Saturday, 28 January 2012

Colour Challenge Week 5 - Patina

This confused me for a moment, as I have never heard patina used as an adjective; but wiktionary says "Of a green colour, tinted with grey, like that of bronze patina." Well, fair enough then - can't say I'm not learning new things with this challenge! :D In the UK though, we'd be more likely to call this colour 'verdigris'.

One of the biggest and most famous patinaed bronze statues is, of course, the Statue of Liberty; and Rudh helpfully reminded me that I had exactly such an outfit in my server-eclipsing inventory - she knows better than me what's in my own hoard! I don't like to just wing these challenges on the back of someone else's creativity though, so I devised an alien statue, a reflection of Lady Liberty in another time and space, and the perfect environment in which to display her. I also re-tinted the outfit, which wasn't the exact shade required but was mod (yay!) and re-tinted the particle torch flames to match. There is a little story to go with this avatar, in the style of early 20th century SFF/horror writer H.P. Lovecraft and in honour of the photographic location, which apart from the fabulous builds (all by the designer, Tekelili Tantalus) has the most gorgeous windlight setting - I just could not stop taking pictures and it was hard to choose those which best told the story rather than simply showing off! All of the pictures are untouched, imported 'as is' from SL camera upload. I highly recommend you go to see this location in-world, and browse his store.


Exerpt from the diary of Nathalie Ingoldstadt, astral adventurer.
"... Dawn broke over the horizon in waves of rose and verdigris like the Aurora Borealis as I flew across the sea, travelling as an arrow of thought towards a strange island. Even from afar, the haunting, alien beauty of the architecture impressed itself upon my mind, an impression which was to grow stronger and more disturbing as I approached, even as I appreciated the delicacy and skill of construction.

As the sun rose into the sky, illuminating the scene before me, I could pick out the individual buildings along the shore-front, gleaming each with differently coloured light in their irregular windows. My mind took in fleeting, fantastical impressions: gargantuan statues intermingled with the architecture as though an army of behemoths from the ocean depths had arisen to take over the island, but were turned by some defensive sorcery to stone, invasion transformed in an instant to dream-like adornment. A great tower thrust up at the edge of the settlement, its lineaments of strange, non-Euclidean proportions which teased at my perception. Behind all loomed a monstrous mountain carved into the likeness of an alien, brooding face, full of malignant calm like the spirit of a slumbering volcano given anthropomorphic expression. The colours over everything were strange, discernible to my eye and yet of no shade or hue I had ever before perceived in nature; fey, discordant and unnameable, as though the whole spectrum of visible light had been shifted into a new rainbow of eldritch tones.

As I arrowed ever closer on wings of thought, it seemed as though my path converged upon a building at the forefront of the alien town, as it were an observatory or temple, perched upon a small promontory of rock in the mouth of the harbour. The building seemed rougher and less ornate than those on the island main, altogether simpler in design. That, together with the aged patina of the workmanship, suggested that it was much, much older than the buildings behind. Altogether, without any particular evidence to support the theory, it gave me the singular and unshakeable impression that it was guarding the island; squatting in the harbour like some armoured beast, patient, watchful and enduring since time immemorial.

I drew closer, intrigued and yet a little fearful, and perceived a statue atop the structure, facing out to sea and almost directly along the line of my approach. The greyish green of corroded bronze, it blended seamlessly with the ancient roof dome before which it stood. The figure was startling in its familiarity, for unlike the louring creatures of the island statuary, this ancient sentinel was cast in the likeness of a human woman. She wore a seven-pointed crown and flowing robes which caught the light and shimmered like seawater, and held aloft a square tablet or book of some kind, and a torch whose flames burned with a sickly, greenish hue. As I approached, some symbols decorating the skirt of her robes seemed to writhe and reassemble in my sight, transforming from some alien alphabet to my own familiar tongue, and I saw that the inscription read 'LIBERTY'. I was amazed, and filled with speculation, for an itch of memory which had been tickling the back of my mind now surfaced in triumphant awe, and I recognised the statue in this land so far from my world and time; different from, yet so strikingly similar to that it could not be mere coincidence, that famous statue of the modern world, the noble Lady Liberty of New York.

Eagerly I approached yet nearer, desiring to inspect fully this strange convergence of alien and human workmanship and ideas. All was the same corroded green of ancient bronze, even the hair which by some trick of the light or amazing skill of the sculptor seemed to stir in the light sea breeze. Only her skin was not the same metallic patina as the rest, but dark, almost like raw cast iron. The book in outstretched hand was not (as would have been, not merely incongruous but absurd) the American Declaration of Independence, but some esoteric tome whose sole and puzzling ornament, repeated over the lintel of the doorway beneath her feet, was a rather rough-drawn pentagram; an oddly proportioned star of five points within a circle, containing some kind of stylised, flaming pillar or eye. [see below] And as I soared up to the statue, hovering right before her as a sea bird on the dawn wind, I was filled with horror and amazement as those impressions which had hitherto only teased at the edges of my consciousness burst upon my senses with unavoidable significance. 

