In my last post, a 2015 retrospective, I mentioned starting 2016 with a non-resolution-y list of my intentions and plans for 2016. But first I must digress for a bit.
A few months ago I wrote about some of the people and experiences that led me to developing and sharing my arty side. This includes on-line art groups; most notable is the Julia Kay's Portrait Party group on flickr, which requires a post of its own. But more recently I started interacting with a group on facebook called Photos for Artists, or PFA for short.
Photos for Artists is a well-organized group run by U.K artist Jan Szymczuk where photographers share their photos for artists within the group to use royalty free without license or restrictions. In today's image-sharing world where art copyright issues have become a "thing," this is a great resource. And for an added bit of fun there is a monthly challenge on a specified topic. I've been a member for a while but hadn't participated until the December challenge - the topic was Portraits, using any photo of a person in any of the albums in the group. And since I love doing portraits, I had to get in on this.
I found so many great photos in the group albums and finally decided on this black and white photo by Keith Saint. I knew the beard would be a challenge but liked the idea of being able to interpret the photo in colors of my choosing. So off I went.
There were so many wonderful portraits entered into the challenge. I certainly wasn't expecting anything, but lo and behold, my painting won second place! I know it's just an internet for-fun competition, but still. I haven't won an art "prize" since a 9th grade honorable mention in a high school art show. I'm looking forward to learning what the topic is for January and hopefully participating again.