Patti Edmon Altered Attic: June 2012

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...










Wednesday, June 6, 2012


























Not long after I started blogging, I realized that, just like making art, it's about the process. Essentially, I do it for myself. And that's a good thing - after only a scattering of posts in recent months the number of page views has declined since years past when I was a more diligent blogger. So, I remain content to express myself and am incredibly thankful for every visitor who does stop by.
Now, I must say that I live for comments like Kim's (the post below). Knowing that I have made a significant connection to an art friend is the kind of unexpected reward that fills my spirit with trust, gratitude and empathy.
This photograph was the final in-progress before assembly for a mixed media canvas. For some reason I love capturing elements along the way not knowing precisely how they will come together, though I do have an idea/plan! What a metaphor for life, art, blogging, breathing in amazement every step during the ultimate process, the journey that is life. Thank you, Kim, for reminding me that it is possible to fly without wings!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Frozen Charlotte Canvas #1


























'Once' is one of the frozen charlotte canvases that I mentioned in the post below. I've been to The Altered Page and am a bit, well, humbled by the stunning photographs that Seth has posted. Still life, array of objects, I thought, hmmm, things I make art with - so I chose buttons!! Well, if it's good enough for Seth...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Who says you can't go to a yard sale 2000 miles away?! The boss of art and objects cool and collectible, Ms. Alicia Caudle, had hers and, trusting her as I do, I had her ship me a box. The contents eclipsed my wildest imagination and I considered posting photos of my new treasure but decided to skip to the best part. Alicia art. This altered tin blows me away.


To say she's an inspiration doesn't cut it - I've always been in love with her work. I've also been experimenting with Frozen Charlottes lately and having a blast - I plan to post the three new canvases I've finished soon. The most amazing aspect of these porcelain babes is the incredible variety of uses; yes, they are always recognizable as an element, or focal point, but the options are unlimited! Charlottes (and Charlies) have a really cool history. The one-piece dolls were made in Germany between 1850 - 1920 and the smallest ones were often put in Christmas puddings as charms! I'll put mine in the art, thank you.


The lace, fabric, stitching, wire, paper, found objects are put to such gorgeous use and the detail is, well, I'm sure you can see for yourself. If you don't already know Alicia (hard to believe as she is the quintessential blogger, collaborator, collector, e-zine publisher, web designer, to say nothing of artist!) visit Altered Bits and spend an hour roaming around on her fabulous site.


Speaking of art and friends, I am the incredibly fortunate recipient of Bunny Girl, a fabulous clay sculpture created by my good friend, Debbie Westerfield. One of the most prolific creatives I know, she is probably more - or longer - known for her mixed-media paintings, but working in clay has been a major passion for the past few years. Her art life/career is enviable. I am in awe of her talent and generosity and I refer to her as my art angel. Being a relatively new artist, Debbie has been a wellspring of encouragement, tips, advice, did I say encouragement and sustenance. We regularly exchange textures, paper, beads, rusty stuff... In fact, the blue beads at the top of BG's skirt came from my stash! She recently bought a package of washers at the hardware store and I rusted them for her - giving her several finish options.


And did I mention that I love the face?!


I'll be appearing in Seth Apter's edition of The Pulse tomorrow - hop over to The Altered Page and check it out!

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