Beginning Minuets

"minuet" - Slow, stately pattern dance in three-quarter time for groups of couples, originating in 17th century France; from the Old French word "menuet" meaning "small and dainty."

This past summer, in anticipation of a long couch convalescence post-foot surgery, I had prepared a small watercolor journal with rapid, random swipes of color and filled an envelope full of paper scraps. I had no idea what I was going to do on those pages but I thought quiet collage work would be soothing. However, I ended up doing a lot of sketching instead and my little collage project landed squarely on my rather overloaded back burner.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago:  I've been battling a relapse of severe fatigue (possibly Parkinson's-related) while also wishing I could do more art each day. I get up between three and four every morning so by two in the afternoon, my energy level is on the downslope. By the evening, I have trouble doing much more than staring at banal TV shows. I wanted something creative to do that was completely gentle on my tired brain. After some digging around in the studio, I rediscovered that small watercolor journal and its companion envelope. Something sparked in my mind and a new project sprang to life.

To create these pieces, I dump out all the paper scraps and just start moving things around on the page until something pleasing shows up. I glue everything down and add some doodling. At first, I intended to remain firmly rooted in the abstract but almost immediately, I strayed into collages that had a slightly representational twist. I find that titles come unbidden, popping into my head like lighthouse beacons as I work, guiding the completion of the collage. Each one takes no more than 30 minutes and almost all of the work is done without any pre-planning. I just let my subconscious Muse off-leash and follow her wherever She sees fit to wander.

I've titled this series "Minuets" because these silly little works help me take small steps through the brain fog and pain clouding my evenings. Instead of giving in, I'm dancing right around the obstacles, a step at a time. Look for regular "Minuet" posts as I progress.

Minuet No. 1 - "Supernova"
No. 2 - "Mother-in-Law Unit"


Cate Rose said…
Love these little pieces. What a good idea ~ splashing a bit of color, then building a collage on top. xo
Mary W said…
You have made lemonade from lemons and thankfully, shared it with us. What a fun, mindless activity for airplane, doctor office, babysitting a sleeping baby, or car-line for school pick-up. I really appreciate your creativity.
mary Beth said…
These really did turn out quite beautiful. I am surprised you were able to do all of this with the fatigue issues you've been having. It must feel so good to have accomplished this.
Trece said…
Supernova captured my heart! Love the idea, and I adore all the white space.
Unknown said…
love these. hope you get well soon and continue the study.
Michellem said…
These are delightful!! Love the idea and how you keep your creativity going despite your less than ideal circumstances. Love that you named one "mother-in-law unit" and the meandering path one takes to arrive there!
Daisy Yellow said…
These are really fun! I like this idea of prepping pages to do tiny creative collages.
These are delightful. Thanks for sharing. And I am sorry to hear you have to deal with health problems. Hope you feel better soon.