Catonsville resident Nina Lagervall, an artist and close friend who organized the show, described Cerrato as having an "eye for color" and said her work is "experimental."

"It's not traditional. It's very free form. It's very energetic," she said. ""I liked that she was taking chances. And using some cast off materials and experimenting with different papers and paint.

"It's refreshing to see somebody doing something different," Lagervall said.

Cerrato still describes herself as a "free spirit," who does what feels good to her in the moment .

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"There are many things I'm working on," said Cerrato, who has written five stories for children's books.

"So if you think that just because I am 51 that I know where I am going, I do not," she said. "I want to keep on being very grateful and aware of how lucky I am.

"I am looking for ways to enjoy my life as best I can with what I have, but I don't know where my life is going to be," she said.

Cerrato said she does not know if she will stay in the States or eventually move back to Italy.

"I am not certain of anything," she said. "I mean, I do like vanilla ice cream and mango -- but I do not have certainties in my life.

"I do know that I love colors and I love my husband," she said.