Thursday, September 3, 2015

And We’re Off - The 29 Faces Challenge Begins For 2015

Marilyn Monroe drawing and digital enhancements, Art by Dayna Winters. 
As well intended as I might be, when illness strikes the most well laid plans go right out the window. It’s been a long time since I’ve added anything to the blog, as I’ve been dealing with ongoing health issues. Some days I’m so drained, I can’t even get up out of my own way. Other days, I have barely enough energy to make it through the day. There’s nothing more frustrating than having ambitions of any kind, and the inability (temporary or otherwise) to act on them. 

I’m grateful that I’m feeling good now: Enough so that I can take some time to enjoy creating art again. It’s funny for anyone who knows me, it’s as if art has become a gauge indicating whether I’m healthy or not. If I’m not working on something or planning a project, or even just contemplating the next thing I want to do artistically, those closest to me know something is amiss. For now, I’m just glad to have a little energy to do something I enjoy. And I truly enjoy doing the 29 Faces Challenge!

I was hoping to have my first face drawing done for 29 Faces on Sept 1, but I’m often operating off limited energy and need to pace myself. I actually started another image prior to this depiction of Marilyn, but I wasn’t at all satisfied with the direction it was taking. And, I briefly reflected on what it meant to put the sketch aside because I didn’t like it. I thought about abandoned projects, especially in the realm of art. How many artists have canned a project because, in their perspective, the work was not what they envisioned? How many people would have found that same piece remarkable? (No worries, I know I’m rambling here ;) What future ideas, musings, and inspirations might have the creation of the image provoked, now only to be stifled?

So it’s early Thursday morning, I’m on my second cup of coffee, and I’m not quite on full power just yet. Before I decided to post my first image for the month, I also made copies of it digitally so I could play around with it. Sometimes there’s nothing more relaxing than playing with different colors and using digital transitions to change the effects of an existing image. As I shuffle through the various effects I could try, it’s not unlike a meditation where you are completely relaxed and turning your mind from the potential chaos of the day. I think it’s okay to let the brain rest (some of my friends may actually find the fact that I just wrote those words hard to believe ;D), and to just enjoy whatever simple process I’m engaging in at the time, not at all unlike practicing mindful awareness.

To me, art is meditation. Art is perhaps trance-like, at least in some ways. I’ve updated the quote of the day (you’ll find it to the right edge of this page), and it rings true to the idea that art and trance-like states are connected:

True inspiration overrides all fears. When you are inspired, you enter a trance state and can accomplish things that you may never have felt capable of doing.” - Bernie Siegel

I totally agree. When you are inspired, it is an ecstatic experience where all you can think about doing is acting on the inspiration, following through on the ideas and epiphanies that come to you, and where the artist seemingly loses him or herself in the act of creation. To that end, it’s even easy to suggest that bringing an artistic creation into being can be a spiritual experience and a step toward self-discovery.

On that note, I’m happy to present you with another of my renditions of Marilyn Monroe. I am quite happy with the way the piece turned out. I also love the splash of color I added with a few digital tweaks. For anyone interested in knowing what photo editing software I used to created the different perspectives of Marilyn, I use the free app befunky. I like the different effects the app offers, in addition to the fact that it allows you to add unique frames, text, overlays, and special effects to the artwork you create. Befunky is compatible with Android and iOS devices, and you can use the online version of the editor/collage maker as well.

A final note: Please feel free to comment!  I love interacting with other artists, art enthusiasts, book lovers, and people who appreciate all things creative! Love and light!

--Dayna Winters