Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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05/02/2006: "Friends don't let friends exhibit their work."

I continue to paint and repaint and repaint…the problem with oils is that they take forever to dry. And so, 75% of the paintings in the show on Friday will be wet, some very wet. I used to use Liquin to speed drying time but as I no longer have a death wish, I’ve sworn off the stuff and certain pigments take foreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevvvvvvvvvvr to dry when left to their own devices.

I’m having flash backs to my last show when the guy who helped hang the show accidentally rubbed up against a couple of them and smeared the paint in the painting and ruined his shirt. You really don’t want to have to repaint anything a half our before your show opens!

At least I’m working relatively small these days. Back when Rick and I did the “Penetrated Structures” exhibit we had HUGE canvases, and not only were they wet, but we had no way of transporting them to the gallery. I think we ended up strapping them one by one to the roof of a friend’s station wagon.

The stress before a show, no matter how together you are ahead of time, is always just incredible. He and I got into the biggest fight ever that day, over who got to take home the leftover muffins from the reception. Oh my, the expletives that flew that day! There’s a formula for why artists are considered so temperamental before a show: Exposure to toxic chemicals + various mood altering drugs (vodka, twinkies, etc.) – sleep + vulnerability of opening your work to possible ridicule = the *artistic* temperament (in a nutshell).

Replies: 6 Comments

on Tuesday, May 2nd, Howard said

Well, it's muffins....need you say more?

Actually I'm always amazed by how something will always go wrong no matter what you do. I know go into shows with the asumption that something will go wrong. I try to be as detatch as I can and not get hung up on any of the problems that are sure to happen.

on Tuesday, May 2nd, Elise said

Yah, that's a good attitude to have, good in theory, but I can't it, my body has a physiological response to stress, and nothing I do can get rid of the anxiety and tension...I feel it coming on already!

on Tuesday, May 2nd, Jackie said

E: so - who got to take the muffins home?!!!
Ahhh...stress. That's what's been hitting me, every Sunday night when I can't sleep. Every weekday when I feel groggy and just want to crawl back home to bed.
And then people keep inviting me to do stuff on weekends - and I'm like: 'no, I gotta work on my art', and they're all like: "you been working on your art since January!". :crazy:

We'll come visit you in the padded room. Maybe they'll let you blog? You will pull through, Elise - you will survive the hanging of the work, the undried paintings, the opening night reception..and just think - no one to argue with over the leftover muffins!

on Tuesday, May 2nd, Elise said

I can't remember exactly how that ended Jackie, I think I may have thrown them at him...the really hilarious thing, now that I think about it, is that we were living together at the time so we must have been arguing over who was going to physically carry them home.
I'll have to ask him about that the next time we talk.

And a padded room would be great, I've had this fantasy of faking crazy so I could get put into an institution where I could just paint and not have to worry about anything like money or my job or neglecting friends or anything else.

on Wednesday, May 3rd, elaine said

Bonjour elise!only a word to tell you as you probably know that J.M.W.Turner used to finish his paintings on va(r)nishing day (link below.go to "vanishing day")
good luck for u D-Day!

on Wednesday, May 3rd, Elise said

Hi Elaine, that story about "varnishing day" is great! I had never heard that one before...makes me feel better!