Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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Thursday, March 19th

The Collaboratinator v. The Collaginator

Last night I spent close to six hours working in PhotoShop on new images for my upcoming show. I'm realizing that I'm as much of a collage artist as I am a painter. What I do in PhotoShop prior to painting is essentially digital collage and takes as long, if not longer, than the actual painting. I found this article called Copyright for Collage Artists. The artist who wrote it isn't a lawyer but she's studied it quite a bit and seems to have a good grasp. Particularly relevant to my work is the section on Derivative Works.

Now, I do use *some* photos I find online, primarily of figures in mostly common poses. I take those figures and manipulate them quite a bit before I add them to a mock-up with landscape elements from my own photography. Plus, my finished pieces are further removed from the original source photos through the painting process.

Still, some of my figures in the past are still probably recognizable even after manipulation and being added to a landscape and painted in unrealistic colors etc. This bothers me...legally I think it's a gray area but I'm VERY law abiding so now that I'm more aware of copyright issues I'm trying to be more careful.

Last night I came up with 2 new images that I think are strong and have me feeling excited to start painting. I really only have 4 more weeks to go and I have a lot of half started paintings to get cracking on. I also chatted with my poet friend Subi (in Switzerland) and I sent her the mock-up of my favorite new piece and she loved it. She's going to write a poem inspired by it, and wants to collaborate on some more work together. I have designed one of her book covers to stand to was a lot of fun working with her.

Anyway, good things a foot. Speaking of which, have you seen the trailer for Terminator Salvation (shivers with delight)...

So, lots of energy and a positive attitude even though it continues to snow when I'm SO ready for spring. So, good readers, here's a re-post of one of my favorite snow related poems to take some of the sting out.


OUT of the bosom of the Air
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,

Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession

The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,

Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Elise on 03.19.09 @ 10:35 AM AK [link]

Tuesday, March 17th

You Betcha It's Good!

This weekend I missed the Alaska Library Association's annual conference which was held in Kodiak Alaska. My friend Wendy Girven made it, however, and took this lovely photo from the Kodiak Island Brewery:

sarah-pale-ale (42k image)

Too funny!

The weekend before last a masked man robbed the girl scout's at Fred Myers grocery store (that's my friend Caroline and her daughter Rebbecca in the photo).

So, this past Sat. Sarah Palin was at Fred Myer to meet the Girl Scouts who had been robbed and in this photo she is shaking hands with Rebbecca.

It's still a little weird to me that SP became such a national figure; I wonder if it will last.

Oh well, Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Elise on 03.17.09 @ 11:46 AM AK [link]

Sunday, March 15th

The anti-back spasm

Almost 2 years ago a masseur rubbed a muscle in my back the wrong way and it started to spasm, like when you have a charlie horse. It hasn't stopped, and the more stressed out I get, the more it spasms and sometimes actually pulls ribs out of joint. It's very painful and limits what I can do physically.

I only bring this up because this weekend I went to Gustavus where my husband's family lives. It is the kind of place that I think most Outsiders think of when they dream of Alaska. We flew there in a tiny 4 seater, me sitting in the co-pilot seat.

At the cabin, food is kept in a cool room rather than in a refrigerator and drinking water is collected from melting snow in a big white bucket.

Aaron and I slept in the loft of a tiny a-frame cabin with the pop and crackle of a wood fire below us and it was sooooo cozy.

While there, we didn't listen to the radio, or television, or check our email or go to movies.
Instead we:

went foraging for a Tlingit delicacy at a secret location in Glacier Bay National Park
went cross country skiing in 5 feet of snow
read and read until overcome by sleep, the sun on our faces
walked down a long snowy beach at sunset
snowshoed to a remote field and practiced firing a .22 and a 30 ot 6 rifle (I got a bull's eye!)

I realized on the flight home tonight that my "bad spot" (the area that spasms in my back) hadn't hurt the entire time we were there. That, despite sleeping on a thin mattress on a wooden floor and despite being more active than I've been in months, I felt good. REALLY good. And oh so deliciously relaxed...and inspired.

blue-foggy-mountain-scene1 (25k image)

blue-foggy-mountain-scene1 (25k image)

snowy-beach-trees-pink-clou (14k image)

snowy-beach-yellow-grass1 (30k image)

snowy-beach-yellow-grass-pu (9k image)

snowy-beach-yellow-grass-bl (20k image)

waves-in-sand-beach-gustavu (46k image)

bouy-truck1 (31k image)

Elise on 03.15.09 @ 09:25 PM AK [link]

Sunday, March 8th

A room of one's own

Yesterday I painted my first new painting in my new studio. It was wonderful (the studio, not the painting). It is a small room, very crowded and a bit difficult to move around in, but I have all the essentials. My paints, brushes, and canvases...cable TV and DVD player, a computer with PhotoShop, a very powerful air purifier...and a door I can close.

Last night I watched Slither (for about the 20th time) while working on this new painting and it was heaven. Aaron told me that he would move all the boxes from our back room into our new storage unit so I could spend the afternoon painting. It is amazing to have such a supportive partner.

Anyway, I will maybe post a photo of the new painting (in-progress) but I'm not sure. I have two points of view from two people I really trust and admire (one saying my older paintings are better and one saying my newer paintings are better)...I think I may need to just enjoy my new private space and do a little soul searching about what *I* really prefer. And not get so bogged down by expectations.

I suppose every artist grapples with expectations on some level or another. Am I wrong?

Elise on 03.08.09 @ 04:03 PM AK [link]