Tuesday, February 4, 2020

12 Months of Art Journaling

In 2007 I created my first art Journal..
Until that time, I had been content to write my 
morning pages
I realized that I kept drawing on top of the
writing and doodling in the free space..
and so I thought that I might
find a way to 
write and create visually..

It has been many years
and my devotion to the illustrated 
journal has only grown...

now I only have to look at an image that I created and it brings back all of the
emotion, the circumstances and issues
that were playing out in my life.


I always create my self portrait in January, and this year, I journaled about aging and my thoughts about it. I am comfortable with being old. It had taken me a couple of years to allow my hair to grow in white, as I had been coloring it since I was in my mid thirties. To say it was a challenge is an understatement. You would not think that hair could be such a powerful thing, or so important, but try loosing it and then tell me it is insignificant.
My portrait is unvarnished, and I am simply waiting for what the new year will bring...

Ingredients: Black and White gesso, metallic Derwent pencils, stencils, colored pencils and china marker.


It is also my tradition to write myself a love letter every February. I believe that all love begins with self love and I can only love another to the degree that I love myself. Each February I begin by writing all the things that I love about myself. I write about the things that I wanted to accomplish and congratulate myself on those things that I created. Spiritually, artistically, personally, I think it is important to recognize my accomplishments. 

Ingredients: Mono prints on fabric, stitches, collage, acrylic paints, gesso, color pencil, pencil, antique ephemera.


The garden takes over each March, both in terms of time and attention. I spend almost every morning out in the garden and I have it on my mind as I sleep each night. We have a tiny window for real gardening here in central Florida and I don't waste a minute of it. I miss real gardening and what we have here due to extremes in temperature is a poor substitute. Still, I make the most of it.

Ingredients: Acrylic paints, stencils, stencils on tissue paper, antique ephemera.


 In April and I was still gardening, still feeling a sense of joy and loving seeing my efforts pay off in the form of flowers, when I developed a small health issue. As I finished my pages, I realized that I had chosen an antique prescription to collage into my April pages and had to laugh at the synchronicity of it all.

Ingredients: Acrylic Paints, glazing medium, handmade papers, lace, antique ephemera.


Was a very busy and hectic month. We had my EXCAVATIONS show and my Book Covers class in Fort Collins, CO. I was trying to make ends meet and finish all my work before the deadline. This spread is a mirror of the ripped and torn work and the inspiration, that I was taking into the show.
The manipulation of papers by shredding and ripping and then rearranging the layers to show movement and form has become a focal point in my art. I view paper as the ubiquitousness of our lives, it is the ordinary and discarded, and once softened, it molds into a forgiving texture, a subtle awakening, a new story.

Ingredients: Mono prints on old book pages, antique papers, mono prints on parchment paper.


Climbing mountains was what came to me as I finished my June Spread. I felt as though I was traversing large obstacles and wanted free time to simply do whatever I wanted to do. Freedom seems to be a word that comes up for me more than ever before. 

Ingredients: Mono prints on book pages, paper manipulations, acrylic paints 


I remember how surprised I was to see the clouds develop on these blue skies.. I cobbled them together with bits and shreds of fabric, paper and lace and I still love the fanciful way they turned out. 

Ingredients: Acrylic paint, glazing medium, cloth, fabric bits, hand made papers lace, old crochet snippets, thread.


In late summer we had a situation that arose with my Father in law. He had fallen and had been unconscious for some time. He recovered and went into rehab, but his mind was no longer capable of handling the decisions of day to day life. If you have had to deal with such issues, then you understand how traumatic it is. There are many hydra headed issues that accompany guardianship and  not the least of which for us was continued travel. 

The tree stands still
like truth, old and gnarled..
but beautiful in age.  

Ingredients: Personal photo, manipulated color copy and transfer on paper, acrylic ink on torn book pages.


My pages reflect the beauty that I found in our travels to Denmark and visiting my friend Kirsten's beautiful property. Though it was autumn, the garden was still holding on to the last languid beauty of summer and the light that sparkled down filtered through the trees was magical. I tried to capture the feeling and the golden light.. 

Ingredients: Acrylic paints, papers, tissue papers, art sticks, metallic pencils, gold leafing.


I was missing the beach. 
It seems a silly thing to miss, but we normally make a quick trip down to the water's edge to dip toes and allow the rhythm of the waves to drown out the nagging of normal life.
I was also feeling a bit tossed about.
I had several things that I wanted to accomplish and goals that I was not reaching and I needed to let it all go. 

Ingredients: Acrylic paints, china marker, paper ephemera, old crochet pieces, tissue papers.


As the holidays approached, I found that I was no where near ready. I had run out of time and I was faced with letting go of my expectations for certain goals and standards that I normally meet each year. This spread is the illustration of just that release. I collaged the page and then ripped back and continued until I had the bare rough pages and then finally... I painted the spread. 
Using gold as a color this year in so many spreads, I felt as though I was using it as standard that I kept trying to meet or find.

Ingredients: Acrylic paint


There is a place in my heart that I always try to capture every holiday season. Perhaps it doesn't really exist, but I search for it. We try ever so hard to recreate it, and this spread epitomizes it for me. A happy group of people skating and enjoying the snowy afternoon. It isn't a real memory.. it is an elusive feeling of love, of home, of belonging.
I have the sense that it is a universal longing and that I am not alone in my desire to create 
that sense of place.

Ingredients: Paper ephemera

As always, 
kind viewer
I am most grateful to you for your readership
and constant support...

Ciao, ciao!


Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I think April was one of my favorite spreads this year. I was sorry to read you had a health issue, though. I loved the lace, which was so ephemeral.

I enjoyed your take on June. I felt that way in November. I too was pushing boulders and getting nowhere. Still running behind most of the time. Love yours, though.

July surprised me. It turned out great, but was SO unexpected. Sorry to read about your father in law. Such sad news for August.

I loved September and envisioned looking down on that house and garden from outer space. It was magical to me.

December was another favorite because I love that technique of ripping away the outside to find what lies within. It has a lovely vintage feel to it..

Randi Kuhne said...

All so beautiful!

Caterina Giglio said...

Hi Dr. E, Thank you so very much for all your kind remarks, I know you have been following my art journaling process from the beginning, So you must be noticing that it is more and more abstract, At first I was a bit surprised, but I think I am working on the EMOTION of what happened each month rather than try to express in image. Thanks always for your kind support! X

Caterina Giglio said...

Thank You my sweet friend, Randi xoxo

Follow by Email