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:

My work in 2 new publications!

I’m thrilled to announce that my work can now be seen in 2 stunning new art publications: The Purposeful Mayonnaise, Issue #7, and The Huts Magazine, Issue #5!

The Purposeful Mayonnaise (what a great title, btw!) selected my “Messy Bun” self-portrait as the opening image for their “Messdeck”. My bio can be found later on on page 74. A big thank you to the Purposeful Mayonnaise team for including my painting in their publication!

As for my work ending up in the pages of The Huts Magazine, that is courtesy of the tireless team behind “Art Mums United”, Mona Lerch and Valentine Svihalek. Through their collaboration with The Huts Magazine, all of the pieces that were a part of the Art Mums United exhibit “Artist, Mother, Proud, & Serious” (in which my “Self-Portrait With Kerchief” made the cut) were guaranteed a spot in the magazine. I’ve never seen my work in print before, and I have to say: it is a real thrill! Many thanks to Mona and Valentine for making this dream a reality!

Tidying up

©2019, Emma Pittson, “La Malbaie”. Photoshop.

I hope you’re enjoying the new layout for my website because I sure am! I’m in a real Organizing-And-Take-Stock moment of my life. Some people relax by watching TV or reading a good book, but for me, nothing soothes my nerves as much as decluttering. Now, if only I could get my family onboard…

And while sorting through some old files, I found this old gem from 2019 that I’d never posted. I was done during a moment of downtime between projects at work, and was the inspiration for the lunchtime landscape studies that got progressively more involved and sophisticated. The Charlevoix region of Quebec has some pretty spectacular scenery and I’d love to go back and try my hand at Plein Air painting, but I think I’ll have to wait until the gas prices go down before I head out on another road trip.


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

For this piece, I decided to keep things simple and low-concept: just a roughly painted self-portrait, using a reference photo taken with my computer camera (note the tell-tale glowing blue neck). I kept the brushwork loose, and even cheated a little by sometimes relying on the eye dropper tool to help me get the right colour. There have to be some advantages to working digitally, right?

This piece was also an opportunity to better understand the newest addition to my digital painting arsenal: Escape Motion’s Rebelle 5. It’s early days still, but this might turn out to be one of my favourite softwares. Photoshop will always reign supreme for the sheer number of tools at one’s disposal, but Rebelle 5 has a much better “surface texture” feeling. Many digital painting programs claim that they can mimic the sensation of pushing paint around, but this one comes closest of all, in my opinion. And if nothing else, how can you not like the ripped edges of the canvas? Talk about a perfect little detail that I never knew I wanted!