A very exciting milestone passed by yesterday evening - July 30th 2011...
 
After only 2 weeks since Toy's Art Gallery Grand Opening event "Mirages of Art" on July 17th-18th, the gallery welcomed its 500th Visitor!

Toy could not be more shocked and happy at the overwhelming response from the SecondLife residents and its vibrant art community to have reached 500 visitors in just under 2 weeks since it opened its doors.
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SecondLife Destination Guide Listing
Although Toy could attribute a lot of this success to a strong awareness promotion campaign within many of the active online SL Media outlets, twitter, SL blogs, and SL's official forums, the primary factor to this heavy traffic has been Linden Lab placing Toys Art Gallery and the Mirages of Art exhibit into their official SecondLife Destination Guide

Toy is not sure how his event got noticed by Linden Labs to the extent that it was placed an official Destination Guide listing, but he wants to express appreciation to whomever at Linden Lab that visited the Gallery, took photos, and added the gallery to the Destination guide.

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SL Newsers - Gallery Review Article
Another potential reason for the amazing traffic was a recent full and detailed Exhibit Review/Article from the SECONDLIFE NEWSER online magazine.  As was described in a recent ToyTalks Shouts blog posting pointed out, the review was so well written and offered a glowing review of the exciting features of Toy's gallery and the 50 works of art that visitors would experience when visiting.


As Toy continues to create new artworks, he will be placing them into the gallery to keep display of art fresh for repeat visitors.  He also encourages visitors who wish to have a beautiful and peaceful place to relax and slow dance under the mystical flowing stars on his top floor patio to please send as much time as they wish.

Toy wishes to thank everyone that both helped promote his new gallery & Mirages Of Art exhibit and more importantly to all SecondLife residents that love and support the vibrant art community within SL.


If you have not yet visited the Art Gallery, you are welcomed with open arms.  If you wish to receive any updates Toy's art and gallery activities please follow postings on this site.  Alternatively you could join Toy's Art Gallery Group in-world.  The "subscribeomatic" group signup kiosk can be found on the top floor of his gallery.

Thanks again everyone!

Toysoldier Thor

 
Toy is pleased to highlight a recent full review of his new "Toy's Art Galler" by SL NEWSER - an online blogging / news site.

On July 25th, 2011 Grey Lupindo from SL Newser visited and explored Toy's new gallery.  The result blogged review was very thorough, well written, and submitted a glowing review of the new gallery design as well as how Toy's are is presented to the visitors.

Toy would strongly encourage you to link to the article and take a read.

CLICK TO LINK TO SL NEWSER REVIEW OF TOYS ART GALLERY

Thanks goes out to Grey Lupindo and SL Newser for the article / review.

Toy
 
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"HAUNTING TOWER"  Artist's Comments

Last week (July 11th, 2011) I revisited the amazing beautiful sim named "Horizon Dream - LOOKING GLASS" that is owned by my good friends Marcus Inkpen and Sharni Azalee whom are the creators of all the amazing builds and textures on this sim. This sim has always been a SL Photographer's heaven but over the past couple months they have overhauled and enhanced all parts of the sim. That is why I revisited it since the last photoshoot I did where I created "Glow On Grunge Street".

There is so much to photograph, but in my tour of the sim I found one themed section based on an old run down medieval manner / farm yard. The main home with a tower was so amazingly textured and designed and had a beautiful overgrown yard meadow grass landscape. I wanted to do something with it. It looked eerie, spooky, lonely, HAUNTING. So I took a couple photos of it from very low angles to accent the tall grasses as if they had overgrown this rundown home.

I cut out the sky background from the SL photo & the showing parts of the surrounding trees that was in the photo (removing the sky from around the tall grasses was a major pain). Then spent time smoothing the edges of the SL building. I then spent a lot of time experimenting with the look / texture of building to get the right coloring and effect. This took a lot of time and back and forth and playing with many different PS filters.

I decided to go for a pastels / water-color type of look and theme to the whole artwork. Blotchy, sketchy, blurry, scratchy look. Try to really give it a "painting" look and not like a common SL Photo. As such, for the house I used a duplicate of the photo with two different flilters - one to provide edge enhancements to the other that blurred the building ( and the grasses).

Then to give the scene a "haunting" theme, I needed to focus on a sky/clouds that would make you feel a bit creeped out and nervous. So an impending darkening storm cloud behind the home was the idea. I have several cloud photos I took for textures so I played with a mixture of two cloud layers. This took for ever! Nothing was feeling right. I finally found a blending of two that I liked. I also filtered them to give them the same pastel blotchy look. The contrasting black/blues to the browns of the home/land makes the home stand out more.

