Patti Edmon Altered Attic: July 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Gratitude and then some...

photo by Alice Taylor Edmon, my incredible and beautiful daughter

I've been smiling since yesterday. Not a sweet or content smile but a full-out joy and gratitude grin. Having included Steven Pressfield and his fabulous books in so many of my posts, I decided it was time to let him know just how much they have impacted my creative process and improved the quality of life overall. So I did. I kept it to 3 paragraphs and didn't over-edit the email, just sent it off. What I was not expecting was a reply. Twenty minutes after I hit send. 
He thanked me for taking time to write a "wonderful, warm and funny letter!" He went on to say, "I'm delighted that "War of Art" found a home with you (and "Turning Pro" too).  Your blog/site looks great." Wow.

Now, is Steven a regular guy, who gets up every day and battles to do his work (which, he does extremely well) and put it out for people like me to read? I haven't met him but I'm fairly certain he is. The fact that he took a moment from his work to address mine has lit a fire that is still burning (the next day) and though I'm not certain of what will happen, if anything, I do know that I'm incredibly inspired. And, once again, if you haven't read his books (see post below) I highly, enthusiastically recommend them. Each of them. Don't borrow... buy copies so you can circle the parts that speak to you loudest, make notes in the margins, re-read as necessary!

While I'm on the subject of gratitude I want to say that I'm glad the owner of Chick Fil A felt he could share his beliefs and stand strong in them. I'm equally happy that the Mayor of Boston decided that the Freedom Trail wasn't the best place for one his restaurants. On a local level I'm thrilled that the city invested a quarter of a million dollars in a ginormous sculptural installation in downtown Lexington. Are there more-than adequately talented artists in Kentucky who could have done the work, and did they need to hire someone from New York?? No. But I'm glad it's here.

In spite of the NBA's worries about loaning their multi-million dollar players, whether it's because of injury or the 'no pay' issue, I'm glad our Olympic team includes them, along with UK's beloved Anthony Davis. I'm grateful that we can put aside so much to watch the world unites in London to do what they do best.

In this country, governed by a political system that has passed the ridiculous, where random acts of violence scar families, towns, our psyches beyond recognition; where talk of jobs/money/stocks, the economy, healthcare, materialism and real estate are held up as the values we hold highest... I'm glad for the people who survive, write about it all, heal each other and themselves, share, live out loud, hold on to precious moments that make life worth living and most of all, create!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The third in the series of 12x12 canvases featuring Frozen Charlottes (and cabinet cards) is perhaps my favorite so far. I think it's the glove... one of those rare treasures that - once discovered - becomes a must have. The glove has been in one of my many collection bins for three years. I could not imagine how I would use it, but hoped that one day there would be a moment of realization that it would be just right for a piece of art. 

I enjoy sifting, sorting, stacking and perusing the objects, papers, fabrics, junk jewelry, vintage treasures and rusty bits I've collected over the years. But I’ve often had a sense of reluctance when it came to parting with a special bit even though I was incorporating it into my art. I doubt I'm the only artist who keeps a stash, hesitant to forge ahead for fear that another, better purpose will reveal itself. In due time. Meanwhile remaining content to marvel at the folds, wrinkles, stains, color that have evolved with the passage of decades.

The books that continues to hold my fascination, written by StevenPressfield, are about overcoming the negative forces that live in all of us so that we might discover and live/create our best, authentic work. The War ofArt, Doing the Work and the one I’m currently reading, Turning Pro state in ways that I cannot describe, the obvious, the reality and the importance of locating and overcoming Resistance, the penultimate creativity crusher. In one of those books he wrote about not saving our best for later, meaning that if I’m unable to commit to the work on my table I might as well not do it; therefore, if the theme cries out for a leather baby glove, I must use it! So I did. And, I painted and marked on a cabinet card – not a scan, the real deal.

Some might laugh at the simplicity and common-sensical nature of these realizations but for me they have been liberating beyond my wildest imagination. So, with one more piece to photograph and two on the table I believe I’ll continue to follow another of Pressfield’s sage nuggets about doing first, then thinking!


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