Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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06/18/2006: "Will You Still Need Me, Will you Still Feed Me, When I'm 36?"

So, our daily newspaper used to publish a weekly arts and entertainment magazine called “This Week” it would come out every Thursday and highlight activities going on for the weekend and upcoming week. I’ve had paintings featured on the cover twice and the arts coverage has always been excellent.

This past Thursday there was a new publication called the Hooligan (leisure section), which is replacing “This Week”…it was launched with a note from one of the paper’s editor saying that this new publication was an attempt to reach out to the 18-35 demographic, and was not written to appeal to old people…they will no longer feature images of art etc. on the cover, and other out-dated events for the elderly such as ballet, opera and the symphony, will be scaled back or featured elsewhere in the regular newspaper.

The Arts and Culture section only had a story on World Cup Soccer …uh, OK...(btw, the guy sitting in the middle in that photo is our own Rob Roys! Go USA!)

Now, while I understand their need to appeal to a younger audience, I think they could have done it without alienating us old fogies (having turned 36 I’m no longer of the hallowed “young” demographic). I actually think it's great they are going to cover local bands and have a beer column etc...I think my real problem is with the editorial. They could have just said changes were made to be inclusive to readers of all ages, and that not all articles will appeal to everyone. As it is, I feel as though my fellow seniors and I are being kicked unceremoniously to the curb. Et tu Juneau Empire? Et tu?

elise-tomlinson-self-portrait (44k image)

In other news, this is a self-portrait I did this afternoon based on a photo I took several months ago. It's not finished but I think it's an ok start. Greg mentioned trying a self-portait some months back, truth is, I haven't done one in 10 years. Here's a question, how many of you (artists) out there regularly do self-portraits? If so, care to share?

Replies: 16 Comments

on Sunday, June 18th, subi said


hehehe, never done that before! :) this is a beautiful painting elise, as usual I am awe-struck at yr beauty :P and really, i do wish you'de do more self-portraits, which may later provide a very interesting restrospective. that's too bad about the local arts section. I say you get that dreamed of mag up and maybe do something local and outsider-ish for your local artists and old-folks :) i would be irritated with a editorial like that as well, wtf, it would also seem to me that it is the older people buying the mags and such, no???

on Sunday, June 18th, holly said

WTF with the "Hooligan" thing? I think you budding seniors ought to start your own publication and kick that young whippersnapper's ass.

Your portrait is amazing-- it looks just like you! Even if I had an iota of artistic talent, I couldn't do a realistic self-portrait because I have no idea what I look like.

on Monday, June 19th, marja-leena said

Great self-portrait! I haven't done one in decades but challenged to a self-portrait marathon. You might like to join in.

Why does inclusivity of one group have to mean exclusivity of another - duh!

on Monday, June 19th, greg said

My My Mona! How enigmatic! Is that an amused half grin? a snide sneer? a loathesome leer?
Well, it's a great start and I appreciate anyone who takes my advice since I can't get my kids to do it half the time! ;)

Seems to me Hooligans is appealing to the gay male demographic. Lets see how long it lasts before the editor gets fired .... :plain:

on Monday, June 19th, greg said

ps. hey - are you using black in your shadows?

on Monday, June 19th, Elise said

Hey Subi thanks! I think the portrait looks better than I do in real life at the moment, on the tail end of a downward spiral but hoping to swing it around again. I forgot about my magazine idea, the hooligan isn't so much a "magazine" as an insert in our daily newspaper. I may have been overreacting, I'll at least try and give it a chance, just feeling...obsolete or something as a painter.

And have a perfect photo to work from for a self portrait, the one you took recently in that gothic cathedral, that would look sooo cool, if you could afford the gold leaf etc.
And Marja-leena...I first thought your comment about exclusivity was refering to your portrait marathon...but now I get it!
sounds fun, I'll have to check it out.

And greg, I'm not sure what you mean by "appealing to the gay male demographic" someone with many close friends in that particular demographic I'm not sure what you're getting at but I have to say it rubs me the wrong way...

