Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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06/21/2006: "A Room of One's Own"

Tomorrow I'm going to look at a studio space that has just opened up for rent downtown. It's relatively close to where I live and it's affordable, not to mention a tax write off. I'm just not sure if I technically *need* an external studio though. I mean, I live alone so I can leave my supplies lying out and about without worry of pissing anyone off. Also, it's kind of nice having a studio with all the comforts of home (computer, TV, coffee machine, etc.)

I had a studio before (see my nightmare exhibit story from my old blog if you haven't already...note I've been blogging regularly for almost 3 years now, and I used to be reeeeeeaaaaally long-winded!) and there is something about having to go somewhere specific to paint that made it seem like going off to work or something, rather than a holistic process integrated into everyday life, like napping or avoiding doing dishes.

I guess I'll know more after I see the actual space, in some ways I think it would be really fun to have a place downtown where there are other artists around and maybe have the random "open studio" tour...what do you think? Do you prefer to work from a home studio, or do you prefer to rent a separate one? and which do you think makes you more productive?

Replies: 9 Comments

on Thursday, June 22nd, Alan said

Hi Elise,

I was so disappointed to see that your picture "remembering a yellow field" was sold. It is beautiful and I wanted to use it on an oil bottle label for some cold pressed rapeseed oil we are growing and want to try pressing on our small farm in the north of England. All the oil bottle labels (except maybe some of the more expensive olive oil ones) are fairly boring here and I'm trying to do something different.

Do you have anything similar?

All the best, and I hope things are going well and life is good.

Alan Brewis

PS sent same message to your email artist @

on Thursday, June 22nd, RR said

I'd love a studio but I can understand why you might not think you'd need one living alone. It must be so good to be able to just drop what you're doing without having to think someone else is going to ruin things by standing on them or knocking over things (mind you, you do have a cat!). But I think I'd be lazy too and like working close to home so that when the urge took me I could just pick up a brush.

on Thursday, June 22nd, Elise said

Hi Alan, that's great about your rapeseed oil project. The original of "Remembering a Yellow Field" is sold, but I retain all image reproduction rights for all of my paintings; when a painting sells it is only the physical painting itself that the buyer is paying for.

So...if you wanted to use that image for your oil bottles you'd still be able to. In the past when people have asked to use my images on book covers etc. I have let them in exchange for attributing the image to me somewhere on the book, and for one complimentary copy.

I guess we could work out the same deal for your oil bottles if you'd still like to.

And RR, it's not being lazy if you're actually working,...or do you just mean the energy required to actually get to the studio?

The other thing I thought of is that if I was spending the extra $ each month for studio rent I couldn't afford to join the Juneau Artists Gallery if a space ever opened up...

The only reason I would have the extra $ to begin with is because I'm getting my tenure raise starting July maybe it's a sign?

on Thursday, June 22nd, Jackie said

E: some ways, I'd love to have a studio that isn't IN my house. Maybe a detached building in the yard - so that I'm 'away from home' but within reach of my partner and kitty. If I had a studio that I had to drive to, I don't think I'd get much done. But I spend a couple hours commuting to & from work every day (50 mins. to work, an hour going home). So the thought of jumping in my car to drive to my studio...yechh! :crazy:
Oh oh - will you take pictures when you go see the space? :hehe:

on Thursday, June 22nd, Elise said

You're going to laugh but the guy asked me to call him back and I've been putting it off. Part of me thinks that even though it's only 150 a month and even with my raise, I can't really afford it.

I promised myself that after I got the raise I'd donate more to charity but instead I keep finding ways to spend it.

on Thursday, June 22nd, subi said

I would certainly buy some of that oil just for the picture (though I'm sure the oil is good too!) maybe when I go to England in the fall it will already be on the shelves? follow up on that Elise!

btw, i don't think you need an extra studio when you could dedicate a floor to a studio..., can't you deduct some of your own rent for those purposes? you need to save your extra dough!!! CONGRATS on your tenureship Elise!!! xoxo.

on Friday, June 23rd, Elise said

I think you're right about saving the rent money especially since it wasn't much of a raise at all and I barely make ends meet the way it is. I just like the idea of having my own studio somewhere, but really, home is probably best for me.

Oh, and I should maybe send an email to the oil guy since he hasn't responded to my response yet?

Oh, and I'll call R this weekend and give him your number (unless his number is disconnected which happens sometimes)

on Friday, June 23rd, Judy Vars said

Hi Elise,
A studio sounds cool a chance to be part of a community and be out there on front street so to speak. But for me I'd have to ask myself the question would it be like a membership to a gym making me feel constantly quilty that I am not putting the time into my investment thats just me.
Question? Does the artist automtically have the rights to reproduction or does that need to be spelled out.

on Friday, June 23rd, Elise said

Hi Judy, I know exactly what you mean about feeling guilty when you pay for something you don't use, the more guilt, the less likely I'll use it. I think I'll check it out anyway, just to see for sure though it may have already rent out for all I know (trying to build up courage to call the guy back)...

As for rights of reproduction, in US copyright law an artist automatically retains those rights unless they specifically spell out in a contract that they are selling the "rights of reproduction"...I spell out in my contracts that I retain the rights to reproduction even though it's automatically granted to me anyway, in a way it's more for educating buyers.