Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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Friday, March 30th

Artists on the Web

Well, tomorrow morning I'm giving a 3 hour presentation at our city museum titled "Artists on the Web" and I'll be covering topics like how to photograph your work with digital camera, image optimization, color correction etc. as well as getting a website, starting a blog, registering your site, taking online payments, all that good stuff.

I'm not *as* prepared as I'd like to be, I'll probably be up late tonight working on it, but I think I have plenty of information to share. If any of you have any cool sites or suggestions you'd like to make (related topics to cover, sites you use regularly, etc.) related to having an online presence as an artist I'd love to hear them. Short notice I know but...

Anyway, tonight I have two older paintings in a farewell exhibit at the Two Crow Gallery. It's sad that this wonderful space is closing. I went and hung out with the soon to be former owner of the gallery last night while he hung the show. It was sad...did I mention that already???

The show looked great though, it's a group show of former and future exhibitors from the gallery and I plan to go to the opening tonight although I still have a lot of prep work to do for the museum thing tomorrow. I feel a little bit like a faker since I haven't been too active with my own art marketing (or art production) lately, but I still know a lot about the online environment that artists just starting to go online might not be aware of yet.

Wish me luck!
(small panic attack ensues)
btw, it's a beautiful sunny day here in Juneau Alaska, maybe I'll take some photos later!

Elise on 03.30.07 @ 12:33 PM AK [link]

Sunday, March 25th

An unproductive weekend?

Well, I had (yet again) a list of goals for the weekend, things I felt were very important to accomplish, and (yet again) I didnt get to many of them. Instead I read Ultrametabolism which I recommend to anyone trying to lose weight or become healthier. Its all about returning to a diet of whole foods and why all the processed crap with its fake fat and artificial sugars etc. is making people in the US and elsewhere fat and ill. Its an *excellent* book. Its fun buying whole foods (grains, nuts, fruits, veggies, beans, etc.) and making tasty dishes that fill you up and keep you energetic for hours on end.

Yesterday Aaron and I went for a long walk to Douglas Harbor and along Sandy Beach and ended with a little hike through the Treadwell Mine...then this afternoon we did a section of the Treadwell Ditch trail that starts a block from home. It was incredibly steep and scary in parts (even with snowshoes) but Aaron is a great guide and even though we went off trail he got us back down safely again.

On the walk home from the end of the trailhead we went past a neighbors house and they happened to be looking out the window and waved us in. We got to see amazing photos from when they brought their 36 foot sailboat up to Juneau from Vancouver BC. It made me realize how much Id like to do a trip like that sometime, and the 4 of us planned some smaller overnighter trips to take together this summer.

Speaking of which, thinking of spring and summer camping and bonfires, and overnight sailing tripshas me filled with hope and happiness and a general sense of well-being.

Tonight, after a hearty meal of Egyptian lentils and long grain rice and after a long cuddle on the couch, Im ready to say goodbye to another unproductive weekend. For a slacker though, I feel pretty damned good.

(btw, Friday night we watched Flash Gordon which was even more fantastic than I remembered...he saved everyone of us you know!)

Elise on 03.25.07 @ 10:44 PM AK [link]

Wednesday, March 21st

Would you like snow with that?

Well, overnight we reached the new seasonal snowfall record for Juneau: 194.6 inches!

And it happened essentially on the first day of spring....hoooray!

Now it's raining and we have massive piles of melting snow everywhere and drainage culverts clogged with snow and ice so there's a very high flood warning, *and* a high wind warning...not to mention *extreme* avalanche danger.

avalanche-scale (11k image)

From the Southeast Alaska Avalanche Center's Juneau Urban Avalanche Advisory: "We do not normally use the fifth point of the U. S. scale, but on those rare occasions when avalanche danger is so high that is essentially off the scale and widespread large natural avalanches are probable, the designator is EXTREME (black). Being anywhere near avalanche terrain or runout zones is not recommended."

Some good friends of mine live directly in the path of an avalanche chute in downtown Juneau. I was supposed to go to a St. Patty's party at their house on Sat. but I was still feeling run down from the crud. They (and their neighbors) have been warned to prepare to evacuate or to relocate until the imminent danger passes. Check out this photo from the Juneau Empire, of an avalanche in that area in 1972. WOW!

