Patti Edmon Altered Attic: July 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Buried Treasure

Thanks to Seth Apter for drawing the art-blog community closer together - again!! He is so amazingly generous; blog world is definitely a better place because of Seth and all his efforts. Here is one of my favorite 'oldies'!



deadlines. all the years I worked at our agency we lived by them. we had drop deadlines too. nice language. get it done or drop dead? think about or do little else until the deadline arrives and the project, thing, action is complete and one can resume living. It has been nearly five years since I've lived - and died more than a few times - in that world. other than paying bills on time, washing socks when everyone starts yelling, and stocking the fridge with the basics, I don't have deadlines. doctor's appointments don't count because you all know that passing the hours in a waiting room is enough to kill anyone. I am fairly self-propelled, albeit somewhat tardy on occasion; my daughter says we put the 'pro' in procrastination. call me human.

today I had a deadline. I have been working on a journal project that has elicited joy, inspiration, new techniques and a creative high beyond my wildest imagination. so it didn't feel very dead. I delivered the 8 freshly varnished books to the gallery where the woman ordered them back in October. I remember my jaw dropped when Frankie told me how she'd priced them... more than I'd ever think of charging, though I think it's natural to undervalue our work, especially early in the game. today she said they were worth every penny, beautiful, each one entirely unique in concept, color, execution. my costs were negligible, but then again, can you put a price on the creative process, the energy and love, attention to detail?
I found out how much love I'd expended when I left them spread on the counter and got in my car to drive back home. It was all so bizarre, how could I possibly feel sad, wistful, empty even?? I called my friend Debbie, who has been making her living as an artist for more than 20 years. She laughed and said she still goes through it, the not-quite-ready-to part with it, kind of like giving away a piece of yourself. How silly?! She said it was a good sign, that I had accomplished my goal. that more than art, each piece is a work of love going out into the universe.
My good friend and professional photographer, Jeff Rogers, photographed the journals in his studio the other day - I'll post them as soon as he gets around to burning the images on a disk. Hmmm, maybe I should have given him a deadline.







Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lobsters, Lighthouses and Legbones

Maine is the only New England state I hadn't had a chance to visit - until this week. The photos I'd seen, friends' stories... there are no disappointments. Though I grew up in New York (state) I've lived in Kentucky for so many years that it is truly a refreshing memory zing to step into this climate (a couple dozen degrees cooler as well:) and culture.





A couple of hours on a sailboat offered a splendid vista, the coastline and legendary lighthouses are as amazing as I'd imagined. And to think that some of the oldest buildings in the country are in this area is fascinating.



My sister and brother-in-law drove up to Acadia yesterday and the photos are incredible. The original Acadians were French who were driven out by the English. They sailed down the coast and ended up in Louisiana, and Acadian morphed into Cajun along the way. I'm glad my mother is a history buff:), I mean, who knew??



There are so many photo opportunities that it's almost overwhelming. I plan to shoot a few that I can use in my art before we leave. Weathered wood, rust, doors and windows galore - yikes!

My sister (on the right), Robin, obliged for this photo so I wouldn't feel so, well, touristy by myself. But honestly, how often do you see a lobster this size?



Jim and my son, Dylan, went to one of the dozens of road-side markets that offer an amazing array of antiques and oddities. This 'thing' looks like an ocarina but when I started to blow on it, Dylan told me it was made from a human leg bone - in Nepal! So, I just admired it and decided to share...



I'm looking forward to the Treasure Hunt that begins tomorrow on Seth Apter's blog - hope you're planning to dig!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Almost Time for the Treasure Hunt



Seth Apter will be publishing Buried Treasure in just two days!! I've got my post ready and can't wait to start the hunt. Thanks Seth for all you do and I'm sure this event will be a rousing success - so many fabulous blogs to investigate, some for the first time, along with many old friends. Hope you join in!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Journal Page



I've spent so much time away from home - I miss the studio! I took my journal to the lake and managed a page... Having a small art bag makes it a fun challenge; sometimes I think I have way too much stuff for my own creativity.
This has been an 'interesting' summer, to say the least, and it's showing up in my work. Yay!
Happy Summer to all!.

