Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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03/25/2006: "First Annual 10 in 2 Art Challange!"

I had this idea yesterday, to try and do 10 new paintings over the weekend (saturday and sunday). My co-worker who is relatively new to painting...thought that I was a bit nuts when I told her. She says that painting should be enjoyable, not a chore or something that puts a lot of pressure on you (well, I'm paraphrasing). My response was that I find my work becoming more and more controlled, and that forcing myself to just paint and paint, any old thing, might go a long way to loosen me up.

I got the idea from the NaNoWriMo project that I participated in. They have you try and write a novel in a month, with the thinking that if the only goal is to write and write, without worrying too much how good it is, it will free you up. I'm hoping that's what this will do for me. I bought some new acrylic painting mediums (I never paint with acrylics) but I'm going to play around with those.

I have to quit looking at a blank canvas or panel as a sacred thing and just get crazy with my bad self. I bought a new canvas drop cloth and everything. Right now I'm just getting everything cleaned and organized. I'll post everything I get done on Monday...the good, bad, and most likely the very very ugly.

Ready Set GO!

Replies: 8 Comments

on Saturday, March 25th, greg said

Cool!! Okay then, I'll expect to see no responses to any comments until Monday! ;)

I see your point perfectly. I think the pressure to *lose* control is a sign you're evolving, after all the hard work you've been doing. The pleasure only factor is great at times, esp. when you're starting out, but how can you get better if you dont push a little too?

What type of medium(s) did you get? I noticed a few different types from glazing to slow drying. I think I got a basic smoothing/blending type that did wonders for imitating the "oil" quality of the technique, and improving my own satisfaction painting with them.

I wish I could donate some large canvases to you. I bought 'em on a brave whim. They are 36x48, pre-stretched, and I am sure I'll never get to the ideas I had for them, for a long time ... I hope they last a few more years :rolleyes:

on Saturday, March 25th, ann said

Good luck! And have fun :)

on Saturday, March 25th, Elise said

I'm still going to be answering comments Greg, don't you know be by now? I'm a total comments whore!
Actually, I take lots of mini-breaks while I'm working. Unless I get *really* into a painting, but working on so many at once...
hmmm, not sure how that will work.

I just came back from Rob Roy's studio/gallery...he works in acrylic and gave me some great tips. The mediums I have are the drying retarder and a self-leveling gooy medium that dries glossy. Rob said I can still paint over them with oil later if I want to. But for now, the sky is the limit. I may draw on them, add ripped paper, whatever.

Maybe I won't get that wild, but I like the idea that I *could*...

Anyway, I wish you could donate those huge canvases to me too!!! But shipping would be completely cost prohibitive...bummer, painting that big would be a fantasy come true. I'm sure you'll get back to painting anyway, I haven't given up hope for you (as a painter) yet!
And thank Ann, I am glad to see that you're feeling better!

on Sunday, March 26th, Kasia said

So a lot of work to do! Good luck!
And it is impressing how you can force yourself to such a big task - I think 10 paintings it is a lot:)
I am too lazy:)

on Monday, March 27th, rob roys said

i am writing this early monday morning. i hope you have been busy. sometimes i think i should switch to oil. but hearing you talk about it helps keep with acrylics. have you thought about using casein? it is kind of like oil, but dries faster, but can be worked longer than other water based medias. I think it is milk protein based. John Stoll (a local artist, have you seen his stuff?) uses it exclusively.

letting go is hard. i try and think of it as letting the muse take control instead of letting go. i think it helps to think the painting is in good hands and just let it flow instead of thinking so much about it.

on Monday, March 27th, Elise said

You were right, as it turns out Kasia, 10 paintings is a lot, turns out I'm too lazy as well!

And Rob, I was busy...I ended up coming up with 6 new thumbnail images, I spent all day Sunday just doing my compositions. I have to start with something specific in mind before I start painting. I guess that's just the way I'm wired.

As for the acrylics. I think I haven't given them enough of a chance. I did start 3 new paintings and so far I still hate acrylics. I've been using oil for so long now, I just know what to expect, what I can and can't do. Acrylics are a complete mystery to me.

Oh, and I can't seem to not think too much either.


Still, thanks for all the excellent advice. I haven't given up on acrylics yet!

on Monday, March 27th, Elise said

Oh, and I love the new paintings you posted on your blog Rob!

on Monday, March 27th, Elise said

Thanks Ann, I appreciate that (do you have an hour or four!)
but I do think there is a difference between talking about issues that personally affect us, as opposed to just being a negative person in general... in the sense of mean-spirited gossip, complaining about work, the weather, other people, etc. Ya know?