Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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06/28/2010: "I did it MY way..."

I have several good friend who call me up from time to time to give me ideas for my paintings...they range from "paint bigger" to "paint smaller, and "paint more realistically" to "paint less realistically". I have one friend who gives me themes, and I think her ideas are great...but they're *her* ideas. She's artistic too, though she hasn't done much lately, I think she needs to explore these feminist/conceptual ideas herself.

Personally, I'm not really trying to "say" or convince anyone of anything.

All I want from a painting I'm working on for me to feel like it is successful is three things:

1. Composition of physical elements. There has to be a certain distribution of the objects on the canvas. I like compositions that sort of circle in on themselves. If you look at the women in my paintings, they are more likely curled up in some way, rather than standing straight up.

2. Color distribution. The way the color is distributed has to create the same balance and flow as the organization of the physical objects themselves. I prefer pure, undiluted colors, often working in color pyramids.

3. Subject matter/narrative. This is the only element that possibly fits into the "saying" something catagory. But I'm still just giving a vague idea that something is going on, left to interpretation...and really this aspect is secondary to color and composition.

What I want to say, is 100% visual. I want people to respond emotionally to shapes and colors. I don't want to give a message about how I feel about the role of women in society or about the future of the planet or impending economic collapse. I just want to paint something that makes ME feel balanced and centered, both when I'm creating it and when I'm looking at it. I want it to make ME feel good. If others look at it and feel some kind of positive emotion from it, that's awesome.

These may seem like low level goals, but I'm a visual artist, this is the language that I know how to speak and it's really the only message I care about sending out into the world.