contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Monday, May 4, 2009

Meanwhile in the Studio

“Nothing determines the success of your creative life more than doing it.” – Ian Roberts
Don’t you just love to make art? My current small pieces are Bone Prayers. They are 8 inches by 8 inches, and on birch panel. The panel is ¼ inch thick plywood that Kurt mounts on a box he constructs. (I promise more details this weekend, when I can get him to tell me about it, and take photos.) The birch panel itself is very smooth. I apply two coats of gesso prior to beginning the painting or collage. All four of the prayers are in the final stages. I am calling this one done …but you know how that goes…if it is in the studio it is subject to alterations. I’m happy with it, so I will try and focus on the others and leave this one alone.
I create the texture by applying paint, taking some back off with a variety of techniques, sanding between layers, adding transfers, writing with graphite, and using crayon d’arch, a high quality water color crayon. It is all sealed with acrylic medium. I really enjoy the process, which extends over several studio sessions to allow drying time and time to ponder the direction the piece is headed. I kept the design simple, so the textures and organic shapes could be complex. As I work, I think about my subject matter, and personal meaning. These prayers are humble, and are about the connections I have experienced in the past with my loved ones. Love is the skeleton of a relationship, and hence these are Bone Prayers – of gratitude and appreciation.


  1. Leslie---I love that you said "these are bone prayers"--that SO speaks to me right now. It is so raw, so emotional, so real. You really know how to take it "down to the bone", so to speak. It is right where I need to be myself and I am thankful for your work and posts. Can't wait to read the post about the birch ply...I will be trying it!

  2. Like walking into a huge sky on an endless day.....

  3. beautiful! do I really see handwriting there?... looks as a wonderful detail. love this one!!!

  4. Hi Leslie,

    I like this one very much! Look forward to learning more about the birch frames. Just popped over to Betsy's place. The art is interesting. Looking at her in the breathing apparatus, you'd think she was doing something dire!!

  5. Ah yes, Leslie, do leave this one alone, it is splendid as is!!
    But who am I to say this, you're the maker! Thanks for your art and your musings on making it,


  6. I have no more words for how much I like your art. The texture in this one is phenomenal.

  7. Perfection. I used to paint a lot. I know that can be hard to stop sometimes; never quite satisfied. One more brush stroke. One more tad of color here. One more angle there.

    This one is just beautiful.

  8. I have really been enjoying this series. This one really speaks to me. I love the textures and the composition. Wonderful creation.

  9. so much care from the beginning, creating the boxes to the finished painting......

  10. beautiful leslie. This whole series really speaks to me as well. Reading your words and thoughts behind them are such a gift as well.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my blog post. I like how you put it- creating from a place of gratitude. I often feel that my paintings are prayers/mediations to/with God.

  11. Lovely words in your post Leslie - thank you for sharing your process - look forward to Kurt's contribution!

  12. The feel of a busy, bustling airport.
    The spider webbed veins in the lower part,,,mysterious,,,and I like the whole thing a ton!

  13. Such depth. Such layering. Such detail. This series is exceptional. And yes...I do love making art!

  14. I love the textures. I wish I could touch it.

  15. Beautiful, Leslie. I love your textures and it was a special treat to hear you talk about what they mean to you.

  16. I am visualizing you working on your Bone Prayers in your studio. The feeling I get is contentment and it's contagious.

  17. I love this piece, the serenity, the depth, the prayer. Beautiful art, wonderful post. Thank you.

  18. I love the spirituality in the notion of Bone Prayers.

  19. This piece is really beautiful: an oasis at the heart of a desert! The prayer intention is like open arms.
    Love it!

  20. I see you have the wishbone a header...the best is being showcased..

  21. Teri: coming soon – the birch box post!

    Annie: I like the idea of a huge sky.

    Luisa: Thank you. Yes, lots of handwriting. I am glad you are happy to be home.

    Derrick: I found the photos of Betsy in her respirator with two torches in her hands to be fascinating!

    Regina: So far so good – I haven’t changed it.

    Mary: Lately I am out of words too. I am one of your fans you know.

    Patty: Knowing when to stop – a skill one develops I think. I hope.

    Miki: Thank you. I am glad it speaks to you. I know what you mean.

    Jeane: I hadn’t thought about it that way. Thank you.

    Bridgette: Creating from a place of gratitude feels right. I find painting can be very meditative. Thank you.

    Ms. R. Rose: the birch box post – soon! Very soon!

    Babs: Thank you. I liked these webbed veins too.

    Seth: We love to make art – Yes!

    Kim: I wish you could touch it too. I run my fingers over my paintings a lot.

    Shyla: Thank you. I love textures. And your blog by the way.

    Robyn: Many feelings in the studio while I worked on these – and contentment is one.

    Kathleen: Thank you. There is depth, which I love.

    Willow: Yes, spiritual. Thank you.

    Marie: Oh, I like that “prayer intention.”

    Grrl: Wish Bone – I wish I could send it to you.

  22. there's something haunting about the pieces in this series, and the quote at the top of this post is so true...


Thank you for stopping by! Please sign the guest book and let me know what you think. Join the conversation. It's fun!