A Backward Glance

So much is always said about not looking backwards as we travel through life. I very much agree with the advice not to remain in a place mired in past mistakes, or the burdens placed by the words and opinions of those no longer with us as we travel. True, the focus should always be forwards in the direction we are travelling, but there is still much to be gained from a backwards glance to marvel at just how far we have journeyed.

This is my picture for an exhibition in SL, ‘The Journey’ which is now open at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gerstle/182/152/31

To many I am simply the person who puts the pictures on the walls in the gallery, or nags them to send pictures in (haha), but I am an artist on the other side of the screen. It stood to reason that I should let that flow into my artwork in SL. I always took snapshots of my SL life, but it wasn’t until 2014 that I tried to do any editing to my shots. I only ever try and put right the strange contortions that poses or animations sometimes force our AVs into, or to clean up the clashes of alphas and hair. I don’t use PS, but the free GIMP which I have used for years for any digital painting I do.

I should give a BIG nod here to my ever patient and constant Nephew, Broderick. There was a time he was both guide and encourager to improve my skills each time, in how I saw he was over his own artwork. He caused me to look at my pictures here with the same critical eye that I would look at my RL artwork with, and try to improve them.

I often take up to tens of raw shots, messing with angles and windlights until I find that perfect one which speaks to me enough to look more closely at. For me, taking a picture in SL is very much a mindful activity which brings me much joy. If anyone likes the image after it’s finished, that is just an added pleasure for me, and is always a little surprising truth be told.

One of my focuses for 2020 is to get back to giving myself the time to fully push myself… and enjoy my personal artwork on both sides of the screen!


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