Patti Edmon Altered Attic: May 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

What is it about changing substrates that can make the same processes and techniques feel totally different. I've been focused on mixed media journals for months now; I don't know if it's the cost factor or the functionality. Working on something 'usable' made it easy to experiment, dive in, without any worries about outcome. And the low cost made for a non-existent risk factor.
Making the leap to even a smallish canvas, one that cost more than half-dozen journals and has no purpose other than hanging on the wall, has proven to be a block. I've collaged and painted tons of smaller pieces - board, tins, oversized puzzle pieces - but this is my first 'large' canvas, though it's only 10 x 10.
My DH is the opposite, most of his works are at least 2' wide. I look at my little tubs of Golden acrylics, dimensional paints, media, packets of glitter, rub-ons... my painting supplies last such a long time, a single 4' x 4' canvas would put a major dent in my stash in no time.
For now I'm happy with 10" pieces and will move up to 12" soon with a show coming in mid August. The Grid Show at New Editions Gallery is scheduled to coincide with the World Equestrian Games and each artist is contributing 3 - 4 pieces that are a minimum of 12" square. This is good practice:)

Monday, May 10, 2010


Lately, my favorite part of a project is the beginning... as I've become more experienced at creating layers, textures, building up and sanding down, it never seems quite done. If I'm having a bad or creatively slow day I just make paper - pasting down scraps from the table, gelling and glittering, sponging and stenciling on the paint, just to get that... feeling of freedom that comes with making a mess, glue, etc. on the hands without (over)thinking.
By the time the paint is dry I've usually gathered design elements that change repeatedly until the last bead is glued in place. At times I lose my focus and have trouble remembering what the theme was in the first place. I've happened upon some lovely trims that I'm tempted to overuse along with a handful or two of the incredible stash of bling that seems to be multiplying in boxes and piles on the studio floor (hope I'm showing restraint - ha.)
I feel like I've finished a series (btw, the '7' and '3' are purposely mirrored, a subtle shout to a memorable year in my life) and am ready to move on to, well, whatever is next. I have some 10x10 cradled canvases, several boxes and books that I'd like to alter. There is never a shortage of substrates, materials, processes, sometimes just focus. But I'm sure I'm not the only one lucky enough to ponder the infinite universe of the creative life. Let's try to think of it that way if we find ourselves at odds... stuck, poised to break through to the next level...

Thursday, May 6, 2010


In my lexicon, swap has come to mean "stick with a project," as in, meet the deadline. I always finish and mail the piece but my tardiness has become unacceptable. I tend to assign blame to my illness, after all, having to go to bed at 9:00 and sleeping until 9:00 with a nap or two does erase a few valuable hours from the day. But it's not all due to time, or lack thereof, or the needs of my children and ever-messy house. Disorganization has haunted me all my life and now is an enormous, unsavory beast that trails around behind me, taunting, from room to room, pointing, sneering at the piles, the clutter, the projects I should have done last week, last month, last year?
I suppose the key to organization is getting that way and sticking to the habits of tossing, having a place for everything and replacing them when finished. OK, so now I'm laughing so hard my side hurts. This confessional brings to mind the fabulous conversation I had with the intrepid, gifted artist Karin Bartimole, who has way more valid reasons than I to procrastinate. We hee-hawed about being chased by piles of papers (think Michelin Man) and tripping over the remains of the last art project. It makes me wonder, are artists as a rule, so caught up in creating and doing enough laundry so everyone will shut up so we can go back to the studio??
I've never been brave enough to read Somerset Magazine's Where Women Create, though I've seen enough to cringe at the airy, sunny spaces organized with drawers and bins and shelves... a bin for papers, one for lettering... enough to make me pull the quilt up over my head.
I asked my daughter once to help me, thinking she'd love the vast assortment of buttons, lace, paint, papers, packaging (to recycle as art of course), and her solution was to grab her dry-erase board and scribble, "Danger, do not enter unless you are Patti." Thanks.
I have decided to divide this holy terror of a task into small pieces and remedy the chaos, clear the clutter and turn this house into a comfortable albeit fung shui'd home. And, since maintaining my sense of integrity is highly important to me, I've decided to stop swapping - after I send a huge jug of cool, fun, amazing items to the next person on the list, and mail two packages overseas.

Along with my meeting deadline issues is a tendency to put off saying thank you and showing off the fabulous treasures that have come to be in my possession through a variety of means. For example, this fabulous piece has been waiting to be acknowledged so I can find just the right space to show it off. I entered a drawing on What Whitney Made Next and won this fabulous bowl. Take a look at her site and you'll be amazed, as was I, by her gorgeous art. In a recent post she claims to be the messiest person in the universe but I think I'd be a worthy challenge.

Oh, remember One World One Heart - the incredible global blogathon organized by Lisa, the Whimsical Bohemian? How she pulled it off I'll never know. I signed on and got totally blown away by the tremendous number of responses I got. I tried, really, to enter as many as I could but I think I only managed twenty or thirty. Once it was over I visited blogs and saw the unbelievable array of art won by those who spent a bit more time leaving comments than I did. But then, by a stroke of luck, magic really, I got a note from Dawn Simpson, an artist from Northern Scotland. One look at her site, Crafty Ramblings, and it's hard to believe all she manages to accomplish. She's busy moving now, and will live closer to where she works, and in the photo link she sent, it looks just the way I've always pictured it, lush and green and magical. My ancestry is Welsh so one day I hope to visit.
Getting back to Dawn, she told me I had the winning comment in her OWOH drawing and could I send her my address. I did and when I opened the package, I felt as though I'd hit the jackpot, won the lottery.... A canvas, tags, cards... an overwhelming number of amazing pieces that she'd made and that, again, I'm just now getting around to acknowledging. I didn't photograph all the cards and I've used a couple but she sent nearly a dozen and the complexity, detail and stunning originality absolutely blew me away. So far that I waited a couple of months to post them? Well, that's the issue then isn't it. Take a look at her work and you'll see why I only needed to win one drawing.

Thanks for 'listening' and I'm sure there is more than one head nodding in agreement about the difficulty of mess. I'd like to hear your stories, maybe I wouldn't feel so bad:)


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