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...



Carol Leigh said...

It takes such strength and bravery to reveal yourself the way you do. Thank you for the gift of your openness and generosity — both personally and artistically..

Angela Sopranzi said...

As usual a delight to see and read...thank you for sharing!

Randi Kuhne said...

You express yourself so well artistically and verbally. It’s always a treat to read your posts!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing! I enjoyed looking at your pages so much.

ELFI said...

un livre de vie... passé .. et à vivre encore.. avec une sensibilité hors pair ..magnifique! bises

Claire said...

wow! what a thing of Beauty to be treasured! just GORGEOUS! thank you xx

Hastypearl said...

I respect you for your consistency. To say that you have done the same journaling over and over is remarkable. Love you for that...🌻Laura

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

A good year well lived is the best goal along with the courage to express it all in the beauty of art...so well done Caterina!

Caterina Giglio said...

Hi Carol, thank you so much, my bravery has increased over the years with so much kind reinforcements by my dear readers. Thank you for being one of them and for taking the time to leave a comment and stop by, it means so much to me!

Caterina Giglio said...

Thank you, Angela, so glad you enjoyed the tour. x

Caterina Giglio said...

Oh my dear friend, Randi, you are so kind! xo

Caterina Giglio said...

Katherine, thank you so very much for reading through and stopping by, I greatly appreciate it!

Caterina Giglio said...

Oh, mon cher Elfi, merci beaucoup, et merci de votre visite. bises!

Caterina Giglio said...

Hi Claire, thank you so very much!!

Caterina Giglio said...

Hi Laura, dear Hasty Pearl, it is a spiritual practice for me, and connects me to the years past. In this way, I look back and with on spread, I remember exactly what happened for that month and how I felt. So it is also a way to remind me of my really incredible life. xo

Caterina Giglio said...

Mary Ann, dearheart, that means so very much to me... x

susan hemann said...

such a wonderful journal/diary! thank you for sharing
this past year I let my gray hair come forth, it is a shock, every time I look in a mirror I want to go buy a hair coloring kit

CAWeStruck said...

Caterina, your pages are inspired! I, too, consider art a spiritual practice. Thank you for sharing snippets of your methods (who could possibly share them all?) and thoughts throughout a year of your incredible life.

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