Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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Sunday, November 30th

Ain't that a kick in the head?

Hurry Hurry Hurry, Everything Must Go!

Since returning from Hawaii I've been a painting fiend. I had until Dec. 8th to get paintings shipped to a gallery in Anchorage for a Dec. 12th opening. This was to be the gallery's last show, one they had planned a big party for. I wasn't able to finish all of the new pieces before my honeymoon and since oils take so long to dry and my paintings go through multiple drying phases, I decided to do something I've never done before.

I rounded up all of my paintings from former shows that didn't sell and picked out the ones that seemed to work together the best collectively. Then I repainted them all. some I only made minor changes to, others I repainted almost entirely. It was incredibly liberating. I realized there were quite a few things about old paintings that I didn't like, the eyes that were too close set, the hand that wasn't quite right, etc. and since the work had already been displayed in Juneau and probably never would be shown again, I took some risks I might not have otherwise taken.

It was hard at first, you get used to a painting looking a certain way after awhile, but after awhile it got addicting. I think I've re-painted (and improved in my opinion) nearly every painting that I had on hand. I also finished several new pieces. I painted so much in the last couple of days that my shoulders and hands were cramping up. But finally, all of the paintings are drying and I felt confident they'd be ready to ship on Friday.

December is the end of a calendar year for tax purposes and I haven't sold much at all this year, and as I claim to have an art business, not having any sales does not look good at all to the IRS. I had to cancel my show in July due to getting married and not wanting to have a physical and mental break-down, so I was counting on this show to unload some work in a new and larger market.

About twenty minutes ago I got this message from the gallery owner:

"I received some bad news at the end of the week from our "property managers" that they would not allow us to have a show on the 12th of December for our last hurrah. Not only did we fight this as much as we possibly could, but we feel horrible about this late of notice for something we've been planning for so long."

I have had shows canceled at the last minute in the past, but this one was particularly disappointing. I had planned to fly up for the opening (standby on one of my sister's airline passes) and spend the weekend there with a friend, but now I can't really just justify the trip.

I think what I'll do instead is photograph the pieces (including detail shots) that would have been in the show, and try to sell a few through this website. I'll reduce the prices by 15-25% from the original asking prices and throw in free frames for paintings and free shipping and handling for the US and Canada.

If you really like a piece but still can't afford it, make me an offer. I just really need to sell a few paintings (or prints) before the end of the year.

Speaking of which, I have three new prints (shown below) that I never added to my "for sale" page with the other prints. I will find out tomorrow what size they are and also how much they'll cost and how many are currently in stock...the free shipping will count towards prints as well but otherwise prints won't be discounted as my profit margin on them is way way too thin.

pumphouse-print-framed (32k image)

woman-reading-field-small (61k image)

painting-nude-woman-in-front-lionshead-mountain-med (55k image)

Anyway, I'll be posting the other pieces including their original and discounted prices as soon as possible, hopefully by tomorrow night or so. Wish me luck!

Elise on 11.30.08 @ 09:40 PM AK [link]

Thursday, November 27th

White Sandy Beach of Hawaii

Aaron and I are back from our honeymoon and it was absolutely perfect.

I want to thank everyone who contributed to our honeymoon fund, and especially Karen H who let us stay for free at her luxury condo in Ala Moana with a full lanai and amazing view of the Honolulu Harbor!

Our first morning there I woke up in this giant white bed, the large sliding glass door to the lanai was open and I looked over and all I could see was a long stretch of blue ocean. It felt like being in a movie!

Because our housing was free, we got to spend our honeymoon cash on doing all the fun things I never got to do when I was a student there (and flat broke). Not being the kind of people who throw money around in real life, it took a bit of getting used to. There was only one time where we got up from a restaurant after viewing their menu, but we had true sticker shock. I was soooo relieved to get out of there! I wouldn't have enjoyed myself spending so much on a single meal and Aaron reminded me that "it's good to know who you are!". Amen!

We found it a lot more interesting eating at the cheap places where the locals eat, all kind of fusion cuisine, and one of my favorite experiences was an adventurous dim sum experience we had at a tiny restaurant called "Happy Garden" in Chinatown where we shared a table with a Chinese couple who helped us order since we had no idea what anything was.

Some highlights from our trip which included:
A sunset sail on a catamaran with dinner, tropical drinks, and a fireworks display.
Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay where we saw an amazing array of incredibly bright tropical fish.
A trip to the Polynesian Culture Center where we learned to throw spears, weave palm fronds, and play the ukelele. We also got to go to a luau, drink out of a pineapple, and see a wonderful evening show.
Long board surfing in Waikiki for Aaron while I surfed in an outrigger canoe.
Bobbing up and down in the surf of Waimea Bay at sunset.
Boogie boarding and body surfing on multiple islands.
Horseback riding through breathtakingKualoa Ranch.
Driving around the island with the top of our convertible down listening to Hawaiian music.

Since we've been home Aaron and I have been trying to learn to play the small wooden ukelele that we bought there, our first attempt being "White Sandy Beach of Hawaii" by one of my favorite artists, Israel Kamakawiwo Ole'.

