Follow by Email

Friday, February 13, 2015

Art Journaling, Valentines and Self Love





2009
was an awful year...

my personal life was pretty miserable...
my brother had just shot himself in the heart..
and I felt a powerful inner struggle
that was exacerbated by the things going on around me..

It was also the year I began to 
blog and named my blog
La Dolce Vita..



gentle reader
I literally took
 heart 
in
my spiritual practice
and my art work





My art journal stack, my 2009 journal is on top..



I took refuge in art..
escaping to my studio, I created shrines, nichos and art
that reflected my personal spiritual work  

knowing that 
I am the attraction for all that comes to me
I decided then,

 that I needed to love myself..
more than I did then..
and it was a promise that I made to myself
that I would consciously make the effort..





2015 Journal Detail, February journal pages, Caterina Giglio.. Antique bible pages gifted from Lisa DiNunzio


Part of my practice was to write myself 
a Valentine letter..
a love letter to myself...
at the time
I was not in a, "hearts and flowers" kind of place...
in fact I never used hearts in my work at all...

my brother's death changed that..






February 2015 Art Journal Pages, on my desk..




using a heart in my work
became a symbol 
of life and death and love...


transformation



Closeup of February 2015 Love Letter to Myself


It all began in this journal, below
I started by facilitating
an art journal group...





Art Journal 2009, Caterina Giglio


and this was my first spread...




2009 Art Journal spread Love Letter To Myself, Caterina Giglio



not being in a 
"hearts and flowers" kind of place emotionally
I decided to create just that in my pages
because I firmly believe that 
what we visualize we 
create
and the French couple
stood in as 
a model for myself

a person who was balanced both
by a strong feminine and masculine side..






2010 Art Journal, Caterina Giglio


I finished that journal and moved on
to #5
the number of transition and transformation
2010 was certainly that...

I decided that I loved the large format of the 
antique record books..
and #5 had the most beautiful marbled front...







2010 Art Journal Spread, Love Letter To Myself, Caterina Giglio



In 2010
I collaged over much of my writing... using my own image in my work
and an image of a young girl, to represent my
inner child...

time was ticking...






2011/2012 Art Journal, Fern Caterina Giglio

I found another record book
in better shape for my 
2011 and 2012 art journal

my life began to transform
in amazing ways
lots of things were
changing...
myself included...





2011 Art Journal spread, Love Letter To Myself, Caterina Giglio


in 2011, I wrote...
Yes I have loved you well...
for you are the secret of all my secrets..
and I will love you
long after
the body is dust...
and our being-ness
is
feather 
light









my stitched spread for 
2012
was simple enough 
a heart stitched 
back together



the bottom
of my page reads...
life is good...




2013-2015, Untitled Current Art Journal


In 2013 I found
a perfect antique record book
that is not only substantial
it was in fabulous shape...




2013 Art Journal spread, Love Letter To Myself, Caterina Giglio




In 2013
my cold heart was 
thawed out







2014, Art Journal spread, Love Letter To Myself, Caterina Giglio



2014
brought
a return of 
my heritage
my lily life and love..
I used antique imagery to represent
my 
profound love of life 
and transformation...

La Dolce Vita




Detail of 2014 Art Journal spread, Love Letter To Myself, Caterina Giglio


My current pages below..





2015 Art Journal spread, Love Letter To Myself, Caterina Giglio



Where I celebrate
not only myself 
and my love for me,
but my ability to create...
not just with my hands...

but with my love and my thought..






A celebration of life, 4 journals, representing one month on two pages for 6 years.. Caterina Giglio



You don't have to be an artist
to write yourself a love letter...
I urge you to try it..

just start by writing one thing that you appreciate
about yourself..
it can be simply that you have the eyes
to read this post..

all I can tell you
is that you cannot control what goes on around you
but you can be the person you want to be...

and that alone
can create
La Dolce Vita..


xo

Happy Valentines

48 comments:

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Your work certainly shows the transformation you went through during those years. A big hole can be filled up with a whole lot of love and self-love is so very important. Hugs and blessings, Tammy

Carol said...

