Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Balance and Focus in Mixed Media

I hear it all the time..
mixed media artists complain.. 
usually in a jocular  manner,
with a funny meme..
that they have a million projects left undone..
that they don't know what to do next..

that if somebody tells you you have too many art supplies,
 ignore them, you don't need that kind of negativity....

Mixed Media painting, The Rain Makes my Hair Curly, Caterina Giglio

the jokes I think mask the 
true feelings..

 they feel unfocused..
or even paralyzed about all the choices
they have in mixed media..

there is sense of imbalance and lack of productivity.. 

I have even noticed
  a prejudice against mixed media artists,
 the impression is that we are all over the place
and lack direction 
and consistency..

so I have a few thoughts and tips to perhaps ease the 
dial in the focus,
and silence the critics..

both real and imagined..

1. Clean the Clutter

Have you ever found yourself working in the studio on a clean desk and by the time you finish the project, the desk is covered with papers, paint, tools and debris, and your work space is a little tiny corner of the table?
Of course you have..
well... studios are just like that..

Artists are natural magpies. We love the odd bits, the small pieces of twine, the stones, and feathers, but when it all takes over, it becomes less of a shrine and more of a disability.
So rotate your things, put all product on shelves, 
keep your art tables as open as possible for working space, and have product available on a caddy or rolling cart... in close proximity in some way.
Cleaning the studio is a weird way of engaging your muse..
but it always works
and I find she likes nothing better than a clean space to create chaos..
the universe abhors a vacuum..
trust me it will be filled soon..

Mary shrine, Caterina Giglio

2. Make Notes

While you clean, destash, or organize, ideas will begin to come to you. I keep a notebook in my studio for this and I jot the ideas down in my book. I often come up with great inspirations when I am working on a deadline or a new collection.. 
and rather than stop, I just make notes
in my book to remember later what I want to create in the future. 
Capturing ideas will help free the mind, assist focus and allow the opportunity to finish the current project. 

Mixed Media painting, French Angel, Caterina Giglio

3. Set Priorities 

Figuring out what comes first and what takes priority is easy when I am in the studio, because so many things are on deadlines. 
Articles, shows, even my art journal is a monthly journal.
If you do not have deadlines,

 create them .. 

Make a journal and get a spread done daily, weekly or monthly. Set dates and try to finish projects by a certain time. 
Priority setting is a tool for balance and everyone can use it.
Using a priority on projects will build a sense of accomplishment with each creation, and accomplishment fuels direction.

 Many have a misconception that art is simply fun and we just play all day, it IS that but it is also work, it is simply that we LOVE our work..

Mini Concertina books, Caterina Giglio

4. Limit Social Media

Let me add email and texts to this list. I check my emails three times a day. I limit texts to information, and I set work times in the studio. Taking breaks for a cuppa and to check in on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest is just like being at work on a real job, because it IS a real job,
and when we treat it that way, we maintain a sense of balance and consistency 
which is always good for creativity. 
It is when we show up
in the studio and work
that the inspiration flows..

While Social Media can inspire us, it can also inflame, and upset us, so limiting it is necessary for 
creative health and well being..

Assemblage, Wish You Were Here, Caterina Giglio

5. Set Rules on Buying Product

I spent most of my life in retail. I was a store manager, corporate trainer and merchandiser. I have seen many products and styles come and go.. so it is easy for me to watch the latest and greatest pass by. Let's face it, there are no end to products in art. Crackle Paints, Gelli Plates, Stencils, Gelatos, the list goes on and on, and they will be replaced by the new and better. 
I love using new products, but I set limits on buying them. Once a month, once a quarter, every 6 months. It really depends on the budget. 

Having too many products can be paralyzing, and smothers the creativity. 
The muse is childlike and using a new product on occasion is a regenerative treat.

Mixed media painting, Caterina Giglio

6. Cripple the Critics

I became a mixed media artist, 
because I was frankly  BORED with painting. I had been using watercolor, acrylics and colored pencil all my life..
I have been painting and drawing as long as I can remember.
 I wanted to find a new way to express myself. As I create books and work with fabrics, I find my enthusiasm and creativity expands. 
When the inner critic begins to nag, allow the muse full play.. the critic wants chaos, boredom and inactivity...
the critic is a liar, you can do it..

 the muse just wants to throw paint on paper.. 
build textures,

let her..

The critics that want everyone to decide on a label... 
painter, sculptor, book maker, are simply
unable to cope with a remote control, AI world. We are not the ones out of touch.
They are.
We are not all over the place.. we are in the 

Art is no longer simple..
it is complex, multidimensional, multidisciplinary and fuses many media
and products.. we simply have to use the keys to set direction... 


imagine how excited
Leonardo Da Vinci would be
to be an artist in this age..


Friday, October 13, 2017

Ribbon Tied, Handmade Journal

 dear readers..
and gentle viewers.

I had a great desire to create a journal 
in a squarish format
that was not stitched with
waxed linen..

as I was going to sleep

one night
I came up with this idea..
I seem to create... 
even in my sleep..

if I plasticized the page enough,
I could use ribbon or 
some kind of fabric to make a sweet little
themed journal..



