Patti Edmon Altered Attic

Monday, June 18, 2012

In the previous post I included a photograph of elements used for the focal point in "Wait," the second of four 12x12 mixed media canvases that I've completed within the last several weeks. The series is thematic, in that the pieces stem from two things: first, they reflect what I believe to be my true artistic voice; and second, inspiration from a quote by author Virginia Woolf, "If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people."




Did Virginia Woolf mean that we need to publicly unravel our deepest secrets and darkest truths? I don't believe so, however, we do need full awareness in order to write, paint, draw, dance, to live authentically and wide-open... imperfections hanging out and vulnerability dangling in the clear light of day. 

At the height of my fiction-writing venture the inability to tell my own story essentially prevented me from writing my best work. My stories were... safe. Like skipping a rock, no matter how many skips, how much distance it travels it only plumbs the depths at the end. Though I'm not guilty of living on the surface, I'm not certain I ever fully integrated the past with my creative power.

We all have an unwritten life history, the scribbling between lines that doesn't make the final draft. I now realize that a willingness to walk through those layers without blinders frees me to access the grit, pain, shame and sorrow that complete the wide spectrum of my life experiences. And, knowing that grief and suffering is where the truest art comes from lends a certain justification, credibility to events, chunks of years I'd just as soon sweep under the rug.



Mixed-media is such an apt metaphor... starting with bits of paper, found objects and then building the surface with a dozen or more layers of texture and paint. Using a non-literal medium may be a bit less threatening, though I'm certain creating 'true' work is just as likely the result of the many years over which I've struggled to tear down walls and shine light on the pockets of darkness. Easing the numbness with acceptance, patching over the holes with scraps of courage I didn't know I possessed. 





So, this series is about transforming from stunned-silent through suffering and opening to evolving. I do hope that stepping into the light allows my creative work to speak with the impact of my own truth.


I also plan to revisit the body of fiction on which I spent thousands of hours, workshop time, readings and critiques. A collection of short stories and the framework for a novel have been gathering dust since the onset of this auto-immune arthritis in 2005. Who knows, perhaps I'll be another Grandma Moses...










2 comments:

Jill Zaheer said...

Dearest Patti,
What a beautiful heartfelt post- both reflecting where you are with your artwork and your writings- but where you are with your vulnerabiity and place you've accepted to work from and build upon. The word that captures my thoughts is "authentic"- an evolving moment you've come to find for yourself- to create within and from and to reflect upon for your new avenues of creativity. Wonderful 12 x 12- and so happy to hear the you plan to continue your elegant writing! xo

Patricia said...

Dear Heart Patti..
I saw pictures of these pieces laying on the floor at the work shop. I picked them up and stared at them deeply...feeling the power. I HAD NO IDEA that it was YOU who did these marvelous pieces! MY GOSH WOMAN you are beyond creative! You have a power you have just begun to tap into! I LOVE THESE PIECES and believe I MUST have one. Let me know if you are selling them!! I am beyond happy having been one of those spirits that got to be connected by YOUR red thread!! I adore you! Sending much love and happiness your way.
THE OTHER PATTIE!

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