Beautiful! Your journals and your words. What a good idea you have. Thankyou for sharing.

Caterina Giglio said...

Tammy, it is so true, isn't it? Yes, it is fun to look back and see how much my work has transformed.. sending hugs and blessing back your way, dear heart!

Caterina Giglio said...

Carol, thank you for not only stopping by, but for commenting, I appreciate it!!

Analia Cristina said...

Fantastics this art journals,very beautiful!!!

Dorthe said...

Dear Caterina, whaT a travel of both mind and art. I admire you, that you can be artistic in both using your words ,drawings and using all kind of materials.
It must have been a very difficult journey ,also in finding understandness for such an action ,your brother did, and I know you have had other big sorrows since then. You are a strong woman, and your loveletters to yourself every year since then, prooves you came out on the other side of the misery you must have felt, back then.
Your journals are wonderful dear friend.
Hugs,Dorthe

Pamela Gerard said...

What a lovely post -- beautiful pages and thoughtful writing. Grazia and Happy Valentine's Day to you too.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Beautiful post Caterina, thank you so much for sharing your journey. Getting to the other side of heartbreak is a slow courageous act and you proved it to be possible through self-love and with the tools of art making.Happy Valentines day.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Happy Valentine's Day to you, too, dear friend. What a way to open your heart and share the pain as well as the good times.

I so enjoyed your transformation from your art to your outlook to your improved journals you've found. This is a wonderful retrospective, and terrific way to showcase your latest month's art.

Kathleen said...

Self love…..what could be more precious? Thank you for sharing your wonderful, beautiful, soul-filled journals. Thank you for reminding us how to be gentle and nurturing with ourselves. xoxo K

Lana Kloch said...

caterina.. your metamorphosis illustrated thru these magnificent pages is evident.

since i've met you, you and your art work has helped me grow too. it has been a journey well worth traveling.

your brother's passing was not in vain.. you have added beauty to so many of us.

you are loved .. most importantly my YOU!

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

I've so enjoyed watching your beautiful art and heart-full transformation over the last many years to your most happy place today. It truly is a labor of self love. xox

lynne h said...

cat, i dearly, *dearly* love your feb. 2015 pages... oh! they touch me... and i smile to read that lisa d. gifted you the antique bible pages. she is something, isn't she? heart manifest as human...

about writing myself a love letter... i consider every painting i do just that.

love...

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Nice for you to see your cycles ... and wonderful to see them. -xo

Linda Arandas said...

dear Caterina...this was such a lovely post. thank you for sharing your heart through your art journals <3

Laura said...

Absolutely gorgeous Cat… it was lovely to go back through the journey of journals with you… much love to you from me too.

Lisa DiNunzio said...

so many things struck me about this post, cat...
the biggest lesson {for me} is:
you CAN change your life, you can! by creating new habits, mostly the habit of facing yourself, your feelings and and your relationship with yourself. others are blessings, but not the way.
you are,
incredible.
and incredibly inspiring
and helpful.
thank you for leading the way by example.
LOVE YOU!

Valerianna said...

Wow, what an intense journey - and such a profound loss. The creative process can be such a sanctuary, and through it we can be transformed. Powerful to hear of yours. Happy Valentine's Day!

nancy neva gagliano said...

"A jug fills
Drop by drop"

Page by page.
💖🙏

Pallas said...

Your journals are beautiful. I'm sorry about the loss of your brother; I'm sure that pain never goes away.

Caterina Giglio said...

Anna Cristina, thank you! and thank you always for stopping by and leaving a kind word..

Caterina Giglio said...

Yes, dear Dorthe you said it right a travel of both mind and art... it is that.. and yes, you are right, there was a lot of pain and loss, but life is so gorgeous, and I can feel the love in it in spite of everything... sending you much valentine love, dear one! xoxo

Caterina Giglio said...

