Patti Edmon Altered Attic: July 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tomato eating time!

Sexton's Farm is located in Monticello, Kentucky, on the road to my in-law's cabin on Lake Cumberland. We spent a few days at the Lake and at dinner time my mother-in-law served fresh green beans with potatoes, corn on the cob, cornbread, sliced cucumbers, watermelon and, of course, tomatoes - all fresh from Sexton's. We stopped on the way out and came home with several bags of just-picked summer produce.

Dylan enjoyed talking with Mr. Sexton, asking about all those trophies (up high on a beam against the left wall). Turns out they are state champion soy bean growers, winning several years in a row even competing against the big boys in Lexington and Louisville. I didn't mention that I wouldn't know what to do with a mess of fresh soybeans...

I've always loved small town junk shops and flea markets, farms, all things bucolic... if I'd had my 'good' camera and more time I'd have spent a few hours poking through the rusty goodies piled in every corner and dangling from walls, in boxes and barrels. But, with two dogs (one partially 'trained'), two kids and a dh in a hurry to get home, I was lucky to get out of there with my melons, potatoes and green beans... and several big juicy tomatoes!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Meet Henry

The only thing funner than finding out you're going to be a grandparent - or parent (when you want to be of course), is surprising the kids with a puppy. Our event wasn't a repeat of the ribboned box beside the twinkling tree on Christmas morning, eagerly opened by a giddy, glowing children; rather, it's was the end of a week at summer camp. Mom showed up with a new pink purse, which went unnoticed until I showed it off, unzipped the top and... out popped Henry.

We brought Leo along (our bichon). Most parents with two kids know better than to bring one dog, especially a new edition. He is 13 weeks old and already answers to the name Henry, so picking a new one wasn't cause for disagreement. Personally, I like Spike or like Elle Woods' Legally Blonde pup, Bruiser.

He's mostly house-trained and we're all the way trained. He barks when he wants to play or be picked up, or if he catches sight of himself in a mirror. He's spoiled rotten and a good bed buddy, and just about the cutest little guy I've ever seen. Hard to resist those eyes...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Old" Favorites

I didn't sign up in time for the second round of Seth Apter's Buried Treasure, a fun and very collaborative project for sure. Seth posted some amazing art that he's done and I've enjoyed treasure hunting, found many new bloggers... Who knew that there could be so many amazing people out there, creating, opening their worlds and lives for people like me. 
If you haven't made the rounds yet, I encourage you, no urge you to pay a visit to some of the many wonderful arty, fun, incredible artists out there. Grab a mug of freshly brewed coffee - or tea - or your favorite afternoon beverage, curl up with your computer and go to the Altered Page, get started, you won't be disappointed!

When I chose favorite posts for the first round, I focused on the writing... probably since I've been a writer all my life. Even though I didn't sign up for the "Revisited" tour, I decided to post a couple of old favorite collages. I have to laugh as I say that, because I've only been making art for three years; something that surprised me, though, was that, the work I'm doing now is more polished for sure, but I actually have a style (wrong word, I'm sure!). My choice of colors, theme, imagery in these pieces are not far from what's on the table now. Hopefully it won't sit there too much longer - ha.
I have been in a creative funk of sorts lately, lacking in direction, feeling like I've been all over the map: a lightswitch plate cover here, magnet/hanging puzzle piece there, a dabble in assemblage (thanks Michael deMeng and Random Arts), but when I look at the work together, it does kinda appear that the same person (albeit multi-personalitied:) created the work.

What I have come to realize, however, is that I've been really busy learning technique, process, acquiring a (ahem) LOT of supplies and stuff and experimenting on lots of media. Now it's time to go to the heart and see what has yet to be discovered and translated with paint, rusty stuff, photography and words. Thanks for stopping by and have a day of creating, adventure, quiet introspection, connection, wherever your heart takes you!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I've posted all the canvases I did for the Art House Coop project; all but the one, however, that my dh, Jim, created because he wanted to play too. I couldn't scan it because, well, sculpture is a little dimensional for the scanner bed. Did I say sculpture? Carving is more accurate, I suppose, though still quite an accomplishment given the dimensions 3" x 3". 
I hadn't photographed his word/canvas when I posted the others. It's only fair to show it off too, really, it has just taken a while to get to; not totally because he has so much experience. Truthfully, as a relative beginner, it is a bit intimidating to live and share a studio with a lifelong artist. He'd roll his eyes if he read this, after all, I have given him a few ideas here and there. And last week when he started a new project and needed wire, a small hammer, scissors, a watch face, leaves, buttons, a strip of red fabric, letters and an array of other supplies and doo-dads, and who did he come to? Maybe I've only been making art for a couple of years but I do know how to forage and stock up!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Buried Treasure

The following two posts were originally published in 2008; in order to participate in Seth Apter's Buried Treasure project, I read through the archives searching for a post or two that I liked enough to publish again.

