Tuesday, February 26, 2019

February Art Journal Pages

Writing a love letter to myself
each February
began years ago in 2008
when I first put paint brush to altered book..

It is a tradition that I look forward to each year..
writing about the things that I do, say and think
I really appreciate..

This year however..

I had a new twist to journal about..

I have always identified with being Italian American..
because I was so close to my father's family..
and because my mother and I had been estranged for so may years..
not uncommon in families with 

My Mother always claimed to be Irish..

She even gave her youngest son an Irish name..
and well she was beautiful, 
with red hair, freckles and blue eyes..

fast forward 
to Ancestry and DNA testing..

and suddenly 
I am not half Irish, but German and English
What a surprise..
not an Irish scalawag in the lot..

I knew I had an English grandfather that I never met..
(lots of secrets on that side of the family..
that we won't go into here today..)

but I was too young to remember my maternal great grandmother..

My Mother.. 

I can understand her changing her heritage during WW2..
I get that part, it would have made high school very difficult..
and small town living,

but to keep the story going all those years later..

that is so my 

No matter where my DNA originated..
I am happy to be the woman that I am..

So I gessoed and painted and painted some more 
and scrubbed back the layers to reveal the orange paint underneath.. to show the past..
and used the letters...
to emphasize 
the power of the written word..
to manifest what we truly want to create..

Ingredients: Stitched Mono Prints, threads, acrylic paint, colored pencils, pencil, paper ephemera, antique envelopes, wrapping papers, pen.

So gentle reader,
I will have the second half of that 
Mono Printing video for you on Friday..

we will be printing on large cloth,
and boards..

so I will see you then
dear ones..



Don said...

Well done, as usual. Honest and soul searching.

ELFI said...

ah... la famille! moi aussi je suis multinational...multiracial... :)))
mais on peint! bises

Zom said...

Love and blessings to you dear Caterina, that must be quite a shock.

Hastypearl said...

DNA searches are turning many of us on our ears! My sister still insists that we are ______, because my grandmother said so! I love history and heritage as much as anyone but for me, I’m just going with what I am, today. A woman, making her way and doing the best I can to not just pass on ancestry, but integrity and values to my sons.
And of COURSE, you found orange underneath! It’s the Best if treasures to be found!­čî╗­čî╗Lauraxo

Unknown said...

I had my DNA done last year because our Mum, who was an absolute Darling, was brought up in Dr Barnados Homes in England after being born illegitimately in 1915. There are no records of her early years and on her birth certificate it says 'father unknown'. We had good heritage knowledge from Dad's side in Wales and wanted to fill in the missing gaps. Although I was happy to get some identity markers, it would be nicer to know something of her actual family. Family is so important isn't it?

Randi Kuhne said...

Love your journal post and the twists and turns of your journey. What a beautiful layout - love the blues!

sharon said...

It may have been important to you what you identified yourself as, but to me, and I am sure many of us, you are the beautiful, talented, artistic, creative, kind, compassionate, and caring soul and friend we have come to know over the years, and that's what we identify, not a nationality. We don't see that. We love you.

Dorthe said...

Dear Cat, I had the feeling , when commenting this earlier today !!
yes must have been a chock for you, - and yes a strange thing , you were never told the real story from your mother ,- but you, are still you, and nothing changes that. Now you have more to investigate I guess, I hope you find love and kindness if searching more . Hugs <3 <3 <3 -

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I've had one of those DNA test kits for over a year, and have not bothered sending off to learn my fate. I know for a fact both my grandparents on my mother's side were British. I have no idea about anyone on my father's side because he died before I was born. It's certainly nice to finally learn the secrets that unlock your DNA, but you are truly YOU and no one can take that away from you. I love this latest yearly letter to yourself.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

This is lovely...colors muted soft blue with a pop of red...shapes perfect.
Oh, DNA research tells the family tales. I sent my sample expecting the family story of Norwegian and Irish....wowow! I just knew there was more...Besides Russian, English...Iberian-Peninsula/Morocco stood out. We are a mix of this great earth! Love, sorrow and secrets...what stories in the weave.

Marianne Goodrich said...

Thank you, Caterina, for the precious gift of your candour. We love your dear heart as well as your art. Last year I met my sister for the first time and a brother I'd only seen twice - how lucky am I? This all came about from their respective Ancestry DNA tests. We three consider ourselves very fortunate that we were raised by our adoptive parents, and concentrate on the miracle that we came into this world so long ago and have found each other. Our circumstances of origin no longer matter to us - we are who we are. Much love to you, dear Cat...you give us so much. xoxo

Caterina Giglio said...

Don, thank you dearheart! xox

Caterina Giglio said...

Bon Jour Elfi! Tellement vrai, nous appartenons tous les uns aux autres, et oui nous peignons !! xox

Caterina Giglio said...

Hi Zom, yes it was quite a surprise, and I am still rethinking things, thanks for your support! x

Caterina Giglio said...

Hi Laura, yes I completely agree, but it still has me rethinking everything I thought about myself! x

Caterina Giglio said...

Bonnie, yes! family is important, I so agree. We long for connection and knowing who were are and where we came from gives us such rich texture to use in this life. I am very happy to know my Italian heritage, and that is what I will lean on. Wonderful that you were able to get some markers, but connecting would be so very nice!! Thanks for your lovely comment and for sharing with me! x

Caterina Giglio said...

Hi Randi, thank you, I like the blues too.. indicative of what I was feeling.. Paynes Grey! xo

Caterina Giglio said...

Oh!! Sharon, thank you my dear friend, you are so very kind and loving!! Sending you very big hugs!! xoxo

Caterina Giglio said...

Thank you dear Dorthe, and yes you are so right!! I am still me, and I will focus on that!! xxooxxoo

Caterina Giglio said...

Hi Dr. E, thank you so much, I truly appreciate that my sweet friend. I will concentrate on that.. I am me and I now have new things to discover!! x

Caterina Giglio said...

Ah! Mary Ann, aren't we just that? a mix of everything and everyone.. ? All the crayons in the box really!! Thanks for sharing and understanding! I so appreciate it! x

Caterina Giglio said...

Marianne, how wonderful to find family! My husband found family too and that is simply wonderful. I so appreciate your very kind words. Thank you for your love and I send it right back to you!! xoxo

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