Patti Edmon Altered Attic: September 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Dish on the Divas... (what's the red dot?!)

Hard to believe a week has flown by since the opening of the Dishy Divas show, and a fabulous event it was... wine and hors d'oeuvres, photographers from Skirt Magazine and a great turnout. Jim was proud of me for not being nervous or piling stuffed mushrooms on a plate for ammo; we stayed for half an hour and the kids were hungry so we walked a couple of blocks to a restaurant and enjoyed a family dinner... no adolescent bickering, and the kids did great too!

At the opening, I only spent 5 minutes back in the area where my collage and journals were displayed; they are in very good company, surrounded by several of Rodney Hatfield's paintings - I urge you to click on the link and take a look at his amazing art. Sold and exhibited nationally, we've followed his career for years. I was fortunate (smart:) enough to purchase a small sculpture of his about ten years ago, a Christmas gift (and inspiration) for my talented artist-husband Jim!

My mother was disappointed that she couldn't come, so the next day I stopped back by the gallery to take a few photos. I clicked away, waiting for Frankie and Laura to finish with a client, without noticing the red dot on the card by my journals. Then they told me that a woman had bought both journals (the tall, narrow ones), and ORDERED SIX MORE. I'm still in shock, since I hadn't really expected to sell anything, thankful just to be included in a show with such amazing and talented artists. So, off to Michaels' - hopefully they still have those journals in the dollar bin:) and time to get to work!

The above paintings, by my good friend and art angel Debbie Westerfield, were finished just in time for the opening. They are fabulous and the light/photograph just doesn't do them justice!

New Editions Gallery owner Frankie (right) and manager Laura (left), dressed for clean up, were embarrassed that I was taking their photo sans heels and arty clothes they'd worn the night before. I assured them of their stunning beauty 24-7.

The sculpture on the right is one Rodney Hatfield constructed using river wood... to die for! Makes me glad that Jim and I dragged all those pieces of wood back from the lake:) The number of artists represented in the show and the myriad interpretations of figurative are amazing. And, so are all of you, who laughed with me at my last post and wrote kind words of support. What an incredible beginning!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dishy Divas...

Dishy Divas, a group figurative show, opens tonight in Lexington at New Editions Gallery. The show is co-hosted by Skirt Magazine, publisher of my favorite book, Life is a Verb - 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful and Live Intentionally, written by Patti Digh. She and David Robinson are helping me do just that; I'm halfway through the Life is a Verb Coaching Class, on my journey to living my wild and precious life.
Two of my mixed media pieces will hang in the show along with four journals to increase my presence in the gallery. I am looking forward to the opening. I think. This is my first 'real' exhibit and part of me wants to throw up. So far, for the past few years anyway, I've been engaged in the creative process for the sake of process. I know this doesn't change my focus, but there's something about putting my work out there that is... well, scary. What if I happen to overhear someone say, "ewwww, what's that," as they view one of my collages. I could spin around too quickly, accidentally spill a glass of wine on his or her shoe, smoosh a stuffed mushroom into a silk blouse, before issuing an apology in a mortified tone. That is so grown up.
I think I'll pay attention to Patti and David, who would probably be horrified by that thought, and have confidence. Sure, my pieces of art are my babies but any judgment is certainly more a reflection of the viewer than my talent. This is the first of many shows to come... only the beginning. So, with my chin up, I think I'll remember that and stay home, park on the sofa, laugh at the goofy acts on America's Got Talent!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Time Will Tell

Alicia Caudill has published Art Bits' third ArtZine, and it's loaded with amazing black and white collage, assemblage, photography, encaustic, and mixed media pieces. Individually, the work is amazing, as a collection it's diverse, amazing, and takes several studied readings to soak it all in... which I've been trying to do for the past couple of days.

Oh, and I am fortunate enough to be featured on page 13!! which really blows me away, considering the talent and accomplishments of the artists included in this issue - Seth Apter, the lovely Mistress Debrina, Kerin Gale, Alicia's own amazing pieces (including a sneak peek at a cool collaborative series in the works with her hubby), and dozens of other accomplished, talented artists.
I hope you'll visit Alicia and take a look at the ArtZine - and Altered Bits, her gallery is fabulous and her shop is loaded with interesting and unusual treasures.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Local (Businesses) First

My son, Dylan is a whiz on the snare and I was so proud of him for marching in the Roots & Heritage Festival parade, a celebration of our African American cultural history. He plays with March Madness, a band formed to promote Local First, a group dedicated to supporting local businesses.
I've blogged about it before, and, yes, I have an Amazon Card, shop at Michaels and buy jeans at Old Navy; but whenever possible I patronize restaurants, boutiques, coffee shops, galleries and other businesses owned and operated by fellow Kentuckians. And I usually get a little better at it after watching the band put forth such extraordinary effort at one of their events.
It was a splendid, warm (but not hot) day with brilliant blue skies, the air filled with the sounds of jazz and, of course, March Madness, performing pieces from Austin Powers and other traditional parade music. White people may be a minority at the event, but green, yellow and red abound!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week

