Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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06/20/2004: "Back at the easle again"

Had a great time with my family last week. I got to do a lot of the touristy things I never tried before, like taking the tram up Mount Roberts. At the top there is a raptor and nature center, a resturant and a theater. At the theater we got to listen to a live performance of a really talented Tlingit story teller who told about the creation of the first killer whale. Then we got to watch a short movie called Moving in Light (I think) about the history of the Tlingit people and culture...which was excellent. We ate up there with a fantastic view, then went hiking on some trails but not for long, as we couldn't push my dad's wheel chair on the steep rocky trail even though they called it "wheel chair accessible".

We also hiked the Perserverance Trail and did another geo cache thing, (like the one we did on the Treadwell trail) which was fun. I also tried to take them out sailing but since I couldn't find anyone to sail with me who knew how, and because my marine battery had worn down so that the radio wasn't working to call for help if we needed to, I only motored them out into the channel. It was pretty windy. I had the sails all set up ready to go but I guess I chickened out. I had all of my four sisters on board and the responsibility I felt was too much.

The weather was really amazing for the last couple of days they were here, clear blue skies. It's been like that all weekend as well. It has been in the low 80s the last couple of days according to my thermometor and that is way too hot for me. No one here has air conditioners and so it can seem so hot on the rare days it gets this warm. Thankfully I have that window fan I bought for fume ventilation. Plus I'm taking lots of cool showers.

Anyway, my f/amily took off on Thursday and Friday and everyone seemed to have had a great trip. I spent this weekend recouperating and finishing up the last details on my paintings which I'm happy to say are done done done!!!. Even though they'll be framed, I use gallery wrapped canvases so I always paint the top, bottom and sides. Right now only the bottoms are still waiting to be finished up but I don't really count that. Now I'm trying to decide if I should list two prices for each piece, one for framed and one for unframed? I've never framed my work in the past so this is a first for me. I was just going to incorporate the cost of the frames into the total price but then if someone didn't want the frame...suggestions

I signed my first completely finished painting tonight to, "Grounded". After looking at the figure some more I decided that the tones in the face had more purple than the rest of the figure so I tried to add some yellow highlights and ended up spending around 4 hours repainting the entire face which basically looks practically identical to how it looked before.

Worse yet, I've been having problems with arthritis in my right hand. It was really hurting tonight and I was having to force myself to keep painting, even after taking my anti-inflamatory medicine. I'm worried because even though all of my paintings are finished (I'm only going to use 10 total) I have that quick draw thing coming up this coming weekend. I haven't come up with an image for that yet, and I haven't practiced anything, and now with my hand in so much pain...I'm worried I may not be able to practice this week either. I'm starting to really regret saying I'd do it at all. I'm scared out of my wits.

Oh yah, and I picked up my invitations, they actually look pretty good. I'm going to stay after work tomorrow and print out some labels and try to get them in the mail on Tuesday. My mailing list was saved to my hard drive (shock) so I'll have to recreate it as best as possible. If you emailed me your address for a postcard you might want to send it again. Sorry!

OK, my hand is really hurting from this typing so I better lay off it. I just had one final thought...the thing is, finishing up this show I feel like I've gotten into a groove with my current style, and yet as I stated earlier, I'm feeling like I'd like to just go crazy for a bit, do something really wild and out there and different. I guess it isn't an either or thing, but it still scares me a little. I'd like to know if anyone who feels they have a certain style to their work has taken a totally different track while continuing to do what they're more known for doing. And if so, what if anything happened from it? Just curious.

Well, I'm off to bed. I watched three different vampire movies today (while painting) so it's a good thing that it stays light out so long this time of year! That reminds me, it summer solstice in a few days. I'll never forget the time my friend Susan and I accidentally ended up at Stonehenge early on the morning of the summer solstice. Talk about a freak show. We meant to go to see Stonehenge, we just didn't realize it was solstice.

Replies: 4 Comments

on Tuesday, June 22nd, John said

Good to hear that you're all finished up for your show. Congratulations. While I don't ahve arthritis, my hand does cramp up painfully after a long session of drawing/painting or writing (but not typing), have you tried loosening your grip on the mark making utensil, or is it more in your wrist than in your hand?

Go wild and different. Keep working in your current style if you feel in the groove, but also work on somethign different and crazy simultaneously...if ti doesn't work out you can always paint over it, or stick in a corner somewhere. :)

So, what did you decide to do for your artist's statement for the show?

on Tuesday, June 22nd,">Elise said

I tried to respond to this earlier, not sure why it didn't go through. Anyway, I haven't exactly decided on a final version of my artist statement yet. I like what you wrote a lot, just haven't gotten that far. I've just sent out a couple press releases, the invites are going in the mail tonight, and I have to pick up the posters the gallery had made. They designed and paid for them but I have to take them around town (seems more than fair).

As for my hands, probably holding the brush less tightly would help, sometimes long painting sessions aggrevate my arthritis but sometimes I don't know what causes it, and it's in my wrists and my fingers but mostly I've just learned to grin and bear it.

And I think I will go nuts after this show, have a bit of fun for awhile. Be prepared though, the new pieces (not sure if they'll be paintings or mixed media) might suck donkey balls, (to quote Cartman).

on Tuesday, June 22nd, John said

Like I said, they can always sit in a corner somewhere if they suck. You've probably heard this before but maybe an ace bandage or wrist brace to alleviate the pain...or see how good you are with your off hand. Of course there's a whole multi-colored world of alternative "medicine" that might help, herbs and such.

on Tuesday, June 22nd,">Elise said

Ah yes, I know of what you speak. The only way to get any alternative *medicine* here is if you have a lot of money, which I don't.

I do where a wrist brace on my right hand while I work online, I never thought about trying to use it while painting though. I'll have to try it out. Probably it will be too restrictive, also, I tend to get oil paint on everything, I'm really messy that way. I know it's dangerous and all but I can't wear gloves while I paint either. Hey, maybe I need to get a big rubber glove that will fit over my hand in the brace. That way I won't be soaking up toxins and my wrist will be protects. I think I'll actually try that out.

Maybe a big canvas gardening glove. Yah, and I think I'll wear it to the quick draw thing at Marine Park. People will think I'm *ecentric* (I know that isn't spelled correctly but I'm too tired to spell check).

As always, thanks for the advice.