Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Comments Welcome!

As an artist/writer/bon vivant I love hearing from people who have stopped by this website. Please let me know what you think of my art, etc. Thanks!

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  1. I noticed that the paintings you had on display where of naked women,why? What are some of your other paintings?

  2. Hi Brandy, thanks for the comment! Have you seen my work at a gallery or only on this website? You are right that I primarily paint female nudes in an Alaskan landscape, though not always. I've done straight landscapes, flowers, portraits, couples embracing, and aerial views of alluvial patters at low tides.

    However, I do love to paint and draw the shapeliness of the female form, it produces lots of beautiful shadows and curves that are much more fun to paint than straight lines. I like to paint flowers and hills and mountains and other things from the natural environment and the female form mirrors those natural curves very nicely.

    Also, painting a figure in a piece creates a bit of narrative...which I've always loved. And, I'm a woman so even though I look nothing like the majority of my models, I can sort of envision myself in these idealized settings which creates a kind of peace and calm for me.

    I hope that answers your question. Thanks again for being the first to comment in my new comments section!

  3. Hi Elise!

    I've been visiting your blog and website for a couple of years now. I landed on it by googling about Alaska -- even though I've never been, I became obsessed with visiting -- but I stuck around to see your art and read about your process and your daily life. I've done art all my life but I've never taken it to the level you have -- I didn't study it as a major in school, and the few classes I tried in high school and college were discouraging! But these days I'm going back to it and I hope to return to the activity level I had when I was younger. Your blog encourages me to do it.

    Anyway, I wanted to suggest adding an RSS feed to your blog if you don't have one already -- possible that you do, but I haven't been able to find it and I'd love to add you to the list of art blogs I read.

    I also wanted to respond to your response (!) above and ask if you paint from live models or if you base your paintings on something else. I do love your work and I wish you the best of luck with it! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  4. Hi Esther! Thanks for writing and I'm so happy to hear that you're going to get back into your own art work. It really is so much fun (most of the time) to create something from nothing.

    As for the RSS feed, I use REALLY old blogging software that isn't supported anymore so I'm not sure how to do that but it's a great idea and I'll look into it. I've had requests from others too but I'm at that point where I'm ready to tackle some of these technical issues.

    As for the figures in my paintings, I used to belong to a figure drawing group that hired a model and I'd sometimes go in on hiring a model with another artist friend but lately I work from photographs.

    My studio is too small for a model, as much as I'd love to have one...any volunteers?
    Anyway, thanks again for the get painting (or sculpting, or drawing, etc.)!

  5. Hello Elise,

    Thanks for sharing your art and your experience in Alaska it has been very informative and helpful to me. I considered moving to Alaska on a whim but your blog gave me a more practical other words I'll be planning a few visits before I make any big moves.


  6. Hi Abri,
    I'm glad I could help! I hope you don't give up on your dream to move here, but having a practical framework is always a good really *can* be an amazing place to live.

  7. Hi, Elise--I just found myself at this page. I
    want to move to Anchorage and am trying to find
    out if August or September are good and some
    'hints' on how to do it as inexpensively as
    possible. I am on disability and from what I've
    researched, Anchorage will be more affordable and
    has better scope and quality of medical care. I'm
    in Portland, OR now, after 30 years, and it's WAY to fast for me. It reminds me of what
    California was like in 1980. Anyway, I came here because of a stroke my father had; he's
    doing well and I have wanted to move back to
    Alaska for decades. I lived in Fairbanks and
    Anchorage for a few months in 1969 and, even now, after travelling most of the world, nothing
    I've seen (Swiss, French Alps) compares. I know
    it takes a certain 'type' to live in Alaska, but
    I think I fit that type. I don't know anyone
    there and will be moving alone, so I was wondering if there are any social sites or 'groups' I could start at least a conversation
    with? I know I'm asking a lot of you, but there
    must be some reason I ended up here. Would
    appreciate any suggestions you could offer.
    Thanks is advance, Christine (

  8. Hi Christine,
    There are online ways of connecting with people who have similar interests. My sister who lives in Anchorage is part of an online group of mothers with young children who get together regularly for play dates.