The faint susurration of the sea-green robes, as fluid as silk; the wind in the soft, light hair; the faint rise and fall of the iron-dark bosom in its cupped abalone halter; the moist freshness of the rose-soft lips; and, above all, the liquid light and stark awareness in the depths of the un-pupilled, alien green eyes that stared with tragic, noble sufferance out across the endless waves. The statue, though undoubtedly fixed and motionless, was yet living flesh and blood, as animal and animate as its now horrified observer. For how many eons had this poor sentinel stood, wrapped in preserving sorcery, guarding the island from unfathomable horrors? Awake, aware, and hideously, eternally alone; my imagination rebelled at contemplating the madness which would come to normal mortals under such conditions. And then, as I gazed with dreadful sympathy into those limpid orbs, the statue did move, but a fraction; the eyes slid across that impassive face and looked directly back at me; and the awful, noble suffering which was reflected in that remote and enduring gaze broke upon my composure in a crushing weight of horror and despair, so that my grasp upon the astral plane was shaken and disrupted, and I fled the scene, spinning in a maelstrom of alien light and colour back to waking consciousness, and the world of my home."

The Elder Sign, a protective symbol of Lovecraftian Mythos

The Mountain at Dawn
I knew that I wanted to take this photoshoot at Tekeli-li's sim as I have always loved his builds; I hadn't yet explored his latest location though and didn't realise that the colours of the waterfall and sky were so perfect for this challenge! As you can probably tell, both Tekeli-li and myself are ardent Lovecraft fans.

LOCATION Tekeli-li! dark artistry - mainstore and sim
DRESS Lemania Indigo [LI] - "Liberty" - Peace on Earth hunt gift
GLOVES Fuschia's Frocks - tintable satin jaquard
HAIR <DK> "Effie" - Seafoam
SKIN ^Re.Birth^ "Demons:Mara" - Fairy Sneeze makeup (freebie)
EYES *SFS* "Starfuker ~ teal" from *SFS* Reptilian Skins (a subline of {Rue} afaik)
TORCH library freebie, modified
CROWN another library freebie (it's amazing what you can find in there!)
BOOK Book of Nature by masterstrik2 Zephyr
POSE "liberty" freebie animation
TEMPLE my own build - I tried to match it to the environs but could not reproduce anything like the incredible artistry of Tekeli-li, hence my reference in the story to it being an older, simpler design.


  1. You put some serious amount of work into that post! Hadn't heard of Lovecraft before. Can't say I'm not learning new things with this challenge! ;)

    1. I did, didn't I... now people will expect me to live up to it with future posts XD

  2. WOW Fantastic, awesome to see that your ideas worked so well with the backdrop at Tekli-li's place... the combination is amazing! Scary how well I know your inventory but I think that was an educated guess because I know how obsessed you were with Lemania Indigo way back in time! Love these pics and the story is just gorgeous!

  3. Wow impressive, your HP Lovecraft story, the sim, the outfit... We have some good writers in this challenge!! I have to go see that place :)
    OMG.. Lemania Indigo.. shades of a distant past... we did two fashion shows for her!

    1. Thank you very much :)

      I loved Lemania Indigo, my sister actually had to ban me from going because I bought way too much stuff (and I still haven't opened all of it to this day...) Tekeli-li definitely makes some gorgeous stuff, well worth a look.

  4. WHAT a beautiful story you wrote, I could completely visualize! Great photos, cant wait to see if you write more stories in future posts! xo

    1. Thank you so much! Glad the story worked :) I hope I haven't outdone myself, I don't think there will be a story every time ;)

  5. Oh, Fledge! Your story gave me chills, reading it. And the pictures, capturing the mood so perfectly. Please gift us with more stories!

    1. Wow, thank you so much! I'm really glad to have hit the right note with my story, wouldn't have been much of a tribute if it hadn't worked :) I hope I'll have the time and inspiration for more stories in future but I may have just set myself a difficult precedent *g*

  6. Fabulous work with patina and a great story, I look forward to what you write next!

  7. Very nice story and photos to go with it :-)

  8. Tekelili Tantalus: (Saved Fri Feb 10 00:16:48 2012)Hey there! I must have been IM capped, as I only just found your recent note in my inventory- what a wonderful photostory! =D Thank you so much for sharing! It's always so fun seeing what people come up with for photos, and your story made my day. =D