Patti Edmon Altered Attic: Art, Insecurities and Realizations

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Art, Insecurities and Realizations

Over the summer I've learned a lot about myself as an artist. Could have been the dozens of hours I spent making water angels in the lake... Several days I did little else; I truly realize the luxury of idle time, thought and the insight it often allows. We chose to spend our free time two hours from home in a cabin, minimal packing and travel time (and expense), no sights to see or relatives to visit (except the in-laws and Jim's mother is a great cook:). That's one of my ideal vacations, especially since this auto-immune disease swiped its portion of energy. But I've never liked to need a vacation to recuperate from a trip.

I have been making art for just over four years and I still hesitate to call myself an artist. Maybe it's a relic from my writing days. Tell people your a writer and the first question they often ask is, "oh, what have you published?" Hence the differentiation between writer and author. I have written all my life, published commercial and non-fiction, I also have the equivalent of an MFA in fiction writing. But since I haven't published I'm, well, a writer. I'm not even sure there is an equivalent in the art realm, perhaps a creative, a painter, a dabbler? I have sold some of my work but that isn't the point. The point is, it doesn't really matter.

Which leads me to another realization. I've always posted a certain type of work. Who is interested in my process and the little, often quick, sketchy fun pieces that are stacking up on my (storage) table. Like these four panels I did not long ago on the back of an old cut up board book - playful and light. I have received such lovely, fun, encouraging, warm and funny comments on whatever I post so I doubt this will be any different.

Speaking of sharing, nothing is better than knowing I'm not alone when it comes to tripping over knee-deep piles of stuff, guilt about undone chores, misplaced lists and sense of time travel, as in skipping over days and weeks. I've read so many posts about where has the time gone and the frustration of being away from the studio for too long at a time. There is much to be said from knowing we are traveling in the same boat.

Traveling. Of course we are all on a journey; I do wish that my creative dreams were a bit better defined. I wonder if I resist clarifying so that I won't have to take myself, my art more seriously? So I won't know if I don't accomplish spoken-out-loud goals? I'm not talking about the 6-month, two-year, five-year plan of the career sort. But, a lot of ideas do cross my mind like the big fluffy clouds in the endless, crisp blue sky and the space between my backfloating body and the heavens above. I want to reach the end of my journey knowing that I've lived as rich and creative life as possible, one overflowing with joys and just as few regrets. What about you?


paper-n-soul said...

Oh Patti, I do so identify with your words, having come from (or maybe through) writing - being a 'writer' - back to art after a very (very) long absence. Published? Yes. Book author? No, so therein lies the distinction, I suppose.

We all do travel this journey together, on differing paths, but the paths converge to remind us that there are others - kindred souls who understand.

Labels are unimportant. You are whatever your soul whispers to your heart. And you are obviously listening! :) Beautiful art work, as always.


Karin Bartimole said...

Hi Patti, You pose some really good questions here - and heck yeah, I want to live as rich and creative life as I possibly can, regret free :) I can relate to your struggle with clarification - I often feel betwixt and between when it comes to specific goal setting and my work - mainly because it's been harder to commit to concrete plans with the auto immune roller coaster. I got tired of saying "yes, I'd like to do that show" and then having to pull out because my body couldn't meet the commitment. So life becomes more day to day - hard for career, great for dabbling...
I actually really like these four pieces a whole lot!! They have a free energy to them - playful, joyful, and spontaneous. They really make me smile :~D
Cheers to you, and your artist/writer/creative self!
xo K

Sharmon Davidson said...

To all you said, I say, Amen, Sistah! It doesn't really matter what we call ourselves, and if you think about it, there are more definitions for the word "artist" than you can shake a stick at (though why we want to shake sticks at things I don't know!). Are you an artist if you make a living at it, if you sell some but don't make a living, or if you sell nothing at all? What's important is, exactly as you said, living the richest and most creative lives we can- and you are SO doing that!
Btw, I love these playful pieces, and envy you the ability to work so freely and expressively. That's what inspires me most about your work, and that's what art is all about!

p.s. As a Certified Art Teacher in the state of Kentucky, I do hereby confer upon you the title of "ARTIST". This title is irrevocable, and will be worn the rest of your life because it fits you so well!

Oh dear, my silliness seems to have gotten a little out of control...


druga szesnascie said...

dear Patti, just a small thank you note from me:

(there is a translation at the bottom of the post)
have a good day

Ragamuffin Gal said...

Patti ~
Thanks for your honest sharing with this post ~ it is refreshing to hear your voice and I adore your little creations ~ that blue is my favorite color! You are a jewel dear!

Gaby Bee said...

Your creations are fabulous, I just love all the textures and details.

Artist or not. Is that important? It doesn't really matter what we call ourselves. Important is to be creative at all. Never know what tomorrows going to bring, so my motto is live it up now! Enjoy, have fun and make some fab art!

Gaby xo

"Make your work.
Make your work constantly.
Love it.
Hate it.
But make it." - Stephanie Diamond

Sharmon Davidson said...



Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Like you, I've written all my life, but never been published. Like you, I make art, but have never sold a thing. Like you, I live to have a full life and few regrets.

What a super post, Patti. I can totally relate.

Seth said...

How funny Patti that you and I have written about this same issue at the same time. But maybe not such a coincidence since we are sharing this journey of creativity and blogging. It does help so much to hear from like-minded people riding the same boat. And I couldn't agree with you more that living "as rich and creative life as possible, one overflowing with joys and just as few regrets" is exactly what it all boils down to!

Kel said...

Patti, your words ring true for so many of us, reducing ourselves to a title that only fits (we think) if we make money from our work

so - you make art, you're an artist
whether it sells or gains applause matters not,

if we only make art, or write, or bake cakes, or settle real estate deals, or type the boss's letters for money or applause - then it becomes a chore, a job

creative living should be so much more - we do it anway - regardless

hmm ... now i sound like some kind of bad preacher! :)

as a lover of tactile textures, and making a cosy nest at home, I'm really drawn to the bird nesting in the teacup - lovely and comforting

feels like home

Tani said...

Your post and the artwork accompanying it resonate with me.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

aww... these 4 pieces speak to my heart, it's very poetic and magic, absolutely beautiful !


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