Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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02/15/2005: "Would being rich make me a better artist?"

As all my worldly posessions have started to crap out on me one after the other, I've started to think about this question more than I probably should.

I fantasize (like most artists with day jobs) what it would be like to be an artist full time, or about what it would be like to have the money to hire live models, for example. I also wish I could afford to just buy a good air purifier. I hate getting headaches and sore throats from all my painting fumes. I wish I had better lighting, a more comfortable chair to work in, and could afford to turn up the thermostat.

I know artists with less who are producing far superior work so it's not like I'm feeling sorry for myself, I just get so tired and stressed out from barely scraping by. Where are the Medicis when you need one?

FOLLOW-UP: I was lying in bed tonight continuing to think about my financial woes when I remembered something Thomas Paine wrote:

"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; 'Tis dearness only that gives everything its value."

Back to bed I go... happy knowing that the struggle is part of what makes creating art so rewarding.

Replies: 5 Comments

on Tuesday, February 15th, holly said

What, do you want to end up being Thomas Kinkade or Anne Geddes? Bleah! If you paint a baby in a carrot suit outside an ivy covered cottage with horribly affected lighting and I'll never talk to you again!

Mr. Paine is absolutely correct (and some of the best artists are the ones you never hear about).

on Tuesday, February 15th, Elise said

Oh goody, now I know what I can paint you for next christmas/hanukkah/quanza/"insert commercial gift-giving holiday here".


on Thursday, February 17th, holly said

Actually, someday when I have the money, you're going to paint me a variation of "Lupine Slumber" with a brown haired girl. I love that one...

on Thursday, February 17th, Elise said

Thanks Holly! You know, I don't paint many brown haired girls, which is ironic since that is my own hair color. I think it's because I try to stick with colors that are in my normal color palette, mostly primary such as red, yellow, and often blue. I would say your hair is almost black...maybe with bluish highlights?

Hmmm interesting. Anyway, I'm glad that you like that piece, working on a commission together at some future date would be really fun.

on Thursday, February 17th, Elise said

After all, we *all* know that you're going to be an academic SUPERSTAR someday soon!