Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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04/18/2009: "The "Do-Over""

So, I had this painting that started out as a landscape, and it was "so-so".

I decided it would be more interesting to have a woman in it, so I added one, but only small in proportion to the rest of the painting.

I realize 2 constants in my paintings. First of all, that I feel a compulsive need to outline everything. And secondly, that for pieces that have figures in them the figure has to take up a certain percentage of the canvas. The new figure essentially wasn't big enough.

So I painted over the other figure with a newer, larger (totally different) figure. This added the problem I mentioned before, where texture from the underlying painting (mountain and rocks) were showing through on her face and body. I tried scraping it off but I couldn't get it all. And, if you have any kind of gloss to your oil painting, gallery lights will really highlight all that texture (you can see the mountain and rocks underlying the figure).

This was a real drag, as I liked a lot about the new painting other than the texture issue. One thing I didn't like was the rocks to the left of her. Even though I knew the texture issue had ruined the painting, I kept trying to get this pile of rocks to look right. Aaron agreed that the rocks weren't working.

Then I had an epiphany, quit wasting my energy and time on this painting and simply start a new one, keeping all the elements I liked and getting rid of the elements that weren't working.

So, last night I spent a total of one movie (Underworld) starting the remake of the dysfunctional time-sink. The new painting is awesome (imho) or at least, it's way way better than the other one that I kept trying to "fix".

I have never really done that before (to my knowledge) and it was a very positive experience because I knew exactly what I wanted for the new piece. Later I will post you versions of each painting to show you what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I'm waiting for Aaron to finish up at Earth Day out at the Glacier Visitor Center. We went out there to check out gutter gardens. It's such a cool idea for Alaskan's and I believe that Aaron and I will be starting one of our own soon.

OK, back to painting!

Replies: 3 Comments

on Sunday, April 19th, Alisa said

I think a gutter garden is a great idea!

on Sunday, April 19th,">jane hope said

I would love to see more photos of the lichens and mosses. So much color in something so tiny.
I also found the view from
above Alaska fascinating. I am doing some colored pencils of ANWR. Every click on the map is a painting!

on Monday, April 20th, Elise said

Hi Alisa, yes, I'm excited to try one out. The person who wrote that article was doing a demo for Earth Day and it was amazing how much she grew in such a small space.

And hi Jane, thanks for the feedback about my work. I have always intended to paint the lichen and mosses that I've photographed in the past as I think they are gorgeous, I've just never gotten around to it.

But taking more photos is a good idea to. As for ANWR, which map are you clicking on? Google Maps?