Patti Edmon Altered Attic: June 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Flocked Wallpaper Anyone? Please?

My supply of vintage wallpaper was dwindling, so when I ran across these two papers in an Etsy shop I ordered without hesitation. Had I taken a few more minutes, it would have been apparent that I was buying two rolls of flocked wallpaper, not swatches. A lifetime supply... or great for sharing! If you'd like to have a strip, let me know. Please.

One of the coolest things about exploring a junk store and examining treasures in hand, as opposed to online, is that there's often more than first meets the eye. Yes, I'm a paper/book junkie, so I like most everything I run across. The seller, a southern Kentucky junk man to the core, wondered why I wanted a cover that didn't have a book attached to it; after a brief discussion he threw it in for free:)

Then I found the writing on the inside of another book and it turned a $3 find into gold. It's beyond fascinating to travel back into another person's long-ago thoughts. The curve of the letters, the flourishes, sentiments. Such passion in these prayers that fills me with the sense of connection. Not sure what I'll do with it, but someday...  

Then there's all the cool stuff I didn't buy! Maybe next time. If you want wallpaper, seriously, let me know!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Welcome Tippi

I've been trying to find my face, off and on, for a few years now, which probably doesn't make sense unless you're an artist. Especially those who, like me, can't pick up a pencil or brush and paint lovely, whimsical, poetic faces with ease. I don't know what it is about my desire to capture a distinct face... but it's there. My drawing skills are crude (oh, sure, I can do a bird, a tree, a coffee cup) and I really don't care, as my weapons of choice are acrylics, papers, photographs and found objects - the rustier the better. I can put eyes, a nose and mouth, and some hair on paper but they always look, well, blank. Vague, expressionless, random. When I go for soul I get surly, carefree and I get, well, never mind. Certainly not anything close to representing my inner spirit. 

A longtime Lynne Hoppe fan, I've had my eye on her site, Bird on a Wire, for the past few months. Lynne would post new paintings and they'd be gone by the time I got there - until last week! Tippi has come to stay, I couldn't be happier and I've finally figured out why. I'm drawn to her work, which is consistently brilliant (who doesn't know that?!), because to me it's perfect in its imperfection.   
In an interview, I heard Lynne say she doesn't recognize her own style, (which blows me away) and that she works intuitively, that her inner guide/muse is the genesis of her images. One reason why I find her work so appealing. I do realize and appreciate a multitude of artists who do fabulous non-realistic faces; the revelation was more of a wake-up call. True characters come from the heart not the head, or drawing lessons, or portraiture. And I find that really inspiring. 
Lynne generously lists her materials and tutorials on her blog, including one very detailed explanation of her face-painting process. Though it's helpful and there are some materials/techniques I want to try, I doubt my face - when I do discover it - will look like Tippi!   

Thursday, June 13, 2013

From the background

One of my goals for this year has been to create every day and while I haven't quite accomplished that it has given me a real boost! Between large projects I sometimes find myself looking for ways to create while dreaming and incubating. 
I decided that, since I like to use my own paper in collage, I'd create a few backgrounds. Talk about fun!! I used both 90# for easy tearing and140# for the heavily textured and layered pages.

My copy of Serena Barton's Wabi Sabi Art Workshop book just arrived and I can't wait to dive in, explore, learn. I wonder how different her methods are from the way I do backgrounds. My method is to shut my brain off and start grabbing - paint, ink, embossing powder and stamps, whatever I can reach and as many processes as possible. I suppose it's a bit wabi-sabi considering the number of happy accidents that happen when I call a piece a background. It's not always easy to work with that kind of abandon on canvas and/or larger projects, so it's good practice. I'd highly recommend it! Hope you're having a great June!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Seth Apter and Buried Treasure

Is it just me or does Seth Apter find more inventive ways to keep the online mixed-media community connected than one would think possible? Thanks to Seth, The Altered Page, the Buried Treasure has been launched. Bloggers dig through the archives for a favorite, for whatever reason, post and republish it. Hence the name, Buried Treasure.
I was fortunate to cross paths with Seth and have been included in many of his creative collaboration endeavors. He is truly the treasure! Take a look at the blogs listed on his page, along with his favorite posts - you won't be disappointed!

Seeking Further Sanctuary

This is the fifth of seven in the Seeking Sanctuary series I completed a few weeks ago. The pieces are currently hanging at The Nest: Center for Women, Children and Families (until I pick them up tomorrow!) and they couldn't have found a more appropriate setting. Each piece is deeply, specifically personal, with so much symbolism that it's amusing when I hear a comment like, "Oh, that's so pretty!" In this piece for example, Cinderella, there is a rusty razor blade, a gun and a stick pin, albeit masked amid pearls and a gorgeous Frozen Charlotte. 
Most of us know the pain of rejection, humiliation, falling short, abuse, neglect and other sorrows and I wanted to express darker moments in these, a sweeping out of the old bones, per se. So, as you can see, the shoe doesn't fit Cinderella after all... no happy ending. 
In (her fourth volume of) The Diary of Anais Nin, she wrote about the creative's need for emotional excess; in other words, my earlier life, every event leading up to this blog post is the collective well of material, a vast storehouse from which I'm able to transfer, translate, transform my experiences in a way that suits me. I suppose it could be considered rationalizing but I think most, like Nin, would agree. 
Don't know why it took so long for me to open the vein and work intuitively, no rational-thought based decisions, and let the imagery emerge. Most satisfying indeed.

"Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them."
~Anais Nin 


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