A Country Hall in Second Life

The Apple Fall Country Hall at Isla Pey

It’s pretty well established in these pages that when it comes to home life in Second Life (and while I do still build with prims), I’m one for playing with house builds and kitbashing bits to produce something I like. As such, I’m always on the look-out for building I think might fit the bill.

One of such building is Apple Fall’s Country Hall, available in-world from the Apple Fall store. It’s a unit that has long caught my eye, being a frequent choice with region designers who have often used as a summer house or a café, but it’s taken a while for my ideas with the building to develop into something I might want to have a try at bringing together. However, the recent addition of AustinLiam’s Captain’s Retreat to our range of homes (see: A Captain’s Retreat in Second Life) started me thinking more about seeing what I could produce using the Apple Fall Country Hall.

For those unfamiliar with the Hall, it is a single-storey, building with a brick exterior and a worn-looking interior priced (at the time of writing) at L$625. It has a footprint of 15m ant 14m  and comes in at 148 LI. The interior comprises two linked spaces: a room that runs the full length on one side with an almost full-length skylight, with a second square space opening off to one side, separated from the larger room by three columns. Double doors at either end of the building allow either end to be oriented as the “front”, so depending on preference you can have a double entrance or single.

The Apple Fall Country Hall with additional decking and moorings at Isla Pey

What is particularly attractive about this build (and I assume others in the Apple Fall range, although I’ve not tested them), is that it is designed with sufficient faces on parts, allowing it to be re-textured with relative ease. Which is not to say this must be done; the default finish has a certain shabby-chic interior look with faded plasterwork, paint flaking from woodwork, faded, worn (and in one place, damaged) floors, careworn doors, and so on. However, should you want something a little brighter on the interior, those individual faces make it comfortably possible.

For my part, I liked the aged look of the building’s exterior, but I wanted the interior to offer a brighter contrast and give the feeling that the interior has been renovated. To this end, I opted for a light cream paint look for the ceilings, white walls and refreshed woodwork. The two floor sections allowed themselves to be re-textured with a “new” herringbone parquet, which I finished with a light tint of grey to deepen the colour and a soft specular application to offer a slightly polished look.

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In terms of layout, the modular nature of the build also meant I could remove the interior columns and a section of the floor to incorporate a gallery kitchen that, with the assistance of blinds, can act as a divider between the large “living” area and the smaller “bedroom”. This required minor physical adjustment to the ceiling panels in the smaller room area to maintain a degree of symmetry, while a clean-up of the six doors helped finish things off.

For those who like smaller living spaces, the Apple Fall Country Hall offers a very flexible design that can be used in a number of ways (hence its popularity among region designers), and I hope the brief slide show above – taken at a time when things were still a work-in-progress helps gives others ideas at what might be achieved.

The Apple Fall Country Hall at Isla Pey

As noted towards the top of this piece, the Country Hall is available through the Apple Fall store in-world.

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Jennifer and John at Sinful Retreat in Second Life

Janus III Gallery: John Huntsman – Latitudes

Currently open at the Janus I and Janus III galleries at Chuck Clip’s Sinful Retreat are two independent exhibitions by Jennifer Steele (Steele Wilder) and John Huntsman (Johannes Huntsman) that share a common link.

I’m going to start with John’s Latitudes, on display at the Janus III Gallery, as this has been open the longest thus far, having commenced on October 17th.

Janus III Gallery: John Huntsman – Latitudes

A Marine Corps officer in the physical world, John is well-known within Second Life as a multi-talented individual: photographer, Second Life entrepreneur responsible for the Kultivate brand that recently extended its portfolio to include live music, arts curator and organiser of Team Diabetes of Second Life, whilst in the physical world he is becoming more involved in his family’s art gallery and learning more about art curation in the process.

John’s photography spans both the physical world and the virtual, and encompasses many genres – landscape, architecture, machinery, vehicles, nature, the parts of the world to which he has been deployed on active duty. He presents his images in a variety of styles from colour to monochrome, whilst using post-processing to offer some with a vintage look and feel. More recently he has started to use digital techniques to render his photographs as paintings, and this has led him into a deeper examination of digital painting.

Janus III Gallery: John Huntsman – Latitudes

It is that latter that is particularly offered for display with Latitudes, a selection of 20 pieces, with those on the lower level of the gallery offering a marvellously abstracted series of images that are striking in their use of form, colour and style. Some are richly geometric – straight lines, right angles, etc., others present a more fluid, natural flow of line.

These are complimented by a mixed set of images on the upper level of the gallery that brings John’s other artistic talents to the fore, with marvellous natural images of insects, together with photos-as-paintings of vehicles and boats, a combination that offers a rich diversity of John’s work.

Janus I Gallery: Jennifer Steele

Located in the Janus I Gallery is The Art of Jennifer Steele, which opened on Sunday, October 25th. I  admit I think this exhibition is the first time I’ve seen Jennifer’s work, which is odd considering she has exhibited at the likes of BURN 2 and the original LEA. As with John, she is multi-talented: an artist both in the physical and virtual worlds. She is also a chef, voice-over artist and business woman running her own company, whilst in Second Life she has worked as a volunteer and mentor among many other aspects of her involvement in virtual life.

As an artist she studied Fine Art and Fine Art History at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo Ontario Canada, under the mentorship of Michal Manson. Her work has been featured in the Robert Langen Art Gallery in the late 1980s, and also in the TAG Art Gallery, The Hub On Queen in Niagara Falls and at Niagara Night of Art, all in Canada. Since graduating, she has studied art in both the United States and Europe, and also presents her own art classes on-line.

Janus I Gallery: Jennifer Steele

Jennifer’s work has been influenced by a number of artists and moments, including the Algonquin School (the Group of Seven), Alex Colville, Ken Danby, Wassily Kandinsky and Claude Monet. Some of these influences are notable within the art presented within the Janus gallery. The eight smaller pencil (and chalk) pieces, for example, lean towards the Realist movement and so echo Colville and Danby. Together, they make a series celebrating the female form and are rich in emotion and energy.

These pieces are accompanied by 16 pieces that are of a more abstracted nature, thus offering that thread of connection with John’s exhibition – although Jennifer’s pieces perhaps lean more towards abstract expressionism in places. These are again pieces rich in colour and form, well suited to the large format in which they are displayed.

Janus I Gallery: Jennifer Steele

Taken individually or together, these are two remarkable and attractive exhibitions which sit well within the broader displays of art to be found within Sinful Retreat (see: Unveiled: a new art experience in Second Life), and should be visited both as a part of that, and / or individually.

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Sinful Retreat is rated Adult