Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
Home Artist Blog About Me Life in Alaska Purchase Site Index Speak
Home » Archives » November 2005 » The shadows are as important as the light

[Previous entry: "Grizzly Man? (Minor spoilers)"] [Next entry: "Psssst, Psssst....hey buddy over here...take a look at these genuine Tomlinson originals..."]

11/14/2005: "The shadows are as important as the light"

This weekend I started a new painting by covering white panel with burnt umber acrylic paint. Burnt umber is as dark a brown as you can get without becoming black (hey, I've been there!). I haven't done this in a long time, but when you prime your painting surface with a very dark color, and then paint over it with a light opaque color...the effect is very dramatic. I've been wanting to experiment for a long time, with chiaroscuro and extreme perspective.

I was reading the artist statement of a painter I admire, it said (paraphrased) "my compositions and techniques will not shout at you from across the room...but people tend to listen more closely if you whisper than if you holler"...which is probably true, but my work tends to holler...and I want it to shout at you from not only across the room, but across the state, the country, hell...the entire planet!

Oh my god, I just remembered a song my mom used to play when I was little:

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

God I love music, I spent around 4 hours tonight looking up songs in Napster. I found Glen Miller and Louie Armstrong songs I used to listen to when I was a girl...String of Pearls, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Moonlight Serenade...I hadn't heard them in probably 20 years.

Music has the power to transport you to another time and place...I remembered all these little details I'd forgotten: the doll house I made out of a cardboard box, my flat footed flat chested "Barbie" with the short frizzy brown hair...or the black, pink and white shag carpeting I had on the walls of my basement bedroom where I listened to my red plastic record player that looked like a juke box and spent all my time drawing, painting, and reading.

That's what the past does to you when you start getting older...not that my life is much different now...but I am starting to feel like a Melancholy Baby.

falling-leaves (27k image)

Replies: 9 Comments

on Tuesday, November 15th, Dio said

Not sure who did the original, but Bongwater did and excellent cover called 'The Power Of Pussy' on the LP of the same name.

Painting into dark is fun, I've not done it for a while myself but I love the dark outlines you can get from it, between fields of colour.

on Tuesday, November 15th, Elise said

Hey Dio, thanks for the suggestion, I tried looking it up in Napster but they didn't have it.
And yes, I'm all about the dark outlines! BTW, when are you going to do some more pin heads?

on Tuesday, November 15th, greg said

That's how I was taught ... um, I mean "classically trained!" ;) ... begin with a wash of BU, and rough in the composition in BU as well - a monotone cartoon.

I remember Helen Reddy! Also you reminded me of all the 40's swing my mom always listened to. I liked the Andrews Sisters, and some weird song called "Three 'ittle fishies in a itty bitty pool!" Proof that the hippies did NOT "discover" drugs! *snarff* :hehe:

on Tuesday, November 15th, subi said

help elise help...if you are there online at this time could you do me a favor? i will be so your mail...


on Tuesday, November 15th, Elise said

Hey Greg, I've done the BU wash thing but this one I'm doing now is solid and very dark.
And Subi, yes I'm online...I got the email and I'm in it!

on Wednesday, November 16th, holly said

GAAAAAHHHHH!!!! DAMN IT WOMAN!!!! Oh, poxes on you for getting Helen Reddy stuck in my head.
/bangs head on desk...out...out...get out of there...

on Wednesday, November 16th, Elise said

Wow, it's been quite awhile since anyone has wished poxes on me! And what, pray tell, is the matter with Helen Reddy!???

sorry bout that.

Oh, and I'm happy to see you're getting back to your ornery ole self.

on Wednesday, November 16th,">Jackie said

Okay - now I have that other feminist song stuck in my head: "I can bring home the bacon, and fry it up in a pan..." - oh wait - is it really feminist?

I like Helen Reddy. But what ever happened to her?

So when you gonna scan your new painting so we can visualize what you are working on E? does the burnt umber give sort of a Rembrant effect? Did he paint light over dark?
Have fun. :)

on Wednesday, November 16th, Elise said

I'll take a photo after I get another layer on, right now it doesn't look like much.

As for Rembrant, I'm not sure if he painted dark to light but that's the effect I'm going for.

as for bacon...ahhhh, poxes on you Jackie!
and no, I don't think that one qualifies as "feminist".