Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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Home » Archives » April 2006 » The Terror of the Failure, or, “Why Deadlines Induce Productivity in Artists”

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04/05/2006: "The Terror of the Failure, or, “Why Deadlines Induce Productivity in Artists”"

I haven’t had a solo show since last August, and I haven’t tried to get a new one since then (I wanted to be able to create “deadline-free”)…but I realize that there’s nothing like an approaching deadline to get the old creative juices flowing.

I should back up… today Rob Roys asked me if I want a solo exhibit at his Two Crows Gallery for the month of May, (yes please) as well as help keep it open while he and his wife are out of town. The First Friday opening will be May 5th, so that gives me exactly one month to finish paintings, print show announcements, and all that jazz.

I’m really very excited. I didn’t realize how stimulating having an approaching exhibit can be, or how much I love having them, until I took some time off from it. Of course, I still loath attending the openings, but I’m trying to get over that. I guess there’s just something about them that makes me feel too much like a politician.

So, I will have my work hanging in the gallery for May, and then for the rest of the summer (we get nearly a million cruise ship visitors each summer downtown where the gallery is located) I’ll be able to keep some of my work up in the gallery. I hope that at least a little sells. I like Rob and Pagan a lot and want their little gallery to do well so if nothing sells I’ll feel extra loser-ish.

But, I’m not going to think like that! Nothing but positive joo joo from me for the rest of the month, and, unfortunately I’ll have to go back to oils for the time being. Seems from that last thread that I may be one of a shrinking number of painters who works exclusively in oils…I made reference to being a “dying breed” until I realized that taken literally, that’s kind of unsettling.

Replies: 22 Comments

on Wednesday, April 5th, Rob Roys said

Actually I will do the announcements, cards, posters, labels, and a brochure. All I will need from you is an up to date resume, artist statement, several images to choose from, and a price lis (title, media, year, price). I can hang it (or you can). I normally run about 30 posters (24 single sided amd 6 double sided). I have just over 170 people on my mailing list-so I do 200 postcards. I just need to know how many postcards you need.

I will put up all of the money for printing. I normally do the printing myself, but if the card run is big I will bring to Capital Copy. Two Crow takes 50% commission unitl expenses are met, 20% after. So far the net commission is wound 28%. If nothing sells, you do not pay. Food on opening night is up to you, but NO BOOZE. Sorry, but it is against CBJ code. If you want to do a private reception the night before we can serve booze. It will be a blast.

And I think you shou;ld make a point of showing older stuff, not just all new. I am really excited! This is going to be great.

You just paint, get me some high-res images for the poster, and relax. Almost everything I need you have already done. So you are good to go. If you have trouble opening night you can have some of my xanex.


on Wednesday, April 5th, Jackie said

E: Congrats on the show offer! Go for it woman! See - now isn't it great to get treated like this from a gallery - you make the art, they do all the rest of the work? That's what they get the commission for!
Oh yeah - Elise is gonna need the Xanex - if there's not gonna be any booze!

on Wednesday, April 5th, Elise said

Yah, wow Rob thanks, that really is going to make things easy for me.

oooh, and A "preview" show the night before would be fun. Why is it ok the night before but not on opening night?


anyway, I'm really looking forward to this...I'm afraid if I use too much "older" stuff it might not go well together but oh well, I guess we'll see.

Thanks again Rob for the opportunity, and thanks Jackie for the vote of confidence!

on Wednesday, April 5th, ann said

I like the preview night idea :)

on Wednesday, April 5th, Elise said

Cool Ann, if we do it that way you're definitely invited!

on Wednesday, April 5th, Rod said

Private parties/openings that aren't open to the public are like having a party at your house with your friends. You can serve alcohol only if someone walking by on the street can't come in. In a nutshell.

on Wednesday, April 5th, Rod said

Private parties/openings that aren't open to the public are like having a party at your house with your friends. You can serve alcohol only if someone walking by on the street can't come in. In a nutshell.

on Thursday, April 6th, Elise said

Thanks Rod, that makes sense.

btw, have you sent my present yet?
oh, and any chance you could come up to see me in May rather than June?

on Thursday, April 6th, greg said

Hace Fresco! :)

It's so great to see local artists buddy up and support each other ... man I wish I could just "drop by!" ... or have some Seattle painter grab me by the collar and make me work for a show (Jackie, you wanna switch to painting?!? :D )

Elise, I don't know how detached an opinion I have, but can't you just "hang loose" at openings, being \'open," and friendly, positive that the magic in the paintings will do the work for you? No reason to be anything beyond what schmoozing level you have ... just be natural, genuine and yerself.

