Patti Edmon Altered Attic: Can you say recycled art?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Can you say recycled art?

Several months ago, my daughter was introduced to chronic illness. Nothing life threatening or terminal, just enough to alter her life stuffed with school, dance, competitions, boyfriend and social life to one punctuated by ambulance rides, ER visits, tests, and enough doctor's appointments that I've come to regard myself a certified waiting room consultant. Yes, we try to keep it light, in its spot in the big picture. Having been on that journey myself, I'm deeply grateful for my own illness - well, the experience, wisdom and perspective it has allowed me. The more expansive, empathetic, philosophical, aware self I have become - not the pains and annoyances of the illness itself. 

A blog pal, Annie, otherwise known as Bohemiannie Art, commented on recent posts about the low-tech style (thanks Seth Apter!) projects I've been diving into with creative glee (yes, I said it, the word glee, wow) with a note saying I might enjoy watching some of Jennibellie's tutorials. I've never conversed with Jennie but from her studio in England she has been generous enough to take viewers through the steps of a variety of projects. After watching her turn greeting cards into a book I couldn't resist. Yes, I admit to it. Having, well, a lot of cards saved over the years, way too cool to throw away but not quite useful, so tucked in a box in my cozy (crowded) studio. And since my daughter has received a number of cards wishing her well, can you say 'new project?'

After a coat of gesso, leaving a few key elements showing, I chose a palette based on her favorite colors and did washes on both sides of all the cards. Then, I pulled from my stash of papers - mostly used, like the fuzzy paper bag my daughter's ballet shoes came in, tissue paper from Juicy Couture and imprinted with Free Gift, wrapping paper and my favorite textures. 

I didn't really plan for signatures because my brain doesn't work that way (can you say ADD?), so I left a few cards out to compensate. I want to have half the spread a colorful art page where I'll attach my thoughts, like, "I am not my illness." Then the other side will be painted and I'll add an overlay of paper, an envelope or, who knows, different ways my daughter can add her own words to the pages. Hopefully, the end result will not only be a keepsake, but an inspiring chronicle of her journey that began with fresh lemons and is creating some fine lemonade!

Neurocardiogenic Syncope has wreaked havoc on our lives but she is stabilizing thanks to a fabulous cardiologist and medication. Though she's out of school for the remainder of the semester, she has started dancing again, dealing with school work and (finally!) going out to have fun with her boyfriend and friends. My hope is that by her 16th birthday (in a few months), she'll be cleared for getting her driver's permit. Wait, did I just say that?? 

Chronic illness touches many, perhaps most every person's life, at some point. It isn't so much about what happens to us, it's what we do with it, the person we become with enhanced creativity, insight, and an expanded world-view. If art has influenced your life with chronic illness, I'd sure like to hear from you!


Seth said...

So sorry to hear about the situation with your daughter but how wonderful that she has you as a guide. And glad to hear that thinks are slowly returning to "the usual". Love both the idea behind the card book and the execution. The creativity keeps flowing.

Gena Lumbroso said...

Sweety, you are doing what you do best, transforming the old and mundane into the exceptional! I agree with Seth, your daughter is so lucky to have such a beautifully enlightened and positive guide ;) Bright blessings! xx

lynne h said...

hi patti,

i send your daughter - and you - great love... *and* i agree with seth!

re: your question at 'bird on a wire', i think the best thing to do is 'follow by e-mail'. that way you'll receive an e-mail whenever i put something up, which is very sporadically. the 'follow by e-mail' thingies is in the sidebar...


~*~Patty S said...

Sending very best healing wishes to your daughter and all of your family Patti!
Being creative has helped me in so many ways ...
Both you and Elizabeth have me needing to check out the greeting card video...
and you all take care

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I've been trying to lead your blog for two days, and it finally loaded. Not sure what the problem was, but must of the other blogger blogs loaded OK.

I did a similar card book recently, but mine didn't turn out nearly as well as yours. Yours is awesome. I couldn't get my gesso and paint to cover the words, or the images. Not sure what you used, but I used gesso I got from Hobby Lobby. I sure like the way you painted yours. They look awesome.

BTW, I ended up sewing over mine because I couldn't get the words and such to cover up.

hula-la said...

what a wonderfully inspiring project! Very special, indeed. I am sending great healing wishes to your daughter...but, um...don't rush the driving produces gray hairs and wrinkles. This, I know this for sure!


Bluefinch said...

Once again-fabulous!

CatieAn said...

I am a new follower and I love your art. I am so sorry your daughter has a chronic illness. I know you said you did as well but haven't read back far enough to know what it is. I have RSD, reflex sympathetic dystrophy or CRPS. It developed after a traumatic fall at work. I was a pediatric oncology and peds Intensive care nurse for 34 years.
I have used a cane for ten years now and my left was turned upside down. Once a runner, athlete, loved my job, etc. I am in chronic pain and every day is a choice to give in or get myself going. My art has saved my life and given me a chance to put the pain in the back ground as much as possible.
I am so happy your daughter has something treatable and is able to be back with her friends and her dancing. It is so important to live life as normal as possible.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I have lived with my white wolf...Lupus for over 30 years so I understand chronic progression. Live in balance...easier said than done but make each day a gift. Peace to you both. Seth is a great inspiration to all living with chronic conditions. Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart


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