I saw you in my dreams
We were walking hand in hand
On a white, sandy beach of Hawaii
We were playing in the sun
We were having so much fun
on a white, sandy beach of Hawaii

The sound of the ocean
soothes my restless soul
The sound of the ocean
rocks me all night long

Those hot long summer days
Lying there in the sun
on a white, sandy beach of Hawaii

The sound of the ocean
soothes my restless soul
The sound of the ocean
rocks me all night long

Last night in my dreams
I saw your face again
We were there in the sun
on a white, sandy beach of Hawaii

Elise on 11.27.08 @ 10:39 AM AK [link]

Saturday, November 15th


After a dismal summer and months of record rainfall, Aaron and I are finally leaving tonight for our honeymoon in Hawaii. JOY!

Here's the weather outlook for Juneau:

juneau-weather (15k image)

And here is the weather forecast for Honolulu where we'll be staying:

honolulu-weather (14k image)

We have reservations do go on a sail/snorkel combo on Tuesday, and plans for horseback riding, surf lessons, and an outdoors luau and we've rented a convertible.


The good news is that even if it's rainy, it will be warmer there than here! And we'll be somewhere new and exciting (I went to grad school in Honolulu but Aaron has never been there before) with great restaurants to try, a FREE condo to stay at near Ala Moana Beach Park, and I will (hopefully) get to see a couple of my friends from when I went to school there.

Plus, neither of us will be working!

Of course, I have this exhibit deadline hanging out there and I still have a lot of work to do for that but I'm going to try and not think about that, and just concentrate on relaxing for a change.

Again, to those of you who have sent me very sweet and often uplifting emails, I am sorry if I haven't responded to you. It's nothing personal, I have just been extremely busy trying to get all my ducks in a row for this trip.

We plan to take lots of photos from the honeymoon so I will post some here when I get back.

I know I've promised wedding photos so I've posted a few below. I was holding back because (quite frankly) I was shocked at how much weight I've gained since hurting my back about a year and a half ago.


Still, it was a beautiful day and our photographer Patrick McGonagal did an amazing job so I'll post a couple now.

close-up-candles-tablecloth (79k image)

These were the candle holders we made from rocks my friends Jenni and Rick and I gathered from Lena Point, the infamous table cloths that I spent so much time sewing.

roses-candles (48k image)

My friend Maren did an excellent job on the flowers and my sisters helped. We had planned for wildflowers but they were all beat up from the rain so they used white roses and lots of ferns

flowers-view-outside-shelte (118k image)

A photo of the flowers looking out of one of the shelter windows

guest-book (74k image)

A shot of the beautiful guest book my friends Rick and Jenni got for me.

ferns-around-the-windows (167k image)

My friends did an amazing job decorating the log cabin shelter at Sandy Beach. They lined the window shelf with ferns and pretty

wedding-decorations-before- (93k image)

tables-back-shelter (94k image)

A couple photos of the back side of the shelter where we had the tables for those who wanted to sit down during the reception. See those awesome table cloths I labored over!!!

before-the-wedding-sandy-be (120k image)

A photo of Aaron and I before the ceremony, see the pump house in the back!

dad-walking-elise-down-isle (128k image)

My dad walking me down the isle

me-blubbering-ceremony (113k image)

Aaon's sister said a lovely blessing and his aunt Molly officiated. I cried like a baby during the ceremony.

bouquet-with-forget-me-nots (139k image)

The kiss, and a close-up of the beautiful bouquet my friend Maren had made for me especially with for-get-me-nots, Alaska's state flower.

down-the-isle-bubbles (126k image)

Walking through bubbles at the end of the ceremony

inside-shelter-wedding-sand (96k image)

Inside the shelter after the ceremony, we had two big fire places, one on each side of the shelter that made it very cozy.

before-the-ceremony (101k image)

Lots of people standing inside and outside the shelter. It quit raining for the wedding and the sun came out for awhile, after weeks of non-stop rain. Thanks for the prayers dad!

one-of-our-wedding-cakes (59k image)

A photo of one of the seven cakes our friend Paul McCarthy made for us in exchange for a painting. Whoo hoo. They were delicious.

kelly-jenny-dancing (70k image)

Later there was dancing, despite the music issues we had (Napster mysteriously chose to download a bunch of Berry Manillow to my mp3 player rather than the dance list I'd created.) Here my sisters Jenny and Kelly boogie down.

outside-shelter-wedding (116k image)

standing-outside-shelter (125k image)

Here are a few shots from outside the shelter. I think we had over 100 guests and everyone seemed to have a great time. I know it was one of THE best days of my life and Aaron feels the same way.

my-partys-not-over (79k image)

As the evening wound down (remember, we have looooong days during the summer) Aaron and I didn't want the night to end!

Some friends brought the kegs back to our house where we hung out and drank for a little while longer.

The best thing about the whole thing is that we had friends and family in town for almost a week (in some cases) and there were no fights or major dramas of any kind. It just went so smoothly and was sooo much fun. I appreciate so much all of the people who helped make it so special. We couldn't have done it without you!!!

Elise on 11.15.08 @ 12:41 PM AK [link]

Tuesday, November 4th

Happy Election Day My Friends - Don't forget to VOTE!!!

Aaron and I got up and went to vote as soon as the polls opened at 7am. It was very exciting.


I didn't post any photos from Halloween but I painted a bunch of faces at work, we went as Harajuku Girls. I'll post some photos when I get them.

I do have a photo on my friend Maren, I painted her mime face for a Halloween party, I think she looks awesome!
mime-maren (70k image)

Anyway, I hope everyone in the USA gets out to vote today!

Elise on 11.04.08 @ 09:25 AM AK [link]