Enjoying a tropical Smile in Second Life

It All Starts With A Smile; Inara Pey, June 2016, on Flickr It All Starts With A Smile – click any image for full size

I’ve long enjoyed visiting It All Starts With A Smile, the photogenic Homestead region by Kaelyn Alecto and Maxx (Maxxster). I first dropped in far back in May 2013, and have since blogged about it several times in these pages. However, over the course of the last year, I’d actually lost track of the region, and so was delighted to receive news the latest iteration would be opening in mid-June, and made a point to put time aside to visit as soon as I could.

In this new design, It All Starts With A Smile has become a tropical paradise of five islands. Four of these are little more than idyllic stretches of sand rising out of the water, offering banyan shaded escape from the worries of the world; places where visitors can simply relax under an early morning default windlight. Standing over them like a mother guarding her brood, sits the largest island, offering tiered opportunities for exploration which reach from beach to  grassy plateau, where gazebo and ancient castle await discovery.

It All Starts With A Smile; Inara Pey, June 2016, on Flickr It All Starts With A Smile

Nor does it end there. Tiki huts vie with cabins, pergolas, and shacks in tempting visitors to tarry within their comforts, the waters idling gently between the islands further inviting wanders to take a dip or rest on a raft or snuggle on a rowing boat; the latter also form one of the means by which visitors can move between the islands, while bridges also connect four out of the five for those who prefer exploring on foot, with smooth stepping stone crossing the water to the fifth.

The landing point is located on the largest island, offering visitors the opportunity to make their way through lush foliage, over sand and beach and up stone stair to the plateaus and tiers above, where sit the castle and gazebo. Continue northwards, and the first of the wooden bridges will carry you over the water to the first of the smaller islands, where sits a bar offering the chance to quench any budding thirst, the opportunity to dance, or the restful retreat of Tiki huts reach by wooden stair.

It All Starts With A Smile; Inara Pey, June 2016, on Flickr It All Starts With A Smile

Continue onwards north and east across the region, and more beaches will offer themselves to you, one with a seaplane drawn up onto the sand, newly offloaded luggage alongside, perhaps destined for the cabins just across the water. Then there is the hulk of an old man-o-war, raised upon rocks, her broken hull offering more shelter from the sun and a place to rest and snuggle.

It All starts With A Smile has always offered consistently delightful designs, guaranteed to please every SL traveller and visitor. But I have to confess, there is something especially delightful about this tropical world Kaelyn and Maxx have created. There is a very natural beauty about it which is wonderfully enhanced by both the wildlife found scattered across the islands and waters, and in the marvellous ambient sound scape.

It All Starts With A Smile; Inara Pey, June 2016, on Flickr It All Starts With A Smile

Should you enjoy your visit – and I have absolutely no doubt you will – please consider a donation towards the upkeep of the region so other might enjoy it as well. You can also join the  IASWAS (it all starts with a smile) group for a modest L$250, which gives you rezzing rights for photography props, your payment also going towards the cost of the region. Visitors are also welcome to post their snaps and images to the It All Starts With A Smile Flickr group.

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Organic Geometry in Second Life

Organic Geometry - Morlita Quan
Organic Geometry – Morlita Quan

Now open at the Art Gallery the Eye is an exhibition of physical world art by Morlita Quan, entitled Organic Geometry. Presented under her physical world artistic name of MorlitaM, the exhibition presents some 22 images, and is presented with a number of  and several pieces of 3D digital art by Morlita within the exhibition and the gallery entry foyer.

“Inspired by nature,” Morlita says of the exhibit, “This collection tries to show an abstract concept about the beautiful nature’s shapes with a strong touch of the geometry, always guided by the feelings.” Abstract the images may be, but the influence and inspiration of nature is evident within each piece presented here, the majority of which lean towards monochrome, while those incorporating colour do so in a soft, subtle and – dare I say – organic manner.

Organic Geometry - Morlita Quan
Organic Geometry – Morlita Quan

The geometry within the images seems to exist on two levels. On the one, we have very clear geometric inferences: the use of grid lines, the balance of shapes within the images,  division of elements within each image; all of which are immediately apparent. Then there is a more subtle geometry of form and shape, gentle sweeps of line and form, repeated over an over, much like the gentle, organic geometry of the petals on a plant. All of this adds to the depth and captivating beauty of the images.

There are two additional dimensions to this exhibition as well, the first of which is sound.  Morlita is a musician as well as an artist, and is working on the final elements of a noise experiment album. Organic Geometry presents a sound scape through local sounds (not the music stream) which adds further texture to the exhibition. The other element is poetry, a piece, My Gaia, Gaia of My, written by Morlita to accompany the exhibit can be found in the note card introducing it,  which can be received along with Morlita’s biography via the board at the entrance to the gallery.

Organic Geometry - Morlita Quan
Organic Geometry – Morlita Quan

I admit to being a newcomer to Morlita’s work, despite her having exhibited widely in Second Life. I will, however, be keeping an eye out for future exhibitions she mounts.

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