Minutiae

“…the shapes nearest shapelessness awe us most, suggest the god.” (A. R. Ammons)
“Beauty is the Universal seen.” (Alfred Stieglitz)*

I’ve been working on this for several months now, and as far as I know, it’s an original idea: make extremely tiny works which are designed to become “art” only after they are massively enlarged.

In doing the art small, the intent shows thru, but the final image comes from processes beyond my control. The result is far more organic, and more pleasing, because the work was guided by the ultimate master: nature.

Revealed are the intricacies of the tiny natural textures and minute realities around us. Some folks have called this work “very Zen.”

Ever since as a child, lying in the grass and observing the tiny world hidden there, I’ve found beauty in the incredibly small. Seeing my first snowflake changed my life.

I’ve been taking abstract macros for years, but in Minutiae, I’m also designing the work to be photographed. Some of it is paper and ink; some is watercolor, some charcoal, but none is more that 1/2 inch square. It is not just macro photography, but art specifically created to be greatly enlarged.

It’s also not merely a matter of “taking a picture” either: each print requires the assembling (stacking) of an average of 20 individual images to achieve what is needed for a quality final print. Many hours of work goes into each final image.

I plan to do a lot more of this, as I’m really enjoying the result. I’m printing extremely limited 5-print editions of these images.

You can see them on my site at valleau.gallery.

 Meanwhile, here’s an idea of what’s going on here:

 

MinutiaeMe

 

I hope that you enjoy these as much as I’m enjoying doing them!

* (Both quotes taken from Robert Adams’ magnificent “Beauty in Photography.” If you care about photography as art, you need to read this brief and classic book.)