Monochrome art at Rainbow Painters in Second Life

Rainbow Painters Art Gallery, August 2021

It’s been a while since my last visit to Rainbow Painters Art Gallery, operated and curated by Timo Dumpling and Patience Dumpling (Patience Roxley), and there have been some changes made since that last visit, of which more below. However, I was specifically drawn by to the gallery following the August 26th opening of the latest themed exhibition there, this one on the subject of Black and White images.

More than 50 artists responded to the call for pieces the gallery put out ahead of the exhibition, and this has given rise to a remarkably diverse exhibition that spans Second Life photography, photography from the physical world, line drawings in pencil, graphite and India ink, and paintings, with subjects ranging from still life, portraits and avatar studies to landscape and nature studies, reflections on art, and pieces touching on the abstract.

I did not see any catalogue of artists as being supplied when I dropped in, although individual displays do carry a name board for the artist for it. I’m also not sure on the overall criteria for submissions quotas; some artists have 4-6 images on offer (some even more!) others just one or two. However, both of these points make the exhibition a place to be explored at length in order to see of all of the art on offer. Further, the sheer volume of artists involved also means that there are bound to be displays and pieces offered that will appeal to anyone interested in art in Second Life.

Rainbow Painters Art Gallery, August 2021: Sandralee Palianta

Given there are over 50 artists participating, I’m not going to list everyone here – doing so can all too often sound like a space-filling litany. I will say there there is a good cross-section of names that will likely be familiar to many who visit galleries and exhibitions in Second Life (Matt Thompson (Mth63), Eta (Etamae), Sheba Blitz, Angel Heartsong, Chuck Clip, Therese Carfagno, Ilyra Chardin, for example), together with names that may be new to some or at least perhaps not generally noted as participating in art events – I was particularly delighted to come across a trio of pieces submitted by friend and colleague, Erik Mondrian, whilst Sandralee Palianta’s collection of exquisite Sharpie Pen drawings simply captivated me.

It always feels unfair to single out just two or three artists from such ensemble exhibitions, simple because of sense of favouritism that results – but then, art is subjective. This being the case, and without any casting of shade on those I don’t mention, I will say that I found Sandralee’s work compelling not least because of the etching-like quality contained within each piece, and the balance of light and dark to be found within all of them, from the deco-esque “Lady” pictures through the plant and flower studies.

Rainbow Painters Art Gallery, August 2021: Angel Heartsong

Angel Heartsong’s quartet of avatar portraits, meanwhile, held my attention for the manner in which they breathe life into their subjects in a way that colour avatar studies, no matter how well processed after the fact, can often miss; while alongside Angel’s work, Viktor Savior’s set of Japanese style wall hangings complete with verses in Russian and English, equally held my eye for the simplicity and complexity within them.

Truth be told, it’s hard not to be engaged by each display offered within the gallery as you come to it, but I will say that of them all, one piece in particular quite took my breath away – and I cannot even properly attribute it!

Together We Stand by Heather (I can give no more than this as the artist’s name is not provide when editing the image, only those of Timo and the frame’s creator) is an utterly perfect black-and-white study that encompasses  so much: balance, framing, angle, motif, narrative, depth of field, use of vignette and chiaroscuro techniques, lighting and shadow, and more, to present an utterly and genuinely exquisite piece that (sadly) is not offered for sale, but which fully deserves all the admiration it receives.

Rainbow Painters Art Gallery, August 2021: Heather

As noted at the top of this piece, there have been some changes at Rainbow Painters since my last visit. The first of these is the Rainbow Painters Maze – which as the name implies, is a walk through a maze in which pieces from a number of artists is display and which can all be seen in turn by going the wrong way through it (check the arrows on the floor!). The second change (for me at least!) is that a pair of gazebo-style structures that respectively house a display of art and poetry by Mountain String and another selection of pieces by various artists. Both the maze and the gazebos sit to the front of the main gallery, flanking either side of the events stage and the gallery’s landing point, and can nicely round-out a visit to the gallery.

