Just for Fun – Flamingos

I love flamingos. I’m not sure why.

Perhaps it’s because they are such an absurd bird. Perhaps it’s because they’re not pink at all – that’s just an effect of their diet, which amuses me. Perhaps it’s because of the place they hold in popular culture; simultaneously a symbol of tropical elegance, and of trashy kitsch.

I love the real ones, stalking through the shallows like pink prehistoric predators, scooping up crustaceans with their hooked beaks. Busily consuming the various carotenoids that give them their rosy hue. I love their jerky, time lapse movements, that melt in an instant to smooth fluidity when they take flight. I love to see them standing on one long leg, the other tucked up under their bodies, heads held high. I love to see them flying, long legs stretched out behind, black wing feathers spread, like soaring good-and-plenty candy against the sky.

I love lawn flamingos, too. They are so completely ridiculous, with their pink plastic bodies posed forever on wire legs, wading through grass shallows. I especially love flocks of lawn flamingos, surreptitiously deposited during the night in the yards of the unsuspecting. Can you imagine waking in the morning to find plastic flamingos have invaded your home? Spectacular!

I love art deco flamingos, perhaps most of all. The geometric angles of their legs paired with their long, sinuous necks made flamingos very attractive to art deco artists. Combine that with their flamboyant coloring, and they became irresistible. You can find them pacing gracefully, or cavorting without a shred of dignity, parading through the bathrooms, cafés, and salons of the 1920s. Such fun!

Perhaps it’s that inherent contradiction in flamingos that I find so appealing. They are at once graceful and awkward, stylish and silly, sophisticated and ludicrous.

I just love them!

The Lighter Side – Crayons!

Life isn’t always serious. 😀

Remember the smell of a new box of crayons? The delicious promise? All the colors, ranked in their unbroken glory, with crisp paper wrappers still unsmudged? It was pure delight!

I remember looking at them, all those lovely, pristine points, deciding which would be the very first to make its mark! It was an honor, being first. I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of the others. But only one could have that coveted position. So I picked.

Remember the wondrous feel of that first silky line across the paper? The thrill of pure, unsullied color. Later, it would be contaminated, as all the shades it touched left their trace. But that first stroke was magic; unadulterated perfection.

More colors would join that one, as I created a picture where there had been only blankness. It’s that act of creation, of making something out of nothing, that’s always been so appealing.

It was then.

It is now.

As I used them, the crayons would start to age, their points worn down until they looked like horse’s hoofs. I’d carefully peel away the paper, and use the Crayon Sharpener that the swooping arrows pointed to on the back of the box.

I liked my crayons nice and sharp.

But I would need colors that weren’t in the box; not even the big box of 120. So I’d scrub one color over another, mixing them on the page to get when I needed. I’d use my finger, or a kleenex, to blend colors, smudging one into another.

I’d work that box, until all that was left were stubs, grubby paper on short ends that fell sideways into the gaps left by their missing fellows.

I would work them until they were gone.

Until nothing was left but a pile of glorious pictures.


Picture Attribution: Crayons I made using MODO.

Getting Ready for the Arcade!

It’s less than a week until setup for the September round of the Arcade opens in Second Life®!

Most of the things I’ll have in this round are finished, and on my worktable. For some of them, I’ve collaborated with Marianne McCann. I did the mesh, and she did the textures.

Continue reading Getting Ready for the Arcade!