A Watercolour Wander in Second Life

Physical world / Second Life artist Ceakay Ballyhoo has a new region-wide exhibition currently open in Second Life. A Watercolour Wander, which will run through until the end of the year, brings together art and storytelling guaranteed to awaken our inner child and bring back memories of childhood imaginings set free whenever a blank sheet of paper and palette of watercolours were place before us, or the unwritten page and sharpened pencil placed in our hands.

“The idea started to form some months ago when I started to paint watercolours,” CK (as she is known to friends) states. “I’d been playing with making my own textures through watercolour paint and watercolour pencils a while before that … The idea of walking into a painting has always been a very attracting and intriguing one. Ever since reading Stephen King’s Rose Madder and later watching Robin Williams in What Dreams May Come, the wish to do something with that concept has been on my mind.”

And thus, A Watercolour Wander is just that – a walk through a landscape rendered as a watercolour. But not just any watercolour; this one forms a part of a story, the text of which is provided as part of the introductory notes offered to new arrivals, and which should be read as an accompaniment to any exploration (you can also read the story on CK’s blog). In it, a little girl, tired from the exertions of the day is slowly drifting to sleep when she realises her bedroom has vanished, to be replaced with a newly painted watercolour landscape, a path on the ground running from her bedside and into the trees, inviting her on an Adventure.

Staring from the from the little girl’s bed, we are invited to follow that path, scenes from her adventure presented to us in both 2D paintings and unfolding across the landscape before us: Mr. Nut, the squirrel, Pinkie Papillon, the gurgling river. Each painting marks a step in a story which – as is the nature of a good children’s story – has by turn its lighter and darker moments before all turns out well in the end.

The story is engaging, and very much as part of the overall experience – but it is the paintings and landscape that capture the attention. Beautifully rendered, the colours slightly washed and the outlines of trees and rocks and buildings perhaps outlined a little heavily, they perfectly embrace the idea that they have been painted by the little girl of the story to illustrate her dreamworld adventure; the reflections of a personal story imagined by a young mind.

The images from the story are all available at the end of the walk, together with a painting of a mermaid. CK has also created a Flickr group for those wishing to post their own wanders through her watercolours.

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