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Doc Nolan

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Everything posted by Doc Nolan

  1. What I have to say may seem obvious to some -- but I'm not sure it's so to everyone. Here goes. A lot of art and photography is about breaking down barriers and doing things differently -- so it surprises me a bit to see how infrequently we cross fertilize. I belong to the Flickr group sponsored by Second Life's FOCUS Magazine -- and I post a lot of inworld photography there, but beyond that, I draw in RL. I have posted some of my pencil and pen work in our Flickr group -- and I've exhibited some of my RL art right alongside my SL photography in an SL gallery or two also. Beyond that, however, I have done Gyazo shots of SL artwork many times and shared them with RL artist friends -- both via emails and on my Facebook pages. (I'm amazed at criticism of Facebook as being boring! Only if you have boring friends!) Speaking of Facebook, there are all kinds of art sites there. I have FB friends like Phil (an expat oil painter in Madrid) and Jerry (photographer and artist in Washington State) and Elena (a photographer in Madrid). There is a lot of art and quality photography on Facebook! And then there are websites. FOCUS Magazine has a website where my non-SL friends can browse current and back issues to see what's being done within Second Life. Unfortunately, most of my RL friends seem intrigued by SL, but are way too busy to come down the rabbit hole with Alice and me to explore Wonderland. So I bring things out to them. Or just point them to places where they can explore on their own "outside of" SL. Oh, and another way to do mashups. Take photos shot in SL, post them to Flickr, add music links from YouTube and -- wow! The visual experience is enhanced with music or sound effects that intensify the experience. I am trying here to encourage more folks to build new bridges -- linking our many worlds. What's happening in SL is just too good not to share! And what's going on outside it critical (in my opinion) to keep SL from becoming parochial and stale.
  2. Having been brought into the world of Second Life photography by Angela Thespian (FOCUS Magazine editor) and then moving in RL into drawing, I guess is was inevitable that I'd end up taking portrait photos in Second Life and then using charcoal, pen-and-ink, graphite pencil, etc in RL to create images on paper -- and then uploading them back to SL for folks who wanted drawings. (And curiously, I have more demand for black and white images than for color ones). I only do work for friends btw, and I never charge one linden for them. It's not about money. Actually a lot of it is what drew me to Second Life in the first place: seeing things in new ways. Am I the only one who draws images of things or of avatars that I have only "seen" in Second Life?
  3. I wonder if most people realize the extent to which they reveal themselves in the kinds of images that they create in Second Life and post to Flickr. I'm active in the FOCUS Magazine group both in SL and Flickr and as part of the small tribe that is more still life and landscape oriented, I'm struck by much attention is paid to the human form. It's not just sexuality, either. A lot of the images people create seem (note that word) intended to be about 'showing a good face' (or other parts of the human anatomy). My reveal: I grew up in the woods as a kid and playing with others was mostly about adventures amid the trees and rocks. I won't bore you with stories, but when we moved off our dirt road to a town when I was seven, it was a major shock. I guess my love of backpacking shows too in what I photograph --- yep. Lots of sweeping vistas! So, in what ways does your personality, personal RL history, loves, emotional life, and so on reflect when you take photos in Second Life. (Narcissists are especially encouraged to explain why they like to take and post hundreds of selfies! As for those of us entranced with rocks, waves, fogs, and so on, I know you'll explain that, right? Ha, ha, ha)
  4. For me, this partcular virtual world (Second Life) fills in for the desert misnamed "real life'. Here I can travel without passports or hassles. There's no war, no politicians, and minimal media. Unlike RL where you have to be fake and phony ("It's so nice to see you again." "I hope your mom is doing well." "How was your vacation?" "What a nice dress." Etc) in this world you can actually talk to folks without all the time-wasting silliness. In SL I write book reviews for a magazine (FOCUS Magazine) about books I've read and liked and it's not about money, or being hired or being fired or kissing up. The editor says, "Would you?" I say "Sure" and it's a done deal! In my virtual world I can make friends from all over the world and chat about things that can't come up in real life. (It's a bit depressing explaining to RL neighbors that Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a writer or that Bulgaria is a nation in Europe or that Hokusai was an artist in Japan). Alos, in SL I can and do wander into art galleries, like The Exploratorium or FAIR without showing ID or paying an admittance fee or standing in line. I don't even have to drive, dodging malicious drivers to get to a museum, hoping no one takes offense at me and does something crazy. And I meet fascinating people -- some weird, some interesting, and some with very strange backgrounds. (When in RL did I last meet a Bulgarian lawyer, or an artisitic truck driver, or a Connecticut MFA, or an American expat living in Ecuador -- all people I know in SL?) I know that there are a few 'almost criminal' types in SL, but I'm at no risk in a virtual world. No murders. No guns. No assaults. No theft. And even when I run into the odd alcoholic on a binge (or snoring 'Sleeping Beauty' who left voice on as she feel asleep atop her keyboard), so what? I teleport out and go home in what -- one or two seconds? And there I can listen to piped in jazz or classical music and never have a neighbor put in a complaint. So what is the point of a virtual world? Easy. It provides a place that is better than RL.
