Screentime

©2022, Emma Pittson, “Screentime”. Rebelle 5.

I’m just as guilty as the next person of spending too much of my time staring at a device, and also allowing my kids to do the same. I would also admit that I may have let things get out of hand over the last two years, but I can’t blame everything on the pandemic, can I? Long gone are the days when I would purchase a few Saturday newspapers and then spend the rest of the week-end reading them at a leisurely pace. Nowadays, all of my news comes out of a little glowing box that fits neatly in my purse. The upside is that I also get all kinds of art instruction out of said glowing box, and if it hadn’t been for that, I might never have learned about the “Rebelle” digital painting software. I used it to paint this piece of my daughter indulging in one of her favourite pastimes, which is “screentime” (naturally).

With a little help from my friends

©2022, Emma Pittson “Summer Study” Photoshop

The first few months of 2022 were spent pushing myself to produce as much art as possible, and then the summer came… and I needed to take a break. And well-deserved, I thought!

But I admit that I’ve also been feeling the pressure from my empty easel a lot more lately, and I knew it was time to get back in the saddle. Summer was long-gone, after all! And if I don’t keep up the art-making on a daily basis, I’m prone to letting self-doubt creep in and knock me right off my stride.

Don’t get me wrong: I was over-the-moon happy to have my work featured in a magazine (#artgoals!!), but as a result, I was also hit with a MASSIVE case of Imposter Syndrome, too. Even now, I still can’t believe that my paintings are sitting alongside the work of REAL ARTISTS – women who have a body of work, gallery representation, a full bio of exhibitions, etc, etc. All I can think of is: “I’ll betcha that being an artist is their full-time job! How can I possibly think of myself as being worthy to stand amongst them??”

Well, if “working takes away anxiety”, then I knew what I had to do: get back to work!

AND it was around that time that an old high-school friend generously offered me some recent pictures of her so that I could paint someone other than myself. Talk about excellent timing! Of course, this is still digital, so in a sense, it’s a bit of a “cheat”, but I didn’t think I could handle the pressure of paints and mediums after such a lengthy absence. All in good time, all in good time…

spotlight feature: women unIted art mAgazine, issue #1

Women United Art Magazine, Issue #1

Well, if this isn’t proof that hard work, risk-taking, and a bit of luck can bring about some amazing results, I don’t know what is! Not only did my work get included in the inaugural issue of “Women United Art Magazine”, but I was also rewarded with a spotlight feature! That’s right: 4 whole pages devoted to my self-portraits, as well as my (hopefully not awful-sounding) answers to the magazine’s questions about women in the art world.

At the end of the day, I make art for myself, but I cannot lie: outside validation feels pretty darn good!

Variation on a theme

The best thing about doing multiple versions of a piece is that you can try different methods and approaches with each iteration. I’ve been working up the gumption to explore non-realistic colour, and I thought that a tiny work on paper was the best place to start. Boy, was I in for a surprise! It turns out that imaginative colour is a LOT harder for me to wrap my mind around than I’d bargained for. I aimed for a flat, cell-shaded look, but in the end, I couldn’t resist putting in all kinds of detail in the face.

To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed in myself because the “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” sequence from the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” movie is something that my 4 year-old brain latched onto as a Life-Altering-Work-Of-Art, and it’s an aesthetic that I want to incorporate into my current work. I honestly thought that mimicking that look in my own art would be a cinch, but alas, it looks like I’ve got a ways to go before I unlock my inner Heinz Edelmann. Let us consider this a First Draft, and as Neil Gaiman says: “Your first draft doesn’t count”. All it has to do is exist.

©2022, Emma Pittson, “Not Stripes”. Acrylic and oil on paper, 5″ x 5″.

“Glasses” now on view at Art Gallery 118

I’m pleased to announce that Art Gallery 118 selected my digital piece, “Glasses”, to be a part of their online exhibition, “New Addition”. The exhibition will be on view from July 15 to August 15, 2022.

I’m especially pleased to see that my artwork is the first one in the exhibit. Nice to have the pole position! 😉

The selected works will also be featured on their Instagram account here. You can also watch their fun little promo video: