Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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03/08/2008: "Wishful Shopping"

Today Juneau's art supply store had a 40% off sale on oil paints. I use the insanely expensive M. Graham walnut oil paints and so I used this opportunity to stock up. I also just realized I have 14 brand new 200ml (very large) tubes of white paint. I also have a bunch of new brushes and so many canvases stacked up in the back room, there's barely room for anything else. It's like, if I just keep buying more materials, the show will magically materialize.

Aaron rescued a practically brand new black utility cart from a trip to the landfill and it makes a wonderful set up for all of my materials, probably the best I've ever had.

Today I was walking into the local downtown grocery store from the parking lot and I felt this weird jolt of being hit with imagery from 100 different possible paintings all at once. And I was excited but also felt a little pain in my chest, like a tightening...and I realized it was just a flash, and nothing very useful in terms of getting started on my show.

We are in March, I have less than 4 months now before my opening at the Canvas Gallery (and the big wedding) and I have only one painting started. Just one. How is that even possible?

I had this big multi-media collaborative idea for the show which is starting to feel like way too much work and stress. I realized recently that since the opening is the first Friday of July, it will still be up in the gallery when all of my friends and family members come up for the wedding. Then I thought it might be fun to do a show called "The Wedding Party"...but just have a bunch of portrait paintings of all my friends and family who will be coming to town.

I worked on a project several years ago where I sent all my girlfriends disposable cameras and had them take candid shots of themselves doing what they felt defined them most. I had planned to paint portraits from those photographs but that show (like so many others) never came to pass.

Anyway, it was only an idea; I kind of miss painting faces. When I was a kid, everyone used to say I had a gift for it. I don't know why I ever quit.

mountain-juneau-alaska (50k image)

This is a photo I shot recently and then manipulated in PhotoShop. It's the image I'm using for the one painting I've actually started.

Replies: 6 Comments

on Sunday, March 9th, Rod said

How serendipitous you mention portraits and faces!
Seek not and you shall find.
I had a dream that I think was inspired by your previous post, I'm not sure. Anyway, there was a tree, amongst many others, but it had a carving/portrait of my face in the bark, the tree was just like one that I was hugging suggestively at Edwins' house after Ice Cream, but now it was on the Palmer flats with Mt. Pioneer in the backround. Is that weird? What would Dr. Freud say?
Am I a tree?

on Sunday, March 9th, dad said

Do you ever think you should just do a bunch of painting first?, Before commiting to a show then wala you have your product, then maybe do a thiem painting or two. Just a though :cool:

on Sunday, March 9th, dad said

I ment have youever thought :O

on Sunday, March 9th, Elise said

Yes Rod, that is weird...but that doesn't surprise me!
And yes dad, I've thought that and wanted to do it that way for a long time...but then someone will offer me a show and I just find it hard to turn them down.

And it always seems like I have sooooo much time, but then it always goes so fast and I'm right back where I'd hoped to never be, stressing out about a show. However, if it weren't for deadlines, I may never paint at all so in the long run, it's probably a good idea to always have one on the horizon.

on Friday, March 14th, berry connell said

60 people.
The weather guys promised rain and chilly temps, but, it cleared and, oh, fourties....
Bought meatballs, shrimp (they LOVE that shrimp!) cheese, wine, candy, bbq for the meatballs, cream puffs from sam's (mmmmm, glad some of those were left over) seedless red grapes and great big rasberries.

And 60 people came.

Now, what did I learn?
Take time out for myself and be more involved with the invitations instead of worrying over food.
On my table is a stack of cards addressed to folks in my church, none of which want to drive downtown Indy to see a show, but, Thorntown is only fifteen miles northwest of Zionsville....
Half are filled in, half are not because I got involved with helping out at the center where my show is, and dang! We're doing good work (for the time and money we have to spend) but, it took near all last week, I don't have a good car, it's volunteer work....
Spend time on projects that promise income in the future "if they fly" sort'a. Still, it's for my brother, so, I'm kind'a obligated to help. He gaveme this computer, for crying out loud! Although it is dated. Still, everyone knows the family code.
Painted right up to the edge of the show, actually had three paintings wet....

What did I learn?

I learned I'm as good at procrastination as anybody. :D

on Monday, March 17th, Elise said

Did you have someone taking attendance at the door or did you just guesstimate the number of people, sometimes it feels like less that it really is.

But yes, good publicity, invites, etc. is vital.

Congrats on the show and all the hard work. Did you take photos at the opening?