Category Archives: It’s Only Art

Where There Is Great Love, There Are Always Wishes

I’m one of the lucky ones, loved, beloved and full of love in return for the one in my life who keeps me going. I had a friend once, when I was a single girl, who used to say “I don’t know why you girls don’t just find one person to love and stop dating all these boys.”

As though it were that simple, to find the one.  Continue reading

It’s Only Art #11

It's Only Art Be sure to check out this column’s Gallery on Flickr. There are stunning pictures there; many who deserve very much to be highlighted in this column. Highlighting five is arbitrary, i know, but it is important that I set a limit or I could lose days writing each column. For me, this time, color seemed to be a recurring element in those I chose to highlight.

You desired my attention,

You desired my attention by paperfairy (나나)

The idea for this column, or more accurately for its precursor What I Like at Shopping Cart Disco, came from the daily plurks of a former SL resident who left several years ago. Each day she would do a WTF plurk and share her critiques of SL photos. Sometimes feelings were hurt and she defended her plurks and advice to help people take better photos. It seemed to me that you could achieve the same ends by highlighting what people did right instead of focusing on what people did wrong. Why do I mention this?

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 1.21.50 PMOne of her big complaints was people who shot pictures with backgrounds in a similar color to their clothing. She hated to see clothing disappear into the background. Well,, here is a photo from 나나 that proves that rather than disappearing, the similarity between background and dress intensifies our focus. After all, if we look closely, the skirt is clearly delineated. It is there, but we have to stop, focus and look for it. I love this picture. The subject is well off center, which makes for a more dynamic feeling. The close crop that requires us to interact with the picture, completing it in our minds also intensifies our attention. The bright scarlet red says STOP and demands we look. Everything about this picture says look at me and she knows it – hence the ironic title of the picture. Continue reading

It’s Only Art #10

It's Only Art When going through my recent favorites to choose pictures for this column, I was drawn most to those pictures who gave us slice of life moments, the story-telling pictures that seem so spontaneous despite the amount of scene design and pose setting and all the work that must go into them. All that work is invisible if the picture is done well and it seems as though someone just accidentally caught them at that very moment. I love those pictures though I never do them myself. I admire the creativity and imagination that goes into planning and execution. They often make me smile, sometimes even I even laugh out loud at the predicaments and mishaps they capture. There are far too many great pictures to highlight, so please check out the Gallery that accompanies this column to see some of the other great works that I did not include in this post.

"Nooooooooo!"

“Nooooooooo!” by Leonorah Beverly

snowballLeonorah Beverly gives us action and a wonderful use of perspective with that snowball heading right for us or for the camera. Notice how the snowball is placed at the sweet spot of the Golden Ratio. I love this picture for its story-telling and its fabulous attention to details of composition. I have to say, that snowball looks like it could hurt. Duck! Continue reading

It’s Only Art #9

It's Only ArtI doubt anyone would be surprised to learn that these columns are a lot of work. It is a good thing I enjoy them. One of the hardest parts about doing these columns is selecting just five pictures from my gallery and selecting only 50 for the gallery. That is the kind of abundance of worthy pictures are out there. Second Life® is rich in creative and talented people. That is its greatest asset. Be sure you check out this post’s gallery here.

I always think about you.

I Always Think About You by Nap.

I Always Think About You by Nap (blissfulnap) is a delightful photo. It appears so simple, a young man pausing on his bike, watching some birds flying away. No special effect, so intricate props or set, just a pure and simple picture. At least that is what it seems. However, whether deliberately or unconsciously, Nap created a complex composition that exploits our innate need to find patterns and shapes. This is done so well that we cannot help but be drawn deeper into the picture, our eyes forced by his skill  to see what he wants us to see. Our minds look for geometry; he gives us geometry.

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When you really look at this picture, it is full of geometric shapes, and there are more than these very obvious ones. This does not mean that the artist sat down and drew out a plan for finding circles and triangles and squares. It can be the unconscious recognition that this position relative to the birds looks better than a foot back, that cropping the picture at this spot looks better than cropping it differently. Because these “rules” of composition are merely acknowledgement of what we naturally prefer, they do not have to be learned, we are born with them.

What they do, though, is intensify the wistful longing we feel when we follow his eyes to those birds flying away, as perhaps the person he always thinks of flew away as well. Continue reading

It’s Only Art #8

It's Only Art With Halloween coming, scary pictures are starting to take over Flickr and there are several in this week’s gallery of my favorites. They aren’t all scary though. There are also pictures celebrating the seasons of Second Life, the fashions, the quirkiness as well as some that are just slices of life.

Kayako by Candela Kira

Kayako by Candela Kira

sampleCandela Kira’s Kayako is inspired by Kayako Saeki from the movie Ju-On and The Grudge. I have not seen either one, but I assume they are terrifying as is this wonderfully scary picture. There is a lot of artistry at work making this such a scary picture. As you can see, she used the Rule of Thirds to put the focus on that outstretched hand. By centering her subject in the long hallway, the natural lines of the architecture create sight lines leading to her subject. She also used any eye control HUD to cross her eyes, giving them a spooky intensity. I don’t know if that hand is available in SL or a morph, but if it is a morph, it is the most successful one I have seen. It is out of focus, making its reach for you even more frightening because it adds depth and motion. This is a great photo that does exactly what she wants it to do. I was startled when it came on my stream – a small jolt of fear. What more can you ask for? Continue reading

It’s Only Art #7

It's Only Art In preparing these columns, there is always an embarrassment of riches. It is actually a difficult limiting my weekly gallery to only fifty pictures and it takes as long to choose five as it takes to write the entire column. Be sure to check out the gallery for many great works. There are some that are NSFW in case you have to look later.

Homage

Homage by Vaki Zenovka

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 8.23.02 PMVaki Zenovka appropriately named her homage to Patrick Nagel Homage. Nagel was a fashion illustrator who would strip away every non-essential element, leaving basic forms and solid blocks of color. It is a successful homage, true to the style of the original. It is also an excellent composition on its own.  The Rule of Thirds is used in composition as a rough and ready approximation of the Golden Ratio. The Golden Ratio is a naturally occurring geometry found in the shell of the nautilus, in leaves and branches of plants and trees and even at the atomic scale. It is aesthetically pleasing and a powerful tool in composition.  Continue reading

It’s Only Art #6

It's Only Art It is October which means my family back in Minnesota have had their first snow and the avatars in Second Life® have turned ghoulish. The foliage is changing color and the frost is on the pumpkin. I like how October brings out the creativity and wild imagination in SL® artists. As you can see in the gallery for this week, people are not waiting for Halloween.

photosynthesis

Photosynthesis by Isa Messioptra

Photosynthesis from Isa Messioptra is one of those marvelous photos that make you wonder if it is a first or Second Life picture. The dramatic lighting, the depth of field blurring and the little bit of noise all add to its verisimilitude. Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 3.47.03 PM As you can see, there are may triangular shapes in the picture, as I have mentioned before, our eyes have a natural affinity for geometric shapes and unconsciously look for them. When we find them, our visceral need for order is happy. Her framing also follows the rule of thirds, centering her subject one third from the right. She is smart and confident enough to crop the picture closely, leaving off the face and the rest of the body. We more or less autocomplete picture and missing bits, so long as they do not imply amputation, just serve to make us interact from actively with the picture.

Visitor

Visitor by Deborah Lombardo

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 4.07.12 PMDeborah Lombardo’s Visitor is such a dramatic and powerful picture it took my breath away. The black and white with that solid saturated red is dramatic in and of itself, but then look at the subject. That is spooky! The angle makes the subject even more spooky, towering over us as she is. And if you want to talk triangles, this picture is almost all triangles. She also framed the subject so skirt is two-thirds and the cloak is one-third at the bottom, employing the rule of thirds with subtlety.

What used to be Yours

What Used to Be Yours by Sajiah Viper

What Used to be Yours by Sajiah Viper is another picture that uses light beautiful, crops the picture so the subject is framed according to the rule of thirds and omits significant elements, forcing us to imagine and complete the picture. I want to highlight this one, though, because of who beautifully the clothing and the lighting and pose work together and how closely everything is fitted and carefully done. It really is an exquisite romantic picture.

I has cheese tho ^.^

I has cheese tho by Lemon Panda

And now for something completely different. I fell in love with I has cheese tho by Lemon Panda. The pose of the cat is so perfect. Their eye contact is perfectly aligned so we can feel the tension and experience the story. IT’s fun, cute and cheeky and  I love everything about it.

03.10.14 - The Dreaming Dark

The Dreaming Dark by Rainbow Mubble

The Dreaming Dark by Rainbow Mubble is freaky ghoulish and so perfect for October. Those feet are really something. The reflection in the water is effective in making it look like she really is sitting on the water – using what ever anti-sinking device she may. Her one hand going into the water keeps it from being the miraculous sort of “walking on water” we often see. The overlay adds a bit of moodiness. She uses the rule of thirds in placing her subject on the right. I also like who the wings and the horns balance each other.

So this week there was a delightful dick pick, something I never thought I would ever say. It’s NSFW and Restricted so I could not add it to the Gallery, but if you want to see guys not taking their penis too seriously and have a little giggle, please click here.