Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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Friday, August 31st

It's the Final Countdown

Well, there are only 6 days left until I hang the show and last night I was still painting! IN OILS!

I feel relieved that two of the three images I posted on this blog (for the show) have already sold. I've decided to go ahead and display them anyway and give the gallery their cut.

Thanks to Rob Roys for making my flyers for me, they look great! I'm not going to send out paper invitations this year, only e-vite ones to save money and because I'm out of time.

As always, I wish I had more time. The pieces are finally starting to look finished but I can't help feeling that if I had another few weeks they'd look GREAT. Oh well, my next show isn't until next July and I am making a promise to myself (and to Aaron) that I won't wait until the last minute to get started this time.

I have to say that I've enjoyed working small though when I see all 12 pieces, finished and on the wall salon style (like they'll be in the gallery) they don't seem as impressive...I think just because of their size.

My next show is at a Gallery called The Canvas and it's a HUGE space, so I'm planning to go crazy and work really big even though it means the pieces won't sell (cuz hey, who has the room?)...but it will be fun to experiment size-wise.

I still have to sign all the pieces, it's weird because the pieces are small and i almost feel like the signatures will ruin the composition (I can only paint so small). I also need to title them (AAAARGGGGH!) and price them (DOUBLE AAAARRRGH!) and figure out how I want to hang them etc. Oh, and frame them! I still have to pick up the flyers from the printers and hang them up around town too...I hate that part.

But really, I'm not as nervous about this opening as I have been about others in the past. I feel less pressure on myself, personally, because there is another guest artist this month as well and because the gallery is more of a gift store, in that it has a lot of other artists work in it as well as ceramics and jewlery and it's not like I'm used to...a whole big space of just my work and everyone there to see it exclusively.

So, i hope it goes well but because two pieces have already sold, I can already consider it a kind of success even if nothing else sells. And, ultimatlely I feel pretty happy with how things turned out and that's the important thing.

Aaron has been wonderful, putting up with cranky artist Elise and also giving helpful feedback on problem areas. I promise to post some "finished" photos of the other pieces soon, photographing the work is something else I've yet to do.

Ah well, it will get done. It always does. And the good thing about displaying in a gallery that takes a 40% commission is that I don't have to worry about providing wine or food. Yeah!

Wish me luck!

Elise on 08.31.07 @ 02:10 PM AK [link]

Wednesday, August 22nd

What a Difference a Frame Makes, or: Frame Therapy 101

Last night I came home and began my daily �staring� routine�this is my sacred time to stand in front of a small wall crammed with my new works in progress and feel panicky and demoralized.

But then Aaron asked to see what one of them would look like framed, so I framed it and it looked much better�it looked really finished, in fact. I then proceeded to frame all of the pieces in the show, finished or not, just to get a sense of how the frame would change the overall feel of the pieces.

In a couple of cases, I�d painted too close to the edge and the lip of the frame was visually cutting off key bits in an unflattering way. But mostly the frames have put me at ease. For one thing, they have added a certain amount of weight and cohesion to the pieces and to the show as a whole. For the first time it actually looks like a show. And I still have a lot of work to do but it seems infinitely more doable.

Aaron is going to Gustavus on Friday for the memorial service and I�ve decided (for various reasons) to stay in Juneau. This will give me one last chunk of time to finish things up. This includes getting posters and post cards made, updating my mailing list, sending out emails, and a bunch of other stuff. I also need to stop at the gallery and photograph the wall where I�m going to hang my pieces. That way I can diagram out how I want the pieces to display and give it to the gallery to actually hang for me.

The gallery rep I talked to also suggested I get some help with pricing, since these new pieces are smaller than I normally do and both she and the other guest artist suggested I was undervaluing my work. Hmmm�I�ll have to think about that.

Oh, and Sat. night (after Stardust...excellent movie!) I went up to Rob Roy�s studio to check out some of his new work (looks great btw!) and he ended up giving me an amazing painting (my absolute favorite one from his last show) that he was supposedly going to PAINT OVER! Can you believe that!!!??? I would never paint over my own work. How many of you have ever painted over work that you�ve actually exhibited? Stop the insanity Rob! Please, I�m begging you!!!

The good news is that in my framing spurt I framed the new piece from Rob and it�s hanging up in the dining room and it looks fantastic.

Elise on 08.22.07 @ 01:07 PM AK [link]

Saturday, August 18th

In the big scheme of things...

Aaron is away due to a tragic accident that killed his step brother-in-law as well as a close family friend. I feel so terrible for him and his family, and for all of Gustavus which is such an amazing and tight-knit little community.

