Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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11/24/2004: "Making good progress"

Well, it's around 12:30am and I'm still going strong. Today I heard back from several of the people I invited to my show by email so I know that at least I'll have a few visitors, which is a relief. It's every artist's worst fear to have a show and buy food etc. and be all dressed up and no one comes.

A couple days ago a reader encouraged me to take a leap of faith and promote the show even though at the time it seemed impossible that I'd finish in time, let alone produce any work of value. But, I took their advice and sent out the press release, took the invites to the printer, and sent out emails to my entire local address book. Once I did that it really lit a fire under my ass.

Yesterday was all about updating mailing lists and designing and writing, today was all about painting. I actually *finished* three paintings today, from start to finish. Three canvases that until this morning were only at their "texture" phase (ones I had drying out in the boiler closet).

I wasn't sure if the texture I created would result in the look I was hoping for...until tonight. The first painting I did, I had a moment where my heart started racing, where I thought, "holy crap, this is going to look great!". I felt giddy, I had to phone a friend I work with but she was getting prepared for a night class she teaches and didn't seem too impressed. Still, I felt like crying. It's that moment of fruition, where what you dreamed could be possible turns out exactly as you saw this case, years ago when I took that first flight from Juneau to Kake and saw the aerial views of the tides.

Of course, it's ironic because the last time I felt this jazzed about a painting was the one titled "Grounded" from my last show. The one I was convinced I had perfected. It was the only one in the show that didn't sale! Fine by me. I don't care if any of these tide paintings sale. The main thing I care about is getting the show finished, and having work that I feel good about. And, as of tonight, I think that just might happen. My arms, kneck and right shoulder are *killing* me, but my heart is still leaping in my chest (of course, now that I think of it, that may be due to all the coffee and cocoa I've been drinking all day).

Replies: 2 Comments

on Friday, November 26th, RR said

don't you just love that feeling of satisfaction when you are so tired you can't lift your head but know you've done a great days work :-) Well done.

on Saturday, November 27th, Elise said

I love the feeling but I also worry that even doing one day of great work after another, it isn't going to be enough.

What's that line from the Frost poem? "And miles to go before I sleep".