Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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11/07/2004: "New Paintings"

Well, I'm pretty much in shock but despite eating *way* too much left over Halloween candy and nearly going into a sugar coma, I was able to get the under paintings done for six new paintings! This brings the total number of pieces "in progress" up to 10. That seems like a perfectly respectable number for a solo. On top of that I was able to finish up one of my in progress commissioned pieces so as soon as that dries I can get it in the mail and scratch one more thing off of my to do list.

Now all I have to do is wait a week or two for the base coats to dry and then haul ass with the top coats. Since I want these alluvial flow paintings to replicate the way water cuts through sand in random patterns, I'm planning to paint some colored glaze coats and then mist them with mineral spirits so the pigments run following paths of least resistance. In my head it looks great but I've never painted this way before so I'm not at all sure that it will work the way I think it will.

Next weekend I'll start posting photos...

Oh yah, I also got long distance phone calls this weekend from nearly every close friend I had in college (and a couple calls I missed while running errands). Everyone is in various stages of grief (denial, anger, and acceptance) but they all wanted to commiserate. I think the over-riding sentiment though, was that rather than giving up, we should all be even more vigilant in the upcoming days. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Unrelated, does anyone know what this this is? I found them growing all over the place last month, near mushrooms and such.

swirly-growth (92k image)

Replies: 14 Comments

on Sunday, November 7th, Dio said

Wow - what the heck is that? It looks like a sea anenome or something.

Mrs Dio is a botanist, so I will get her to have a look soon. If you find out in the meantime please let us know.

If no one knows then you can claim it for your own. Elisestwistyfronds or something ;)

on Monday, November 8th, RR said

Wow - they look deadly. There is a fungi called black tongue or something - maybe it's that before it goes black?

on Monday, November 8th, Elise said

I think they're actually kind of beautiful. There were a bunch of them in clusters, some of them just go straight up and and down, no twist in them.

Anyway Dio, if Mrs. Dio has an idea what it is or what family it might belong to, that would help. I'm trying to identify the various plants I've photographed in case I decide to display them anywhere.

on Monday, November 8th, Elise said

Oh, and RR, I'll look up "Black Tongue" though I did watch them for quite awhile after I took the photos and I don't recall them changing color.

I agree they are probably some kind of fungi.

on Monday, November 8th,">Jackie said

E: I didn't know what type of fungi your photo showed - but I look at this blog of a person living on the Isle of Skye, British Isles, and have noted that their flora is quite similar to Alaskan flora. Sure enough, check out Oct. 9 entry, and there's a pic of fungi just like yours, although white:
Hope your paintings turn out the way you anticipate...can't wait to see the pics of them!

on Monday, November 8th, Elise said

Wow Jackie, those photos are very interesting. I think you're right about that being the same thing as what I found here. They called it "Clavaria fumosa" so I did an Image search for it in Google and came up with a bunch more examples, most of them white or light grey.

Cool! thanks for that!

on Monday, November 8th, holly said

Wow- those are really beautiful. They *do* look like sea anenomes! We get vaguely similar fungi here, but they usually consist of one "finger" in the early spring and late fall, and not a cluster. Not a clue what they are. Don't eat 'em!

on Monday, November 8th, Elise said

With the lead from Jackie I did some more rooting around online and came up with "Clavaria purpurea" as the best bet.

"This species is found across North America. In the western mountains it ranges from British Columbia to New Mexico. Typically it fruits in clusters or is scattered singly over the duff layer under spruce and fir. Fruitbodies vary from pale greyish violet to deep purple, mostly 5-7 cm tall, up to 0.5 cm across, and unbranched."

Another photo I found was from Colorado. They said they were very rare for Colorado because they only grow where it's very wet (that would be here!)

It is a mushroom from the Clavaria family. Doing an image search on Clavaria only pulls up all the various varieties. I can't wait to look for more next fall.

And Holly, according to what I've read you can eat them, but...I probably wouldn't either.

on Tuesday, November 9th, Jackie said

E: They don't look like anyone would want to eat them. I recall seeing alot of those fungi in Kodiak (very wet, again). After taking a biology class on the flora and fauna of Alaska in college, I recall being terrified to eat any wild mushrooms other than the white 'angel wings' variety we grew up hunting for in the Kodiak forests. A micologist ? (mushroom expert) told us horror stories about a group of 2 couples who went mushroom hunting, feasted on their foraged fungi, and then 2 of them got horribly ill, and one woman had to have a liver transplant due to ingesting a tiny amount of a toxic mushroom that sneaked into their baskets.
The chapter on parasites found in Alaskan game animals was even more horrifying...
But the clavaria are beautiful specimens for photographing!

on Tuesday, November 9th, Elise said

I'm with you Jackie, I'm terrified to eat wild mushrooms. I do have a field guide to mushrooms in this region though, and it identifies any mushroom that has a toxic look-alike.

I still don't eat them.

on Tuesday, November 9th, paul said

Alien brain jingers! They've landed, i knew it!

Oh my god you need to destroy them right away! They are on the vessel, think of them as the ship for the crew.

Inside is a colony of Albino Jiggers waiting for the command to launch their attack!

Please, don't waste anymore valuable time!!!

Wait, what was that !!? Oh no.... you!! Noooo help1! Get..... away... must...... hurrryyyyy... ap up u d08 s


on Tuesday, November 9th, Elise said

Poor poor Paul, if only someone had warned me earlier...and I never really got the chance to know him.

(jinger infested tear rolls dramatically down cheek)

on Saturday, November 13th, Dio said

Well sorry to report Mrs Dio didn't know the answer, but it looks like you are on the right track... :)

on Saturday, November 13th, Elise said

I wonder if they grow in the UK? Is said they need a lot of water, I think Wales would qualify for that anyway.

Thanks for asking her by the way!