©2022, Emma Pittson, “Tomatoes”. Photoshop.

A study of tomatoes from an Instagram #foodpaintchallenge launched by and @alaiganuza. The last time I did a still-life was way back in the mists of time (a.k.a. art school). This is NOT my area of expertise, but I’m determined to spend 2022 experimenting as much as possible with my art, so I decided to give it a go. Let’s face it: it’s always refreshing to branch out and do something different for a change. Are more still-life paintings in my future? Well, there’s no arguing with their convenience: you can probably find an abundance of subject matter in your own home, and you don’t have to deal with either changeable weather, or finding models. Maybe I can find a use for all this household clutter after all!


©2022, Emma Pittson, “September 23 Paintover”. Photoshop.

One of the advantages of digital painting software is that you can easily block out new ideas without wasting any paint (this is especially good for us cheapskates!). Remember this unfinished painting from the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge? One of the reasons why it ground to a halt was because I had doubts about keeping the gauzy scarf around her shoulders white or if I should go with a bolder colour – forest green, for example.

To be honest, I’m liking the addition of a coloured background more than the idea of adding a scarf, so I just might keep it like this. Of course, if anyone else has an idea they’d like to share, please feel free to do so!

From B&W Photo to Colour Painting

©2022, Emma Pittson, “Beatrice”. Photoshop.

I’m been obsessed for a while now with trying to paint a colour portrait from a vintage black & white photograph, but I never felt ready to try until just recently. There was no objective behind this project other than to see if I could do it.

Keeping the “colour zones” of the face in mind, I essentially kept to: 1) yellow tones for the forehead, 2) red tones across the nose and cheekbones, and 3) cool tones for the jawline. I would go one step forward and include yellow/green tone for neck area, and also blue right under the eyes.

Here is the photo of actress/artist Beatrice Chanler that I used as reference:

Beatrice Chandler

Happy New Year!

©2022, Emma Pittson, “Self-Portrait”. Photoshop

A little late for New Year’s celebrations, but 2021 was… a thing, and I, for one, am plenty happy to put it behind me. I’m sure everyone else is, too! May 2022 be the year we FINALLY find our way out of this terrible pandemic so that we can spend time with our loved ones again, or go to a festival, or a movie, or even just take the metro downtown and spend a few hours in the library (I have simple tastes).

This time last year, I had all kinds of BIG PLANS, but the first winter in the pandemic, coupled with a very stressful job (both for myself and my husband), took the wind out of my sails pretty quickly. Our summer was short-circuited by overtime, delivery dates, and bad weather, and by October, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever feel the urge to make art ever again. Looking back, I think I was probably depressed for much of 2021. To be fair, I have an autoimmune disease that went off the rails halfway through the year, and it took me months to “get over myself” and admit that I needed to upgrade to stronger medications. The idea of being in the “moderate to severe” category still makes me uneasy. But now that I’ve finally pulled the trigger and have embraced the Biologics, I’m feeling much better – not just physically, but also mentally.

And in keeping with this new positive attitude, I chose to start off the year with a self-portrait. It’s time for me to take a good look at myself and really think about what’s important to me. Of course, the reference photo has the warm blue-green glow of my computer monitor, in front of which I have spent WAY too much of my time since March 2020!