    Meet Up, one such tool, has 85 different groups listed for Anchorage. You can search through the list which includes things like wine tasting, dance, naturists, vegetarians, people with MS, etc. etc. Maybe connecting to some people through one of these organizations prior to your move would be a good idea.

    Just be aware that Anchorage has grown *a lot* since you were last there. It has a fair amount of crime now too. So, maybe a visit to the city is in order before a full-scale move?

    Good luck!

  9. Dear Elise,
    Thank you SO much for creating this website. I'm going into my senior year of high school and have been thinking about UAS for about 6 months now. I've received information from the school and have viewed endless photos of campus and Juneau, but I'd never really read about the state from the eyes of a true Alaskan. You have most certainly swayed me to apply (and hopefully one day strive) at UAS. You've made Juneau sound like heaven on earth and I so look forward to being a part of the community. Thanks a ton for your insight.
    So now a couple of questions:
    What exactly do you do at UAS?
    UAS is an open admissions school, correct? Aboutwhat percent of applicants get accepted?
    How snowy is winter in Juneau?
    Thank you so much for this lovely website. It's really wonderful. :D

  10. Hi Ashley, I am a research librarian at the university library and I teach a couple of classes on how to be a more efficient and critical researcher plus I come into the classrooms to help students with research projects for various classes. It's an awesome job that I love very much.
    I'm happy that you're considering UAS! It's a wonderful school and I really do love Juneau. The adjustment was harsh in the beginning but that's often the case when you move somewhere new where you don't know anyone. If you would like to email me at elise.tomlinson "at" I can hook you up with a student who, like you, read my blog before ultimately choosing UAS for school. She would be able to answer questions about student life and her experience in the classroom etc.
    As far as your questions, since UAS is open enrollment, anyone can go to school here. If you apply to a particular program, acceptance rates vary.
    As far as amount of snow in Juneau, some years we get a TON of snow, and other years it's light snow in Juneau (mostly rain) but we still get plenty of snow up at Eaglecrest (our ski area). I prefer snow to rain so I love the winters where we get record snowfall.
    Anyway, please email me if you'd like me to "introduce" you to a UAS student (although I believe she may have graduated this year, we're still fb friends).

  11. I live in Corpus Christi, TX and I'm 16. I really wanna move to Anchorage, Alaska, and go to a veterinary college there. The only thing is, it's really far and I'm not sure if my parents would let me. Is it possible to go from Corpus to Anchorage?

  12. I love your website! I've been wanting to move to Alaska because of the adventure, and catching your own food (well some of it anyways), and of course the shear beauty of Alaska! I live in Texas now and i was thinking of buying a camper to haul to Fairbanks and live in for a while until i can find a good job and afford a home. I want to go to College there to get my masters in marine biology after i graduate high-school here in Texas. I was wondering how hard it would be to find a job to sustain myself in Fairbanks, or any surrounding areas? Thanks for any replies!

  13. hy Elise. how do you do.
    I am Glad to Know with you.
    you beutiful nice

  14. I was fortunate enough to visit Alaska, for the second time, in July. I have to say, as an artist, I am so envious of you! The plein air opportunities are never ending there. Sadly, I'll have to settle with painting from pictures.


  15. Hi! I am from Puerto Rico but I am living in North Dakota
    I want to move to Alaska.
    Thx for your information

  16. How are mixed married couples, White/African American, with children treated?

    1. I find it funny that I see people asking about stuff like this. I am a born and raised alaskan I have lived in wasilla alaska all my life and for things like race and sexuality acceptince its just like every where else in the US. I just dont understand why people think we are so different when a lot of people who live in the bigger cities anways are just like the rest of the lower 48.

  17. Well, I'm not sure I can speak to that. On my FAQ page I have an African American friend of mine discuss he's feelings about the Juneau community, I expect every community is different.

    I think Alaskans (in general) have a laissez faire attitude about life in general. I image smaller communities may or may not embrace new combers and I have no clue if mixed marriages would be an issue at all. I work for a university so me and most of my friends are pretty liberal and that would be a non-issue here but I can't speak for all parts of Alaska.
    Good luck!