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Les Jardin De Amants-Part 2

Imagine ..
gentle readers..
my surprise

when I returned to Fort Collins
to do my show last 
and discovered that several of my
unframed pieces
my French Paper Series
were unsold...

and languishing ....

tears and sadness..

considering that
they are my most popular collection

Caterina Giglio, Jardin Mosaic, Italian Collage

so I was very excited to bring them home..

and I have been working..

Caterina Giglio, No. 31, The French Paper Series

to mount them..

on boards..

is the first one to be mounted..

Caterina Giglio, Rustica, The French Paper Series

I will ship them back to
142 Bis Gallerie
for our
Holiday Show..

and will list them in the Gallerie
site on my blog..

Caterina Giglio, Carnaval Fleur

So I am delighted to offer them..

Vintage Fleur, Italian Collage

once again for sale..
Since they are some of my favorites and some
great examples of Italian Collage..

The fine layers of Italian Collage, Floating, from The French Paper Series

As soon as they arrive for the holiday show
I will let you know..

I am also prepping
for a new video..

they take 2 -3 days of work
and I have learned not to rush it..

October pages are being worked..
as well as a few paintings..

and another concertina book..

there is no rest.. 
for the.. 


Ciao, Ciao!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

September Art Journal Pages

How do you illustrate 

I had about a million ideas
swirling around in my mind...

and when that happens..

when my monkey mind starts up
I know it is usually time to just start 

with a meditative process that 
shuts down the chatter..

and listens...
to the deep stillness
that knows...

If you watched my last YT video,
then you know that I collaged and decollaged both pages
with a newsprint magazine,

to watch the video, 
just scroll down to the last post

I ripped up the pages and glued and tore
them back and you can still see the print below
in the center of the hurricane..

I forgot to mention that I used my torn handmade paper
technique for the body of the hurricane in the center..

the white papers below..
that create the circle...

 what is with all the little butterflies?

Ingredients: Collage and Decollage, acrylic paint, watercolor pencils, handmade papers, paper ephemera, Liquitex paint pens, pencil.

They followed us on our journey..
from our evacuation
and all the way home..

and we felt comforted by so many
tiny messengers of


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Creating Texture with Mixed Media

dear hearts...

It has been absolutely ages 
since I posted a video..
weather has kept us busy..

so I hope you enjoy this video 
My Favorite Mixed Media Backgrounds Part 3

I decided to concentrate on 

let me know what you think!


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Autumn in the Garden

this morning 
I took my coffee outside to 
enjoy the birdsong
and sit near my 
little garden..

my petunias are 
in love with fall..

"Flowers lift the spirit and refresh the soul."
M. Lever

and I thought I would capture some shots of
the dew covered garden..

to share with you

gentle reader..

my little garden is one place
where serenity

"If you've never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden."
Robert Brault

I used to struggle in the winter..

to maintain a kind of summer 
in my heart..

"One of the healthiest ways to gamble is with a spade and package of garden seeds."
Dan Bennett

in my mind's eye..
I always visualized working in my
gardens, planting seeds, like new ideas 

and quietly watching over them
grow.. grow.. grow...

Now I live in a place where I garden all winter and take a break in the 

completely backwards..
but I am getting used to it..

Early mornings 
I think
 are the best times to

enjoy the garden, 
the birds are waking, calling, eating..

"Let's plant our dreams in this garden and entwine ourselves like vines!"


the dew has just puddled 

 forming large liquid diamonds..

and before the sun crests the trees..

 I can still hear the crickets..

But with the sun's rise
 the dragonflies and butterflies warm 
and begin their dance
of joy..

"I have found, through years of practice, that people garden
 in order to make something grow;
to interact with nature;
to share,
to heal,
to honor the earth, to leave a mark.
Through gardening, 
we feel whole as we make our personal work 
of art 
upon the land."
-Julie Moir Messervy

so I am pondering
which seeds in myself 
that I will grow
this winter..

and what shall 
grow into?

Ciao, ciao...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

August Art Journal Pages

that is what I was trying to capture..

August was a lovely month..
with travel and family visits..

a trip to San Diego
and lots of time at our pool..

it was blissful...

so I wanted to create that feeling of bliss
on my page,
and the star of the skies aligning
with the stars of the 


There was time to relax...
catch up..
take a deep breath..
and visit with family.

it wasn't until the end of the month,
that we became wary..

in the writing above, 
I am urging Irma to go out to sea..

Ingredients: gesso, acrylic paint, antique ephemera, personal photos, graphite pencil, walnut ink, watercolors, molding paste, pencil, pen and ink.

but alas,
that was not meant to be..

I am working on 
September pages right now..

and experimenting 
with watercolors and paper clay..

and mounting some works on board..
for Bis Gallerie
Les Jardin des Amants..
I found some pieces that were unframed 
in May..
but ..
that is a story for another 


Ciao, ciao!

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