Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
Home Artist Blog About Me Life in Alaska Purchase Site Index Speak
Home » Archives » April 2006 » Too old to emerge?

[Previous entry: "How to Arrange Artwork on Gallery Walls with PhotoShop"] [Next entry: "Where do *you* draw the line?"]

04/24/2006: "Too old to emerge?"

Well I spent another weekend existing on pizza and coffee, staying up all night painting, and avoiding house cleaning. I probably ended up working a little bit on every single canvas, re-outlining and defining, adding highlights and low lights, etc. I could post new photos but it's hard to see that kind of detail work in small digital images. Rob gave me the measurements for all of the walls in the gallery too so I may actually be able to cram all 20 some paintings in there!

This will be the first show where I’m planning to also have reproductions from a previous show, I’m not sure if any will sell or not, I’m only going to bring one or two of each image, I have no idea if it will help or hurt sales. Remember back when I said I wouldn’t talk about sales anymore? Yah, that wasn’t very realistic. But I’m making a pledge to myself, that even if I don’t sell a single painting, I won’t let it change how positive I’m feeling about these new paintings. I was reading two books this weekend “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and “Fine Art Publicity” (which is more geared towards gallery owners) but they both said: "begin with the end in mind.”

So, what is it that I really want? I thought I would be able to answer that easily…make enough to work full-time as an artist. But, what does that really mean?...getting gallery representation? I’ve turned down a few so it isn’t that. Being able to charge a lot more for my work? Seems many collectors only want to buy from young sexy artists they can keep as “pets” (I read that on another blog that defined “emerging” artists and noted a lot of collectors only buy from artists under 31!).

So, where does that leave me? I feel good about how I'm developing as an artist; maybe I'll never be able to work full-time as an artist if I keep with my current, well, principles...but maybe that's ok. To be honest, I'm finding plenty of time to paint..and I *love* my day job so maybe I've already arrived?

warf-juneau-alaska (97k image)

Replies: 9 Comments

on Monday, April 24th, ann said

Sounds as if you have a lot of the things you want in life... if that means you've arrived, then maybe you have! It's nice to re-evaluate your life occasionally, thinking about what you really want and what you actually have. And it's especially nice when you find that you have all of what you need and most of what you want.

I don't think you are too old too emerge. (Perish the thought!) But I also don't think you should worry about anyone else's definition of success. Sounds like you are happy where you are, which is the best measure of success that I have found.

on Monday, April 24th, Elise said

Hey Ann, I think you're right about how we measure success! Here is the blog where I read
What Is an "Emerging Artist"? and I guess what suprised me is that rather than fealing fear and anger at the thought of being already considered to old to make it as an artist, I realized I didn't give a shit! And that was pretty liberating.

on Monday, April 24th, Howard said

I felt the same way after reading that. I think as an artist there are so many things you can't " give a shit" about already. There are so many reasons why you shouldn't be an artist and all kinds of people who are quite willing to tell you so. Being too old hardly seems like an excuse compared some of the other things you have to put up with. At 37 I'm only starting to feel like I doing good work and I feel like my best work is still ahead of me. I feel like if I was to really give up on art I would of already of done so long before now.

on Monday, April 24th, Elise said

So true Howard! I have to say that almost no one tries to talk me out of being an artist anymore, as they realize they it would be absolutely pointless of them to do so!

on Monday, April 24th, Judy Vars said

It sounds like me and my struggle. We are doing what we love, having fun and arriving late in life some later than others. Read my blog its a funny coincidence. Yea Howard people stop telling you after a while you cann't be an artist. :confused:confused as always

on Monday, April 24th, Elise said

Hi Judy, I wouldn't say arriving late exactly, not for me anyway...being an artist is all I've ever wanted to be...

on Tuesday, April 25th, Kasia said

Sometimes we don't notice we can be happy with our status quo. We focus on the future until we suddenly realise: hey, how about NOW? That is a very good realization.

on Tuesday, April 25th, Daniel said

I don't care much for the concept of "begin with the end in mind". I used to be one of those people that sat around making lists and life schedules. In my last "day job", I was good friends with a highly intelligent janitor. He wasn't always the custodian - I came to learn that he had lost his entire retirement of over $400k to the MCI Worldcom stock crash (Enron scandal).

He spent an entire lifetime working his ass off for "a plan", just to have everything stolen from him by some unseen outside force. Where is the fun in knowing where one is going?

on Tuesday, April 25th, Elise said

Hey Kasia, I agree that focusing on the future to the detriment of the now is not good. There are so many great things we have right now, these could be the gravy days we look back on with nostalgia.

And I understand what you're saying Daniel, but I do think that two don't have to be mutually exclusive. I think we have a much better chance making our dreams come true if we work with certain end results in mind. I also think it's important to re-evaluate from time to time, to make sure that we're doing what we actually want to be doing.

I think sometimes we just "end up" being in a situation that's really unhealthy because we weren't paying attention.

Hopefully we can be happy and content in the moment, but also have a clear idea of where we'd like to go (as long as it doesn't make us miserable in the present)...