Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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Wednesday, February 25th

Mock up and making it look good together

Today I stayed home from work because last night all my joints decided to swell up at the same time and I was in a lot of pain.

After going stir crazy staying in bed most of the day, tonight I've created a new Photoshop doc with a white background to be a fake gallery wall (similar in size to what I'll have for my next show).

Next I made thumbnail size images of the paintings I've already done for my May opening, and also thumbnails of the PhotoShop mock-ups that I'd like to turn into paintings.

It's weird, because I have quite a few finished (or nearly finished) paintings that I *could* put in the show, but seeing them on my fake gallery wall made me realize that many of them don't really "go" together.

So, do I do new paintings that will go better with some of the others I've already finished, or go off on a new direction even though the paintings won't look very cohesive as a body of work?

Anyway, these are just academic questions, the important thing really is that I'm working again, and thinking about and seeing images...and WORKING....yes, that is the important bit.

It feels AWESOME (even if my bod feels a bit rough).

Elise on 02.25.09 @ 08:39 PM AK [link]

Tuesday, February 24th

Creative flow and the copyright question

Last night I started working on some images for a new show I'm going to have in May. The opportunity to have this show only came up a couple of weeks ago so I really only have about 2 months to come up with 6 new paintings and finish 4-5 "in-progress" pieces.

I can't use the same paintings I was going to show in Anchorage, because most of them were paintings I already exhibited in Juneau, that I modified by repainting but not in significant enough way to warrant another local showing.

So, I am frantically getting back to work. For me, the process all starts in PhotoShop. I often use my own photographs (or in the case of last night, some that Aaron took of seaweed) and I incorporate other images that I cut and paste from photos I find online.

I piece them all together in PhotoShop, change the color, orientation, etc. and come with a completely new piece that I then paint into my stylistic form of painting.

However, as coincidence would have it, I've been working on a talk I'm going to give to a group of Alaska Native Early Scholars students this afternoon and the topic is copyright and cultural and intellectual property rights. Doing research for this has created more questions for myself as an artist, than it answered. When it's OK to appropriate or build on elements of another artist's work for example.

And discussing the topic with Aaron this morning he mentioned that the artist Shepard Fairey copied the work of an AP photographer with his Obama "hope" poster...and is being sued.

It's still such a gray artist to me, artists have been "appropriating" from one another since time began, both visually, musically, cinematicly, etc. I guess as long as you don't make a lot of money no one will probably come after you, but it still makes me nervous.

Any thoughts?

Also, I showed Aaron the 3 new pieces I started in PhotoShop and I could tell by his response that he wasn't that blown away. I, however, feel really excited about going in a slightly different direction. I wish I had more time for exploration without the pressure of a show, but then, whenever I don't have the pressure of a show, I pretty much stop, it's a catch 22.

Elise on 02.24.09 @ 10:57 AM AK [link]

Saturday, February 21st

The Mighty Glacier

On Thursday I went for a walk out to the Mendenhall Glacier with my friend Wendy during my lunch break. I had never done it before, you can only go when the lake is frozen. It was "mostly" frozen, and at one point the glacier made a loud noise from deep inside and Wendy and I both took off running. Still, it was pretty incredible to see up close. These photos really do not do it justice.

mendenhall-glacier-juneau (91k image)

This first one is take some distance away. That dark blue slit towards the middle is what I'm posing in front of in the next shot.

juneau-glacier-elise-tomlinson3 (102k image)

glacier-elise-juneau-alaska (41k image)

Elise on 02.21.09 @ 07:50 PM AK [link]

Tuesday, February 10th

Buy Art, it's better for your thighs!

I still don't have room for a studio. I'm getting totally bummed out as I now have a chance to maybe exhibit in May and I want to take it but worry that I won't be ready as the lighting in my closet is not the greatest.

I wonder about trying to sell art in this "new economy" anyway. Having shows in galleries always makes me feel a little pressure to sell and lets face it, no ones buying.

No one but me that is! I promised I wouldn't buy anything when I went out to our Feb. First Friday Gallery Walk and I ended up buying a cool carved glass piece (for Aaron for Valentines Day...shhhhhh!)

It's by Tasha Wallen, a local glass artist who works with her husband who is also a glass artist. Together they run Basement Studios, right up the street from me on Douglas Island.

The piece has white frosted glass infused over black glass. Then the white glass was carved away to reveal the black glass from underneath. It's of the Sandy Beach Pump House, I'm kind of collecting images of that now.

But, this is the last piece I'm buying for awhile...but seriously, if you're going to celebrate a highly corporate consumption based holiday like Valentines Day, you might as well buy art! That chocolate is gonna go straight to your thighs.

Elise on 02.10.09 @ 06:07 PM AK [link]