  18. I kind of accidentally ended up on your site while searching Google about life in Alaska. I absolutely love your paintings. I prefer to paint female figures myself. I think it is because of the curves and fluid lines they have. Also being a woman myself makes it easy and natural for me. I will be putting up some work online in a few weeks too. I have to say also that I envy you a little living in the most beautiful state in the U.S. Keep up the great work.

  19. I moved to anchorage a year ago and love it hear. My daughter told me today, quote " Daddy, we were meant to live in alaska".....I couldnt agree more. I cant wait for the snow to fall!

  20. I misspelled hear....It should of been here.!!!!

  21. Hello Elise....Just wanted to say thank-you for your page it was very helpful to me I am thinking of reloacting to see i have meet someone wonderfull from there..but he is not the only thing that is drawing me to alaska it seems to be quiet beutiful there..and i was wondering if you had any information on Registerd Nurses jobs there i have read that in the Bush country that sometimes there is a better demand for them there is this true?? Thank -you again

  22. Hallo, I'm writing from Switzerland. I spent an holiday in Alaska few years ago and that's it... alaska is always in my mind and my heart. Beautiful, simply beautiful. Just a question. How is for a foreign live in alaska? For an holiday is a fact but for the life is another question..... Many thansk for your answer and compliments for the site.
    Best wishes
    simona alias Balto

  23. I really could relate to how your site reflected the Alaskan lifestyle. Been here since 79. Again Thanks

  24. How is the gun laws in Alaska? Does your state a CWP (concealed Weapon Permit)law were people can legally carry a pistol for protection? Also if I move how will I go about getting my firearms through Canada?

  25. I must say i have been reviewing your paintings and i must say you are a very talented artist.

    I love the way you incorporate all the colors they are all just wonderful pieces. I am glad to see a fellow Alaskan sharing hes life in Alaska
    it makes me wont to start my own blog.

    Thank you so much :)

  26. Just came across this site, very interesting read, are you Elise still looking after this site ?

  27. Howdy Elise:
    Googled "moving to Alaska" and your site was on or very near the top. When I first saw your work, I thought of Gauguin, Matisse and Henri Rousseau. I love your palette and balance and composition. Very very nice. Will pick a painting and buy. Regards.

  28. WOW - Dear Elise!
    It's so refreshing to read your site and all the interesting people who are moved to communicate with you for so many different reasons. It's a fantastic reflection of how private, yet accessible you are - Sort of like your nudes in the landscape! Open to all the wonder, basking in the beauty... You inspire in so many ways. It was good to see you at First Friday! Love to hear what you'd have to say about the JACC show. Hope Blue Bear worked out. Let's sup sometime!

  29. Elise - just found your blog site and have to say that you are what I was looking for! After 37 years in Milwaukee,Wisconsin, we are pulling up stakes for a new adventure in Juneau, AK. My husband was just offered a fantastic job with Siemens International, and we will be moving to our dream spot in Juneau (Douglas Island!) in the next month. This is something we've planned for four years. I enjoyed your art - very beautiful and your photos have been shared with our friends who wonder "why Juneau?". I've started a blog on this site which will be made public soon that will describe our move.

  30. Hi Elise! I hope your having a wonderful day. I`ll try to excplain why I write to you. First of all I´m swedish, got a university-degree zyas a teacher. I love music and I love being out in the nature. For many years now my dream have been to live in Alaska, in the wilderness, alone for 6 month. Why? Finding the pulse of nature, to see if It makes me crazy or maybe wizer, who knows?..I respect and understand if you put this letter in your trashcan..I found you by searching on google with the terms living in Alaska so there you have it..WOuld be great to hear from you, what you think of my I crazy or..? By the way your art is looking fabolous..Sorry for the spelling and language errors..I´m just a swede..My email adress if you want is Live and be well!

    Best Wishes


  31. Hey so I was just reading through your FAQ because my girlfriend and I are considering moving to Alaska.

    I recently just finished Jon Krakauer's book Into the Wild. When I was reading through the first question it talks about Treadwell but it also mentions McCandless. He didn't starve to death when he ate a poisonous plant misinterpreted from a book. With all the facts that I saw that one was ruled out. He had somewhat of a freak accident. I believe what killed him was the way he stored the edible plant. Which was in a plastic bag which grew a poisonous fungi on it to where it took its toll. Yes he was malnourished and weak from lack of food which did not help his body defend him but it was not an idiot mistake like a lot of people think. He was very smart and he knew enough to live off the land for over 100 days with no help from anybody.