Here's a cool artist/illustrator blog I found: ...
could you imagine ever coming to the point where you'd consider eliminating the comments?? :cry:

on Thursday, April 6th, Elise said

I agree Greg, that it is a rare and special thing for artists to support each other. In fact, I may do a post on that very thing later on.

Also, I have read Keri's blog from time to time and really like it. I can't imagine ever eliminating the comments though, they're the best part. Without the comments, what's the point...ya know?

on Thursday, April 6th, Kasia said

Nothing sells? It is simply not posible, Elise. People are gonna love your paintings! Have I already told you I am saving some $$$ for one of them?
Gee... the time difference between us really makes me irritated sometimes.
Whenever i want to call you I relazue it is like 3 a. m. in Alaska! :D :

on Thursday, April 6th, Kasia said

realize not rezaue :D

on Thursday, April 6th, Elise said

I told my class that I was able to talk to a woman in Poland for free through the Internet and a couple had used Skype before but it was totally new to some of them and they thought that was pretty cool. Anyway, I'm just on my lunch break at work so I don't even have access from here to IM or any of that. The time change can be annoying eh?

on Thursday, April 6th, Judy Vars said

Congradulations Elise

Here is some positive joo joo oooooooooooooooooo
does it feel good?
I work in oils and encaustic wax if it is going out of Vogue all the more reason to love it! Whats wrong with oil anyway.

on Thursday, April 6th, Brian said

Way to go Elise! I can't wait to check out the show.

on Thursday, April 6th, Elise said

Hey Judy, the only thing I hate about oil is all the stinky toxic chemicals I like to use to get the affects I like...breathing the fumes when I'm on a roll, have lots of paintings in progress etc. I get a sore throat and headaches...otherwise I'm with you, I *LOVE* oils! (Oh, and the positive joo joo feels great...thanks!)

And Brian, shall I put you on my pre-show party list?

on Thursday, April 6th, ann said

I can understand why some bloggers stop comments. The 'comment trolls' are so negative and annoying... often downright hateful... that it would likely be easier to not have comments.

But for you, Elise, I can't imagine your blog without comments... you are so interactive in the comment section, it's great!

on Thursday, April 6th, Elise said

Thanks Ann!

I've never heard of "comment trolls" before, I guess that's a good thing. I can honestly say that I can't remember even one negative comment from anyone reading this blog. (though I did receive a rather nasty comment in my "guest book").

I think that if it came to that, I'd probably just quit blogging altogether. For me it *is* an interactive thing, that's what I love about blogging!

on Friday, April 7th, marja-leena said

I'm late as usual to congratulate you on your upcoming show - sounds like a great venue and time!

You've been writing about oils vs acrylics. I tried to find, without success, some excellent articles I read a while ago, by Robert Gamblin. His well researched opinion is that oils are safer IF you use the right solvents etc. I'm not promoting the company (I do use their inks sometimes), but I like that the owner is passionate about his paints. He gave a lecture at the art school here on colour. I only found this online, and probably you know it anyway:

on Friday, April 7th, Elise said

Hi Marja-leena,
Thanks for the info from the Gamblin site. I actually hadn't been there before, I'll have to read it this weekend...I want to believe there's a way for me to keep painting in oil.

Also, I think I did see a gamblin site that had to do with color, and how the pigments occured in nature and what they looked like mixed etc. it was an incredible resource, I linked to it once, I'll have to see if I can find it again.

on Friday, April 7th, Brian said

Count me in for the pre-show party.

on Friday, April 7th, Elise said

Woo hoooo, anyone else out there?