I have the house to myself now but I can't seem to get back into working on this show again. This is my last weekend to paint and all I'm doing is eating ice cream and pizza and zoning out watching bad TV and sleeping on the couch. Furthermore, I'm worried about forcing myself to paint because in my current state (depressed, bloated, and in a borderline sugar coma), I may end up doing more damage than good.

Yesterday I went and met the other guest artist who I'm exhibiting with (in how many day's Rob?) at the gallery and the gallery rep (who was great) showed us where we'll be able to display our work. I worked small intentionally because I didn't think we'd have a lot of room and so the other woman is getting *a lot* more wall space than me and in a better spot. It sortof gives the impression this is her show and I'm a tack-on...but honestly, I don't even care that much. I'm happy for the chance to show there and ultimately...this show just isn't feeling *that* important to me right now.

If there are people in your life that you love, tell them every chance you get and don't assume that they already know. You never know when it may be your last chance.

Elise on 08.18.07 @ 01:05 PM AK [link]

Monday, August 6th

At long last...a little taste.

A couple of the new images from my upcoming show...

chocolate-lilly-forest-final-thumb (103k image)

wetlands-portrait-final-thumb (84k image)

bed-of-ferns-final-thumb1 (158k image)

Elise on 08.06.07 @ 09:28 AM AK [link]

Friday, August 3rd

My Boyfriend Ate My Exhibit & Other Excuses...I won't need!

Last night Aaron basically forced me to start painting. It was already 9 in the evening and wed just finished a big dinnerI was feeling relaxed and just wanted to cuddle on the couch but he wouldnt take any excuses!

He helped me determine which pieces to concentrate on finishing first so they can be used for publicity purposes. He also helped point out problems I was having difficulty identifying within the first painting I started working on. Its sometimes helpful to have another pair of eyes weighing in on the matter. And so, I started painting.

I was surprised that I could paint quite comfortably upstairsin the same room with him while he read on the couch. It didnt bother me at all that he was there, probably because he knew better than to interrupt me with unsolicited feedback.

The only problem was that Id told him earlier to not let me paint past 11 because I had to get up very early this morning to teach a class on campus. And he was as belligerent getting me to stop painting as he had been about getting me to start!

Because now that Ive started, oooooooh.its SO FREAKING SWEET!

The truth is, I LOVE TO PAINT!

Really, its true. Im obsessed. I love it with every inch of my being. And, particularly this stage. With oils, it takes forever for them to dry but once they do, the second coat is where the fun begins. Its more of the glazing, more of the finishing touches that make the pieces start to really glow. Stopping last night was so hard (I also confessed to Aaron my need to repeatedly get out of bed, go upstairs, turn the lights on and look at my painting for awhile before crawling back into bed)last night I only did that once but back when I was single I used to lay in bed at night just obsessing about problem areas and couldnt go to sleep until I went up to look at them over and over again.

Tonight Aaron is going to go wander around for the First Friday art openings without me and Im going straight home to paint. He said last night that he didnt want to feel responsible for me not painting and honestly, its never been because of him. Seems Ive had the ability to paint with him around all along. Maybe some of my hang-ups are all in my head?

Anyway, I should have the three press images photographed by tomorrow night at the latest so Ill post them in here when Im done. Im also moving the old Works in Progress galley to a new From on High gallery, since that show was over a year ago. I hope to put real in progress stuff in that gallery soon. One step at a time.

Elise on 08.03.07 @ 03:28 PM AK [link]

Wednesday, August 1st


OK, I got an email from the gallery that they need some high res images of the pieces for next months show for their promotional stuff...and I don't have any ready yet.

Panic is setting in BIG TIME!

I finally figured out why the paintings were taking so long to dry, it's been very cold and damp here and finally (DUH!) I closed the windows in my studio and turned on a heat lamp to get things toasty so this is a very positive development.

Several pieces are *very* close to being finished and given another day or two I may have some images to get to him. I really don't want to cancel the show (I've NEVER had to do that before) but I've been going through a whole slew of emotional crap that has made it nearly impossible to make the advances I had expected to make by now. I did almost nothing during that long time off from work, nor did I do anything this past weekend while I had the house to myself.

Well, some times it just can't be forced.

Things on a personal level have gotten back on track as of tonight so I'm hoping my improved mental state will result in a flurry of creative energy and many finished paintings. I now have 12 or 13 in progress but will probably only end up showing 8 or so. The are also quite small.

I'm not sure why it's so hard for me to share any of these images with you all. I guess I've been wracked with insecurities lately. So, what else is new right?

Elise on 08.01.07 @ 10:26 PM AK [link]