Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A Year of Art Journaling

Ten Year Blogaversary

had it's share of challenges..

but it also had
great love.. adventure
lots of creativity..
as always ... gentle reader..
I will give you a month by month
of techniques, ingredients and a little synopsis ..

as usual 
I am 
 so astounded to see the body of work at the end of the year..
it feels like such an incredible accomplishment.. 
 not simply the creative work, piling up year after year
 I have clear illustrations of 
how I have grown spiritually and creatively..
my marks say
I have been here
and I have lived well..


As many of you know, I always begin the year with a self portrait..
It is always quick, 
and it allows me the opportunity to tune into my feelings about 
who I am and where I want to go..
It also creates a focus on how I am feeling about being an ancient artist..
it creates an understanding and acceptance with the aging process..

I found my kindergarten photo and had the idea of creating a 
"tongue in cheek" portrait of 
a before and after comparison..
and I loved the way it turned out..
My hair had just recently grown out enough to be completely white
and though shorter than I was used to..
I was tickled to see that it was still pokey...

Age is a blessing...  

Ingredients: Black gesso, acrylic paint, personal photo, paper ephemera, colored pencils, paint pens, washi tape.


My second tradition, for those who are new to my blog.. is a love letter that I write to myself every February as a remembrance
and a devotion to self love..

 I list all the things that I love about myself..
I don't know about you... 
I was not taught to love myself..
I was taught to love others..
but how do we accomplish that when we dislike or even worse...
 hate ourselves?
Writing this has become easier each year,
as I continue my practice..

Ingredients: Gesso, micro beads, acrylic paint, lace and fabric scraps, thread, paper ephemera, sheet rock joint tape, tissue paper.


I have always been obsessed by edges..
edges are everywhere..
and the ripped and torn papers
create the finest edges..

the shredded papers of March were inspired by the beach visit we took and I was transfixed by a row of shells along the beach and suddenly... 
began to create a collage in my mind's eye..
how one thing will spark creativity 
especially when it has no logical
relationship to the other..

I have been chewing on a few severed relationships in my life
this year, 
a couple over hatred,
 I will not tolerate  

so the pages represent
that turmoil
and the gentle weaving of a new beginning.

Ingredients: antique and vintage papers, mono prints, colored pencil, pencil, gel medium  


We have a short gardening season here..
sounds crazy I know, but Florida is not all palm trees and sea shells..
we actually live in a pine and live oak forest
and winter mornings can be quite chilly..

so.. when I get to spend time in the gardens,
I am present... 
and April pages reflect my gardening..

putting my fingers in the earth and communing with dragonflies
and crows..

Ingredients: Acrylic paints, vintage ephemera, tissue papers, colored pencils, pen and pencil.


Every month brings something new..
they all have their own

as the 5th month
I often find there are changes that take place..
and in May two of my friends
suffered the death of their husband..

It is excruciating to watch and be unable to 
really assist..
words are so ineffective..
so I put the feelings that I had.. my empathy
down on paper..

the little dots represent the holes in life
when one, anyone, 
we love, 
from this plane of consciousness to the next..

so many holes, 
too many to count really..

Ingredients:Black gesso and acrylic paint, paint pen, vintage ephemera, wrapping papers, colored pencil, pencil.


I am not a political artist..
I will leave that to others..
I think it is important to know who you are and what you want to express..
but in June, I documented what I called
civil war..
the nation's fabric being torn at the seams..
I felt it in my bones and skin..

the wretched being in the center..
our collective psyche..

Ingredients: Acrylic paint, antique book pages, antique ephemera.


The theme of July was estrangement..
and there are several threads on this spread..
representing more than one person
and different issues..

 suffice it to say..
that it is easier to love someone unconditionally when they are no longer
a part of your life..

and conversely..
distance is always an obstacle of healing..
and assistance.

Ingredients: Acrylic paint, antique papers, ephemera, wrapping papers, gel medium, pencil.


Reflection is always good..
and I spent some time in August writing beneath the images
about my personal responsibilities..

 about how I can become a better communicator..
which was not a learned skill in my family..

dots again..
this time representing sea foam, 
piling up at the end of the wave,
like thoughts on the shore..

the sea is always such a healing place..

Ingredients: Acrylic paint, pencil, graphite pencil, aquarelle graphite pencil, antique ephemer, tissue paper, metallic gelatos.


The worst part about aging is having lived through history..
watching history repeat itself..
and being unable to effect change

The simple illustrations are always the best..
sowing and reaping..
what goes around, comes around..

the silence of women..
those days are 

Ingredients: Gesso, Acrylic paint, antique papers, antique ephemera, tissue papers, wrapping papers, pencil.


There was magic afoot in October..
I could feel the changes coming..

like a dark cloud lifting and separating..
revealing some truth that had yet to be realized.

I suppose it had a lot to do with our adventurous upcoming trip,
but nature was simply singing to me..
swarms of dragonflies were in the yard and butterflies were too numerous to count..

I was content to listen to nature sing..

Ingredients: Antique book pages, transparency, mono prints, tissue paper, Acrylic paint, pencil.


