Patti Edmon Altered Attic: January 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

It's no secret that I love texture, and lots of it... combining scraps of every conceivable tissue, corrugated, patterned and printed paper with media, fabric, metal and other bits that are within arm's reach, then diving into color...
I can do this all day and it never feels repetitive, each piece a fresh blank board waiting to be transformed.

Sometimes I end up with a great beginning. And, since I don't usually have a finished image in mind when I start, I wind up staring at the background with no clue what to do next. I've gotten through this as many times as I've finished art that I mostly love, but this bridge place, the water rushing beneath, the sky - and path - dense with fog that filters through my brain is very frustrating. Yes, I need an image, found objects, a theme or emotion to express...

Like most mixed-media artists, I've read my share of books on process, the muse, letting creativity flow, blah, blah and blah. Yes, they are good, often great books, very inspiring and chock full of fabulous art... but do they help? Not always. What works for others is often alien to me - I believe the creative process is as individual as dentures. Or glasses. Or a prosthetic. I enjoy workshops and projects based on other artist's work but what I really want is to create in my own, albeit faltering voice.

 So what happens when a dead-end is perceived, if not reached? Does this ever happen to you? Everyone? If I didn't know better, this is the place where I'd stop, give up, call it quits. Who ever feels like that?! A fake it till you make it, stubborn, mind-blocked pout that doesn't make anyone happy. Trust me. If this rings any bells I'd love to hear about your way of coping with the blind curves, blank spots, other ways of dealing with the madness of getting stuck in one's own mind. Until I figure it all out, I'll just say I have a work in progress. Or blurred vision.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Can't have too many junk boxes!

Most of my pre-holiday time was spent re-purposing shoe boxes, a project that turned out to be as fun as it is ecological. Your counters are probably clean and visible, free and clear of the stuff that can't be thrown out - yet - but doesn't have a home. You probably don't deal with piles of stuff, photos, coupons, receipts and papers that need to be sorted like I do. So, since our junk drawer was full I decided this would be a convenient and artistic solution. A counter-top junk box. 

I collaged the box lid with generous layers of papers and other scraps, wholey paper of course, and then painted on a coat of clear Gesso; I haven't been using it long but have fallen in love with it! Along with stabilizing the cardboard it also lets some of the papers and colors show through. Then it became like any other canvas and I had a blast, deciding on a centerpiece and trim to complete the look. I did, however, leave the insides alone, I think it's cool that on the inside it looks like, well, a shoe box.

I don't know how many empty shoe boxes are hanging around your house. I'm not a 'shoe person' but it was still easy to  round up several. After completing a few, though, I decided to find someone with smaller feet! The blue box (middle) was made as a Christmas gift for my mother; an essay I wrote for/about her was rolled up and tied with ribbon and tucked inside. The detail shot (above) is of the pink box I made for my sister-in-law, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Sigh.

Rather than making resolutions (I used the same list for years:), I decided that as long as I either write, paint or create in some way every day I will be on the right path. I hope you experience happiness and an abundance of creativity throughout the new year!


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