Patti Edmon Altered Attic: January 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

50 ways to save a face

Though the frequency of my blog posts suggests otherwise, I've been working in the studio nearly every day for an hour, or three on a good day. I've been painting... faces. Still. I seem to have come up with a 'face' but I don't think I've really broken through the surface. It is truly difficult to really let go, be counterintuitive, dig beneath the rubble of what is and is not good and/or acceptable. But I'm not going to stop. 

I don't know about you, but every so often I see an artist's work and a voice screams up from the depths - I want to paint like that. Of course, copying, imitating never works but it does give me hope. Reason to keep going, to be relentless and never, ever give up. Maybe this process is like evolution... never really fast enough but silent wheels turning.

My studio is adorned by at least 50 face paintings, started after the Misty Mawn workshop late last September, and many influenced by Juliette Crane's fabulous technique classes. I haven't felt the need to show them, to anyone really. Painting is enormously good therapy, a mood stabilizer, a reason to get up extra early. A cup of coffee in hand, music/headphones and a quick washing of the brushes has become zen-like, a meditation on creativity - what at it's core and why it's so crucially critical for me to practice.

I've been painting for the sake of creating, no goals or plans. There are literally stacks - sorted by canvas size, watercolor sheets and, well, the dud pile, which is thankfully small. Each one started with a blank canvas, paint palette and brushes. (Aside from the chalk self-portrait to reflect my awful case of pink eye - the suggestion of my good friend Rachel - thank you very much).

Today I decided to go against the grain, ditch the comfort zone and try for more than variations on a single theme. And, I did a couple of crappy paintings, but then I did the one at the top of this post. And I like her. Parts of the background, technique and the face itself is starting to look different. Not sure where I go from here, but I'll figure it out. 


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