Monday, July 11, 2011



The funnest part of working on a vintage cigar box is getting started - creating layers of texture using a variety of media, scraps of paper, fabric, tissue and whatever else I have handy. And sponging on paint... sometimes I use as many as 8 - 10 colors to get the depth and finish I'm looking for. And then the endless possibility for adding elements from the rather extensive stash of 'stuff' I've been collecting for the past few years.
This box was commissioned as a gift for a gal who is studying graphic design in California. No, that wasn't daunting!! Too much anyway.



I photographed the box before I finished the clean-up on the hinges, which can be very tricky. Lots of E6000 comes in handy when attaching metal, glass and ceramic objects - I gathered the fabric from the top and glued it under a Czech glass button.



I wasn't able to use any photos on the outside, so creating an angel seemed the ideal way to go. Her dress is made of several layers - lace, fabric, tulle, trim, an old doll cape and topped off with a brooch. Her wings are cut from canvas paper that I textured and painted and embellished with Swarovski crystals.



The inside issue I had was lingering odor - I put small trays of baking soda in the closed box for a few weeks and it still had the vintage touch, but that really is part of its authenticity. I had several ideas for framing the photos and ended up covering each one with a piece of mica. I also used Golden mica paint for the inside lid base and Indian Sari trim, pearls and other fun touches.

Now that the job is finished I'm going to start on the cardboard box I gessoed last week - yay, time to play! Hope you are finding time to create, not always easy for me, but well worth the wait. Now, if I can only get my scanner working...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011



I wonder if anyone else gets bogged down in a color rut... So often it's the faves that end up on the surface - blue-greens, yellow-golds, purples... I've been experimenting with an extended palette, using colors that I ordinarily steer away from and trying to incorporate a wider variety of 'stuff' into pieces. Having more fun, getting carried away, traveling into that inner zone where the muse can hide now and then. Thanks to Seth at The Altered Page, I'm finding and rediscovering so many art blogs - such inspiration!

My scanner isn't working and photographing pieces with glare issues doesn't present the best image, but for now it will have to do! I love making journals and the gallery wants canvases. Don't get me wrong, I'm so grateful to even be represented!! But it can be intimidating so I pretend that I'm working on a journal cover - what's that about? Somehow I have more freedom with journals than canvas, though it's obviously a mind thing. I'd be really interested to hear about your tools for stretching (aside from canvas:).

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!







We've been hearing fireworks for a week now... and there's plenty more to come, but my favorite tradition is brunch with friends. In the mid-90s, a few neighbors started coming over for breakfast after we'd walked half a block to drink coffee and watch the 10K race. It grew into an annual event that we hosted until our friends Ron & Vickie took over. I look forward to relaxing with friends, some of whom I don't see most of the rest of the year.



Over the weekend, Jim captured some fun shots of the sparklers we played with... kinda fun to end up with cool creative shots without photoshop or manipulation.



I haven't had much studio time lately but I'm looking forward to making boxes for a few friends. The owner at the corner gas station is my source for empty Swisher Sweets boxes, so I walk out carrying a bag that makes it appear as though I chain smoke cigarillos!



I recently finished a commission, a vintage wood cigar box, and while gratifying it's also more time consuming. Something about working on cardboard is very low pressure; the one in the photo above was my first experiment with a cigarillo box. I'm going to document and post the process I use to create texture and one of the endless finishing options on cardboard that I find every bit as appealing as a box I've had to pay for - starting with gesso, of course!





I hope everyone has enjoyed a safe and happy holiday; it is one more opportunity to realize that despite the brokenness in our world we are very fortunate indeed!
Blessings to all.

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