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The Artists Choice in Second Life

Rainbow Painters: Nina Camplin and Janelle

Currently open at the Rainbow Painters Art Gallery, curated by Timo Dumpling and Patience Roxley is an ensemble exhibition entitled Artists Choice, which once again offers a rich mix of art from both Second Life and the physical world and a broad cross-section of Second Life artists.

To be honest, I’m unsure as to the origins of the exhibition title and whether it is a reference to the fact each artist selected their own pieces for it rather than it being set to a theme, or whether the pieces on offer were selected by those within the Rainbow Arts group on seeing the various artists’ work, or some other mechanism. Not that it really matters (although I suspect the first of these options) – what matters is the art on display.

Rainbow Painters: Doc Romano

For those who enjoy SL centric art, the exhibition offers pieces by the likes of (but not limited to) Alena Pit and Arin Bellios (avatar-centric studies), and Doc Romano, Fabio and Bella Firefly (landscapes); while artists such as CheekyJane Sahara, Eta Goldsmith, Callum Writer and Pure Love offer pieces of their physical world art.

Also to be found within the gallery is some admirable wildlife art by Nina Camplin and Janelle (who is also the gallery’s “New Artist of the Month”), displayed with a 3D elephant by Claude Belgar. Meanwhile, on the upper wing of the gallery, one can find Milly Sharple’s always impressive art leading the way to a exhibition of art featuring the Boston role-play region, as entered in a competition to depict Boston at the time f the famous Tea Party.

Rainbow Painters: Callum Writer and Pure Love

With 40 artists exhibiting, the above is barely scratching the surface for this exhibition. There really is a richness of art that is engrossing. Given this, Artists Choice offers more than enough to sate the thirst of any art lover, and I admit to being particularly drawn to certain pieces – notably Callum Writer’s fabulous abstractions, Nina Camplin’s tiger and lion studies and Doc Romano’s two SL landscapes.

These six pieces proved to be personal eye magnets during my exploration of the exhibition even though I found all of the art engaging (and wanted to both fuss Milly Sharple’s Blue Cat and step into either tempestad de fuego or En el corazon de las tinieblas by Javier, simply because the manner in which they present the same scene so independently of one another.

Rainbow Painters: Pils Kish

All told, Artists Choice is engaging, and well worth taking the time too jump over to Rainbow Painters Art Gallery to see. And if you like images suitable for Halloween, do check out Haunted Picture by Edwige Monroe – just give it a minute when viewing.

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Monochrome at Rainbow Painter’s Gallery

Rainbow Painter’s Gallery: Fabio Castelli

In March, a new ensemble exhibition opened at the Rainbow Painter’s Gallery, curated by Timo Dumpling and Patience Dumpling (patience Roxley), this one with a focus on monochrome images.

Once again, this is an exhibition that features a broad cross-section of artists and art, featuring works created both in-world and from the physical world. Nor is the exhibition restricted to art: Keyah Kyomoon and Mountain String include pieces formed by both images and words.

Rainbow Painter’s Gallery: Cullum-Writer

With such a cross-section of art and artists, the is much to see throughout the gallery, from Nil Urqhart’s starkly beautiful photographs of the Mount Blanc massif in Chamonix region of the French Alps, through in-world photography by Fiona Saiman, Tara Aers, Josie Anderton Ilyra Chardin, Lena Kiopak and others. These run between avatar studies and landscapes, and I confess to finding Josie Anderton’s Valentine to be quite captivating.

Vicktor Savior present three of his pencil drawings of celebrities – of which Keanu Reeves tended to hold my attention; but where drawings are concerned, it is the two pieces by Fabio Castelli I found most attractive. I was also pleased to see some of Paula Cloudpainter’s art on display – although I confess, I’m not sure monochrome fully captures the richness of her cloud images. Nor is all of the gallery given over to fully monochrome; there are touches of colour here and there, notably in the poems by Mountain String.

Rainbow Painter’s Gallery: Fiona Saiman

Such a large ensemble exhibition inevitably makes it hard to write about individual artists or pieces. As such, I can only give a hint of what is on display; but for a relatively young venue, I will say that Rainbow Painter’s is maturing into a very capable gallery that is rightly attracting the interest of artists new and old within SL. As such, I do recommend paying it a visit, and on keeping an eye on exhibitions there.

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