Healing Art

I want to tell you how art can be a healer.

Everyone has ups and downs, and from time to time I experience agonizingly long downs.

I had such an emotional slump during a post Covid period of almost 6 months in 2022. I found I was unable to do any art and took no joy in anything. I was fatigued, sleepy, hopeless, and everything looked meaningless. Professional help and the support of family and friends were helping me, but the emotional agony continued.

One day, I decided to take a blank beer mat and draw a face.


Such a small piece of cardboard did not present an overwhelming task, and I was able to complete a face and colour it in a couple of days. I decided to try to do one mat a day.

Soon I was doing several a day, and then I graduated to larger paper. Little by little I increased the size of my drawings and increased the number of colours I was using. I added pastels and some acrylic paint. But mostly, I depended on pen and ink to calm and comfort myself.


I began to give away my original mats to friends by making greeting cards. Then one day my friend Lisa stopped me. “I refuse to take your original. Go have prints made and I will buy one.” So I did.

Thus Whimsical Women was born, and it was time to bring them out into the world. Although creating collages, jewellery, and acrylic/fabric mixed media canvases for my own enjoyment (and that of a few friends), I had never officially “shown” my art until 12 November 2022 at the Cork Unitarian Church. All profits after expenses were given to the church.

These drawings in mixed media of ink, pastel, coloured pencil, and some acrylic paint are the fruit of years of study on my own. They are also an acknowledgement of the encouragement of my father, architect James A. Giglio of Atlanta, Georgia, who allowed me to first to play with all his art supplies and later water colour the backgrounds of his architectural renderings.

James Anthony Giglio in 1929

I learned to respect the nature of materials from my father, and learned the joys of black and white pen and ink drawing for years; all combine in the whole of my artistic style.

Through exploring the kaleidoscopic emotions felt by women, the show Whimsical Women was ART and OUTREACH and THERAPY.

My dear friend Joe Dunne made this lovely video of the show, which was opened by Lord Mayor Diedre Ford, the Reverend Mike O’Sullivan, and the flute quartet Hifilutin and adult flute ensemble Flute Café.

Whimsical Women video by Joe Dunne