Morning on the St-Lawrence

©2019, Emma Pittson, “Morning on the St-Lawrence”. Adobe Photoshop.

Early morning fog and endless grass that melds with the shoreline of the St-Lawrence… AND just off to the right, the Trans-Canada highway that zips through the pilgrimage town of Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré. You can’t have everything, right?

And… Back to Portraits!

©2020, Emma Pittson, “Vintage Ariel”. Photoshop.

On a whim, I decided last week to crack open one of my many vintage magazines and see if I could reproduce an image. I am beyond amazed that I actually managed to 1) finish something, and 2) find that I’m happy with the result, especially considering how flat and grainy the original image was! I especially wanted to throw in the towel once I got to rendering the hair (never my strong suit). Let’s hear it for perseverence!

To me, this portrait is a direct result of all the practice, practice, practice that began with the portrait studies of the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge. Even though the reference image had matte colours and little light information, I had completed enough portraits over the last few years to be able to fill in the blanks. There’s no way I would have been able to do this without having put myself through that “boot camp”!

Morning on the Saguenay

©2019, Emma Pittson, “Morning on the Saguenay”. Photoshop.

We had a stellar view from our Huttopia campsite at the Baie Ste-Marguerite sector of Parc Nationale du Saguenay. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the bay is subject to low tide on a daily basis and essentially turns into a large sandbar during most daylight hours. Great for exploring, but… not the swimming hole we were expecting.

Still, early mornings and evenings were spectacular. Believe it or not, there was even a heron posed in the long grass (for real!), but I didn’t include it in the painting because I thought it would end up looking fake.

Something different

Ever feel the need to try something different? My first love will always be portraits, with landscapes coming up a close second, but I admit that I also have a soft spot for geometric abstract paintings. This is something I only came around to later in life (and I’m sure that my teenage self would be horrified by that fact if they could see into the future, but what did she know, anyways?). As I stare down the barrel of a another seven months of Montreal winter – and a socially-distanced one, to boot! – I see no reason why I can’t stretch the old artistic muscles in new, unfamiliar directions.

Don’t let the brush marks fool you – this is all digital! ArtRage is an inexpensive software that does the best job, in my opinion, of imitating real paint strokes, and while my husband and I are still working from home (and I am consigned to the diningroom while he takes over the office/studio), digital will continue to be the way to go for me.

Hard-edged abstraction might not be your cup of tea, but even so, I urge you to check out the work of Carmen Herrera, a Cuban abstract painter who only ever received recognition for her work when she was well into her 90’s (she’s currently 105 years young, and still going strong)! I love her work the more minimalist it gets. The fact that she kept at it regardless of whether or not the official gatekeepers took notice of her is truly inspirational!