Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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08/06/2005: "Consummatum Est"

First of all, I went to edit an entry in my blog (of which there are hundreds) and it said "no entries yet"...that can't be good! I hope this thing isn't broken.

Anyway, the show last night went well. The photographer Dave who had offered to help me hang my show ended up hanging the entire thing for me! It was soooooooo amazing because I *never* would have been ready in time without him. As it was, I was just putting the title plates on the wall by the time the show officially started.

There was one small "oh shit" moment when a couple pieces he was hanging slipped from their little bracket thingys and since the white oil paint in the clouds was still wet (big no no), he got oil paint on his clothes and the clouds smeared up into the clouds and into the mountains on 2 pieces. I took them home and repainted them just a half hour before show time but thankfully it was sky and mountains and not a face or hand! In the end it was no biggie at all to fix.

The show was both successful and in some ways disappointing.


1. A handful of new people at the show *really* loved the work and wanted to discuss it at great length...which is always the best part.

2. Saw some friends I haven't seen in awhile.

3. Sold 3 more paintings in addition to the pump house one (I could have sold that baby 500 times over and I have a list of people already who want prints)...

4. I printed up a huge pile of business cards with a different image from the show on each card and then I put magnets on the back and that was a big hit, I added "commissions welcomed" to the cards this time and had several people interested in commissioning me come up and talk about their ideas for a that might bring some additional sales.

5. I had a volunteer from the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council who to take payments etc. and the guy who works there who was great and agreed to stay open an extra hour even though no one had told him there was going to be an opening that night!!! It turns out he was one of my former students too which is cool.

6. The show fit perfectly in the space and looks really good there. That particular coffee shop gets high volumn and so people will continue to see the work for the entire month which an advantage over some of the venues I shown at in the past. I snuck in a small thing of cookies for refreshments but it was actually nice not having to deal with a bunch of food and wine for a change.

1. Relatively low turnout. I never sent out my mass email reminder that I normally do since the show had gone through so many location and date changes I was afraid people were sick of hearing from me. (and I've already mentioned that I didn't put up fliers or send out invitations etc.) so despite the lack of publicity on my end, there was a nice steady turn out but I think I'll always be spoiled by my Friendly Planet show that was packed the entire time, a high bar to live up to I suppose.

2. I really feel like I missed the boat in terms of having prints made of the pumphouse painting. Practically everyone who say it wanted to buy it and I could have sold bucket loads of prints if I'd been better prepared. I wish I would have sold more pieces but isn't that the way it always goes?

As always I had a couple die hard friends hang out with me for the majority of the night so when there were lulls I wasn't standing there alone like an idiot. One woman I've wanted to get to know for awhile but never got around to it, which, as any artist will tell you.."opening night" is not the best time to make new friends. Before and During the show I'm a speed talking freak show and after the show when we went out for dinner at a hip new resturant that opened up across the street, I was a lathargic bore.

By the end of the night I was getting a massive kink in my kneck that hurt like hell (stress related I'm sure). A friend I hadn't seen in awhile gave me a muscle relaxer that worked magic and this morning I'm nearly fully recovered. I was invited to crew on Haiku for a race this morning and I'm still considering it, though the idea of shuffling around the house in my jammys really appeals to me as well. There is a little post partum depression that happens when you return to a suddenly white and empty space but a kind of joy as well...that I did it! I pulled it off and now I can really really really take a year off from exhibiting and just paint for the joy of it. I also plan to work more on this website and take prints down to a local gallery where I think they'd sell fairly well and see if they're interested in carrying my work.

OK, my goal at the moment is to enjoy some healing kitty energy. Nothing like a vull throttle purr to take off the rough edges! Thanks again to everyone for all the support and feedback over the past several months, your help really means the world to me.

Replies: 6 Comments

on Saturday, August 6th, dave from Nebraska said

You can always count on any photographer named Dave.
Did you offer to launder his clothes?

on Saturday, August 6th, Elise said

Yah, what's up with all the photographers named Dave? As for laundering his clothes, that might be a bit personal of an offer for someone I just met... I did feel really bad about that and told him how to remove the paint, using dish detergent like Joy always works for me.

on Sunday, August 7th, RR said

Well done Elise, knew you would do it all in time (but I know that doesn't take any of the stress out of it!) and really glad it went well. Enjoy the relaxing bit. :)

on Sunday, August 7th, marja-leena said

Congratulations and well done! Knew you'd do it. Enjoy the rest, then have a great year ahead doing some of those experiments you've been dying to do. :)

on Monday, August 8th, greg said

you rock, star!! I'd like to comment more ... mebbe will later. Your next show (whenever it grows on y'h) will be even better!!

on Monday, August 8th, Elise said

Thanks guys, it's funny how even having a good show, where everyone says how impressed they are and how much they love your work's hard not to gauge its success based on sales (or lack thereof)...

which is exactly the wrong attitude to take. There was this one young guy who looked like he didn't have a lot of $$$ but he stayed for practically the entire opening and went on and on and on about all the cool things he saw in the work. That should be worth a lot more than sales. Plus, I'm getting back a larger than expected tax return (finally) so I should be able to buy more supplies for some time to come.