Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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Thursday, December 24th


"Happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. - Frederick Keonig

eagle-beach3 (34k image)

This is a photo I took late Monday afternoon at Eagle Beach. We drove out there in my new car after picking it up from Allen Marine Lines. It replaces my 15 year old Tracker that was becoming dangerous to drive. Driving the new Suzuki 6x4 Crossover, was *so* much fun, and it was an absolutely gorgeous sunny day for a drive!

I've been off from work for going on 6 days now, and it has been *heaven*. I've been working on new pieces for my show at the Canvas Gallery in June, mostly doing the PhotoShop thumbnails but coming up with some good compositions using some of the photos I've taken recently, including the ones in this post. The gallery is huge so I have a lot of work in front of me but I'm excited!

I'm also selling some smaller, less expensive sized prints now. I sold one to a co-worker of Aaron's on Monday, which was cool. Also, the University bookstore wants to keep selling my prints and the Arts Council wants to sell prints of my painting (Lupine Slumber) that they used for the cover of their annual programs.

eagle-beach2 (55k image)

Overall, I feel really good about myself as an artist lately...which is atypical for me. I just feel so fortunate to be able keep painting and showing my pieces, I'm a lot less angst-ridden, and yet it hasn't destroyed me as an artist (as I secretly feared domestic bliss would do).

It's strange, I was looking back over my last several posts in Facebook and they are all something like "I feel so lucky" or "I've so happy" etc. Some people might think I'm a big braggart, but anyone who knows me knows that this insane, sustained happiness for the past several years (since meeting my husband Aaron) is not standard operating procedure for me. Not that I wasn't happy on my own, but it was a different kind of happiness. One that needed constant maintenance in order to sustain...short-lived and bookended by depression and periods of loneliness and nostalgia.

eagle-beach1 (53k image)

I don't know how long these good times will last, but while they are here...I'm just going to enjoy every minute and not waste any time waiting for the other shoe to drop. Not that there haven't been some truly hard times this past year...because there have been, I just feel so much better equipped to deal with them. I am really learning how to appreciate life for what I have, right now today. And realizing that you don't need more money, more accomplishments, more "things" or even to be young or thin or famous to be happy. I know it's corny, but all I really need to be happy is faith (in myself) hope for the future, and the love of my friends and family. Here's wishing the same for all of you!

Elise on 12.24.09 @ 02:48 PM AK [link]

Wednesday, December 9th

Wonderful Alaskan Vacation

This past weekend I went on an incredibly fun trip with my honey and his son Noah, as well as my sister and her son Xander. We took an early morning train to Talkeetna Alaska, it's a little town about two hours outside of Wasilla (home of Sara Palin!) on the border of Denali National Park.

talkeetna2 (64k image)

Sitting in the dining car having breakfast burritos with reindeer sausage (don't judge, they're delicious!) we saw the most amazing sunrise over the mountains.

Aaron and I ran to the back of the train where we could shoot photos out an open door. This first one with the partially frozen river, is one that Aaron took.

talkeetna3 (31k image)

Then I grabbed the camera from him to take a few more. We got a ton of nice shots.

talkeetna5 (33k image)

talkeetna4 (30k image)

The train left us off at the town of Talkeetna, where we were met by the owner of the Meandering Moose Lodge. We stayed in the "Fish Camp" log cabin, which was really cosy and spacious enough for the five of us (two queen beds and 4 twins!).

It was the weekend of their winter festival, which included the Wilderness Woman competition and the Alaskan Bachelor Auction (see this youtube video on the event), but we spent the weekend going for walks, reading, and playing games. It was incredibly relaxing, with no internet or TV or music. Ah... it was so peaceful out in the woods.

We then took the train back to Anchorage and the ride wasn't quite as nice because it was dark most of the way but it was still fun.

This weekend really reminded me why I love living in Alaska.

I would highly recommend the Meandering Moose Lodge if you are ever in the Talkeetna area. The owner Sandy is really nice and she'll drive you around if you come by train and don't have a car. Plus, the rates are really reasonable for what you get.

It was probably one of the best vacations I've had since our honeymoon, and at a fraction of the price.

Elise on 12.09.09 @ 05:26 PM AK [link]