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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Notes on the Art Life

As artists
we are always
emerging and learning, 
we never really arrive... 
we are always becoming..

so, today I offer these tips humbly 
dear reader..

we start with the evil inner critic..

1. Learn to Silence your Inner Critic- I used a capital S because this is really important if you are going to create anything..  do not diminish yourself or your art, (mentally or verbally) you will improve and as you do, when you look back on your work, you will see disparity between where you were and where you are, that will only continue, IF you keep working... 
so deal with it.. 
there are a million books about silencing the critic..
I simply listen to my critic and then I do exactly what she doesn't want me to do..
and I usually stick my tongue out at her when I do it!!

2. Be Yourself- listen to your own inner voice, reject popularity and follow wherever your muse leads, if that also happens to be in the mainstream, so be it, but allow your muse to have her way with you and no body gets hurt! Suffering as an artist comes with always doing what is expected... being pigeon holed....
no matter who you are, you have a unique voice, style and artistic attitude. 

3. Don't Compete- Comparisons are definitely odious and they murder creativity. Being jealous of another artist is artistic suicide. The universe is abundant, and there is room for everyone to succeed. Gardeners have a saying..  "nothing blooms all year" everyone has their time in the sun, and art is not a competition.. 

4. Working VS Creating- if you have to work at a job in order to finance your beginning or budding art career, make sure you love what you do. Picasso said, "Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time" 
Find a job that you love, in my case I worked as an antiques dealer and sold my art and the beautiful things I loved, holding pop up sales and having the time of my life.. do something you love and that love will be reflected in your work..

5. Do Not Wait For Inspiration- just do it.. get up each day and hit the studio, work at it, play with it allow whatever happens to happen, release agendas, and just go make cool stuff.. When your mojo is gone, that is an indication that you need to PLAY ... you cannot find what you are looking for when you think it is lost..

6. Keep Learning- if you like classes, take one, but keep learning, experiment, try new things, new products... my favorite question in the studio is ... " I wonder what would happen if I did this---?
be a mad artistic scientist... good things happen when we suspend judgment and expectations..

7. Network and Reach out -  Associate with other artists.. the days of isolation in the studio are long gone, it used to be so lonely to be a studio artist, finding your tribe is so important, learn and share, cheerlead and encourage, what you give out has a way of coming back to you..

and that last point leads us to 
someone who has been a friend to me...
another artist..
Pamela Gerard

she sent me these fabulous antique images of butterflies
and stamps..

and if you stop by her blog, please tell her I sent you..

introduce yourself and make a new friend..
but be warned..
she believes in 

we are at ciao for now..

and I am off on another holiday..

and will hopefully have some lovely photos for you when I return ...

Thank you 
for your kind readership..
your subscriptions..
and your comments..

you are much appreciated..


Saturday, August 19, 2017

5 Steps to Creating a Successful Mixed Media Collage

Here is a little video
on some of my
for creating a successful mixed media collage..

of course there are so many things 
that contribute to successful work..

I would love to take longer to 
talk about why a piece is successful..

but here are my quick thoughts..
to elaborate on the video..

1. Texture, texture, texture
2. Main image or focal point- composition
3. Small conversation
4 Large conversation
5. Unification

to clarify,
Texture can be achieved in a million different ways..
The main image or the focal point of the collage can be small, but the composition 
must be cohesive..
The small and large conversation can be as simple as small and large print..
or small and large detail.. the large conversation is seeing the basic composition 
from far away and as you get closer there is interest that holds your attention..

finally.. unification ties the piece together, brings all the different elements into focus, and can be done with color, paint, or similar elements..

Have a spectacular weekend 
gentle viewers..


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mixed Media- Life is in the Details

The little conversation..

I have said it before..
it is really all in the details..
I call it the little conversation..

The big conversation..
for me is always about love

In my work, texture represents 
the layers of complexity in relationship..
with myself, and others.

and in light of what happened in 
I wanted to express to you
my feelings about my art 

every piece I create has a thought about someone ..
or a feeling about myself or others..
each layer is a devotion to working out
issues, inconsistencies, or simply documenting
what is..
my intention is to be a witness..
documenting the holiness of life

It all ties together perfectly..
I love what I create and I create love..
love of nature..

these are sneaky peeks 
that I am sending to Somerset Studio..

love of relationships
love of creation..

in addition to the layers
I wanted to create..

love of beauty..
Love of life...

the fragility of winged creatures..
and to show

of kindness..

and mirror our own fragility..
to see through the wings..

