Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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Wednesday, June 27th

What's wrong with staying the same?

So, I've been trying to get into the habit of taking at least one photo everyday (to train my mind to view things more critically) and it's working pretty well. I have hundreds of cool new photos to share and I've been waiting to write in this until a time I could edit and upload some of the new photos...but that just takes too long. So, I thought I'd write to say that I have finally started working on the show I have coming up in 2 months. That's right folks: 2 months.

I was supposed to have my first live model studio session last night with fellow artist Rob Roys (who has the coolest studio in Juneau IMO)...but our model apparently came down with a case of "Sun Fever" and didn't show. I was also having terrible back pain anyway so it probably wasn't the worst thing in the world that she flaked on us. I did prepare about 15 thumbnail sketches of the poses I wanted her to assume....and all the amazing landscape photos I've taken lately should mesh quite nicely.

I've realized that my work is probably not going to undergo some kind of revolutionary transformation in the next couple of months so I'll probably just return to doing what I love to do the most: paint figures in an Alaskan landscape.

But I ask you: If you're painting in a way that appeals to you but doesn't show "growth", is that such a bad thing? I mean, is it so wrong having your work stay the same if you think that the work is solid and you're enjoying doing it?

Elise on 06.27.07 @ 03:57 PM AK [link]

Monday, June 18th

Loooong Alaskan Summer Nights

Sat. was sunny and gorgeous again; Aaron and I sailed along the Thane shoreline to scope out good camp sites. We found a great one near a waterfall so went back home, loaded up our gear, and then found the spot from the road and hiked down to the beach. What a gorgeous spot!

Aaron built a nice fire and we ended up roasting smores and aaron made a beach salad from strange plants I'd never even noticed before like "Gooses Tongue" and "beach greens" was yummy. It stayed light out until nearly 11 and never got that dark all night.

camping-thane-beach-aaron-building-fire (76k image)

He had checked the tide chart and realized there would be an 18 foot high tide that night so I pitched our tent as high up on the beach as possible. Even so, the water came up to within a couple feet of our tent and washed away our camp fire. It was really wild to look out side the tent and see waves lapping up almost to the door. The white arrow in the next photo shows the tide line from the following morning!

camping-thane-beach-elise-tide-line (94k image)

My favorite part of the camping trip was the next morning when Aaron got up early and made coffee. There is nothing like waking up all chilly in a tent to a nice piping hot cup of coffee with cream and sugar!

camping-thane-beach-aaron-making-coffee (82k image)

I went back to sleep after the coffee and Aaron did some more fishing. He also snuck out with the digital camera and surprised me by taking a bunch of really cool photos of seaweed and little beach stones and shells etc. which I am hoping to incorporate into some of my new paintings.

camping-thane-beach-barnacles (74k image)

camping-thane-beach-seaweed (104k image)

camping-thane-beach-waterfall (118k image)

camping-thane-beach-seaweed2 (95k image)

Elise on 06.18.07 @ 09:39 PM AK [link]

Thursday, June 14th

Humpback Whales Feeding

Here are some photos from that sailing trip I mentioned in my last post.

feeding-whale-alaska1 (99k image)
Whale lunge feeding...

feeding-whale-alaska1 (99k image)

feeding-whale-alaska1 (99k image)

feeding-whale-alaska1 (99k image)
Big splash from breaching

feeding-whale-alaska1 (99k image)
Here's another close up of a whale lunge feeding...

feeding-whale-near-shore (87k image)
This photo gives you an idea how close to shore they were...

aaron-ed-mike-karen-sailing-alaska (83k image)
Rail meat

aaron-ed-sailing-alaska (82k image)
Aaron and Ed trimming the sails.

Elise on 06.14.07 @ 10:11 PM AK [link]

Alright already!

OK, I got a complaint from Daniel North that I’m not blogging enough (or painting for that matter)…and believe me, I’m not happy about it either.

Blogging is a funny thing, when you get in the habit of writing something everyday, you don’t feel any pressure to make a post particularly enlightening or interesting. It can be about whatever random thing is on your mind. But when you go long spells without writing, there can be a certain pressure to have something meaningful to say when you finally do write.

So, I’ve been waiting, even though some really cool things have happened. For example, last week Aaron and I helped some friends work on their 41’ racing yacht and afterwards went for a sail in Auke Bay. The really incredible thing was that there were whales breaching right in the Harbor, both at Fisherman’s Bend (where the High Noon was moored) and also in the Auke Bay harbor next door. It was so incredible. I’d never seen whales breaching like that before…I mean, jumping *all* the way out of the water and landing sideways creating huge splashes.

I got a few great photographs of the whales feeding, essentially breaching with their mouths wide open. I wanted to wait to write about it until I had a chance to post the photos…I will try to do that tonight.

As for painting, well, Aaron is 100% moved in now and we’re just finishing up unpacking the last few boxes. My studio has moved from the public, upstairs part of the house, to a small room on the ground floor. This is OK because now I have a door and my own TV and we are possibly moving the computer down there as well to make it easier for me to work.

The best thing is that I’m starting to think about painting ideas all the time now. I have some images just starting to form and I’m at that sketching out rough ideas phase. The thing is, ideas have been the key missing ingredient and now they are returning. I hope to do some painting very soon, though this weekend we may go camping since the weather looks like it’s going to be wonderful again.

I absolutely LOVE camping. I love hiking (or sailing) to somewhere totally remote, sleeping in a tent, having a little fire to cook over, a great book to read, possibly do some fishing…I will also bring my camera and sketch book. Look at it as a chance to get some new source photos. Then maybe Rob Roys and I will hire some models together so I can get some of the poses I need for this new series.

Anyway, I am feeling more hopeful than I have in a long time that my long dry spell is about to be over! So please please please, stay tuned!

Elise on 06.14.07 @ 10:39 AM AK [link]