Ordinarily I wouldn't dream of posting this page... I was at the lake with 12 crayons (acrylic:) and a sketchbook and I started working on a tree to practice my drawing skills. It started out as day and night and then I started thinking about the metaphor, the light opposing the dark, how the same tree can appear so different depending upon the light. And I started thinking about the way my days are. Everyone has bad days. Everyone gets sick. But for five years? I added flames beneath the darkened tree, the burning hopes, the potential that often remains just that, latent potential, smoke swirling, dispersing in the night air; the pain and frustration that, like the illness, are unseen in the absence of light.
Living with a chronic illness sometimes feels like a silent thief steals in and swipes so many hours and dreams, and options, leaving me with swollen aching joints and debilitating fatigue. So I got out a couple of pens and began to journal about my anger and frustration, also remembering to also acknowledge my gratitude for the light, the good days.
There are many silver linings - my ability to be so fully present, to listen with my ears and my heart, to reach out and to empathize. It has, in many ways, brought me closer to my children. My 13-year old son helped me at the grocery, he did all the carrying and drove the cart... but he also said that it scared him when I stopped mid-aisle to take a break. And it makes me so sad that it has this, and other, effects on my family. But, as I told him (again) I have an auto-immune type of arthritis with a few sides. It isn't terminal, I'm not going to die, or become paralyzed, unable to see or speak. So many suffer from such incredibly worse illnesses that I almost feel silly blogging about mine. Like it or not though, this illness does play a major role in my life.
This week happens to be National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness week. I'd discovered this event last year on one of my favorite blogs, My Vintage Studio. I posted focusing mostly on the social and interpersonal aspects.
Since then I've exchanged blog comments and emails with dozens of others who create art in spite of, or to give meaning to myriad illnesses. National Chronic Illness Awareness Week was founded by a woman, Lisa Copen, who somehow manages to pull it off, with articles, guest bloggers, virtual seminars and a packed schedule of speakers on Blog Talk Radio who address valuable, vital issues. (for a schedule or more information, click on this link) all while battling her own illness. And being a mother.
Bloggers United had issued a call to post on Monday to help create awareness for invisible illnesses, which affect nearly half the population. I am a couple of days late, as usual. Monday I was having a really bad (sick) day. I tried to create a work of art that, like Karin's (
A View Beyond Words), would do it justice, but it wasn't happening. So I took Karin's advice and decided to post this page, which will probably never again see the light of day; what better way to demonstrate the challenges and impact of chronic illness. So, thanks to Lisa and all those who make every day lighter.

p.s. prayers for the family and friends of Patrick Swayze

Friday, September 11, 2009



leaves, so much the same
how can we know that they fall
from different trees
~patti edmon 9.11.09

For a moment let us put aside our differences and look at ourselves not as Democrat or Republican, black or white, Presbyterian or Baptist, Jewish or Muslim. Or atheist. Or corporate, academic, small business owner or fast food cook. Let us consider how this world would be if we put aside bias and judgment and remember that we are all one people.
For an amazing post and names of all the individuals who died on 9.11.01, visit Patti Digh's blog. She challenges us to appreciate our freedom to choose how we move forward, as we remember those who do not have that opportunity. I choose to seek grace with an open heart and undivided mind and an abundance of thanks for all that I have been blessed with on this sunny, warm, quiet day.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Wonder

This is the last piece, I think, in my latest collage series. I am rather attached to these colors though, so I'm sure I'll find other ways to use this palette. Speaking of other, I planned to title this piece "Hope." Then I started thinking - usually my first mistake:) - about the article I'd read on Rat Race Trap about shifting from hoping to wondering, and how it helps avoid disappointment.
It's a good read; author Stephen Mills talks about how, when what we hope for doesn't happen, our hopes are dashed. His intent certainly isn't to promote pessimism. Far from it; he cites Susan Jeffers' book, Embracing Uncertainty, and her premise that, since we have little - or no - control over the future of our art, our jobs, our children, that if we merely wonder, there is no outcome attached to those hopes. It removes the pressure from the future. Same goes for wishing and wanting.
I find that idea so appealing... instead of hoping that my guardian angel is watching over me, I can simply wonder where she hovers; I don't have to hope that my daughter, a naturally talented, skilled ballerina will decide that she doesn't want to quit after 8 years of commitment. I wonder, instead, if she'll rediscover her passion, or find a new outlet for her creative expression.
Instead of hoping that you will like this collage, or find something about it to relate to, I wonder if you will appreciate it and the fact that I still struggle so to find my own authentic voice that is screaming rather loudly, but packed under so much resistance that it sounds like a foreign language. I wonder if all the years I spent running a business have clouded my vision for this part of the journey, slowed by this darned illness that sets my pace at half-speed. As an aside, if it weren't for this illness I doubt I'd be making art, or having such delightful, meaningful relationships with so many incredible people (you) in blog-land. But I do wonder if I'll discover a way to put my talents to use in a way that benefits others... kind of like a career.
Now I sound like I'm doubting Mills' approach, but I'm not. I may just read Jeffers' book and use it as a too to supplement the incredible coaching class I'm immersed in, led by Patti Digh, author of Life is a Verb, and David Robinson, visual artist and organizational innovator (coach:). Those two are another story.
And I hope, wonder rather, if you'll read further and find it helpful. I just don't think that, for me anyway, it's so easy, like flipping a switch. It's going to take a lot of practice. For now, my head can wonder but my heart still hopes.


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