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Art Meditations, Or Not

There are a couple things on my mind this morning for meandering through in a blog titled 'Ramblings of a Mad Shutterbug' and only one set of them photography/art related. Last year this time, I finished up photographing a scale model house. The purposes there included providing quality images to the owner of the model, and providing myself with 'building blocks' for other artwork. Over the intervening year, a bit of that's been posted here. Overall then, could say the exercise is successful. It also provided a bit of stimulus, I suppose, to something which I'd say has been dormant for a while.

The pragmatic side on this is the building blocks. A couple of artist friends of mine, when they saw the photos, quickly saw that possibility and commented about museum dioramas and stage settings, as in live theatre stages. Miniature houses, scale model houses, doll houses, all those names apply and yes, the function of being a stage setting is the biggest attraction for me. I'm not a total stranger to the world of miniature models, and that's the part which lay dormant for many years. Growing up, I made a model railroad setting. Not terribly elaborate as those things go, little three-dimensional scenery. No mountains, a flat setting, but with buildings. I put together a few of those, and a cousin passed along another group from his model railroad when that got broken down and dis-assembled for a major family move.

I've still got those buildings, stored in a chest, along with other portions of the old setting. However, my own was also broken down around the time I graduated from high school and moved along out of my parents house to the first two years of college followed by my stint as a Federally Subsidised Tourist in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club. The railroad setting was in HO scale (approximately 1/72 or so, I'd need to research for specifics) also known as Half O where O scale is another common scale for modelling. Those buildings are a tad small for easy photography of interiors, and in fact most of those buildings don't provide much of interior detailing. They're shells.

Getting interested in the scale house/building arena is partly related to looking for places to post/display my photographs of Tudor House besides here in the blog. That trail led me to several groups on Flickr (that much discussed and at least for me often frustrating site) with the purpose of displaying such items and the details involved.

The first I tagged onto is Scale Dollhouse Miniatures (Scale Dollhouse Miniatures http://www.flickr.com/groups/dollshouses/). However, this one proved to be more about the items which go into scale houses than the houses or buildings themselves. Fascinating, simply not one of my primary interests since as I mentioned, I'm looking at building blocks and am willing to use 'full scale' items to work into the settings. Still, periodically along comes a grouping of photos which relate to the overall structure and those catch my interest quickly.

The second group is about fantasy dollhouses (Fantasy Dollhouses & Miniatures http://www.flickr.com/groups/fantasydollhouseminiatures/) which seemed a bit more in tune with the general concept I first worked up involving Tudor House, to whit the historical re-creation characteristics of the house and the people involved with it. Still, this group also provides more images of things which go into the scale houses than the buildings themselves. Fascinating, and worth the time for research purposes, not the primary interest.

The next group I'm listing is Model Structures http://www.flickr.com/groups/model_structures/, and this one is also more about the exteriors perhaps than interiors. Still, more food for thought.

The one that sparked today's series of meditations is Modern Miniatures http://www.flickr.com/groups/modern_miniatures/pool/. This one is dedicated to 'Modern' style, something I grew up with as a contemporary style of building and whatnot. I very fondly recall the home of my Aunt Roberta and Uncle Earnie, which I'd describe as a Modern Ranch style home. I liked wandering through their house, two levels (basement and first floor only). I liked features like the sliding doors to several rooms, and the stonework around the fireplace. That's a different story, though.

Modern Miniatures is more about the overall setting than the bits and pieces inside, though it does provide a good share of those (i.e. the scale items which are placed into the scale room to re-create a house). This provides more food for thought to me, and even as a stage-setting still provides the background for a lot of conceptual photography, be it contemporary, science fiction, fantasy, or otherwise. Every now and then, as well, it's fascinating to explore the worlds other people dream up (see 'On the Set here'). Or even ones they don't dream up, rather are simply documenting before they begin their own work to achieve what they do dream. Mind you, I'm fascinated by the empty room often more than the 'completed' one, as well as abandoned places/structures. So this one fits both categories there: on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/magfs/5131172533/ ...

A friend of ours gave us a couple books as gifts near a year ago. He'd found them at a garage sale and figured they'd be of interest to us, knowing both of us to be photographers. One on close-up photography Herself snagged right off and I've seen it occasionally since. Not often. The other on special effects photography I snagged. Now, both books are older, and obviously first published before the advent of digital photography became wide-spread. Still, there are great ideas in there. One of the ideas in the special effects book is a single room, which that photographer would mount onto a tripod and use out of studio to help create some surrealistic imagery.

It's a simple room; undecorated, except occasionally with handy objects (scale differences add to that surrealism). I started planning then to build one of my own, and that's on the to-do list for early next year. My questions to myself are how involved do I want to get? Simple shapes, only, or add in some architectural features? This kicked off shopping (as it were) on-line at least for doll house building parts. It's a huge world, out there, for these items. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader though. Wander over to your favourite search engine and enter the terms "dollhouse" "kits" "parts" and look at what you find.

All food for thought, that's all.

Part two of today's musings is unrelated to any of the above, so maybe I'll do that as a separate post. Maybe not. Yesterday (Saturday) was one of my Out of Time days, since I worked the graveyard shift at Hospital again on Friday night. With Herself off to Haile Plantation Farmers Market in the morning, when I got home Houdini, Squrrl and I immediately set out to Feed teh Ranch critters before I collapsed for a nap. Consequently I didn't get into bed until nearly 10:30 and didn't wake up until nearly 15:00. Much later than I'd planned. Ah well. Once up and functional the three of us (Herself was busy getting things ready for the next item to be mentioned) set out to do the evening feed. Less involved here.

Then we wandered down the road to our friends place, there to enjoy dinner with a group of friends. S & K live there of course, and our friends Seamus Not On LJ and his wife mistfox are here visiting. Good visit, good food, excellent time and then back home to catch up on sleep. Then this morning it occurred to me by not making it on line yesterday I missed a couple Hippie Birdbath virtual 'cards, so here you are a day after, Hippie Birdbaths to faxon and ownedbyforest. May your nativity anniversary have provided you with pleasant times.

And now, once again off to feed Teh Ranch.

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