contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Beauty of Small Things

Small Gestures, 6 x 6 collage by Leslie Avon Miller

First morning light subdued by high overcast backlights the forest out the east windows. Coffee is made and we slide into premium seats and become immersed in warm water under the morning sky. No conductor is apparent yet the symphony is in full swing. At times this is the most contemporary of music; the beep, beep, beep of a back up alarm sounding bird song in stereo, along with the harsh squawk of the Steller’s jay. In other movements, the lead soprano sings the refrain “pretty birdie, pretty birdie, pretty birdie” accompanied by the caw, caw of Raven, and percussion of the woodpeckers. The backup singers are peeping in a variety of tones and notes. The mourning doves softy inquire “who, who, who.” We observe the local mallard duck couple coming in sharply for a landing on the neighbor’s pond. They have been fondly named Fred and Ethel. Overhead, a couple of Canadian Geese honk as they whoosh by to land in a near by cow pasture.

The sky darkens and Winter gestures with a light snow fall, looking like spilled powered sugar on the frozen patio table, and melting in the warm tub water. I notice the garden rhubarb buds red, the first color in the vegetable garden. Talk turns to power tools. Yesterday we had a field trip to another artist’s studio, having been generously invited for a lesson on stretching large canvases. A planer is required; available in small, medium and fancy. The efficient spiral cutting head is explained to me; envision a rolling pin, with three spiral stair sets of cutting heads, called knives or blades. This is the superior device, with the largest price tag. “Perhaps” I think, “I should sell some art. Power tools are so appealing to the resident woodworker.”

Meanwhile, back inside we have poached eggs and grapefruit, watching a warm fire luring the cats to sprawl and doze. The hummingbird feeder has been filled and hung, awaiting the first visitor of the season.

I planned to write of beauty today, the beauty of art, and creating. Perhaps I have. My morning has been about the beauty of small things, and everyday moments, of nature, companionship and a perfect Sunday morning.

To see rich vibrant colors painted on silk depicting large exotic flowers and other elegant subjects, I suggest a visit to the web site of Karen Sistek. Some of her images have been transferred to lovely jackets. I tried one on during our studio visit, and found the jackets as comfortable as they are beautiful. Karen and her husband Rick shared with us their process for stretching large canvases. And to see contemporary work, I invite you to visit the blog of a new follower of this blog, artist Ian Macleod. His blog is new, and filled with visual posts of his work. I'm off to the studio.


  1. Wonderful prose, Leslie. I love each collage that you post, and the one today is absolutely lovely - the balance and harmony are superb. I have to catch up on some of your other posts, too, but thanks for your blog!

  2. A lovely post, following your instincts. All who read it will benefit. Thanks.

  3. love the idea of you sitting in the hot tub with the snow falling - as always, your work is lovely - sounds like canvas is looming -

  4. "Small Gestures" appears to my mind sufficiently and pleasingly spacious. The small spots at the upper left offer a finite quality. This would make an excellent design for stationery. Hints of richness, variety, and possibility make me feel like I would like to write on such a surface. This is a case where the artist goes on to powerfully inspire creativity in the viewer so much as to compel him or her to become a participant in the very same piece.

  5. Beautiful meandering post. (sipping steamy coffee here at 5.30 a.m. while admiring your collage)

  6. Wonderful Sunday morniing post, I could just imagine the sounds of your morning symphony.
    Beautiful piece you have here, lovely colors and markings.
    I'll visit your suggested blogs.

  7. "I planned to write of beauty" - you did. Thank you, it's a gorgeous post.

  8. Hello Leslie,

    I enjoyed joining you for the dawn chorus and the other sights and sounds! But we're lacking a hot tub!!

    A lovely relaxing morning.

  9. Absolutely beautiful piece of art. We have rain here and cooler weather for today, had to have the heater on, we'd forgotten what that was like. Thanks also for the links, I'll check them out.

  10. Your art and words do speak of beauty, of the changing season... of simple pleasures and love of life with all it's sounds and colors...roxanne

  11. I, too, find myself so attentive to each sign of change in spring's tentative progression. Colors and sounds become so important when measured against the silent, white of winter.

    Your description of the morning was lovely - as was your piece. Thank you.


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