I write for myself, to stay sane, to express thoughts that pile up in my head, and, because I've always been a writer (thanks Patti Digh and David Robinson:). But it's my fondest wish that the words I share will inspire, touch, cause a moment's consideration, a twinge or a laugh... 

So, if you decide to read them, thanks a million; if you read them when they were originally posted, thanks a million more! 

Morpheus Box Complete...

Just shy of two months  after the Michael deMeng workshop in Saluda, NC, I've finished my Morpheus box. It certainly did morph... We started the boxes on the second day, which, given the fatigue that accompanies this illness, I should have known would surpass my ability to make a sentence, let alone construct anything creative. But, I did get a good start. 
I brought it home with a voo-doo looking mask on one side of the rotating bar, and a transparency of a little girl and clock face on the opposing side. Hmm, how was I going to connect the two wildly disparate images? After stewing for a few weeks, I realized that, though I liked both sides, one of them had to go. I had dremeled out a niche for the mask/emblem, which was cool (love the flying dust), so I hated giving that up, but, not having any related objects, out it went.Once I cleared that hurdle, I began to think of morphing, changing, seasons.
I have a very dear aunt, who has been more like a second mother, and she is passing from this life, slipping a little further away each day. When I last went to visit her I realized that, although she is still breathing, giving slight indications of having one foot still in this life, her body is little more than a housing, a shell, her essence has already begun the final journey. Although it grieves me terribly, I decided to portray the seasons of life ending on a peaceful, somber, yet not dark and gloomy note. Once I had the idea straight, I was able to enter the state of flow and get to work. I didn't fully realize how symbolic this piece would be until I thought about who Morpheus was - the mythological god of sleep.  Here's to you, Aunt Grey, may your final journey be one of peace and light.

Canvas Project

I'm rooting around the archives for a post that could be considered a favorite for Seth Apter's Buried Treasure project; in the meantime, thought I'd post two more 3 x 3 canvases that I sent in for the Atlanta Art House Coop project. 
When I saw this word I thought, oh great, how am I going to depict that... a case of old eggs or carton of spoiled milk? A corpse? I realized I didn't want to go for the most literal translation, so I started thinking about the different meanings for the word and my excitement level perked a little bit... air, that's it... the exhalation of breath. Aha, I started having fun! The word? Expiration.

This one is a little campy, I admit, kinda Rocky Horror Picture Show. But, once again, I avoided the most obvious. Money, jewels, an Ace of diamonds to represent gambling, part of an American Express card.. deeper in debt... a pirate?
It's amazing how much can fit on one tiny canvas, which, of course, was a big part of the challenge and the fun. Oh, the word for this piece? Remorse. Guess it could have been greed, loot, booty:)
Next I'll download the photo of the fifth canvas - the one my husband, a very accomplished artist, did - he wanted to play too. It's dynamic, very unusual and he even managed to incorporate sculpture. Show off. That's not my reason for taking so long to download the photo... honest, I shot the it after I did these and I haven't spiffed it up yet. While I'm working on  it, I'll go post hunting...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Collaborative Project!

Seth Apter, New York City mixed media artist and participant/creator of genius collaborative projects that draw scores of talented artists, admitted in a July 9th post to being a blog junkie (who isn't?); however, there is a project born of this to saturate oneself with the best of, according to fellow bloggers. It's a concept that has been rooted in literature for decades (I have the entire collection the Best American Short Stories) so when I saw this, I had to jump in.  
This fabulous piece-of-art banner, created by Seth, accompanied the post and announced a new collaborative effort: on Thursday (the 16th) we re-publish a favorite post or two and announce to our readers that we will be doing so; Seth will also post a list of participants for those of us who can't get enough! So, I'll start roaming around the archives...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nest? Egg?

This is the second of the five 3" x 3" canvases I did for the Art House Coop Project, the Visual Encyclopedia. It seems like it should be easy to render a word visually, but really, that's only if it's a noun, like bird or nest, a verb even. Once I got past the fact that they wasn't going to be an obvious solution, I started having fun with it. Anyone who has seen my larger collages, well, even my puzzle pieces will find this familiar. But the word is....
It started out to be Protect, but when my friend Karin's cat passed away, that was the only one I could use for the angel/image of Zack/concept of Karin being watched over.
So, one of the eggs fell out of the nest and is unseen. And, come to think of it, so is mother bird... And, the tree that the nest is in.... getting literal can really be a problem. Thankfully I was quickly - and hurriedly - able to overcome that, the only way to get five done in two days... If you get a chance, click on the link and take a look at some of the submissions.
We did have a great 4th, and most of my photographs, aside from the after-the-8 a.m.-10K run brunch party that I started in the 90s and my friend Vicki took over in 2004, my photos are all a bit, well, unrelated to the 4th. Cruising around blogland, I saw amazingly creative representations, depictions and interpretations of the holiday and thankfulness for the freedoms we so often take for granted. Photos, pieces of art... poems that I would never have imagined using, but that were perfect just the same; I thought I'd save mine for later. I hope you all had a great weekend and are fully recovered. My bedtime is early, I can't go to a 9 a.m. breakfast, a 2 p.m. parade and make it through to fireworks, so I went to bed with visions of the elaborate fireworks bursting in the air. One of the advantages of living downtown:)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fun in the Lone Star State