It was a rough ride back from the continent..
two weeks of rough seas..
and grey skies..
like being tossed on wicked thoughts..
and I held onto the rails for balance

though there were many things that happened in November..
my pages had a mind of their own.. 

Ingredients: Black gesso, acrylic paint, metallic gelatos, colored pencil.


Cold mornings 
and grey days..

but my spirit was lighthearted as I searched for 
December is always a bricolage of wrapping papers and bits of ephemera, that 
always seems to pinpoint
my feelings..

the only thing that I was short of
 in December
 was time..

Ingredients: Acrylic paints, tissue paper, wrapping paper, antique prints, antique ephemera, antique lace, Caran D' Ache water-soluble crayons

And now dear readers,
January pages will be here soon,
and a new video this week, 
where I will take you into the studio 
and show you all my new work..
including a flip through of this journal..
and some paintings..

so much to do this year, 
it is really exciting..

As always, I am so grateful to you for 
reading and commenting and faithfully
following me..

I am simply..
gratefully yours..



tgarrett said...

Cat- thank you so much for all you do- I love seeing all your journal pages in this post-Your generosity knows no bounds. Thank you for your deep sharing. I look forward to another year of your art- blog posts videos. xo

froebelsternchen said...

AMAZING spreads! Wonderful!
Big congrats on your blogaversary!
Hope you will never stopp your wonderful blog Cat!

Hugs, Susi

Lynette (NZ) said...

Caterina - I love your art and your post here is superb. Gorgeous self-portrait. I loved your summary of the year and wish you lots of creative joy in 2019. Can't wait to see what you do next ♥

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I came back this afternoon to read each word and be guided through your year....thank you for sharing thoughts feelings observations and wisdom...yes, now January!

Linda Nelson said...


Claire said...

What a wonderful record of the year... February is my favourite spread :)

ELFI said...

le avant -apr├Ęs du mois de janvier est cruel :))))) biz

Teodo said...

Bellissimi! Grazie grazie.

Dorthe said...

Dear Cat , at last I had time to read through your year of happiness, sorrow, and all the other feelings belonging to beeing a human, with a sensitive heart, which you surely have. So amazing a post , giving us a tiny but generous part in your life, thoughts and feelings, of many kinds .
Thank you , I love your journal pages, and how and why they came to life !
Love to you my friend. Hugs, Dorthe

Caterina Giglio said...

Hi Terry, my dear friend, thank you so much, I am so glad you liked the post, and I so look forward to your encouragement and kind remarks! Hope all is well with you and dear Ron! xox

Caterina Giglio said...

Hi Susi... thank you dearheart!! It is quite an accomplishment!! I have to say!! xo

Caterina Giglio said...

Hi Lynette .. thank you so much and thanks for stopping by! So happy you enjoyed the post and Yes, on to my January self portrait!!

Caterina Giglio said...

Oh, my dear friend, Mary Ann, thank you so much for that kind comment! It was a pretty intense year, and I always appreciate your support! x

Caterina Giglio said...

Hi Linda, thank you so much!!

Caterina Giglio said...

Hi Clare, thank you so much, and I am partial to February myself!

Caterina Giglio said...

Oui, Oui, Elfi! Merci, Merci! xox

Caterina Giglio said...

Todo, Grazie mille per tua visita.. x

Caterina Giglio said...

Dear Dorthe, thank you for being my witness to my year ... it was quite emotional as you see and I am so touched that you made a point to read it all. Thank you so much, dear friend! Sending much love your way as always! xoxo

Miss Iowa said...

What a wonderful expression of your year, in art AND life. I admire the idea of doing a self-portrait every January, and your rendering is beautiful.

bettina said...

how lovely. 'inspiring' is a word so often used, I feel it doesn't carry the weight of its intention. your work is inspiring. Language is something I treasure. the written word. Or the sounds we may catch, that otherwise would go unrecognized. " I am an artist ". Those words, they carry a weight. Bc I've never written them, and certainly have not spoken. Until recently. I am an artist first and foremost because I recognize it. I devour it. I will look at a piece, like this journal; and turn back often to re-look. You've included your life, you've expressed in few words your gentleness and vulnerability and strength. A story of sorts. As a reader, a viewer of art, a listener of music and the sounds outside my window; I pay attention. I am pulled in. not only to art, but the crack in the sidewalk. the patina of the ...anything, really. Artists have made room for interpretation. That, I love. Rothko. Tarkofsky's polaroids. the sultry voice of Jivan Gasparyan's duduk; The interpretation, unknown, becomes a story we create for ourselves. Its my art too. Thats goes with your work as well I feel, yet with your journal you blend the artist and the art. This is you. You are sharing it. And in doing so, you offer an invitation. Right? You are exposing more than visual beauty. you add to it a story; yours. And there's a connection there, for someone like me anyway, that offers a connection for those who are struck by your prose; a communion. ..... sorry, I blather. I'm likely off target. I simply want to acknowledge that I was taken by the ways you used your art and words. here: https://youtu.be/r8SjbyFQ__A

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