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!

Painting for January 10: my new bff

©2017, Emma Pittson, “Hair Study no.4″. Acrylic on canvas, 6″ x 8″ x 0.5”.

Have you met my new best friend?  It’s Liquitex’s Airbrush Medium, and by gum, this just might be the answer to my prayers: a medium that makes acrylics just slick and blendable enough to make your life easier while still drying within a reasonable amount of time.


Painting for January 7: Technique is overrated

“January 7, 2017″ – oil on wood, 6″ x 8”

Ok, so I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit (a lot) for this “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge, but in my defense, I did say that I might not be able to keep up the pace all the way through.  (The village was already burning when I got here, Ma’am.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

And what strange paintings these are!  First of all, painting hair is totally different from painting faces because hair is essentially a shape, or collection of shapes.  Consequently, they’re coming out a lot rougher and more slap-dash than the portrait studies from the last challenge.

I *think* I like them, even if they weren’t at all what I expected.

Painting for January 3rd

“January 3, 2017″ – acrylic on wood panel, 6″ x 8”

Dry-brushing appears to be my go-to method for painting hair.  So of course, I’m going to shake things up and try oils for the next one!

Done while listening to an episode of the “Trekabout” podcast, which I’m choosing to name-drop just because I think it’s a podcast that should be on every discerning geek’s podcast playlist.