To finish it off, I had to replace the smoke coming from the home in the photo with my own recreated smoke. I added two real life photos of dead trees I took and had in my texture inventory and made them frame borders of the scene. To give the perspective that my camera was right near to them I blurred them both out heavily. Finally, I added a crackled glass texture of mine over the entire artwork to give it an old weathered artwork look. As if the art was as old ad the scenery.

After two days of working on this one and leaving it several times because I was not satisfied, it now has reached a point that I feel ITS DONE!

Look at the art and place yourself at the scene and be welcomed to ..... the Haunting Tower.

Toysoldier Thor

If you are an SecondLife Resident, come see this artwork in Toy's Art Gallery - along with his 50 other works!
 
Hello Friends!!

Toysoldier Thor will be a Live Voice Chat guest of Neteera Landers at your weekly NETERA's COFFEE LOUNGE in SL !

DATE: TIME:      Saturday July 23rd, 2011  @  10am SLT

Location:            NETERA's COFFEE LOUNGE
                              
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Terric/42/146/28

I have been invited as a Guest SL & RL Artist to speak about my art.  I am not sure if the voice chat is recorded for layer listening on her web or elsewhere - but I would love for you all to come to be audience for my lil interview with Netera.

If you are free at 10am SLT today, please TP in and sit a spell.

Toysoldier Thor
http://ToyTalks.weeble.com

 
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I am hosting two  GRAND RE-OPENING EVENTS at my completely new and larger Toy's Art Gallery!  I am so proud of my new design and excited as much to have you tour all 6 floors of my art gallery architecture as much as the 50 artworks that I now have on display!

I invite all of you - both my fellow Secondlife Artists as well as Art Lovers of SecondLife to be my guest at one of the two events I am hosting this coming Sunday July 17th @ 1pm slt & Monday July 18th @ 7pm slt..

 Following are the details of these two events:

WHERE:  
    Toy's Art Gallery
        >  GROJNOWSKI  34 / 18 / 1002
        >  SLURL: 
http://bit.ly/ToysArtGallery

WHEN:
Two Celebration Event to satisfy all timezones:
  >  1st Event :     SUNDAY  JULY 17th  @  1PM  slt
  >  2nd Event :    MONDAY JULY 18th  @  7PM slt

OTHER DETAILS:
    >  Dress Code:  I will say formal since most of you will anyway :)
    >  When You Arrive & Rez :  Follow the dimly lit path up the spiral
    >  The Tour:
        >  5 floors of 50 of my artworks - many have never been seen in SL !
        >  The 6th floor Starfield Patio where the reception will be after you finish your tour

BACKGROUND:

Over the past 5+ weeks, I have worked on a COMPLETE REDESIGN of my "Toy's Art Gallery" from the one I just finished building back in February of this year.  The old Art Gallery was invaluable to me in providing initial design aspects / ideas for both my new home I built this spring and this new Art Gallery.  Actually the old Gallery and my subsequent home designs are
evolutions of improvements to this new Gallery.  

Unfortunately my old Art Gallery filled up with my art in only a matter of two months.  Also, I wanted to incorporate all my new building designs into my new Gallery and retro-fitting the old was not feasible.  So I built a new one from scratch and then spent over two weeks slide it into the exact position of the old one so that the TP POINT would not have to change.  I want to also thank a good SL friend COCO - who has some incredible texturing talents - for spending an entire evening with me one night to work on the foundational gallery floor / stairs / brickwork design.  Thanks to her input, the Gallery looks even that much more elegant and stylish.

I am personally so proud of this design and so excited to show it off to you all.  Some of the cool design facts and aspects you will see during your tour:

1)  Wanted a UNIQUE and ARTISTIC Entrance into my Gallery - one that fit the title of the event "MIRAGES OF ART".  I hope you will see how the title and my gallery entrance fit.

2)  The floors are all modular and plug together like Lego Blocks.  I can add a new floor in a couple minutes.

3)  An amazing centerpiece Spiral Staircase design thru the entire spine of the gallery.

4)  An efficient and inviting circular floor design for easy viewing of all the art on the floor and soften the floor's spirit by removing edges.

5)  Amazing selection of textures on the ceilings, floors, and center stairs to
add elegance but also darkened to add focus on the art.
 
6)  A Top Floor Starfield surround patio for large gatherings / receptions / events.

7)  The entire build without art is only between 80-90 prims for 6 floors !

8)  Custom developed Artwall texture that simulates top-lit art frames to reduce prim count.

9)  Each art work also provide the visitor with an ARTIST's COMMENTS notecard when touched to tell the visitor what I was thinking about, any unique aspects of the art, and all credits to any other input artists when I created the art.

I also plan on packaging up my ART GALLERY BUILDING BUILD to sell to anyone that would like to use my design as a foundation to their own Gallery, home, store, or whatever.

 I look forward to seeing you all.  Please pass this invite to any / all of your friends.

Toysoldier Thor