No, it's not red from the heat, did I really did let him dye his hair (the top) red for the summer?  What kind of mother am I?! 

My daughter has a flair for photography, the view from the window helped too... my Photoshop skills are budding, need lots of practice...

What's a trip to San Antonio without a stroll down the Riverwalk. Our first night there we stayed at the Marriott overlooking the scenic water and, though I was too zonked to go on the tour, my sister-in-law called me just in time to dash to the balcony on the 15th floor and capture them as they baked, er, putted along.
Dylan's red hair comes in handy - there he is in the upper right hand corner, waving!
Not sure if they were headed to Gruene Dance Hall, where John Travolta danced in the 1996 movie, Michael, but there were Harleys by the pack on every street in Gruene (pronounced Green). Heard one say the temperature on the pavement was 140 degrees - could that be? The famous road house has launched careers and has hosted artists from Little Richard to Asleep at the Wheel, Lyle Lovett, George Strait, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and the list goes on and on and on...

Remember the Alamo? It doesn't look like this, exactly, another Photoshop effort - at least I got rid of the posts and chains where the line forms (probably when it's a bit cooler) and the guard standing at the door...
My camera battery died after we deplaned in Texas and I didn't find the charger until the last day of our trip, so I only shot a few, instead of a few hundred.

The lot of us, my brother and his family (on the left) only had a few 'issues' to deal with, but we managed to clean up, real nice. All in all, the trip was a success and we were glad to touch back down in the Bluegrass State where it was 25 or so degrees cooler!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Guardian Angel

Back in March, my blog-bud Karin - A View Beyond Words - suggested I join the Art House Coop, a gallery founded in 2006 by undergrads at the Atlanta College of Art. They bring artists together from across the globe to create exhibits that cross all barriers - conceptual, geographic, media and philosophical - and are definitely unique.  
The Canvas Project, mailed today (the deadline, of course) was my first venture. Participants each submitted 5 words, and in turn received five 3"x3" canvases with randomly selected words to interpret (for a very small fee). The only rule is that the art must fall within the dimensions of the allotted space.
I like to challenge myself, often to my own detriment; I jump in over my head and find myself bailing buckets of ocean water with a tuna can. But, the upside is that I create work that I never otherwise would have dreamt up. My words arrived back in March; I read the instructions, thought how cute could those tiny canvases be, then laid them aside in one of my numerous piles in the studio.
Dates that are more than a week away can seem like an eternity, despite the fact that I ran a graphic design and marketing studio for nearly 15 years. The realization that our family reunion in Texas landed smack in the heat of the crunch time nearly sent me over the edge. Before I got this ridiculous arthritis I could burn the midnight oil... pump up the adrenalin and squeeze in hours before 7 a.m. Now, I'm lucky to string together 3 work hours in a day. So, my suitcase is still packed, I haven't seen my makeup case and my hair is in the same ponytail that bobbed along for the 15 hour trip home on Sunday/Monday. But the canvases are in the mail.

After the trip (and a week's withdrawal), when I logged on to the computer, I was totally upset to read that Karin's beloved Zack, her 17-1/2 year old cat, had gone to his final resting place. Like me, Karin has a chronic illness and doesn't get out much; it seems so unfair that she should be deprived of his warmth, playful personality and companionship.  
Knowing there wasn't a darned thing I could do to help, it only seemed right to dedicate one of the canvases to her. So, I rearranged the 'stuff' I'd tentatively laid out in search of a word to honor their friendship. Knowing she now has another guardian angel, I chose Protect. 

Over 1100 artists have sent in their canvases; after an exhibit at the Atlanta Airport (where we spent many hours on our Gilligan's Island trip home), selected works will be published in a visual encyclopedia. What a cool idea. 
The neatest thing is that anyone can play, it's not juried (which might not sit well with some); there are some amazing works on their site and in their opening page, they say that Art House Coop is about Family. Kind of like Zack, and Karin, and my community of blog pals, who make my days cheerier, and, well, artier. Check them out: Art House Coop. You just might decide to join in the fun!


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