contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Monday, February 9, 2009

In The Bones

I don't have new art to show you today, so here is a photo of my studio assistant. He becomes quite insistent on my attention at times. So far he hasn’t jumped into wet paint….

In The Bones

I’ve just returned from an intensive work shop, and as usual I find it a bit of a challenge to reenter my customary life. This is in part because I have been changed by my experience, and in part because in the juice of a workshop, life is surreal, expanded, and intensified.

This was the 5th in a series of courses that, for me, began last summer. My class was called “In the Bones”. Yummy title, yes? I am renewed in my belief that each of us is unique, and that we have something to say. We are all tapped into the same life force, but what we bring from that is our unique expression of the deep well. Our intuition is our powerful guide to our biggest, most fulfilling life. The tools we talked about and experienced are authenticity, connection, aliveness and fierce courage. All of these attributes are ours to develop, and use in speaking our own resonating creative voice.

We spoke of and experienced breaking the rules, for the sake of greater authenticity, and being pushed to the edge where the possibilities exist. We spoke of trust and taking risks from the place of trust. I do trust my own creativity and my own process. I trust that my expression is through me, not of me, and is part of the flow. Just today I received an email from a fellow artist who said to me “Do not be afraid to take risks.” I know he speaks from experience.

Your own creative voice is with you at all times, as is mine. I am turning up my courage and following my expanded vision. And part of that is fueled by the connection I experience with other like minded people here in blogland.


  1. Every studio should have a furry assistant or two...they do love to help! And sometimes they offer comfort during those quiet moments of frustration when a break to pet and kiss a soft and furry friend, the sound of a purr is always delightful. On occasion I've have discovered my assistants sitting on the latest work in is never good to shriek at them when they're doing that, just gently pick up the offender and hope for the best...a paw print left behind might actually add something to the texture ;) and what's the difference between a cat hair and one from your favorite paint brush?

    It's always a pleasure reading you.

  2. And a handsome assistant he is...

    I'm a new follower/subscriber who loves collage - though I never seem to do any (full time painter).

    I like how you talked here about intuition and creativity. They do go hand in hand - or should I say thought in thought. Only when I follow an intuitive path to its many creative destinations, am I satisfied that the work is "authentic" - and authentically mine.

  3. Laura: Thank you. I do have more cat hair collage than I care to admit. But I do appreciate the other heart beat in the studio, and the little purrs of contentment, no matter how the art making is going…

    Patrice: Hi! That is one of the ends we seek I think; that satisfaction that comes of authentic work, born of intuition and creativity. I have enjoyed seeing your bird paintings at your blog, and your big murals. Congratulations on your sale. Thanks for visiting!

  4. Brava! I definitely love the high end of the risk meter! learned about the risk quotients working in theatre! we have to go all the way and over the's hard and that's where the good stuff is...I find the same in my visual art.

  5. Beautifully said...This added connection in blogland is for me a great source of encouragement and as you said a like-minded connection.
    Speaking of like-minded, your sidebar has the true Martha Graham quote that held me up so many times in the studio. Thank you for this post.

  6. This is an inspirational post Leslie - i so enjoyed reading it - finding that unique voice is often hard work and full of doult so thank you for confirming it! The blogging community connection is a wonderful support to me too! Thank you

  7. Leslie, more than anything, I wish I could develop that "fierce courage" -- seems to me if you have that, then everything else will fall into place. Did you get any clues on how to develop it? By the way, I can tell you will be a superb life coach. . . your blog is already doing it.

  8. Jeane: I can see how working in theater and in visual art feed each other. It is difficult at the high end of the risk meter. To remember that the juicy stuff is there out at the edge is encouraging. And if there was ever an exuberant example of living in high creativity mode, it’s you girl!

    Mary Ann: Martha’s quote is everything; inspiration, but also admonition. It humbles me to think; how dare I question this? And that gets me right back to my business. As you say, it can hold us up.

    Ms. R. Rose: It is hard work, but good work too. It is really as hard as a birthing process, and seems to go on longer than 9 months too! I love your finger print image by the way.

  9. No risk, no reward! Your little furry helper is beautiful and he matches your pallet, too!

  10. Great post, Leslie.
    After a very long fallow period (years in fact) my art eventually began to flow again with amazing force. The biggest change that I noticed was that I was taking risks that I would never have dreamed of taking before. With time I notice I'm sliding back again, not too happy about taking risks. This post is giving me a shaking. I feel brave.

  11. Willow: I did notice the little one was in keeping with the color scheme here. He is so pretty, and a little pill too.

    Robyn: There are so many words and ideas out there on creativity, but when it comes right down to it, we have to show up and do something. After this weekend, I am going to try and remember that movement helps me get open and ready to create. I’m thinking dance, all by myself, so it doesn’t have to be good; just feel good. And then dash to the studio and see what comes up. I’m happy you are willing to take a risk and create your art. Wishing you the very best fun with your risk taking!

  12. There is nothing quite like a cat to assist with whatever one is doing! My cat likes to sit on my lap when I am here typing...You write beautifully about creating Leslie!

  13. Mary B: Gee, I didn’t mean to skip your comment yesterday. But then we did have a nice talk on the phone…I love the collage, both of them, that I got in the mail from you! A perfect homecoming present. I feel rich in art! As to how to tap into fierce courage, I have been giving that some thought. It is undoubtedly a big enough subject for an entire blog post, if not a book. But for painters, in brief, I would suggest having a lot of paper or canvas. No one thing is “too precious.”

    B & W: Yes, more DOT therapy. And more Dots to come to my art soon…love those dots.

    Oliag: creating is my passion. And we all have creativity in us waiting for us to express ourselves.

    Emese: Wow girl! What an amazing photographer you are! A lot of life force going on at your blog! So, are you in a place of fierce courage, or is this easy for you? (Not that fierce courage can’t be easy…) What ever it is, it is working! Thanks for visiting.

  14. Thank you for your kind words! I am not really a photographer... I begun to take pictures a couple of months ago, after a rough period of my life, I needed something not to go crazy... And it seems that it works… :) Courage? I don t know… Just me, my feelings…
    But I truly admire your works! Congratulation!

  15. Wonderful work you show here...and your "assistant" is adorable....your assistant better watch out for flying paint as
    my own "assistant" had to walk the streets with PINK spots all over his cream colored fur ,,,the neighbors were calling him the Punker Cat but all the other cats were very envious.


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