Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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05/21/2005: "Lazy, hazy days of summer"

I know it isn't technically summer yet, but I it sure feels like it. We've had sun through most of April and into May so far (at least by Juneau standards). I've been spending my free time planting flowers in my yard, sailing, and sitting on my porch practicing guitar and sippin ice tea. I'm reading "Guitar for Dummies" and I really recommend it for people who want to learn guitar, or for people like me who already know how to play but never took lessons.

I have learned so many interesting things from this book. For example, my finger position on two of the most used chords, has been off and by using the correct finger positions, I can make transitions to other chords 100 times faster.

Another interesting tid bit I learned is called the Oldies Progression, either C-Am-F-G or G-Em-C-D, depending on your vocal range...but I'm not kidding, if you just keep playing those 4 chords in that order you can play a ton of different oldies, like Blue Moon, Duke of Earl, Earth Angle, etc. I'm also learning about playing in the open position, and how to play fingerstyle as opposed to just strumming chords. It's a lot of fun...

But I'll tell you what I'm *not* doing...I'm not painting at all. I haven't for, close to 2 weeks now. I've been doing other creative stuff, web and graphic design mostly, but it's not the same. I'm having ideas, looking at a lot of other people's art, taking notes, letting things sort of gestate and trying not to fret about it (no pun intended).

I had a bit of a health scare recently. Nothing I want to go into, but it was very scary there for almost a month and I just got the "all clear" on Thursday, (not dying after all, perfectly healthy...just like my teeth)...but I did a lot of soul searching when I thought otherwise and what I've come to is this: I'm going to try and not get stressed out about how often and how much art I'm producing...and everything I do is going to be based soley on what I enjoy, what makes me happy...not what I think will be seen as important by some phantom "art world" if that means giving up my art business, well that is something I'm considering doing. I'm putting an awful lot of time and energy into the business end of things and not enough into producing good work. I'll get back to that later though, right now I'm late for sailing. Sat. morning is bouy racing day...even though it is a bit rainy and overcast at the moment, the wind in the channel looks perfect.


Just got back from the bouy racing and it was tons of fun. There were 7 of us out on the water at one point, all different sized sailboats. The wind was excellent, after sailing for awhile though my friend Jen and I decided to stop as there was mist, rain, and white caps. It was good sailing but I was afraid if the seas got any bigger we might get into trouble, especially since Jen and I haven't sailed much together. Below are some pictures I took of the other boats from the comfort of the Hangar on the Warf where we went for beers and blackened salmon afterwards. The wind died down significantly right after we pulled back into the harbor.


The big colorful sails are called spinnakers. I don't have one, but I really *want* one. Right now I have the highest rated boat in the fleet (meaning the biggest handicap) but a spinnaker would change that.

spinnaker2 (41k image)

spinnaker1 (40k image)

spinnaker3 (42k image)

Replies: 8 Comments

on Saturday, May 21st, dave from Nebraska said

I'm so happy that you sound so happy.
You deserve it, demand it and are, I believe destined for it.
Please post pics of your yard and flowers sometime.

on Saturday, May 21st, marja-Leena said

great words of wisdom here - congratulations and glad you are well and happy!

on Saturday, May 21st, Howard said

It's so easy for things to get unbalanced like that. It's good to hear that you're enjoying yourself.

on Saturday, May 21st, Elise said

Thanks guys, I don't know how long it will last but I *am* feeling happy these days and working hard to stay balanced.

I'm eating healthier, getting a lot more exercise, socializing more...being an artist will always be the strongest part of who I am, but hopefully I can keep it from being the *only* thing.

on Sunday, May 22nd, RR said

Really glad to hear you got the all clear. You sound really content and happy at the moment, which is great. :D

on Tuesday, May 24th,">greg said

Ahh ... the yachting season! Sounds like you had fun with the "grey poupon" crowd! :D

Seriously, getting out on the water is a true re-freshing/re-juvinating re-creation! My bro is the sailor, and I enjoy getting "sailed" whenever the occasion arises!

Guitar too! 16 yrs ago I sold my 'lectric axes and amps when I got married, but now I have a borrowed amp and will also sponge someones extra guitar! I cant wait! (still have my acoustic) ...another worthy activity.

Doing any drawings? Yeh that balance is worth finding. Sounds like you're taking the right approach! Peace!

on Tuesday, May 24th, Elise said

Growing up I always thought of sailors as being the "grey poupon" crowd, and I'm sure they are in certain parts of the world...but not in Alaska.

Here the skippers are tough men and women who drink their beer from the bottle, if ya know what I mean.

on Tuesday, May 24th, Elise said

Oh, and as for the guitar, I currently am the high bidder on a 12 string in ebay that I'm hoping to win. If I get it, it will be used, great condition, and for a steal price. I'll keep you posted, and I'm happy to hear that you're getting back into it again.