    Cody Hollinger

  32. Hi Elise !
    I'm wondering how the foreigners been treated ( or people with accent ). Does AK have great internet services with very high speeds ? Is it any demand there for IT folks.


  33. I would like to know about the education system in Alaska mainly high school and colleges.
    Thanks Marie

  34. Hi Elise,
    You are so gifted! I love your paintings. Is everything currant? Also, a big thank you for your writings about Alaska and moving there! In a way, it sounds like it is still a kind of frontier! I like that. Your site is now on my Favorites. Take care.

  35. Elise,
    I live just north of Austin, Tx. We are in the 24th day of triple digit temps here, around 105 usually, coupled with an ongoing drought. The grass is dead, trees are dying. Ran across your site and it really lifted my spirits to know that there is a place so beautiful and full of creative people. Thanks for providing such a interesting and fun view of your world, it has meant a lot to visit. Very much appreciate your art also. If you want to see a different type of sailing google Texas 200, a raid type event here on the Gulf coast.


  36. Sorry I haven't been responding to individual posts or questions here very much lately. I guess I'm more likely to respond to posts on my Alaskan Artist Facebook page, because I check it daily and also, if a post is from "anonymous" I'm not sure if the original poster would know that I've responded to them. Still, I do come here regularly and ready comments and they make me feel really good so thank you all.

    To Jespers, I don't think your dream is unrealistic, you just need to be *really* prepared if you're going to do something like that and I wouldn't recommend trying to fully live "off the land" unless you have the skills to do that already.

    To Cody, thanks for the new info on McCandless. I was never one who thought he did something stupid, I found him to be very impressive which kind of goes to prove my point that if someone as capable as him still ran into trouble, then, it's not as easy as some may think. Does that make sense?

    So again, thanks for stopping by and if you aren't already, feel free to "like" "Alaskan Artist Elise Tomlinson" in Facebook, as that is where I'm more likely to answer questions, post photos, etc. these days.

  37. Hi I loved your website.
    I wanna know something more.
    I wanna how is a life of State Trooper. And i am confused how police and Troopers work in Alaska. Does it worth it to move to alaska to be police.
    I basically wanna know is it worth it that i move to alaska being police or trooper?

  38. your website is awesome it made me to come to Alaska.. I will come to Alaska one day in my life !

    I am from a very tropical country from the other part of the world .. I am a Sri Lankan !


  39. Thanks for the Alaska FAQ! I'm relocating to Anchorage from NYC in a few weeks, and I'm so nervous! Reading this made me feel better!

  40. Your experiences lay on your pen and painting. Wonderful works. I love your arts.

    Planning to move to alaska soon. I gain a lot of info about Alaska from your website. Thank you.

  41. Hi,
    I loved your pictures and your website, Congratulations!
    I live in Brazil in an extremely hot region, and I hate it.
    I love the United States especially Alaska, California and New England region.
    All the best!

  42. elise,

    I am currently serving in the United States military and after ready your reasons for living in Alaska, I have grown very fond and thinking of possibly living there some day. The end of my 4 year contract is coming up and i would like some more information, as far a job opportunities, tips and prerequisites for living there. Anything would be helpful. Thanks!

  43. Wow, I am so impressed by this page and I really want to thank you for taking the time to write all those important information.
    I live at the moment in a Greek island Cyprus and I am Greek but my husband is an American. We lived for a while in Colorado and I loved the winter time and snow there. I hate too hot weather which is what we have here in Cyprus for 8 months during summer. Too-too hot.
    We always thought to move in Alaska but I guess time is not right yet. Even thought we started thinking about it again and this time I feel that perhaps is the time. I love winter time a lot and snow but I don’t know how it is in Alaska with very low temperatures. Scares me a bit but my husbands encourage me that I will be just fine.
    Again thank you so much for the lovely work you did here and I love your work, your paintings!

