Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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06/26/2004: "Quick Draw Finished / Gettin Strong Now"

I just got back from the Quick Draw event, we ended up having pretty good weather for it. I understand now why I don't paint outside...bugs kept suicide diving into my painting and there was an angry bumblebee swarming about my head. The one small blessing was that there wasn't a very big crowd for it. There was only one cruise ship in port today where most days there are from 3-5. Also, I set up my work area pretty far away from the other painters and not that many people came to watch me paint. The ones that did kept asking me questions even though the announcer kept saying to not talk to the artists. Two seperate people asked me why I only paint women... I have a feeling I may have inadvertantly given a few dirty looks...but I was seriously anxious over the whole deal and shortly after setting up my canvas I realized that my piece was much larger than everyone else's and also that I was the only one using oils...and I started to panic. It didn't help that they kept announcing the amount of time remaining.

When they said "OK, artists should be getting pretty close to finished now" I still had quite a bit of blank canvas staring at me. My hands were shaking so it was hard to do my outlining. Colors that normally would have dried between layers had to be done wet so they got muddied up a bit. When there was a 5 minute warning a guy came by (who I thought was affiliated with the event) who said not to worry, that it was for charity and it didn't matter if you went over a bit. So when they called it, I kept painting frantically. A few minutes later the head of the Arts and Humanities Council came by to scold me and said "Elise, you really do need to stop now!". I felt really embarassed!

I put a piece of plexiglas in front of the frame with some gummy erasers in the corners to keep the painting protected in the frame but the plexiglas wasn't very thick and it ended up buckeling and pressing in on the oil painting like when ceran wrap gets too close to jello. I had to quickly remove the plexiglas after they had already started auctioning off pieces.

Mine was one of the first ones auctioned off. I felt a little annoyed that the announcer was upping the bid by 25 bucks at a time for mine, when he as only upping it by 5 for everyone else. Still, a couple people bid on it and it ended up selling for $125.00, which was more than 1/2 the paintings got, a lot less than two of them, and about the same as the rest. So, a respectable outcome overall.

On of our US Senators showed up for the event (after my piece had already sold) and was bidding on pieces. That was kind of cool (she's up for re-election this year). If I'm asked to do it again next year I think I will, I'll just be better prepared and I'll know what to expect. So, things I'll do differently:

1. Work smaller
2. Paint in acrylic (I'll have time to practice with that medium by then).
3. PRACTICE the painting first to make sure I can do it fast enough and TIME myself. (having them count down the time was really nerve racking).
4. NOT eat leftover bean soup for breakfast.
5. NOT drink 5 cups of esspresso beforehand
6. Wear bug spray
7. SMILE at people but wear headphones and listen to the news on NPR so people can't ask me questions or if they do I won't be able to hear them.
8. Tell more of my friends and acquaintences that I'm going to be doing it and invite them to attend.
9. Do a painting that is Juneau centric.
10. Get in really great shape physically.

For that last one, someone came up to me during the auction and gave me a photo of myself doing the painting that they did during the event. I should have been gracious, but instead I was shocked and appalled at how I looked. My panty line was really visible and my pants were riding up betwixt my butt cheaks, my shirt was a little tight and I had visible *back fat*!!! Oh god, it was awful. I had no idea that's how I looked. I am starting a new exercise program beginning now. And next week when the show is behind me I'm going to go and join a gym. If the Quick Draw was helpful for anything, it was for me to take my weight and health more seriously.

My friend Jennifer and I went out for lunch afterward and the new me only got a half of a salmon cesar salad! joy.

OK, enough sitting on my ass and typing...I'm going to change clothes and then go out for a quick hike. The photo of myself is going onto the fridge! Tonight I'm going to watch the original Rocky. That is great for getting inspired to kick ass. I remember the first time I watched it as a kid I thought the theme song was "eatin dog chow". I could never understand how that was relevant.

Replies: 5 Comments

on Monday, June 28th, John said

You know, I've found the best exercise routine to be carrying my 20+ pound toolbox, 20+ pound back pack, and portfolio (or individual painting) all over creation. Either that, or "Action Painting". :)

on Monday, June 28th,">Elise said

Man, I was really jealous of the artists doing water color and drawings. They showed up with a sheet of paper taped to a drawing board and a couple jars of water.

I had to bring two folding tables, pallet, knives and brushes, liquin and oil, my easle which I had to disasemble first, a chair, and the 18x24 canvas and frame.

I looked like I was moving in. But yah, carrying all that stuff around would whip me into shape pretty quickly, still...I am not fond of painting outdoors.

on Monday, June 28th, John said

Yeah, with just an hour to work, I imagine watercolor or acrylic would be the way to go.

on Monday, June 28th,">Elise said

I thought about doing that to begin with, only I haven't painted in either medium in quite some time and I was afraid that with the added stress of being watched, I'd totally bungle it up. At leaste for next year I'll have some time to practice with acrylics. I've kindof wanted to do that for awhile anyway.

on Tuesday, June 29th,">Elise said

Hey John, if you send me your web address again I'll add a link to it on my links page.