A Painter’s Link, Salomon Beach – click any image for full size
Note: I understand from Silvermoon that A Painter’s Link (and with it 50 Words for Snow, located overhead) might be closing some time shortly after January 6th, 2017.
I’ve always enjoyed Silvermoon Fairey’s region designs in Second Life since I first visited Dawn of Radiance 2013 (see here, here, and here for some past visits). So I was a little surprised to find an LM sitting in inventory for A Painter’s Link, another of her creations, passed on to me by Silvana Casini but which has been languishing without attention – my apologies to both Silvana and Silvermoon for the oversight.
When blogging about Second Life rural scenes, it’s easy to turn to the term “pastoral” as a description, when there is actually little sign of grazing by cattle or sheep or anything else. However, with A Painter’s Link, the word is appropriate: sheep do indeed safely graze under the watchful eye of a shepherd, while further afield in the gently undulating landscape, horses can be found grazing on the grasslands.
That said, attempts to describe the region is words are unlikely to do A Painter’s Link justice; this is a place which should be visited to be truly appreciated. Caught in a mix of Spring’s warm greens and Autumn’s gold and red, the region presents a world of rustic cottages, old ruins, rolling fields, and country folk of a seemingly bygone era going about their work. Only the presence of a bicycle, an upright telephone and a gramophone, with its great horned speaker indicate the era is likely more recent than the clothing worn by the locals might otherwise suggest.
Wonderfully woven into a whole by a meandering stream and rutted tracks, with pools of water fed by low falls, rugged edges to the hills around them, A Painter’s Link carries within it echoes of the great landscape paintings. There is a certain sense of homage within it towards the likes of John Constable – it is hard not to escape thoughts of The Haywain when seeing the cart and horses in the water, with the cottage close to hand. similarly, aspects of another of the cottages brought to mind The Valley Farm.
These echoes and suggestions add immeasurably to the appeal of the region. Together with Silvermoon’s eye for detail and composition, they make A Painter’s Link wonderfully photogenic – although I’m sure better eyes and talent than might have brought this fact to the fore far better than I might. And while the default windlight is ideal for photography, this is very much a place which lends itself fully to a range of lighting environments and experimentation.
Nor is that all; A Painter’s Link is equally as welcome to those simply seeking to enjoy the landscapes of Second Life. There are paths to wander, views to be enjoyed and plenty of opportunities to sit and appreciate all that is on offer, whether it’s on the little wooden deck, watching the cart and horses, under the shade of a tree and looking up towards one of the thatched cottages or cuddling on the blanket spread with fruits and drink within the garden of a cottage.
There is also a wonderful sense of life about the region – not only in terms of the horses, sheep and wildlife, but also in the presence of the locals: the shepherd, the farmer and his wife, the little girl with her goose, the cartsman, and the boy with his kite (who is perhaps placed to suggest he should actually be watching over the horses). All of them bring A Painter’s Link more to life and present it as a series of marvellous vignettes waiting to be caught forever in photographs and paintings.
When visiting, check the sign at the landing point for a folder, and be sure to visit 50 Words for Snow, which is located up in the sky – I’ll have more on it myself next time around.
Note: following the publication of this article, Silvermoon contacted me to let me know she may be letting the region go in the new year – so if you plan to visit, please do so sooner rather than later, and do please consider making a contribution towards Silvermoon’s work, which may help maintain this region, or go towards the upkeep of It’s A New Dawn.
- A Painter’s Link (Salomon Beach, rated: Moderate)