  44. Hi Elise i was wondering are people born Alaska'n or cant they and if they can, can they live there forever and how do they live there when its mostly freazing

  45. I stopped by your blog for two reasons, 1. to see your interests and topics. great nice blog and 2. to tell you about a novel about Alaskan Village Life from the prespective of a new bush teacher. the novel is excellent in discribing the trip into an Alaskan bush village and life there. It is on in ebook and paperback. Written by Roman Acleaf, titled "The Tundra Diary: a Didactic Alaskan Novel. I think you and your subcribers will enjoy it. Cheers, Herb

  46. Thanks for the blog loaded with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for.

  47. hi my name is claire and i am married and have a husband and 2 children and my husband works in the oil field and we live in southern louisiana. We have vacationed to ak and is our dream to live there like soon. We have a bit of money saved up but i was wondering can you give me any local numbers to call about offshore jobs in anchorage? Just so when my husband flies up there he at least has someone to talk to or go that has information on who's hiring and where he can start so he's not up there for too long? Or at least a place i can call and get more information on where to find jobs so he can apply down here before we go up there? Any information would help us greatly because I have no where to start...We are only 24 and don't have much family or guidance your help will be greatly appreciated...and sry this is so long :) if you want my email is or on facebook I am claire smith and I will try to write to you on facebook too if it all right

  48. My name is Robert your website is both informative and cool ..I mean really cool . I am somewhere in asia and never seen snow in my life . Well if there's a chance anyone can just migrate to Alaska i would be happy to give it a try. Great Art work !! Keep cool

  49. Thank for your FAQs and Things I Love About Alaska. It has been a life-long dream to get there and I am strongly hoping to do an internship there in Geographic Information Systems next summer, just shy of 50 yrs old. I've applied for lots of federal positions there over the years, but never get interviews, I suppose because folks aren't sure I'll stay. But I refuse to move up there without a job - did that once in the mountains in Colorado and was not an easy experience. Am hoping the internship will bridge that gap. Great artwork!
    Carol, Tucson

  50. Thank you so much for all the information it was excellent. I am really looking forward to moving to Alaska....I'm a CNA/HHA and will check to see if I can transfer my license there. Then continue saving money and get to moving.....

    Love all your pictures and beautiful artwork.

    Best wishes in all you future endevors.....


  51. Elise, I so enjoyed your blogs. Thw whole site was informative. My daughter and her family are moving there next year and we are to go with them. I am both exited and scared. Thank you so much for letting us into your world a bit. How hard would it be to go there and start fresh for a retired person? My husband and I both substitute teach here in North Carolina. He would love to try working on a fishing boat.


  52. The website and info looks great, thank you very much for all your effort and time! I'm moving from Colorado to Alaska some time before the year is out for a career change (from IT into oil). I was thinking Anchorage initially, but you might just be winning me over towards Juno now :) Thanks again for everything, your website is a great resource of info!

  53. Hi Elise!
    Remember me? Trying for years to get to Alaska?
    Well, my husband made it and he is there now working for 2 months now....waiting for my visa to leave too! I really cant wait but one thing I learn in life is to be patient and wait for the right time! Your site helped us so very much! Thank you! All the best, Domenica

  54. Hi Elise,

    Was looking for information on the city of Juneau and I found your writing to be very intersting. You answered 30 questions that I would have wanted to know about. This is a great site for someone who really wants to know about Alaska life (Juneau). Thank you.

  55. Hi Elise... I stumbled on your page via google as my 7 year old son has a project to do on "the life and culture of children living in alaska"... Needles to say I am so happy that I did, what an enjoyable, informative read it was!!! I am from South Africa and now definitely have Alaska on my "To Visit" List... Any info you can share with me on my son's project will be greatly appreciated!

  56. Hi, I stumbled on your page while researching a move to Alaska. I am currently an Art teacher in Missouri and am interested in a move to Alaska. ( I love your paintings). I had heard once a rumor that Alaska was needing teachers and would pay a stipend for relocating in exchange for a contract. Is this true? Are teaching jobs rare up there? I would love to move up there, just am unsure of the expense

  57. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  58. Hi Elise,

    My name is Sandy, I'm from Indonesia and I love your article about 100 reasons why you love Alaska. I always dreaming about living in Alaska or at least spend a year in Alaska. I'm an outdoor person and I enjoyed your pictures in Alaska. There are amazing! love it!

