Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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06/05/2004: "Quick Draw, a terrifying proposition"

I'm home in Douglas now and just got a letter in the mail from the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council asking me to participate in this year's charity Quick Draw.

"Participating artists will gather at Marine Park and each will create a work of art in one hour (hence the term "Quick Draw"). While the artists are working, members of the public circulate among them, admiring the artists' work and experiencing an aspect of the creative process the public does not usually see. Once the hour is up we hold a public auction of the works which have been created. The proceeds from each sale are divided between the artist and the event based on a percentage chosen by the artist."

I'm really torn over whether or not I should do this. On one hand, it would be good publicity, and a nice thing to do for the JAHC which let me have a show at their gallery a couple years ago...on the other hand, I would have to work in front of people, have very little time to finish a piece, and it could end up being REALLY terrible looking, and bring in no bids at all from the auction. That would be humiliating. They need to know if I'm going to participate by this Friday and I just can't decide. Part of me really wants to do it, but another part of me is having a major anxiety attack. What do you think? An opportunity to do something good for the arts community or an opportunity for disaster?
Have any of you out there ever participated in something similar and if so, how awful was it?

Replies: 7 Comments

on Monday, June 7th, RR said

I've just had a look at your work - Do the Quick Draw - you;ll be great and would only regret it if you didn't. Your work is fantastic.

on Monday, June 7th, Dio said

Its sounds like fun - I've never done anything like that - but I have done exercises where you limit the time you have on a piece. It can be very revealing.

There's nothing to say you can't do a bit of prep work either ;)

on Monday, June 7th, Howard said

Can you set up some promotional material while you are working? Any oprotunity to show off your work is good.

on Monday, June 7th,">Elise said

Home with a bug, I think I caught whatever you had Howard! Such bad timing.

As for the Quick Draw, Great idea to work something out ahead of timeÖ limit my pallet, and practice to see how far I can get in an hour. Still, I've never liked having even one person in the room with me while I paint, let alone crowds of people walking around asking me questions.

The event is on June 26, 5 days before my opening and I was thinking I could have a stack of business cards and invitations set out for people to take. Oh, I'm still terrified but I think Iíll say Iíll do it. Maybe thatís why Iím sick, itís a nervous breakdown.

Oh, and thanks RR for the encouraging words. I checked out your blog but couldn't tell if you're a visual artist or writer or both...any work online? Plus, you're Scottish I assume? Blimey! (as Dio would say).

OK, back to the couch, I think I'm going to yak. (sorry).

on Tuesday, June 8th, RR said

Glad you've decided to do the quick draw but sorry you are ill. If I was being honest I'm neither an artist nor a writer just have aspirations to do both (have aspirations to do everything really! :-) ) But I have just been accepted to do a part-time combined art degree at Edinburgh College of Art. There is some old 'touristy' painting work on the "my links" bit of my blog. Maybe one day I'll get some of my portfolio scanned in. But not really brave enough.

on Tuesday, June 8th,">Elise said

Ah, don't be so modest. I really like some of your "touristy" work, particularly "Holy Isle" and "Grasses". I have wanted to incorporate wild grasses into my paintings for awhile now but havenít had a chance to take any photographs of my own yet. Here are links to a couple of photographs of grasses that reminds me of your painting somewhat...

Clear Skies and Fall is Near both were taken here in the Juneau/Douglas area by local photographer Pat Costello (my hero).

A note about your blog...I would move your links to the top of the page, rather than at the bottom where they get lost among your external links. Just an idea.

Congrats on your acceptance to Edinburgh College of Art, that must be so exciting! You should feel encouraged to scan your work. I got to visit Edinburgh in 1995 (or sometime near then) and it was such a great city. I love Scotland; I took some great photos and met some really amazing people who thought my accent was "brilliant". My friend and I were hitch hiking and sleeping in fields and both of us came down ill in Tongue and got our first experience with socialized medicine. It was awesome!

OK, better get going. Let me know when you get some more of you work scanned in, I'd love to see it.

on Sunday, June 13th, RR said

Thanks for the encouragement :-)I guess I feel a bit like a baby artist at the moment.

Clear Skies is a bit like my grasses and weird to see in someways.

Moving the links is a good idea...will try to play about with the template sometime, maybe once I've done a bit on web design when I start my course.