  5. I have been doing landscape photography in Second Life for two years -- thanks to the urging of Angela Thespian and Patrick of Ireland (FOCUS Magazine) who got me started. I suspect my real life personality and background make landscape photography more natural for me than for most folks. I was raised to age seven on a dirt road out in the country, and I played in the woods most of the time. People were around me, but my loves were plants, and flowers, and trees, and moles, and butterflies, and ants, and brooks, and fish, and rocks, and chipmunks. Ages later, I returned to nature provoked by a younger brother who got me backpacking. Arkansas, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and even a bit in North Carolina. I felt 'at home'. I still do when I get away from people. So -- if there are lake people and shore people -- so too are there, I think, "people people" and "landscape people". I'm always a bit amused when reading my monthly copy of FOCUS Magazine 'in-world' to see so many people there. And then I come across a photographer like Thomasz Blackburn and realize that there are a minority of us who just love mountains and lakes and streams and trees and crashing waves and rocky crags and coastlines. (I think I'm a bit weird because, though I draw portraits in charcoal and graphite on demand, i do it more to please than out of any interest in faces. To me, faces -- and selfies -- are boring. That's not a judgment; it's just a description of a personal ideosyncracy!) I love SL because I can visit all kinds of places and take photos without having to drive for hundreds (or thousands!) of miles. And then there's post-production! OMG. Blurring that line between realistic landscapes photography and 'art' is incredible. Rather than tout my own work, I'll just throw in a link here, not so much for ego as to show you how I see the world (our Second Life world I mean) https://www.flickr.com/photos/doc_nolan_svan/
  6. "Art as an abstraction concept of the virtual world" makes me wonder where the line between the so-called 'real world' and 'virtual worlds' really is. When I am RL awake and (for instance) backpacking along the Colorado Trail as a storm comes up, my eyes see all kinds of things that I wouldn't see back in coastal Texas. When I look down and spend half an hour watching leaf cutter ants, how do I know that I'm not dreaming. Are dreams hallucinations or are they virtual worlds or are they just as real as a July 4th snowstorm in Leadville, Colorado? And as for art are my drawing (graphite pencils by the way) of Mount Massive (Colorado) or of Puentedey (Burgos Province, Spain) real? They're flat things on paper, but inside my mind, isn't what I'm imagining, provoked by markings on paper, virtual? Perhaps I should mention that I got sucked up into the Second Life arts community by Angela Thespian and FOCUS Magazine. I was tutored in the basics of SL photography by Patrick of Ireland, and encouraged by Angela. I came up with the addition of music or sounds to my Flickr pages mostly on my own, but is the immersion in virtual places in SL much different (any different?) than hiking down the Sawatch Range? And if I add a link to James Earl Jones reading Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven' (from YouTube) what is virtual and what is real? I have never met James Earl Jones -- I have just heard his voice and images purportedly his. As for Edgar Allan Poe, I was told he is a deceased poet, but that is what I was told. (I"m not denying he existed; I'm just pointing out that what I know of Poe are images in my head and words that likewise exist inside a tiny cranium now extant in a suburb of Houston -- namely mine). Speaking of virtual worlds, I have come to know an artist and photographer now living (he says) in Washington State. I have never met him and most likely never will I have shared video clips of 3-D sculptures from the FOCUS gallery as they rotate in space -- and Jerry has admired them. And I have shared images drawn by hand in graphite with Phil in Madrid, Spain. (He's a dang good artist as well as an expat American translator. He might as well be virtual, too, since -- as with Jerry -- I only know him on Facebook.) What is my point on this meander? The line between virtual worlds and so-called real worlds is a foggy and ill-defined one, much as is the line between dreams and being awake! A final thought: last night I dreamt of a charcoal drawing I'm making for a lady I know in Bulgaria -- she says -- of her SL avatar. I dreamt some techniques as I gradually woke, but in that edgeworld between asleep and awake I was mentally drawing and observing how my charcoal helped or hindered my objective. What was real? I don't know. The hard edges long ago melted. I live in a soup of images, memories, and virtual visions. What's real is my keyboard, my Chinese charcoal pencils, and my Japanese graphite pencils. Well, I think they're real anyway.
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