Patti Edmon Altered Attic: Sisters

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Two months ago today, my lovely Aunt Grey (on the left) passed away. A second mother to me, she was also a very close and special sister and friend to my wonderful mother (right), who was the baby sister in a family of five children raised in rural southern Alabama, where my parents, one remaining aunt and a host of relatives and friends are braving tropical storm Fay to attend her interment. I so wish I could be there, but having children in school prevented us from making the trip.
A few days after she passed, I needed to channel my grief at the art table, blend it with memory, layer with love and hope and as with all life situations, try to create beauty from pain. I am a member of Paper Imagery Designs had at the time the weekly challenge was black and white, which was how I started the project, though I soon realized my desire to create something to honor the love and kinship that exists in my family. 
I have never tried to work in black and white before, aside from photography, and at first found it very challenging. The call for black and white entries at Somerset had been published too, but I don't feel quite up to that level; it was, however, a good incentive to continue the exploring blacks, whites, grays and the multitude of shades in between. As I layered paints over gesso, pressed in lace and scraps and other bits into the background, I started seeing the possibilities. 
Both women were lifelong seamstresses - my mom still helps me with complicated alterations. She  made clothes for my dolls when I was a girl, along with the Easter dresses for the three of us girls - I can't even find time to sew buttons on, unless it's on paper!! So I have been collecting bias tape, trims, buttons and fabrics from both their stashes for quite some time. The domino was my daughter's brilliant idea, the dots represent the nine years between my aunt and mother's age. Nearly every element has significance, and I worry that it's a bit fussy, busy maybe, but I always have trouble figuring out when  a project is 'finished.' I have since threaded wire across the top and added a couple of charms and buttons there too, and it's in a shadow box. 


Tani said...

It's lovely, Patti - a piece to cherish for years to come. I'm glad you could put your grief to such beautiful use. Art often speaks in ways that we cannot otherwise express - I won't be surprised to see more pieces that touch on your Aunt Grey in the future. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Patti, Hmmm, the first comment just vanished. Someday we can discuss Van Morrison, and the many years he's been at the top of my list. For today, my condolences on your aunt's passing. Finding a channel for grief calls for imagination and inspiration. May I refer you to Michelle Ward's recent entries about her sister ( as you each address a hurting heart. Wishing brighter days,

Sharmon Davidson said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I enjoy your work as well. I'm sorry to hear about your aunt; in times of pain or sorrow art can be a powerful healing force. I'm sure your aunt would be proud of the beautiful tribute you've made.

I'm starting to add more collage elements to my work, and would really like to try some 3-D assemblage. If you have time, I'd like to get some advice/ideas from you- such as, where to look for materials, what the art scene is like in Lexington, etc. My e-mail is


YogaforCynics said...

Beautiful stuff...just yesterday, I was at my Mom's...she's still around, but 82 and declining, and we're all still reeling from my dad's death three years ago...and was looking at some old pictures on the wall...wondering if anyone will know who the people in them were when she's gone...or if even she's gonna know for much longer...and of course everywhere are all these things...all those significant elements...I work with words rather than pictures and physical keepsakes, but, anyway...I see all of it in condolences on the loss of your aunt.

Kristin Hubick said...

What a lovely piece and a lovely post. Awesome job!


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