Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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04/16/2005: "Chemical Reality #2"

This morning a former student of mine from Sitka and her husband treated me to breakfast at the Fiddlehead. They and their friends talked about music with so much passion it made me realize what a huge deal the Alaska Folk Festival really is.

Truth is I haven't participated in it due to the whole shyness/crowd anxiety thing. When I was younger I was either really up, or really down. If I was up, I *loved* being the center of attention and if I was down I just didn't go out. Of course, I used to party pretty hard and was regularly messed up on one thing or another.

I started treatment for bipolar (about 3 years ago) and I've had to basically relearn how to behave in social situations sans the mania. It's no longer easy for me and I prefer being alone. In some ways I feel like a completely different person; I wonder how much of our personalities are based purely on chemicals? I've exchanged one kind of drug for another...who is to say which is the real me?

Anyway, the energy at breakfast inspired me to start painting again. First thing in the door I saw the reflections from my glass fishing floats so had to take a few snaps. The furry feet belong to Osiris. Now I'm starting to work on a new painting. If I really want to make it as an artist I can't quit everytime I get the wind knocked out of my sails. It's going to happen, and happen a lot and what I need to do is just confirm my resolve and work harder than ever. And so it begins...again.

osiris-glass-floats (30k image)

glass-floats-reflections2 (27k image)

glass-floats-reflection (30k image)

3-glass-floats (24k image)

Replies: 3 Comments

on Saturday, April 16th, Howard said

These look like they'll make some really interesting paintings. Looking forward to seeing what you do with them.

on Saturday, April 16th, subi said

i love the fish-glass pics! they are beautiful! wow, reminds me of the witch glass from NE... when you hang them in the window (usually kitchen or living room ) it wards off the evil spirits, cause they get caught in the glass strands, bewitched! you know elise, about the other part of your message...the chemical part, I really have witnessed your total change in the last few are so positive now and productive in way of your art...I think the meds haven't changed you, just helped you find more focus and positivity in way of getting things accomplished vs. procrastinating and beating up yourself over little things. kwim? i think in time and with the desire to do things like concerts/fests etc, you will... try not to analyze it too much, i think you know what you need to do for now to be happy, and ah thos AK fests are NOT like normal fests in the lower 48!!!!! so all the more reason to stay away from them if you need to! :confused:

on Saturday, April 16th, Elise said

Thanks Howard, I wasn't planning on painting from them but that's an interesting idea. The light creates such interesting patterns, it would be very challenging.

And think I have changed for the better? I have mellowed out, that's for sure...and I do have more focus and generally get more done. Still, there are times I miss the heights of reckless abandon I used to feel. Sometimes I feel so, so....boring now. Maybe that's the cost of being a stable and productive member of society?