love floats


I’ve been dreaming a lot lately, especially while spending a weekend on my boat; I don’t know if it’s the sound of the waves lapping on the hull, or the gentle rocking motion; but once I drift away, anything can happen. It was around sunset that I saw her for the first time… she appeared in a blaze of sunshine and a spray of foaming water….  ahh, but the rest of the story unfolds in living color over at mojozone, in the form of a.. of a dream, like I was sayin… well, you get the idea.

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They say it’s your birthday….


A tribute to Birthday, a painting by Marc Chagall, by Art Box, at the PiRats Art Network’s Omega Gallery. Art Box is a group of Second Life artists who create “detailed three dimensional sets, each recreating scenes in homage to famous works of art, in a virtual world setting.” Posing for the ‘painting’ above are Camille and her friend, Manhattan Atlas. To really appreciate this, google the original painting.

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Je suis un artiste, I guess.


New show opening tomorrow at the Paris-based PiRats Art Network in SL, along with a number of other artists from around the globe slash metaverse. This particular gallery, a cluster of platforms reaching up into the sky, is one of my faves; I just happen to be one of those artists who feel that art without walls is a visual delight, and in a virtual world, what the hell are walls for, anyway? They do provide a modicum of security for some activities (wink, wink), but to be able to hang a painting on a cloud, well… that just tickles my fancy. I feel like that little boy sitting up there on the moon, fishing for, umm…. starfish?

And, yes, that is the lamp from the film A Christmas Story sitting in my studio. It warms my heart whenever I come back from a hard day in the pixel mines.

The exhibit will be held at the Omega Art Gallery from October 13 to November 7, and will include work by Chrome Underwood, Saiwun Yoshikawa, Maylis Lutrova, tshirtkikill Straaf, Got Pizzaro, Chris Hill AKA Curt Kongo, Van Caerndow, Andromeda Klees, Pixels Sideways, mitou Waco, Igor Ballyhoo, Solkide Auer, shellina Winkler and Art Box ( Frankie Rockett & Violet Sweetwater). Opening from 1pm SLT, Tuesday, October 13.

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(avatar name) on 2009-04-12
2 of 2 members found this review helpful.
Wow these berets are great time to ditch all the rest this box is all you need after all 18 colours the shape is great only need to stretch it a little I have all the headgear and they are all very good I have the first beret and it was ok this is well smart some of the colours are not really for military so what I have enough to pick from

(actual review of a product on XStreet SL; couldn’t resist)

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mojozone(n): a space between two parallel worlds


Finally found an art form that allows me to fuse the visual side of my brain with the verbal side: the good old, time-tested comic book. Words and thoughts had begun to appear together in my digital paintings lately, spurred on by the vague notion that I would actually attempt to create a graphic novel at some point in the future, but I hadn’t yet come to grips with the fact that I’d have to master an entirely new and different medium in order to do it… where to begin? Paintings, after all, are still paintings – that is, flat, static, single objects (albeit full of life, if they are good); but reading comics or graphic novels is like watching movies without a projector. You have to make that leap into the fourth dimension: Time.

Then I came upon a community of independent internet comic book artists online at a portal called The Webcomic List, where latest installments are updated daily, and where “internet geeks (can) keep up with their favorite webcomics quickly and easily, without having to check individual sites just to find updates..”, according to the site admin. Among the thousands of comics on display there I discovered some truly unique and creative voices; among them, the webcomic, Encore Seraphine

While browsing through Seraphine’s archives, I began to realize that there was something different here, something that is very difficult to achieve in the two dimensional world that I work in…. communication on a truly human and personal level; channeled, layer by layer, through the thoughts, feelings and ideas of an avatar in Second Life. This is exactly what I had been attempting to do in my paintings, but here it was far more immediate and direct… and, within a few short hours, I was hooked.

So, last week I began to put together my own webcomic: mojozone, and have already completed two installments – in spite of the fact that I have no idea what the hell I’m doing, or where this thing is headed. But since both my lives have been pretty much built on serendipity, and since that is also the way I paint, I figured I might as well play my strong suit. If it’s still round, it rolls (might even rock); no need to reinvent it. More fun that way anyway.

So, enjoy the new comic; and above all, don’t hesitate to jump in and make comments, suggestions, etc. That, after all, is one of the best things about this new technology; we get to hang out with our new digital friends and share all our crazy ideas. What, after all, could be more fun?

mojozone: reflections of chrome underwood

Photo, above: Camille vamping it up at a display of new comic book art in Second Life

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Jumped into machinima big time yesterday, not only overcoming my fear of working in three dimensions, but throwing time, space and sound into the mix. Since we’ve been recording our first original tune in real life this week, Botgirl and I have also begun discussing the music video we’ll be using to introduce it to the world. Since  my digital paintings were to be incorporated in some way, I finally realized I’d have to go in there myself and experiment with the medium hands on, in order to get the full sense of how it should look and feel.

