Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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05/14/2005: "Preservation"

So here is a picture of Kaia from the Tangent Press in Washington, actually using a tradional letter press on the "To Stand to Sea" covers I designed here in Alaska for my friend Susana's book (in Switzerland). Working on this with all the time-zone differences was challenging but fun.

kaia2 (39k image)

    The photo brings back memories, as yours truly actually got her BFA in printmaking! I was big into collographs and Intaglio...back in the day, before non-toxic printmaking studios, we used nitric acid baths and lots of hard core solvents and wiped oil based inks off zinc plates with our bare hands! Yes, I know I'm a walking vessle of toxins at this point in my life.

    Have I ever mentioned that one of my long-term goals is to get into good enough shape to be a candidate for plasticization when I die?

    In other news, I didn't listen to the radio auction this afternoon. For one thing, I didn't have any $ to bid on anything, and like I said before, I didn't want to be listening if the item didn't get any bids...which is what I think must have happened. I say this because I haven't heard anything from either the radio station or an individual saying that the item was purchased. So...glad I missed that. But like Greg said, if I look on the positive side of things, this means more time for working on my own projects (I won't lie to you though, it stings a bit)...

Replies: 14 Comments

on Sunday, May 15th, dave from Nebraska said

I think it's great to see your work mass produced in this way. Old time craftmanship in a manner you appreciate and understand.
So, good for you! Making some cool art for a good friend and enlightning the masses.

on Sunday, May 15th, subi said

actually they're now based in Walla Walla, and soon will be in Portland.

wow, plasticization huh? that seems too freaky to me!

on Sunday, May 15th, holly said

I made a couple beaituful hand-made books for an art auction to benefit the animal shelter here a few years ago. If someone had commissioned these books, I would have charged them around $35- mainly for the quality of the materials (paper, silk ribbon, sterling silver bead, etc). They were gorgeous and it was hard to let them go. No one bid on them, evidently, and I have no idea what happened to them. I assume someone either took them home and tossed them in a box or closet, or just threw them away. :cry: I'll never do it again.

I'm with Dave- it's great to see your art being reproduced the "old way".

on Sunday, May 15th, dave from Nebraska said

And congrats to Subi as well!

on Sunday, May 15th, Elise said

Thanks Dave, I agree that working with a friend is the best!

and Subi, when Kaia said she was in Washington, I assumed DC...since you used to live there. Did you know I'm going to DC in July for 2 weeks 0to visit Rick and to Baltimore to see Sean and Jenni? Can't wait!

And Holly, the thing that happened to your books is really terrible. Maybe art and charity auctions don't go together well. A friend in Rhode Island donated a commission to do a pet portrait for her local public TV auction and I don't think it sold either...I can't remember exactly but I know it was a negative experience for her and she said the same thing, "I'll never do it again!"

Of course, the people at my public radio station are fantastic and I'm sure they tried their best. I just feel like I let them down.

Oh yah, and I'm joking (mostly) about the plasticization thing...though I admit I think it's really facinating.

on Sunday, May 15th, Markus Barca said

I've always been led to believe as a child that those who handle such toxic chemicals on a regular basis eventually develop super powers. You seem to be about due. :)

Oh, in the last thread, greg mentioned that the "lack of sales dosent translate into "no market." I think he's right about that. His comment reminded me of an article I read in Wired last year about how the Internet is turning niche markets in music and movies into profitable enterprises. Though the article deals mainly with the entertainment industry, I think it applies to your case in the abstract: regardless of how out of the mainstream you are, there will be someone out there interested in what you have to offer.

You can find the article I'm referring to here.

Just something to think about.

on Monday, May 16th, Elise said

Thanks Markus,
I'll be sure to read that article after work tonight. I already have all kinds of plans for reaching new markets, I just haven't tried any of them yet.

Ironically, sales at my shows have been great the past several years, particularly considering how small the market is in a town of 30,000 people.

