contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Sunday, March 9, 2014

that sigh when all tension releases

Collage, Leslie Avon Miller

We need words
That ring like bells
Through cool air
Taut with sun,
that smell
like grass and violets
that feel
like sitting on moss
by the stream
listening to
songs of woodland birds,
words that bring
fresh air into our lungs.

Collage, Leslie Avon Miller

Words that bring us
visions of baby robins
trying to use their wings,
early tinted light
on the horizon,
tiny ants
swarming in and out
of their granular hill.


Collage, Leslie Avon Miller


Distant hum
of bees on plum blossoms,
sensation of sunlight
on the skin,
a moment of peace
in a hidden place,
hearing the sound
of water over rocks,

something to make us sigh
that sigh
when all tension
and we’re
Just there.

These small collage on paper incorporate fragments of the photos I discussed in the previous post entitled Found Paintings. I find old walls, a partially decayed leaf frozen in a puddle and a found hand print to have a quality of mystery; of a story only half told.

Collage, Leslie Avon Miller

The quality of enigma engages me and makes me want to know more, to ponder what else might be there half hidden.

Collage, Leslie Avon Miller

To add to the puzzle, I added fragments of a poem I found engaging. The poem is called
The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski. Some of the words are from an essay entitled

A Language Older Than Words  by Derrick Jensen. 

There is something about putting my hands on paper and moving small bits around that can make me sigh that sigh when all tension releases and we’re Just There.

Each collage is open to interpretation, and I hope acts as a  a doorway to our own thoughts and feelings hidden beneath the surface of polite everyday conversation. That's where I prefer to live my life; a little deeper, a little bit richer, a distance off the beaten path.

I don't know who the author is of the poem I posted at the beginning of the post about needing words.   If you do, will you let me know?


Monday, February 10, 2014

Found Paintings

Found painting Leslie Avon Miller

Found Painting Leslie Avon Miller

Found Painting Leslie Avon Miller

Found Painting Leslie Avon Miller

Found Painting Leslie Avon Miller
Found Painting Leslie Avon Miller

This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. 

And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.

                                                              Alan Wilson Watts

The images in the blog post are photographs I took of an old WWII bunker near Port Townsend this last weekend. The Graffiti artists make marks, the park worker paint over them, rust happens, along with the patina of time. I just came along and "found" them. I am using some of them as part of my small collage

Monday, December 23, 2013

My True Love Gave to Me 12 Turkey Feathers....

Turkey Feathers, Artichokes and Sweet Grass

A gathering I went in November…dried artichokes were cut and treasured.

Familiar ornaments were unwrapped with care.

Sweet grass and dried found leaves are a studio supply on hand.

And my true love gave to me 
all the turkey feathers he found as he walked along the road.



Every time a hand reaches out
To help another....that is Christmas

Every time someone puts anger aside
And strives for understanding
That is Christmas 

Every time people forget their differences
And realize their love for each other
That is Christmas 

May this Christmas bring us
Closer to the spirit of human understanding 

Closer to the blessing of peace!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Notice Each Thing

We are here to witness the creation and abet it. We are here to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed. Together we notice not only each mountain shadow and each stone on the beach but, especially, we notice the beautiful faces and complex natures of each other. 

We are here to bring to consciousness the beauty and power that are around us and to praise the people who are here with us. We witness our generation and our times. We watch the weather. Otherwise, creation would be playing to an empty house.


According to the second law of thermodynamics, things fall apart. Structures disintegrate.

Buckminster Fuller hinted at a reason we are here: By creating things, by thinking up new combinations, we counteract this flow of entropy. We make new structures, new wholeness, so the universe comes out even. 

A shepherd on a hilltop who looks at a mess of stars and thinks, ‘There’s a hunter, a plow, a fish,’ is making mental connections that have as much real force in the universe as the very fires in those stars themselves.
~ Annie Dillard


Witness. Yes, we can do that for one another. These paper structures, created with rusted and water colored papers, evolved from the need to create. Of course they evolved. For instance, we worked surrounded by long pine needles so they became the center of a flower. 

In a tree, on some rusty springs, in the brush, amongst the dried flowers from summer we set up the paper flowers and took photographs. 

          My niece and I walked around and found several different appealing placements.

 These are the new structures, the wholeness we contribute to the universe. And I       have returned home with boxes of pine cones, pine needles and dried summer        flowers. 

  More to come.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Drawing as Language

egg shell drawings Leslie Avon Miller
A small stick, some ink and watercolor, a pencil, some charcoal. A surface of paper, brown paper bag, or an egg shell. Drawing is a path to a small world complete with map, or to a story or to observation of beauty.

Marise Maas  

Drawing the Unknown

Taking from the drawer
a large sheet of thick, white paper,
I place it on the floor
and kneel before it.
With a big stick of charcoal
I begin to make marks;
rhythmic, gestural, hard, soft,
intuitively covering the paper
until my hand takes over.
I work slowly with feeling,
drawing deeper
into the paper, into myself,
responding to what is there.
I sponge, smudge, rub, caress,
overlay new marks,
continue building layers,
building energy,
creating more depth,
darkening parts of the paper like thunder
causing the charcoal to splinter, crumble,
crack under pressure.
Now drawing with the rubber
I work into the darkness
clearing passages of light
and before me
there’s a tonal range,
graded and granular
from coal black
to the palest whisper of grey.
I keep going,
immersed, mesmerized,
becoming aware of illusory shapes.
I keep pushing, pulling,
forming, coaxing
until I lift the image out
and my hand is still.

~Ann Symes

Ann Symes, Burn 7
Ann Symes, Distant Voice, graphite
 For me, drawing facilitates thinking. The drawing process is so crucial to me, 
and gradually I have noticed that the activities in life which I prioritize and 
repeat outside of drawing allow a similar kind of thought process to take place, 
for example spending time walking is very important to me.
Through walking, I consciously create time to think, observe and explore. 
But, also I see walking as a linear journey or path through a thought process, 
similar to that of making a drawing. 
I think the other parallel is motion. 
I find it easier to think when I am in some kind of motion, 
which for me is particularly conductive to contemplation.

~Gemma Anderson

Drawing, Leslie Avon Miller
For me drawing is all about movement, it is always the result of an action, a record of motion as a result of a force exerted over time. Whether it be the artist's hand or body, seismic movement, the motion of a tree branch or the path followed by the wind through the landscape it is always the result of movement.

~Tim Knowles

Tim Knowles Tree Drawings
by mick maslen and jack southern
brown paper bag drawing, Leslie Avon Miller

As I put this post together I realized the subject of drawing has the potential for several blog posts. To be continued...

To draw, you must close your eyes and sing.

~Paublo Picasso

More drawings I love are here.