Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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07/01/2004: "Nice article in the paper"

I'm really excited because they used an image of one of my paintings for the cover of the weekly Arts and Entertainment section of our daily paper the Juneau Empire. A large one too, probably 12x16! Also, the arts eiditor Korry wrote a nice little article when he could have made me sound like a moron. I am very pleased indeed.

Article from Juneau Empire by Korry Keeker:

Juneau painter Elise Tomlinson's work took a radical turn about five months ago, when she fell headlong into the obsessive splendor of the photo-manipulation software Adobe Photoshop.

Tomlinson had long been interested in detailed macro-photography of plant life - lichens, moss, skunk cabbage and fiddlehead ferns. With Photoshop, a program she had tinkered with as a Web developer, she realized she could delete everything but the part of the picture she really wanted.

That led to a foray into collage. Tomlinson began combining elements of her plant photography, basic shapes of her landscapes and the curves and lines of models.

"I thought some of these shapes have similar qualities," she said. "I started manipulating them in Photoshop, and I found they were really complementary, and I got on a roll."

Tomlinson used to paint off sketches, but now finds that she can spend five to 10 hours manipulating a scene before breaking out her oil paint. She will show 10 to 11 of her new paintings July 2-31 at the Friendly Planet's loft space, 200 Seward Street. The show opens from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, July 2, and includes live Celtic and bluegrass music by Greg Burger and Mary DeSmet's Full Circle Music from 5-7 p.m.

"When you already have a firm idea of what you want, you're not as free to experiment as you would be if you were winging it," Tomlinson said. "So that might be a slight drawback, because you don't have as many moments where you say, 'Hey, I wonder what would happen if I put this over here."

"There's still some magic that happens on the canvas when you're painting," she said. "There's a lot less frustration with things not looking the way I had hoped or a color scene not being balanced."

Of Tomlinson's 11 new paintings, only two of her models are fully clothed.

"Part of the reason why I don't paint clothed women is I find clothing hides the part of the shape that makes it complementary to the landscape," Tomlinson said.


Me again, I'm also excited because the online sale of my Lupine Slumber painting went through this morning (just getting ready to go out and dance naked now). I can finally put the joyful red dot on its title card. I never put a red dot on a painting (to show it's been sold) until I have the money in my pocket, so to speak.

This is a tip for any of you who may not be very experienced with exhibiting, or might have your first show coming up, particularly if it's in a non-commercial venue like a campus gallery or a coffee house. At the opening, if someone wants to buy your painting/photo/sculpture/etc. get the money before you put a sold sticker on the piece. No matter what, no matter if it's your best friend...get the money upfront. Be prepared to take money at the opening. Have someone in charge of it that you can refer people to, someone with a cash box for making change or however you want to do it.

At my BFA solo I was very unprepared. It was partly my own fault. I hadn't priced anything, I didn't have any means of accepting money, and in the heat of the moment, everyone was tripping over themselves to try and buy pieces. Most of the buyers were people I knew. I strarted writing "sold" on the pieces as people came up to me wanting to buy. I'd come up with a price on the spot, they'd agree to pay it after the show, and I'd write "sold".

I think I had around 15 pieces in that exhibit, and *all* of them "sold". How many of these people actually came to pick up the work and pay for it after the exhibit? Two! Everyone else changed their minds after the excitement of the opening wore off and they had time to think about where else they should spend their money, like getting the garbage disposal fixed or, you know, posting bail for mom...

So now, if someone wants to buy a piece, don't take it off the market from other potential buyers until you have secured the funds. It may sound harsh but I learned the hard way. And no, making art isn't about the money, but sales do help you to buy more art supplies, and adds a huge emotional boost to encourage more work. And nothing is as deflating as thinking you've sold a piece, and then having them change their mind on you.

OK, enough from me. I think when I get my computer up and running again, I'll add a new section to this website full of tips for artists just starting out. People can feel free to post all the advice they would like to share.

By the way, this image looks very faded, that's because I scanned it in from the newspaper. It does look better in real life, but it is newsprint after all. I was just impressed they used full color. Juneau may be a smaller sized city (around 30 thousand people) put it is the state capital and has a very active arts community. The first Friday of every month the galleries in town coordinate their openings. This friday there will be around 8 other openings happening around town besides mine.

image of painting fire and ice by Elise Tomlinson (45k image)

Replies: 5 Comments

on Thursday, July 1st, Howard said

Looks good!
Good luck with your show tomorrow.

on Thursday, July 1st, holly said

Brava! Please tell me they mentioned your opening in the article!?!

I'd come but it's a bit of a haul ;)

Hope you sell!

on Thursday, July 1st,">Elise said

Yes, they mentioned all the who what and when particulars so that's cool. I've already had a run in with an obnoxious Californian tourist who said he'd buy one of my pieces but they were too colorful and wouldn't go with his furniture. Then he said..."I went upstairs and looked and smiled but then went...Ahh" he made the ahh noise as though it were something very distasteful. The gallery assistant at the shop rolled her eyes at me and looked agasht. I didn't have a come back so I just asked the clerk if she had a measuring stick and got away as quickly as I could. I hope that's not an omen of things to come.

on Thursday, July 1st, Kelly said

Love the new stuff... especially Fire and Ice, and Lupine Slumber.

Good luck with the show. Try not to worry about the guy with his foot in his mouth. I think your use of color makes you memorable and refreshing.

on Friday, July 2nd,">Elise said

Thanks Kelly, I love the new series you're working on too, the girls with piercings...good luck with your convention coming up, I'm sure it will be a big success.