Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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10/15/2004: "Talking about art with friends."

After being lulled by the warm glow of a hundred like-minded (at least in the art-crazed sense) students in art school...graduation can feel like being ripped too soon from the womb. When I lived in Anchorage, I still had a lot of artist and writer friends after graduation and continued to take studio classes that kept me in the loop. There was nothing I enjoyed more than staying up all night in the printmaking or ceramics studio, waxing philosophical with other aficionados about our favorite topics: art and literature.

Then I went to grad school and the only friends I made at the U of Hawaii were scientists. I longed so badly for a fellow artist to talk with that I eventually put up a somewhat desperate note in the lounge of the art department asking if anyone wanted to get together to talk about art or go to gallery openings etc. No one responded.

In Juneau there has been a gap in my life that used to belong to heated debates on topics relating to all aspects of the creative process...and I miss it so much. Having this blog and online interaction with fellow artists has gone a long way to fill that void but nothing is a replacement for the real deal.

Last night my friend Jeff, who is a wildlife photographer, came into the library and we started talking. It was so great. Whenever I talk with him I feel reinvigorated to work harder than ever (thanks Jeff!). We ended up hanging out in the parking lot until nearly midnight, talking about things like whether or not you can teach people to "see" or if MFA programs are really just pyramid schemes (read "Art and FearĒ), and motivating each other to make better decisions regarding the business end of our art businesses.

I feel so optimistic going into this weekend. My house and studio are spotless, My oil brushes are clean, I have no volunteer projects to worry about, my bills are paid, my laundry done, I have a fridge full of healthy food and plans to go to Pilates class at the gym on Sunday; tonight I'm going to bake cinnamon rolls and watch disaster movies...but I have a feeling Iím going to have a very productive weekend, creatively speaking. At the moment, life is good!