazie!!


Follow by Email