contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Meandering, Contemplating and Visioning

I feel like an explorer, or an archaeologist, or a botanist. I have been exploring and am focused on patterns in nature. A swath of weeds standing in a staccato pattern attracts my eye, as do the wavy marks of an insect eating its way through tree bark. I have been digging through my past creative endeavors to find my personal patterns. I do tend towards vertical movement and lines. I have a pattern of diving space nearly in half; an even and equal division. And I am – once again – focused on the beauty of fallen leaves as they make their way from living thing to skeleton. I find myself walking slowly, gaze on the earth in front of me, scanning for beauty. I find irregular circles, curly lines and little speckles. I hear patterns in the bird calls. The male California quail with his persistent call to his brood as he watches over them from a high perch strikes me as an auditory pattern. I wonder what it would look like if I drew his call.

And I am wandering through the blogs of creative people everywhere. I think to myself how much more “real” this is than the mainstream media “news”. The creativity in the world is astounding and causes me to feel optimistic and peaceful. I am drawing – mark making and pattern creating. I hold the delicate tissue papers I have created and find small worlds and patterns that mimic nature and I am well pleased. I love the minimalism and softness of these papers. I continue to create individual pages for my artist book. The work is slow and that’s okay.

In other news, my friend collage artist Donna Watson has joined the blogging community and has her blog here. I am excited that she has started blogging. I know she is a committed artist who is authentic and generous. Her work always stops me in my tracks. She sure knows how to put together a collage!


  1. Lovely, thoughtful post Leslie.
    Sounds like you are doing lot's of peaceful walking...hope you finds lots of inspiration out there :)
    Thanks for Donna's blog link too.

  2. These are just beautiful Leslie - a worthy recipient of my blog award - see my latest post! I find your work inspirational - something I really want to do is combine my love of walking with my art!! And you have done it so beautifully!

  3. My head (and heart, and eyes) have been in a similar space as far as what's been moving me lately. Of course I'm not sure what to do with all of this inspiration (besides take photos) but maybe just noticing is enough.

    Everything here is beautiful. I'm especially drawn to the leaves. I took a leaf shot this past weekend that I think you'll like and will post it tomorrow morning. Come take a look!

  4. Hi Leslie,

    Glad you are finding your inspiration. I love pattern in the bottom pic! Also like your 'artist on break' pic; so colourful.

  5. Hi Leslie, I love this post! The top collage is my favorite and I love what you said about the 'news'.
    It is so nice to have a real 'world' of art blogging friends.

  6. So often I wake up and think about the things (artistic or not) I have to do. Immediately. This post has been the perfect wake up call for me. I should just "be" before I "do". I must explore. Thanks for an inspiring post.

  7. I love it when someone takes the time to appreciate the simple things and to actually SEE those things and feel them deeply. Your textures get to the heart of nature for me. Lovely work.

  8. you ARE such an artist AND "life coach", and art in itself, EVEN through your postings. your writing is as heartfelt as your pieces, as well it should be. and whenever i need a little boost, i come read your blog. always something there to kindle the spirit. wish i were closer to take a walk with you and willow!! fun to discovery that "other" johnny depp!! namaste!

  9. The tone of your post and your actions of late match where my head is. There is nothing like being out in the natural world to find inspiration and knowledge about how you fit into life's rhythms. Thanks for the link to Donna's blog. I have followed her work for several years and I feel a connection to what she creates and how she must view the world.

  10. Leslie, if you do draw the call of the quail, please provide a glimpse for us!

    The delicacy and subtlety of your artwork is quietly compelling, just as the patterns of nature compel. How smart to step back and observe your own patterns.

  11. Your introspective posts are very is a walk in the country connecting with nature. Your wanderings and gatherings inspire me..
    Now let me check out your friends new blog.

  12. These are remarkable - the top two took my breath away - like golden pollen in the stiff wind flying.

  13. The title of your post says it all! I love how you have taken on the viewpoints of the botanist,explorer and archaeologist...and then returned those sights to your studio, to your beautiful papers. Lovely.
    Thank you for the link to Donna Watson's blog.

  14. Leslie--I love the looks of these! I guess I am mostly attracted to things related to nature. I seem to find most things that I do or like are related to leaves, rocks, shadows, etc. I took a bunch of photos the other day of shadows. I am still trying to figure out where they will be going. Great stuff you are doing. Thinking, walking...what could be better??!!

  15. introspection, a very good thing - looks like your break is breathing fresh air into your creative space - really like the work in progress in your sidebar :)

  16. here from m heart to say this collection of images says to me to look ahead...your work is an inspiration.

  17. India – especially this time of year, when the walking is good.

    Jo – You are welcome. Lots of day job work, but I am compelled to work.

    Ms. Rose – I enjoyed reading the 7 things about you at your blog!

    m – I think noticing is everything. I love the patterns in your leaf.

    Derrick – I knew you would like the colorful photo of my gatherings.

    jgr – these are 2 collages followed by 2 photos. I didn’t make that very clear.

    Kim – our society is all about “do”, but “be” has so much to offer.

    Zappha – Thank you. Textures are everywhere. I see them in nature because I am not in an urban setting.

    Nancy – I am enjoying all the creative energy going on at your blog.

    Margaret – “knowledge about how you fit into life’s rhythms” – so well said.

    San – I heard the quail again. I am beginning to “see” the marks of his call.

    Robyn – walks in nature – they are like bread, wine and love. Basic to my well being.

    John – thank you. Your words create a great visual – “golden pollen flying…”

    Mary Ann – Thanks. the exploration is helping me find my ground…

    Teri – love the shadow images – like mark making.

    Jeane – thank you. I have ideas about the side bar which may lead to something.

    Anonymous – “look ahead” – good idea. Thank you.

  18. The top 2 pieces are very nice Leslie.

  19. i am not sure if this is a finished piece pictured
    but where ever it is going
    or if it is there
    it has a quiet composure that softly speaks
    the colors offer just enough to pull your eye to the piece and ask it to continue where it might go


  20. You meander beautifully!
    Aren't those leaves gorgeous? I was studying leaves today,,,,.
    Top collage is awesome, oh, and thanks for the link to Donna!

  21. What beautiful images - they are almost spectral, otherworldly but also so grounded in and by nature. It takes amazing talent to make something look like that. Well done.

  22. Isn't it amazing, what we can find under our noses, if we look deep enough? If we pay attention to detail? Beauty within grasp.

  23. "And I am wandering through the blogs of creative people everywhere. I think to myself how much more “real” this is than the mainstream media “news”."

    I have the exact same impression.

    And I love the leaves in your third picture.

  24. Looking at all the textures, shapes, colors, lines in natures is a good source for paintings.


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