Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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Monday, July 23rd

Day Three

Well, today is Day Three of my time-off alone to paint. What have I done so far with my creative freedom? Well, I've laid on the couch watching a lot of B movies and I've eaten a mountain of vegan junk food. Oh, then today I went back off of sugar (for the 38th time this month) and gave myself highlights.

Oh, and I guess I did do a little toe nails that is!

Now I'm cleaning out my closet and getting ready to go to the gym with a friend. I really appreciate the dedication my friend has; I only go a fraction of the time she does but she always calls and tries to convince me to join her. Today I decided that I better go because scale is inching up in direct correlation to the number of days I have left until my show.

I hope that when I get back from the gym I'll have some new energy to get to work. I hate missing this big trip with Aaron to stay home and paint and yet I'm just vegging and feeling horribly guilty.

Elise on 07.23.07 @ 05:31 PM AK [link]

Wednesday, July 18th

Not much going on so...

Here's another pretty sunset photo from the other night. We had a bon fire on Sandy Beach and this shot was taken on the walk back. That's Mayflower Island and to the left of it is the Douglas Harbor where Aaron and I keep our sailboats.

It's been really foggy lately, which I rather like though some sunshine would be nice too. This morning I woke up to the sound of fog horns in the channel. It's one of my favorite sounds.

fog-bank-sunset-southeast-alaska (48k image)

Elise on 07.18.07 @ 08:40 AM AK [link]

Monday, July 16th

The Newest Joy of Painting

Well, Aaron was away for the weekend so I spent *most* of my time painting. Rob and I did go out to see the new Harry Potter on Friday night, which was a lot of fun. But then I cracked down and made some serious progress on Sat. and Sunday.

I brought my easel and other materials up from my new studio to the living room, which is where I really prefer to paint.

So, hereís my post-solo weekend, exhibit update:

Days until show: 54
Number of new paintings in progress: TEN !!!
Number of current paintings I think Iíll end up wanting to display: four or five
Number of new Ultramarine blue carpet stains (of considerable circumference): two

After I finished lying down the first layer of paint for all the paintings that I already had sketched outÖI wanted to keep going so I started to do some with only a general idea in mind which was pretty exciting.

The two paintings I did this way turned out much looser and more abstract than the other pieces but I really like them and they might represent a new direction for me after all. I find it interesting because my work has been becoming more realistic and these newest pieces are more similar to work from 10 years ago. I don't think of this as a regression necessarily, not in a negative sense any way.

I think the most freeing aspect of these new pieces is the smaller size. I can start a painting and see how it goes without having to ďwasteĒ a canvas or a lot of expensive paint in the process. I even did a couple of very small paintings (5Ēx7Ē) which is totally new for me.

It was a shame to have to stop but Iíll be on my own for the next couple of weekends as well so I hope to get as much done as humanly possible. I still havenít quite mastered the art of working with someone else in the house, though I suppose that will come.

I picked Aaron up this morning from the airport and I was *very* excited and happy to have him back. As joyful as it was to have a weekend to do nothing but paint, Iíd still choose my honey over painting any day. I guess that makes me one of the luckiest women alive!

Elise on 07.16.07 @ 01:17 PM AK [link]

Wednesday, July 11th


A couple nights ago there was the most amazing sunset. It kept changing color and intensity and lasted for the longest time.

The first shot I took out my livingroom window. Then I ran down a block to the beach to shoot the second one. Click on either one to go to wallpaper sized versions that look even cooler!

beautiful-alaskan-sunset-juneau-alaska2 (69k image)

beautiful-alaskan-sunset-juneau-alaska (85k image)

So, last night I had another life drawing session down at Rob Roy's studio. He set up for the two of us to share models and so far it's been really nice. I was going to post a couple of the drawings I did but I left my sketch pad at his studio.

Rob: "Elise, you only have 6 weeks to do an entire show's worth of oil paintings? If I were you I'd be *freaking* out! That's finishing more than one painting a week!"

Elise: "I know, I'm really running out of time but I'm pretty sure I can do this!"


This is Jack's bile filled panic attack

Oh, but then I talked to my dad tonight (hi dad!) and that always makes me feel better.

Elise on 07.11.07 @ 09:49 PM AK [link]

Monday, July 9th

Iím painting again!

So, I had 5 days off recently and actually got some work done! I decided (as you probably guessed from my last post) to continue with the "women in an Alaskan landscape" theme. I spent a couple of days working on compositions in PhotoShop and now Iíve started painting 6 canvases and I have the thumbnails for 6 more!

Now, before you get too excited for me, Iím not sure at all that any of them are any good. There are maybe 3 that made me go ďWheeeeeeeee!Ē and a few others that I think have potential.

Iím working much smaller than normal (11Ēx14Ē is the largest) so Iím actually painting out a couple versions of a few paintings because Iím not sure if I like the cropped or un-cropped version better. It feels freeing to work small because it's less of an investment in each piece so even though Iím swiftly running out of time, I feel like I can still play around to an extent.

The new ground floor studio is working out OK. I still donít like it as much as having the entire upstairs to myself but itís more practical and the light is decent. Aaron spent some time last night moving things around to make it feel less claustrophobic for me, which was really good of him.

There are some pretty big personal changes going on as well but not anything I can really discuss due to privacy etc. and nothing negativeÖjust challenging. Iím in a strange place in my head these days, full of hope but also self-doubt and not sure how much of the new work Iím ready to share yet so stick around if you care to...there should be more to come shortly...including some photographs of the most stunning sunset I've ever seen!

Oh, and on a positive note, Iíve picked up another commission! Iíve turned down several great opportunities lately because of not having the time to commit to them, but this one just felt right so Iím happy about that plus I really need the $ right now!

I also got the last commission in the mail this past weekend which was a huge relief. Now that I think about it, I didnít actually start any new work until after that commission (which took TEN MONTHS) was on its merry way. In the end, I was really happy with how it turned out and even happier to have it out the door...though honestly, I miss it a little any of you ever feel sad to see a painting go?

Elise on 07.09.07 @ 11:15 AM AK [link]