And I guess they were going to kill the weekly arts section if they didn't reinvent it because it wasn't selling enough ad space, so I do understand what they're trying to do...I maybe just took it a little too personally, I have a habit of doing that.

on Monday, June 19th, Elise said

Oh, and I'm not using black in the shadows, not really... I use the prussian blue and burnt umber to make a black-ish color but the shadows really have more blue and green in them than black.

on Monday, June 19th, Howard said

I like the colours you're using. I'm having trouble getting black to reproduce corretly in my photo's as well.

on Monday, June 19th, Jackie said

E: Sounds like the paper editor was replaced with a 20-something guy. Sorry - but I don't see World Cup Soccer as a suitable replacement for the local arts listings. I think they could have just melded some of the younger generation events listings with the other stuff. That's what both of Seattle's papers do. For the 20-somethings interested in 'just' beer & music, there are two free weeklies. In fact, both of those free papers have columns reviewing art, books, music & theater. So 'boo, hiss' to the Juneau Empire. Especially if they used the words you used as their reasoning!
Uhhh.. do 20-somethings even BOTHER to read the paper these days, anyhoo? :crazy:

on Monday, June 19th, Brian said

The bottom line on Hooligan is that it represents a downturn in the Empire's coverage of the local arts scene. Do we really need a weekly column devoted to the "art" of social drinking, considering the alcohol-related issues we have in this state? Whether the target audience is 18- to 35-years olds or gay men, there was nothing appealing about the new insert. And I'm a member of both of those cohorts... But it did have a Sudoku puzzle in there, and I certainly can't complain about that.

On a lighter and happier note... Elise, I'm still laughing about yesterday at breakfast. It has been a LONG time since I laughed that hard, and it felt good to do so. Don't ever change.

Oh, and the self-portrait is great. It might just be a figment of the image on my screen, but I like how your hair fades down into and blends with the lower part of the painting.

on Monday, June 19th, holly said

LOL! I've got the gold leaf, madame, it's the talent I can't seem to drum up. See those smilies down there? Yeah, I can do those.
:plain: (I love this guy)

on Monday, June 19th, Elise said

Howard, I have been following your problem with photographing black...I think it's just impossible because no matter how great it looks on a digital camera, you're still looking at the colors on a particular monitor and there is so much variation in color, tone, etc. from one to the next trying to control how things display becomes an object in futility. I guess getting it to "print" properly is a more reasonable goal.

And Jackie, I'm suddenly feeling the need to defend the poor lil hooligan!
I really love the Empire in general and I know they're trying...I may have mis-interpreted what they were saying, maybe this *was* their attempt at better integration, maybe it's just the first issue and they needed something to stick in that section so it wouldn't be empty...I will try to be more positive and think that it can only get better...right?

And Brian, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time myself, it really does feel good to turn red from laughing now and again...must get together more often, perhaps we should all get together for Art School Confidential?

Oh, and the hair fading thing is not a figment, that was intentional so thanks!

And Holly, I think you don't give yourself enough credit...maybe you'd let me take a crack at it?

on Monday, June 19th, greg said

Simply stated, the Holligan banner photo has no women in it! Just hip urban guys, perhaps a tad more touchy than most hetero guys might allow ...
otherwise I see nothing in my comment to rub anyone either way. Sorry if you took offense :blush:

on Monday, June 19th, Elise said

The banner is a group photo of the featured band "Sonic Overdrive" (from Anchorage) which doesn't have any women...I guess it was the comment about who the content seemed designed for and the editor getting fired that upset me but if you didn't mean anything by it then no worries.

on Tuesday, June 20th, berry bowman connell said

Nope. Even when I want
to do portraits of others,
I practice by painting
as many sunflowers
(by van Gogh)
because I feel
that those colors
bring me closer
to skin values and
tones better'n
what I come up with.

Anyway, I ain't no
looker like you, gal.
Heck! That'll sell just
like it is, I'm guessin'!

on Tuesday, June 20th, Elise said

I'd hardly call myself a "looker" Berry...but thanks!