Patti Edmon Altered Attic: April 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Countdown to Saluda!!

Just two more days until I arrive in Saluda, a tiny town in the mountains of North Carolina. But those who really know me understand that Saluda, Random Arts in particular - is my escape, my sanctuary, my art haven. I cannot wait to see Jane in her freshly stocked store, with morning coffee, setting up in a warmly familiar room full of fellow creatives (no explanations needed about paint on clothing or body parts, weird hair, jewelry or humor or passion for our work). What community could be better than like-minded artists talking, laughing, messy hands and learning new techniques? The addition of our instructor and friend, Seth Apter - for this amazing three-day workshop; well, a one-day and two-day (who could pass that up??).

This break could not come at a better time, which is probably what I always say. However, while many people enjoy traveling on a regular basis, I do not. Partly by choice but mostly due to the chronic illness that keeps me closer to home (in the studio as often as possible). In fact, the last time I was out of town was... last September when I took Misty Mawn's workshop in Saluda. I've painted hundreds of faces since then, which I might never have even tried if not for that experience.

As I've often expressed, finding and evolving my style of painting faces is sanity-saving and deeply gratifying. And while realism in painting offers a truth much like photography, there is no structure, rules or absolutes in my crazy process, which means endless possibilities. Making books will be a refreshing shift and fun opportunity to play with art supplies that have been patiently waiting.


Once or twice a year, I believe it's vital for us as women, artists, mothers, etc. etc., to disappear for several days (yes, I can turn a three-day workshop into a six-day event), to widen our range of projects while feeding the soul. This trip will be especially delightful since I'll be with Rachel, my art sponsor and close pal! Now off to pack...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Got Junk?

Who has to worry about running out of junk, stuff, rusty parts and curious bits? Not me. This printer's tray was been parked against a wall in the studio for years and then became highly visible after brief stretches of organization. One day last week, I was particularly drained and decided it would be a brain friendly, albeit creative way to spend the afternoon.  I've seen these trays for years with brilliant collections of oddities and I thought it would be time consuming; however, it was frighteningly easy. I didn't have to dig very deep at all to locate more than enough small odds and ends to fill the rectangular/horizontal spaces.

A quality photo would require a different lens, so, after much effort and delay I decided to publish this one anyway, because the point isn't about stunning photography. It has everything to do with an abiding passion for art, my saving grace. Creating daily (with rare exceptions) improves mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health. My stress level has been been magnified recently, which has fueled many hours of anxiety and sadness, feeling overwhelmed and spiraling out into strange, deep space. Not close to my emotional center, my happy place. 

A while back I established an early morning ritual of brewing coffee, putting on my headphones and tucked away in my studio, I begin by considering the endless possibilities for paint, canvas, paper, ink, stuff and more stuff. This habit defines me and helps block my vision of past and future by bringing me back to a known, safe place where I belong, in the present moment; the here and now.

The projects might vary widely but the one thing they have in common is the validation and satisfaction that comes with making something that did not exist before. Filling this tray was easy, fun and a reminder that no matter what the day brings, I can create a physical manifestation of my curiosity, fears, joy and sorrow, underlined by a comforting sense of my truest identity. Amazing. 


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