Which is a religion to me...
Never let anyone tell you that kindness is not enough..

to the layers below..
the words, 
the issues,
the trauma,

that love does not conquer evil..

 love is more powerful than hate..
Love always wins..
Love will find a way..

and reveals
a bigger picture..
of freedom..
and flight,
playing out in the

as we go about our week,
speaking kindness,
cheering on others,
celebrating successes,
opening doors for people with strollers,
buying a coffee for the next person in line..

and feeling our hearts expanding in love of life..

know without a doubt,
dear reader,
 that your loving kindness
is the stuff that wears down mountains of hate,
builds bridges..
and changes 
subtly, softly..
but change, 
it does.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

July Art Journal Pages

It's a matter of the heart..
gentle reader..

I know I have shared with you

my family... 

"A Matter of the Heart, Detail, Caterina Giglio

have heart issues..
and last month

we were on pins and needles..
waiting to hear..

 how my Auntie
was doing after her
heart surgery...

I was on
pins and needles..
literally and metaphorically..

Textile Art, "A Matter of the Heart" July Art Journal page, Caterina Giglio

so my documentation
was about this family issue.. 

Congestive Heart Disease

Writing under and over the page, wrapping paper and pen, Art Journal page, Caterina Giglio.

and in my pages, 
I wanted to express

the frayed heart..

Detail from, "A Matter of the Heart" July Art Journal page, Caterina Giglio

being stitched back together..

Textile art, Caterina Giglio

They have done so much work on her..

but ..
it also illustrates

Detail from, "A Matter of the Heart" July Art Journal page, Caterina Giglio

the family heart,
my heart,
waiting to hear..
wondering how it is going..

Ripping the fabric, 
washing it..
drying it,
and stitching it up..
ironing it..
stretching it..
pulling out threads..
was meditative ..
and soothing..

because art does heal..

Ingredients: acrylic paint, pencil, pen, wrapping papers, book pages, fabric, upholstery threads, lace, safety pins, cheese cloth.

July Art Journal Pages, Caterina Giglio 

even broken hearts..

I will say Ciao for now..

and I will be back here next Tuesday..
thanks always for following..


Friday, August 4, 2017

My Art Journaling Process -Part 4

dear readers and viewers..
I have the last segment of my series..

My Art Journaling Process

and I am sharing my pages as illustrations 

to my last step in my 3 part process..

My process is, 

Listen and Let Go
Pay Attention

By Pay Attention, 
I refer to taking stock of what I have created
and reading a larger story..

something even bigger than what I had originally intended might 
be revealed to me..
the muse speaks in symbol..

and those symbols may magically appear or take on a different format
size or shape..

if you want to see the whole series just use the link on my side bar..

Thanks so much for stopping by..
I am so very grateful..

hope you all have a beautiful weekend..


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Cardboard Book and What it's Like Being an Artist

What is it like?
to be an artist..
I was asked that once in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean

and I shrugged it off,
by laughing..
"How much time do you have?"

I mean where do I start?
there are so many things
that set us apart ...

I thought about that last week as I was 
stitching together 
my cardboard book,

I ordered a single book from Amazon
and it arrived in one of those 
cardboard box dealios..

you know what I mean..

cardboard wrapped around the book..
and when I looked at the remains of the cardboard..
after I enthusiastically ripped it open to free my book...

I thought, 
I could cut the flaps and make a great book
out of it..

and I realized that that is what it is really like to be an artist..

at least, it is my experience, 
but I know I am not alone..

Cardboard book in process, stitching signatures, Caterina Giglio

I see possibility everywhere..
even in
 trash and debris..

I am definitely an up cycler..
recycling is my nature..

Old lost buttons find their way to my

a onesie, scrubbed clean
serving well..

It is so rewarding to 

Cardboard book, with jute closure, Caterina Giglio

something from nothing..

Hand stitched mixed media book, Caterina Giglio

making beautiful pages
from turmeric..

and images from onion skins...

Hand dyed pages, onion skin and avocado, Caterina Giglio  

using up

bits and pieces of string
and upholstery threads...

Onion dyed page in Cardboard book, Caterina Giglio  

and the more things I create,
the more ideas
I seem to have..
it is an endless flow..

one idea gives birth to another..

For me,
being an artist is freedom..
freedom to create whatever I want..
experiment and try new things..

and speak authentically..

Cardboard book, mixed media, Caterina Giglio

off to the studio..
I am working on my journal pages
and Part 4 of my Art Journaling Process
for filming this week..

thank you, gentle readers...


Friday, July 28, 2017

My Art Journaling Process- Part 3

Each month I work on my
art journal pages..

for me, it is a spiritual practice,
it is a way of practicing the art of letting go..
surrendering and
releasing my control of the way I want my art to look..
to be..

and allowing the broader aspect of me..

to design,

so I gather the materials that appeal to me..
and then listen..
which ones shall I use..?

If I listen...
 it works perfectly..
if I am in control..
it doesn't..

Month in and month out, 
I practice..

Thanks for watching..
and have a magnificent weekend..