contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Relics

My grandmother ruffles through a box of material
that smells of mothballs. 4X4 squares
of old curtains, denims, dresses, ties, scarves.
Anything that could be cut to make quilts
packed so tightly in a yellowed box
the color on the fabric has no room to fade.
She searches for a newspaper article.
I've been through the box twice. Its not there.
She is so sure, so serene
as if by memory alone she can will it there.

Just to let you know that I am occasionally posting at Instagram. @leslieavonmiller

Her fingers lull through the fabric
loosening the earth of her past.
Each square, a sermon, a kiss, a new dish.
Hands still immersed, she recites the article.
It is of my father's early promotion in the Army.
I know how she must have studied it, line by line,
until the words became his uniform,
his boots, his medals, his tags.

I have been enjoying the art of still life. I use things I have gathered from nature, small collage, mail art and some relics from my family. The elephant was a souvenir my Dad picked up in WWII as a gift for his Mom. I cherish it with its handmade personality and wabi sabi appearance. In my mind's eye I see it sitting on a glass shelf in the corner of the kitchen. I can almost smell cooking applesauce.

She does not find it but she smiles. She offers me
the fabric to make quilts, pillowcases,
anything that can be sewn into a memory.
I take it, though I have already memorized her:
the smell of mothballs on her hands,
the rows of vegtables she nurtured
wearing the flowered dress that lies in pieces in the box.
I see her in my sleep. Words on a page.
I recite her.

~Poem entitled Vera Jewel
by Michelle McMillan-Holifield

This lovely typewritter was my Mother's Mother's. She had been a one room school house teacher, and then later the bookkeeper for her husband's auto repair garage. One day they packed up and went to Alaska. They never returned for the house full of things they left behind. They became my Mother's and are now mine. They are old enough now to be "vintage". I find them appealing and find it enjoyable to "document" them, via still life.

These things of our lives are never really ours. We are temporary custodians.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Edges of Things

untitled collage Leslie Avon Miller

I like the edges of things
the way two elements come together
and are changed by the experience.
A third energy is born
untitled collage Leslie Avon Miller
To explain this in words
is to diminish the happening.
And yet I endeavor
to explain.
This morning I watched the sunlight
create a multitude of abstract paintings on my walls.
A strong dash of a line.
A pattern with rhythm.
untitled collage Leslie Avon Miller
In our solitude we are one person.
In our interactions, at the edges,
we experience a portal
and become, even fleetingly, changed.
My art avoids the boxes of words,
and moves to another dimension.
A dash of a line.
A pattern with rhythm.
untitled collage, Leslie Avon Miller
This is my poetry.
This is the essence of my content.
At the edges I am changed.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

haiku for the new year

new year's haiku 1
Leslie Avon Miller
At the change of the year I require light, and space and room to breathe. I need time for mental clearing away and sorting to allow room to allow freshness in my life. January is such a personal month. I withdraw, cocoon and cleanse, preparing for what is to come.

new year's haiku 2
Leslie Avon Miller
I find myself stacking antique Japanese glass floats on an equally aged silver tray. They capture and reflect the pale winter light. Their aura is simple. They reflect my mood, symbols of vintage beauty brought forward in news ways to this time and this place.

new year's haiku 3
Leslie Avon Miller

The rich sparseness of Haiku appeals to me. I find myself sorting, choosing, tearing, shaping and arranging small space to please my need for minimalism and clarity.

new year's haiku 4
Leslie Avon Miller


threading a needle
on new year's day
the spool unwinds
Jane Reichhold
new year's haiku 5
Leslie Avon Miller
                                The first page of my new journal reads:
365 new days
and the second page
Let your life be a painting
Let your life be a poem
new year's haiku 6
Leslie Avon Miller
Best of new year wishes to you.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I am never done with looking!

photo Leslie Avon Miller

I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.
Looking I mean, not just standing around,
but standing around
as though with your arms open.

~Mary Oliver

Seedling story, Leslie Avon Miller

Sunflower, Leslie Avon Miller

To really see, to look closely, this is my current and on going quest. To notice the light, the textures, the shadows. It is as if I were a beginner again. I am amazed.

Leaves, Leslie Avon Miller

I love so many things: leaves and twigs and seeds, found objects. Things that tell of times past.  My families collections. Especially I love beauty that comes with time.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Dream Remembers Us

Photo by Leslie Avon Miller

What we want 
is never simple.
We move among the things 
we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names---
now they want us.

But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms
and in the morning 
our arms ache.

We don't remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us,

It is there all day
as an animal is there
under the table,
as the stars are there even in full sun.

~Linda Pastan

Small time, small art. Tucked inside this simple folded paper envelope I placed a copy of the poem. This helps me  remember how I care for dreams, and animals and stars. 

Working with my own hand printed Japanese papers, my thoughts and new-to-me technology I am learning new ways to look at creativity.