    I hope I can visit Alaska, it's on my bucket list.

    Thank you for inspiring :)

    Regards from Indonesia

  59. Hi
    My names Kara, my husband and i are planning to move to Alaska someone in the next few years, what are the risk pickled, is crime as bad as it says, do i need to own a gun as a young female..? What recommendations can you make for us as we start this journey

  60. Chris McCandless did not die from poisoning! get your facts straight! he died from starvation because he wasn't getting enough starch in his diet. you cannot live of berries and lean meats. jon krakaur was wrong in his book. sean penn had it wrong in the movie (assholes) read the coroners report.

  61. Finish your top 100 reasons! :) I am contemplating moving to Anchorage when my girlfriend is done with her cancer treatments (I'm 30, she's 29). She needs every little bit of motivation she can get. She hasn't ever been outside of MO, KS & AR (we're from Kansas City). We're very excited for this to be over and us to start our new life!

  62. Hi Elise,

    I am a Casting Producer on the HGTV show 'House Hunters International' and I thought I would get in touch as I am looking for people living in remote areas for a new series called House Hunters International: Off the Grid. I am looking for people who have moved 'off the grid' within the last 2 years and I believe you have been there a bit longer, but wonder if you might know of anyone who would be interested in getting involved?

    The original show, 'House Hunters International' is a half-hour TV show currently airing on the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) in America and the Travel Channel in the UK. The series is designed to de-mystify the international home-buying process, by going behind the scenes of a house hunt where expats and their real estate agents tour 3 homes. At its core, House Hunters International is a travel show concentrating on the idiosyncrasies of the locales and what makes them special and different.

    Here are some links to show you what our show is all about!

    We are working on an exciting new spin-off show called House Hunters International: Off the Grid and we are looking for adventurous couples and families who have recently bought or rented properties in weird and wonderful places both in the US and internationally. Ideally they should be outgoing and fun and have moved within the last few years. I thought perhaps some of your contacts might fit the bill!

    Please do get in touch if you may be interested in the show.

    Best wishes,


    Michelle James
    1-3 St Peter's Street, London N1 8JD - +44 20 7704 3300

  63. I currently live in South Africa. My wife has a canadian passport. I would like to know, can we move as a family to Alaska. I am 42 years old and I have been in the gas industry for 16 years. I am also qualified as an instrument mechanician.

  64. Hello. My name is Niamh. I saw your art and i think your work is lovely! I am also an artist and am hoping to move to Alaska myself in 3 to 5 years. I was wondering if selling paintings and being an artist by trade is enough to make a living in Alaska? I am hoping to live in a more remote place of the state, like Denali. Would you recommend doing my art as a main source of income?

    Thanks ~ :)

  65. Thank you for your blog. I can tell by your words you are a genuine human being who cares about people no matter what race, gender, or lifestyle. You just want to help! I wish there were more people like you in the world!

  66. Hi Elise! My name is Olivia Kinsella and I'm a student at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Michigan. I am writing a paper on living in Alaska because I think it's an amazing place and I potentially want to live there. Part of my assignment is to interview someone that lives in Alaska and after looking at your blog I thought you would be perfect for that! If you don't mind answering a few questions for me, please contact me at , it would be greatly appreciated :-)
    Thanks!!! -Olivia Kinsella

  67. Looking for life art modeling opportunities


  69. I just wanted to let you know how unbelievably helpful your FAQ section is!! You are so thoughtful and thorough in your responses to people and I now have so much to think about when deciding if/when/where I want to move in Alaska!

  70. Hi Im from Nebraska as well! I plan on moving up there in a few months to go to college at Alaska Bible College do you have any tips as a fellow Nebraskan?

  71. Thanks for your blog. I was up there in the early 80's at Ft. wainwright. Somewhere along the way to Anchorage, there was a bar that had an effigy hanging out front. It may have said something like 'he wrote bad checks' or something. Does this ring a bell with anyone? Just piecing together old fragmented memories.