Patti Edmon Altered Attic: Serendipity & Leading an Altered Life

Monday, December 16, 2013

Serendipity & Leading an Altered Life

The Art Every Day icon was on my blog for most of November, which is also when I last posted. It isn't that I did work on art every day, it's just that, well, I'm in workshop mode. Ever since I left Random Arts in September, I've been in a painting frenzy! A two-day workshop with Misty Mawn was a great start but I needed more, wanted to expand my brushes...

I'm currently taking a course called Serendipity, with the lovely and talented Juliette Crane! It's a year-long class with different techniques, supplies and project each month! Highly, highly recommended! I am stuck on September though, wanting to secure a few things, like faces (still!). My daughter told me yesterday that the girls in my paintings aren't smiling and I said happy lips are harder to draw/paint. Last night I drew 30 mouths, thankfully noticing a bit of improvement. I'm going to try to make the deers in the headlights less grim.

I hope all my art pals (and everyone else) is in the Christmas (Hanukkah or Kwanza) spirit by now. I don't know about you but I spend the weeks leading up to the event so busy I don't see anybody! I did cut back on the decorating this year since the arthritis has been kicking my butt for the past couple of months, but I get to choose what I will and won't compromise on. 

There are so many of us living with illnesses, disability, both physical and mental - and spiritual. While it does limit the energy hours I have learned to spend them well. Most of the time! Making art became my therapy several years ago and when I woke up a bit sad this morning, I put my headphones on (loud music) and took a mug of coffee up to the studio at 7:00 am. In a matter of minutes I forgot about moods and irritations, annoyances and the chronic 'sick and tired of feeling sick and tired' and instead, my muse - who is thankfully so good to me - took over.

I'm writing a piece that addresses illness and art and it's for those of us who lead altered lives, use art to replace all that we used to do, much of which has been given up. For me, it's running the business I started with my beloved, Jim, in 1990. He's had a new business partner since the beginning of 2012 and even after eight years, the loss is keen.

Nearing the home stretch in an advanced fiction program in late 2004 (loved those trips to San Fran!), I had to drop it, too tired, cognitive dysfunction and all. And my horse, Sir Richard, (I loved him with all my heart) went too. Art does give me a sense of accomplishment (though I change my medium and style like seasonal wardrobes). And I know that living a true life means being rather than doing, but most people haven't gotten that memo.

So if you are living an altered life, I want to hear from YOU. Really. Please - I need your hard-earned badges of wisdom, frustrations, thoughts that you might not share with those who don't 'get' invisible illness, know what I mean? :)

Hope. Grace. Gratitude. I am thankful for my friends and art pals, you know who you are, with your love and words of encouragement. Most of the time I realize how much there is to be thankful for, to celebrate. 

“I know you can’t live on hope alone, but without hope life isn’t worth living." Sean Penn

As always, blessings and satisfaction to you!


nelda said...

Thank you writing this post. I try to think more about what I CAN do, rather than what I can no longer do and it seems to help with moving forward. Your words help too!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Well, my illness isn't invisible, but it's a birth defect (form of arthritis). I can tell you that I live each day and luckily don't have to answer to anyone (except my precious Bleubeard, of course) or face any time constraints unless they are self imposed. I think we all find our own pace, but I also think I could do more, if I chose to. I know when it's crunch time, I get more accomplished. So maybe a deadline is a good thing at times.

Have a super week, dear.

alicia : said...

I know you know this but i will share anything and everything I can with you. I love your new painting!

Laura said...

i'm looking forward to reading your article. i'm always looking for inspiration/motivation. most of my time ends up just reading instead of making.

Marylinn Kelly said...

It is a long story, brought to my attention (I pretended it wasn't there for so long) by a new property manager for our apartment bldg. requiring an inspection. There are depths into which we can sink, even while being bright and almost merry in other areas of life, which overwhelm us (me) with shame and I blamed it all on fatigue and depression, which are a part of me but this was some very old business and the universe, a great benevolence, stepped in and made me face work, plain hard work, that had to be done. I knew in the moment it was a gift, I am so immeasurably grateful for my son's hard work when I couldn't sustain my own energy for every one of the days required but did manage to do more than I thought I could. When my muscles and mind return to a rested state, I know there has been a shift. Not a healing in the usual sense, not a cure, but something very rich and lasting, restoration to an abandoned self, perhaps a diminished shame and self-forgiveness for how I handled my life being the best I could do in the moment. Long, rambling thing. Anyway, art awaits at the end of the tunnel, as does an orderly home, ready for welcome guests due in May. We had no idea how we could get ready for them. Hah! Surprise. Love to you, Patti. Glad for your music and studio and 30 mouths that might begin to smile. xoxo

Patti said...

Thank you all for your wonderful, inspiring words. All the more reason I need to write this book!!

Gaby Bee said...

Dear Patti,
Warm Christmas wishes to you and yours! Health, Happiness and may all of your dreams come true for 2014!


Sharmon Davidson said...

p.s. I have a very bad haiku for you:

too cold and alone
feeling dark as the gray sky
wishing for some light


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