Pamela, grazie, tanto, cara! So glad you enjoyed the art journal journey!

Caterina Giglio said...

Ah, Mary Ann, yes... getting to the other side is not easy, but it is so rewarding... art does heal, not only for the artist, but hopefully for the viewer as well... thank you, dear, for your kind words...

Caterina Giglio said...

Dearest E, I think you have been on this journey with me close to the beginning... amazing though to see it altogether on one page though... It is good to share that we all have pain, and we can transform it, not always easy to share with others... baring the heart is rough... but so worth it just to touch one heart, let alone several... x

Caterina Giglio said...

Kathleen, methinks you already know this... and thank you so much for stopping by, for your kind words of support... always..xxoo

Caterina Giglio said...

Lana, dear, thank you so much... and you are right, my brothers suicide was such a gift, it awakened an even deeper passion for life... and I am blessed by the gift of YOU as well!! thank you... xox

Caterina Giglio said...

Corrine, I know you have probably seen everyone of these posts and have been along on this journey... I am so grateful that I always have your kind words to cheer me on.. xox

Caterina Giglio said...

oh lynnie, i know you do consider each painting a love letter, and so they are... well said, and so happy you love the new pages, I must have channeled our buddy Cy... the scribbles just happened.. grin
and yes, she is a gift to us all... it made the perfect background... xoxo

Kim Andersen said...

What a journey! You are courageous to share your pain and mending. It is a promise for all of us.

Kim Andersen said...

What a journey! You are courageous to share your pain and mending. It is a promise for all of us.

Seth said...

Such an authentic blog post -- and that authenticity is something that I have come to treasure about you. So wonderful to be able to look back with you on your journey and transformation. And to see the impact that art can have. Simply beautiful.

Linda Vincent said...

Such wonderful wise words Cat.....and a total pleasure to see examples of your journals here again. You are a lovely lady.....I only wish I could meet you in person! xx

Anna said...

Beautiful journals! Thank you for baring you heart and soul with us. I honor your trust in us.

Caterina Giglio said...

Jayne, thank you and thanks for stopping by.. x

Caterina Giglio said...

Linda, thank you... so nice to have you stop by, I adored your beautiful heart... it was stunning..

Caterina Giglio said...

Laura, dear heart, thank you so much, sending much love your way as always! xo

Caterina Giglio said...

Dearest Lisa, oh my thank you, and the pages were just perfect, thanks for listening to that little voice inside you... and yes, we can change and it is good to be a lover... <3 <3 <3 always...xoxo

Caterina Giglio said...

Val, art does heal... it is so true and yes a powerful transformation... thank you for seeing it and for your kind remarks.. x

Caterina Giglio said...

neva, so true, spread by spread, month by month, year by year... i heart u back...

Caterina Giglio said...

Dear Pallas, my pain has healed ... but the memory of it remains, and the hole in the fabric of family remains... thank you for your kindness and understanding...

Caterina Giglio said...

Kim, thank you, I must admit, that I got cold feet a couple of times, but then thought that sharing my pain and process my just be what someone else needs... x

Caterina Giglio said...

And Seth, you have been there from the beginning. I do remember well, your very kind words to me in the comment section when I mentioned my brother's death in one of my first posts... thank you and thank you for your encouragement, it means so much...

Caterina Giglio said...

Linda ... we might be able to arrange that meeting in April... for a pint or a cuppa... and thank you so much dear heart, your kind words mean so much... xoxo

Caterina Giglio said...

Anna, thank you so much, not easy but so important I think ... no one escapes pain... but we can transform it.. x

Margie said...

It is such joy to see all of your beautiful journals ...
You create such beauty!

Thank you!
xo

Caterina Giglio said...

Margie, thank you so much and for always leaving such sweet comments! xo

lana kloch said...

so glad you encouraged us to see your journals.. omg ... i am left speechless...

watching you weather life's withering blows to unfurling the many layers of you and blossom through your art is transformative..

thank you for allowing us in on your journey through life...