So, really I have no complaints in that area, it's probably just that selling something like "visual" art on the "radio" just isn't the best match.

At least that's what I'm telling myself!

on Monday, May 16th, Corey said

Hey Elise-

Well, the reason that you didn’t hear much about your painting during the KTOO auction is that we won it with a pre-bid! We didn’t listen to the actual auction since we were on Iona all weekend and we don’t have internet on board. They said they would call if we won so I assumed we lost or we would have called you earlier. Anyway, we are thrilled. Of course, we are going to be the WORST clients. It is going to be like painting something for Paris Hilton. I want a nude. No, a landscape. No, me nude in a landscape. Etc, etc, etc.

on Monday, May 16th, subi said

see elise! it did sell!!! you'll have to keep us uüdated on the progress...and yeah, we all did live in DC so i can see the confusion... i am so jealous!!! i wanna go too!!!!!! :cry: you are going to have so much fun! oh, & thanks Dave! this poem seems so old to me it's weird to see it all finally come together by way of publishing...elise really was the only one who could've gotten the cover so right...i gave her a couple pretty raw & vague ideas and she just ran with them... your new clients are boound to be as pleased as i am! :)

on Monday, May 16th, Elise said

YEAH Corey! I was convinced that it hadn't sold. I don't know why I've felt so stressed about guys are awesome! How about a nude painting of Iona?

Anyway, I know it's going to be a lot of fun and no worries about being terrible clients- it'll be good practice for me since I haven't had any prima donnas yet.

And Subi, too bad you couldn't make it back to DC in July, (or could you??)
David Walker is planning to make it (From Maine) as well and we may get to see Don and Jackie and Melissa...oh my, the sky's the limit! Why do so many of my friends live so far away?

on Tuesday, May 17th,">greg said

yay! a pre-bid!?! wow ... they're ready to start knocking down your doors! I was thinking the same thing earier: how is a painter represented on the "radio"??? It sure helps when you have a built in network already :)

on Tuesday, May 17th, Elise said

Yes, that was very cool.

The couple who won the bid actually live on their sailboat in Vancouver but own a house here in Douglas close to where I live and plan to return next year. They bought another one of my paintings several years ago Remembering a Yellow Field...(wow, I had no idea how poor the image of that painting looks) and Corey's wife Emily is the one who wrote that awesome poem, it was for a show we did at the city museum together. So, perhaps this commission will be another collaboration of sorts.

I couldn't have asked for a better outcome!

on Wednesday, May 18th, subi said

wow, that is so weird! i was just thinking of that painting today!! i love the title btw, and i was wondering if it was your title or the title of the poem, and i was thinking about the possibility of painting(i mean writing!) a poem with the same name after that piece...any way, i ramble, but i am curious, how did you and the poet collaborate? did she first write the poems or vs. versa? or, did you both write/paint together? it must be a very interesting process, with a very surprising (don't know if that's the right word) outcome, and all depending on possibilties in/of the creative process. for some reason this also reminds me of the painting Rick did of the two old women in the desert (well i always thought they were in the desert, some saw ocean in the distance... ) i think i have a pic somewhere here if you don't remember.

on Wednesday, May 18th, Elise said

I actually have that piece hanging in my living room (the two old women with the umbrella) he did that for a playbill poster for Cyranos Playhouse.

As for the collaborative show, I actually did that with two poets. The majority of the paintings I did first and then they wrote poems based on the paintings, though there were a few paintings I did based on their poems.

That title "Remembering a Yellow Field" was mine. I've since taken down the other poets work from my site because they were very personal.

When I did the paintings though, I was aware of both of their work (poetry) so I tried to do images with strong narrative possibilities.

It was a lot of fun. We did most of the work in the campus Faculty Writer's Forum...posted images, back and forth on drafts of poems etc.

The whole thing was a wonderful experience and I'd love to do it again someday.

We were considering trying to get published, and Emily recently found a small press she thinks would be a good match so who knows. I'll keep you posted!