In an hour or so the DOT will fire shots from the Treadwell Mine across Gastineau Channel to the west slope of Mt. Roberts to trigger avalanches along Thane road (an area without residential development) but the road provides access to Juneau from people who live in Thane. Here's a photo of an avalanche occuring on Thane road.

Anyway, never a dull moment when you live in the Last Frontier.

Elise on 03.21.07 @ 09:54 AM AK [link]

Monday, March 19th

Holding an art opening at home

So, I had high expectations for Spring Break but ended up getting really sick on the first day of break and stayed that way through this past Saturday. I�m still feeling a bit oogy as a matter of fact. All those good intentions (painting, creating a budget, finishing up my various commitments to people, working on the house etc.) none of it happened. Plus, I haven�t been to the gym in ages.

Aaron and I did get new snow shoes though and we�ve been out several times (before and after I got sick) which was incredibly fun. I had no idea how fun snowshoeing would be. We went off trail (along the Treadwell Ditch) and the big pivoting cleats on our shoes allowed us to climb up and down steep embankments of snow following porcupine and rabbit tracks.

And speaking of snow� currently, we�re 1.9 inches from breaking the all time high record for snowfall set in the winter of 64/65 (194.3 inches). We could break the record in the next day or two and it�s very exciting. Some people are bitching about the constant snow but I totally love it.

In more art related news, I had another inquiry from a collector wanting to buy two more of my paintings (awesome) and I got a note from author Michael Modzelewski asking me to illustrate his new novella titled �North through Paradise�. I�m a little hesitant, as the illustrations would have to be black and white, and I�m so used to thinking and designing with color, but I�m excited to give it a try. I have to finish up Cathy Connor�s book cover first�and The Commission (which is soooo soooo very close to being finished). Ack.

Recently I�ve given up the opportunity for doing several commissions because I want to just concentrate on doing stuff purely for me, but I haven�t been doing that either so what the hell, right?

On a sadder note, the Two Crow Studio and Gallery is closing its doors at the end of this month. Two Crow was owned by Rob Roys and Pagan Hill and was one of the best locations in Juneau for seeing non commercial work. They just weren�t able to make a financial go of it, unfortunately. Their efforts were incredibly noble however. I was going to have another show there in November, but that is no longer to be.

I�ve decided that my next show will be an invite only affair held at my home. Why not? Most of my sales are from people on my mailing list anyway. It will be less stressful too. Has anyone else out there had any experiences (good or bad) with having an art exhibit in your home? If so, please let me know how it went.

Elise on 03.19.07 @ 04:03 PM AK [link]

Thursday, March 8th

I feel like an artist again!

Well, I don't spend the time that I used to (obviously) updating this site but today I was really surprised that after years of being number 1 or 2 in Google for searches like "artist blog" I suddenly appear to have fallen off the map. Where's the love Google?

I mean gee, isn't a person allowed a little break from time to time?

The thing is, several recent events have helped me reconnect with my somewhat absent identity as an artist. First of all, a couple weeks ago I had a chance to visit Rob Roys in his new downtown studio, which gave me a *heavy* case of studio envy. Aaron looked into a few potential studio spaces for me in the same area but the truth is, right now I can't afford one. But still, the fact that I *want* one so badly is a good sign that my waning artbido might be at an end.

Secondly, I've been asked to give another workshop at our city museum for the end of March titled "Artists on the Web: Web-based Marketing for Artists". I started putting together some materials for it and it made me realize how little I've been doing in that area and how much I miss it.

Then, yesterday I sold a painting online! I used to sell paintings and prints online quite regularly but guess what? It doesn't just happen on its own (generally speaking) it involves some work. So, selling a painting was another reminder that hey! I'm an artist! (and as always, a sale is a ginormous shot in the arm/ego).

Also, I've been asked to sit on an artist panel for the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council this weekend, which will be discussing the age old question of how to price your work.

So, I guess I'm realizing that it's time. It's time for me to get back in the game. Next week is our Spring Break and I'm going to have the entire week off to organize my studio space and (hopefully) paint. I am soooo close to finishing THE COMMISSION I've turned down 2 or 3 commissions in the past couple of months because I want to get caught up on all of my current commitments. I also have to finish a painting for my dad and for my boyfriend's mom (a belated Christmas present).

But I have high hopes! So, to anyone who's still reading out there...thanks! And stay tuned...

Elise on 03.08.07 @ 12:09 PM AK [link]