Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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12/17/2006: "Avoiding the Year in Review"

So, it looks like I'm going to be spending my birthday and Christmas with Aaron in Gustavus (at the mouth of Glacier Bay National Park) where his family lives. We're going to take a little puddle jumper if the weather is OK. I've never been there before and I'm really looking forward to it, though I'm (understandably) nervous. I'm not always super smooth with the whole first impressions thing.

This weekend was fun and relaxing though. I went skiing on Sat. up at Eaglecrest with a couple of friends, and then later went to a fun holiday party where I met a woman who said she'd give me (for free) a bunch of her left over hard wood flooring! I guess they ordered way more than they needed; I really hope it works out as my carpet is disgusting, covered with paint, wine, and coffee stains. Wish me luck.
In the artistic news front, still no progress...though I'm giving myself the rest of this year to be a slacker. After the holiday I'm going to kick it into high gear, not just with my art work, but at my job at the university as well.

I usually do this "year in review" post where I sum up all of my artistic accomplishments for the year. Number of paintings created, sold, etc. number of exhibits, blah blah blah. I'm so unimpressed with my accomplishments this year I don't even want to sum them up. I think it would be too depressing.

The good news, is that in 2007 there will be no where else to go but up. And maybe I need to add some new catagories to my list of accomplishments I mean, in terms of my personal life things couldn't be better. So, I'm not going to whine too much...after all, is it better to be depressed and lonely but on a red hot creative streak, or to be happy and content with life but experiencing a bit of a dry spell?

So, anyone else gearing up for end of year assessment or am I just a big nerd?

The following photo is from Friday night. Every year the Douglas Fire Department wraps their fire trucks in Christmas lights and they drive around the neighborhood playing loud carols like "Jingle Bell Rocks" and blowing their sirens. Santa sits on top of the fire ladder, and several fire fighters dressed in full fire fighting gear dance along behind the fire trucks giving out candy to anyone who happens to be around.

santa-in-douglas (51k image)

Replies: 9 Comments

on Monday, December 18th, Kasia said

I think it is hight time we stopped judging and assessisng ourselves! INo New Year resolutions this year!What if life is just as good as it gets? Sure we all should work harder, climb higher, but let's just take a along Christmas break from all that "shoulds" and "have tos". :)

on Monday, December 18th, Elise said

GASP! No resolutions?????

While I understand (and applaud your decision) to take a real break, I feel compelled to evaluate myself from time to time.

The start of the new year is always the big one. Maybe one day I'll be able to let go of that but not yet.

on Tuesday, December 19th, Judy Vars said

I too get a little nuts at the end and the first of the year' Alyson Stanfield sends me a weekly newsletter that I find very helpful
Questions to ask yourself.
*How many works did you create?
*What trips (local or far away) did you make to nourish your art?
*How much money did you make from your art?
*What classes (business or creative) did you take?
*What did you invest in that will help you to run a more profitable or streamlined business?
*Whom did you hire so that you can spend more time on your creative career? (framer, virtual assistant, housekeeper, lawn mower, bookkeeper)
*Whom did you meet that has turned out to be a mentor?
*What books did you read? What magazines?
*What movies did you see that inspired you?
*How many names did you add to your mailing list? (Note the exact number so you can evaluate your progress this time next year.)
*What habits or routines did you put into place?
*What habits or routines did you eliminate?
*Where did your name or artwork appear in print? Where did it appear online?
How did you improve your website or Web presence?
*What new marketing materials did you add or improve on?
*Where did you speak about your work?
*What new materials or techniques did you experiment with?
What organizations did you join?
*What projects did you initiate?
On a more personal level:

*How did you care for your health and well-being?
*How did you strengthen your personal relationships?
*What vacations did you have?
*What parties did you attend?
*What new hobby did you take up?
*Where did you volunteer?
Recalling your accomplishments is a good habit to adopt. After you do, how will you celebrate?


Know This...
It's time to celebrate your accomplishments.

Think About This...
If you don't take the time to reward yourself for what you have achieved, you'll continue thinking about all that you haven't done.

Do This...
Recall your accomplishments and celebrate.

Better yet do what Kasia suggests and forget the shoulds and have tos.
Merry Christmas

on Wednesday, December 20th, willow said

That's a great list Judy! Most of my accomplishments this year have been about moving back to a place where I feel most inspired and creative. The focus for the new year will be on actually making more art!

Cheers everyone!

on Wednesday, December 20th, Elise said

Wow Judy, thanks...that *is* a great list.

I agree with Kasia that sometimes we just have to enjoy life without over analyzing everything...but I admit I *love* making lists, and figuring out what things are working (and not working) in my life and what things can I do to continue to move forward.

And Willow, I think your move is going to add significantly to your creativity. having your own space is going to really open things up, I'm sure of it!

on Thursday, December 21st, subi said

sometimes 'living' should come over art, as you need to live fully but the art will come as it always does. it sounds like you will soon have a wonderful birthday and christmastime with a wonderful family and new friend/ must be hard and you must feel sad that you won't be with your Tomlinson clan--many happy wishes to your dad and sisters! and you!

on Thursday, December 21st, Elise said

Hey Subi!

Frohes Weihnachten!

I think that spending the holidays in Gustavus will be a lot of fun if it works out (weather permitting, which is always the case in southeast alaska)...

I *will* miss my family terribly, but it seems like no one is going home this year. That almost makes me more sad, I could have had my papa all to myself...oh well, I will be going "home" again soon enough.

Do you ever get homesick at the holidays (for the good ole usa) and where do you consider home? Alaska? Rhode Island? or where you are now?

on Thursday, December 21st, Betsy Bear said

A new blogger here, Betsy, and by way of introduction, a fellow artist in North Pole (Alaska, of course) trying some first toe-wetting in the big blog pool.

For some time now I've enjoyed reading your comments when I have a little (rare) spare time. Just wanted to break my silence, and thank you for your uninhibited sharing of personal life, frustrations, and aspirations, Elise. I've benefitted also from others' comments (....that's a great list, Judy!). I guess that's what blogging is about...connecting with others on a meaningful level.

On another note, Elise, we have a cabin at Excursion Inlet, near Gustavus, and spend our summers there. It's always good to make a new friend in that neck of the woods....or waters. Hope your time there is wonderful, and the trip in and out is smooth. Maybe the change of scenery will inspire and rekindle the creative fire within you! Good luck!


on Thursday, December 21st, Elise said

Hi Betsy!
Nice to meet you. I'm on my way to sleep at the moment but I'm so glad that you said hi as I'm always up for meeting other artists, particularly ones in Alaska.

Anyway, thanks for the well wishes, hope you have a wonderful break as well...more later...and keep blogging.