Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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10/24/2004: "If only I could paint what I see in my head!"

Spent the weekend working on the tide paintings. First, selected various sized canvases and then arranged them on the wall until I found a variety of sizes and orientations that went well together...then I started adding the thick white zinc "texture" layer. I did that for 4 canvases, plus, worked on a canvas where I had put down the texture weeks ago and it was dry enough for the next colored layer.

I had planned to use thin glazes of color over the white texture, but instead of looking light, relective and beautiful, it looked incredibly weak and uninteresting. So, I had to add some white pigment, which opaqued things up and wasn't what I was going for either.

This is so frustrating because I have limited time and I can't seem to figure out how the hell I can get the paintings to match the way I already see them in my mind. So, after a week of slaving away I actually feel worse than before I started, because before I started I still thought the paintings would ultimately kick ass.


Replies: 4 Comments

on Monday, October 25th,">Kate said

Will you be posting any photos of the new paintings soon? I can't wait to see them. I'm sure they are not as bad as you think and for the record, nothing ever looks as good as it does in your mind.

on Monday, October 25th, Elise said

Hi Kate,
I didn't have a camera checked out from school this week and I ran out of batteries for my little Blink II so it may be awhile before I have any photos. I'm going out of town tomorrow for a conference in Kansas City and I won't be back until next week.

on Wednesday, October 27th, Alanna said

Go crazy! Let go of your ideas and just get paint down. And if it gets worse, go more crazy, paint over your favorite parts, move things around. You will find the answer. I find if I go into a painting with too many ideas of what I want to happen in the painting, I drive myself crazy. My most favorite paintings are the ones in which I felt like I had no control over them. They are the ones that have the most to teach you. Let the paintings take over. Good luck!

on Sunday, October 31st, Elise said

Thanks Alanna, that's good advice. I had to go away for a week for a conference and now that I'm back I'm also having a hard time getting back into it, but you're right, the best discoveries are made, I believe, by random experimentation.

There is something to be said for developing your "craft" but if we only ever try what we already know...we'll never advance.

Anyway, back to the drawing board.