I decided, at least for the sake of experimentation, that I’d put together one of my art cubes using my most recent paintings, and set up a brief shoot with Camille on guitar and myself on drums. Then I downloaded several machinima (screen capture) software programs and began to try them out, one by one. The programs were Camtasia, fraps, and jing… in each case, the free – and, I should also add, limited – versions.

Though I wasn’t able to do some of the more important things, like pan, zoom, select and frame – nor did I get around to editing; this is raw footage – I concentrated mainly on the look and feel of the scene, using lighting and atmosphere, much as I would in my paintings; then I shot the film in HD. I also had to settle for streaming audio on my sim since my software skills are limited in this medium, and I didn’t have any editing software (I’m sure you veteran machinamators out there are chuckling at this). One of the clips, if you care to check it out, can be seen on vimeo. Fyi, this particular clip was shot in fraps.

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These are the best of times……


Over dinner once an American friend quizzed Charles Dickens about the workings of his imagination. Where on earth did those wonderful characters come from? “What an unfathomable mystery there is in it all!” replied the creator of Little Nell, Oliver Twist, Ebenezer Scrooge, Uriah Heep, Miss Havisham, Pip, Pickwick and the rest. Raising a wine glass, he continued: “Suppose I choose to call this a character, fancy it a man, endue it with certain qualities; and soon the fine filmy webs of thought, coming from every direction, we know not whence, spin and weave about it, until it assumes form and beauty, and becomes instinct with life.”

– From a review of Charles Dickens by Michael Slater in the Economist

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Tweaking Juliette


Never thought I could improve on my idealized version of female beauty as exressed in Juliette, the charming young lady who models for all of my paintings; after all, she has been Juliette for at least a year and I haven’t come across any flaws in a long, long time. Beauty, of course, is said to be in the eye of the beholder, but few would argue with the uncanny beauty she possesses, even though she is an avatar. Today, though, since my brain was in recharge mode and couldn’t handle any complex tasks, I was doing menial virtual tasks, and while combing through her inventory I came across a few skin demos that I didn’t know she had. To fill some time as well as jettison some unwanted items, I had her try on the demos. Looky, looky, looky. What have we here?

As one of those skins began to rez, I could sense her mounting excitement. By the time it was finished, she was positively glowing. I stood back in amazement. She was stunning; even more beautiful than she was before… and the skin was much finer, with higher resolution, more detail… in short, it seemed far more natural, and really brought a new Juliette into being. The skin was then purchased, as seen above, at Belezza. I won’t tell you which one, though (trade secrets, ya know), but I will tell you this much: it is all in the right combination of shape and skin, and they are made by two different vendors. One more secret… the shape must be modifiable, and the beauty begins to appear when you make the adjustments. Just follow your instincts.

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Beauty and Desire


Two of the panels from one of my latest projects, the graphic novel Chromium and Juliette, about the power of human love unleashed in a virtual world, loosely based on the Shakespeare play and the Pygmalion myth of ancient Greece; a mixture of literary fiction and virtual autobiography. Large format versions of these panels are also currently on exhibit at the Kelly Yap Gallery, along with the work of a number of Second Life artists, all focusing on the theme, Beauty. The opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, September 5th, from 8pm to 9pm; the exhibit runs through the month.

Visit Beauty at the Kelly Yap Gallery in Second Life:

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Larger than (virtual) life


First, my apologies to the few readers still hanging around waiting for another post here on CNS; it seems the fact that I never sleep has finally caught up with my human resource component. The frenzy of creative activity over the past several months has taken its toll on the poor fellow and has forced him to slow down a bit, to regroup, to reconsider, to focus, to prioritize, and, well, get his act together. Unlike us avatars, he needs something called ‘rest’ to recharge that wet battery he runs on. As an avatar, I find it a bit of a drag on my plans and activities but hey, they are only humans after all – ya can’t live with ’em, and ya can’t live without ’em. Thus linked, we soldier on.

To make amends for my absence, though, I offer you a new work of art – not by me (though I have a ton of things to show you) – but by a fellow avatar/artist named RightAsRain Rimbaud, a member of the Rezzable team. He has installed a new ‘sculptie’ 3D piece at their legendary art sim, Black Swan, that has the virtual world all abuzz. Grand Odalisque (seen above in its presentation setting), an out-sized (in more ways than one) hyper-realistic figure of a nude woman.. a figure so realistic it takes your breath away the first time you see her. The buzz is not just about the aesthetic achievement in this work, either, but about the technical achievement it represents; in other words, the how -the-hell-did-he-do-it factor. One thing is certain, however… it has raised the bar a few notches for us artist types who live and breathe this virtual air, and at least us avatars are always up for a challenge.

See Grand Odalisque at: Black Swan (243, 122, 39)

Black Swan (243, 122, 39)
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