contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Contemporary Collage Art

I love an art which allows me to document my place in this mix... This is my past and my future. It has its own logic and finally, its own sense of fulfillment.

~Burton Silverman

Yesterday was a banner mail day because my exchange collage from the International Collage Exchange arrived. I got to sit down and look through my new collection, one by one. Each collage is unique and beautifully presented. They came from Germany, New Zealand, The United Kingdom, Belgium, Bulgaria and the USA. I’ll get them all scanned in and share some with you soon.

Collage artists often tend to behave like squirrels or pack rats, gathering all kinds of materials and storing them away for eventual incorporation into their art work.”

~Gerald Brommer

Does that sound like you? It certainly sounds like me!

The collage above is a new one of mine in my on-going experiment with abstracted figurative art, loosely based on my interpretations of tribal art. I have several more in process, awaiting resolution. I find it interesting to push and see just how abstract they can be and still read as a figure.

Sometimes I am asked about collage and techniques. If you are interested in collage I recommend the book Collage Techniques, A Guide for Artists and Illustrators by Gerald Brommer. It was published in 1994, and has fabulous examples from artists I admire including Katherine Chang Liu, Peggy Brown, Fred Otnes, Kurt Schwitters, Edward Betts, Alexander Nepote and many others.

Obviously, the newest techniques for digital collage are not discussed, as they hadn’t been invented yet. The topics Mr. Brommer discusses apply no matter your approach, including materials and techniques, subject matter and design. To learn more about the book go

Artist’s statements intrigue me. They are an important piece of graceful promotion of your art. I have discussed one of my favorite examples at my other blog, Create Your Best Life Coaching.

Have a great week everyone!


  1. Hi Leslie,
    Your new collage is elegant, it has a sense of an etching, aquatint...
    and the collage exchange sounds great and inspiring.

    Thanks for your comments on my 'book cover' post, Yes, it is my painting, sorry I wasn't as clear as I thought on that!
    I'd love to show you some of my poetry, at the moment I dont' have it consolidated anywhere, just here and there on the blogs. I will take your comments as a form of motivation (as you are a motivational coach!) to work harder on putting them together into 'form'.
    Meanwhile, if you have a chance to check out some of Jane's work, either the recent book I posted the cover of, or The Meditations, I think you will enjoy them, especially for their abstract plus visual qualities, and for the love of language...
    best wishes,

  2. Great collage-I love the quote from Gerald Brommer.

  3. Looking forward to seeing some of the examples once you've got them scanned, Leslie.

  4. I always knew I was squirrelly!! LOL!!

  5. This new piece just makes me say "mmmmmmmm". Wonderful. While I love figures in art, I find the more abstracted they are, the more I am drawn into the piece. I find the greatest enjoyment in viewing art is when my eyes can weigh different materials and colors, sort out scale and balances and ponder the placement of shapes and marks.

    Gerald Brommer's book is the one book I pull out every time I feel blocked. A fantastic reference book in an area where there is an increasing amount of "fluffy" how-to books.

  6. This is a lovely post, Leslie...and your collage is beautiful! Strong yet subtle, good positioning of forms. I have been considering my marketing angle this week and trying to stay positive. Thank you.

  7. I so like this abstracted figure in your work!
    How wonderful receiving these beauties in the mail. I visited the site and was amazed at the diversity of collages.
    Collage Techniques is a 'must have' in every collage artists studio.
    I've had a great time here...thank you!

  8. What a great collage again !

  9. Whether it is surprising or not, but this collage has some strong personal associations for me. And I love that almost suppressed quality of it.

  10. .... and another squirrely pack rat over here, busy gathering the acorns of information in this post and squirreling them away for when I need them.

  11. Your work always has a slightly Asian flavour which is a definite love of mine. You have an exquisite sense of composition and there is always something so startlingly unique in each of your pieces.

    Now I am lusting after this book!

  12. Thanks for introducing me to Gerald Brommer's work in Collage. Zen Dot noted that she was lusting after the book & I'll be checking out Amazon soon enough!

    Your work has a great elegance of line that makes me want to leap into the studio, pick up a bottle of ink and a quill and experiment on rice paper flecked with threads, watching the swirls of ink emerge under my hand.

    Thank you for your acorns of wisdom:)

  13. This pack rat pleads guilty.

    How can we throw anything away
    when it's truly another piece
    of some beautiful puzzle ?

  14. p.s.

    your new collage has a very special elegance ... . love it.

  15. Very nice!
    I at first read "college" for "collage" for the first part of your post...and was so puzzled... :)

  16. your new figurative collage piece is interesting-- when I first saw it I thought I saw a 'figure' and then I read that this is your new series- great theme-- looking forward to seeing the collages from the exchange.

  17. This piece just makes me sigh! It is a championship combination of color, composition, texture, and feeling!!

  18. Aaah, the feeling of a lovely female walking in the woods.
    My favorite figures are abstract also.
    So looking forward to seeing some of your exchanged collages!

  19. Beautiful work- subtle with it's color- and love the wonderful design and composition. I am such a growing collage pack rat with drawers now overflowing!!

  20. Subtle , rich and elegant
    as ever, Leslie

    you make me want to paint again!

  21. I'm swooning over your new elegant and spare. The sqirrel comment seems to be striking a cord here...yup...for me too. I keep my home tidy as can be but my studio is a storehouse of 'I will use that in something someday' and I love that part of being an interested and curious and always exploring creative's so much fun!

  22. A great collage. I'm intrigued by Gerald Brommers book and will certainly check it out. This is my first visit to your blog - via Iona -I shall definitely be back! Also thank you for bringing the International Collage Exchange to my attention - what a wonderful idea.

  23. Beautiful work, Leslie! It does read as a figure, but also as a nonobjective abstract composition. Either way, it is superbly balanced as a whole. And yes, I'm guilty of being quite a squirrel myself; who knows when you might need that - ?

  24. I seem to have missed this when you first posted it but I am very glad that I have caught up with it now. Your collage is very stylish and sophisticated, I love the barely recognisable figure. It must be very exciting to receive your package from the International Collage Exchange, I look forward to seeing some in due course.
    Finally thank you for introducing me to the book by Gerald Brommer.

  25. I got so carried away when visiting your gorgeous blog the other night Leslie that I forgot to leave a comment... it was late I think!
    So much here to reflect on... lovely to return,
    ps thanks for your comment

  26. really gorgeous Leslie, an elegance and refinement that shows no sign of squirrelly-ness (but yeah, I can totally relate! My squirreling needs some sorting...). I definitely feel the tribal influences as well. I appreciate it even more when clicking and zooming in for a good look at the details and textures. thank you!

  27. ..un livre en français : l'art du collage de martin monestier..
    vos collages sont d'une douceur et d'une force.. c'est beau!

  28. Oh dear. I did not join in the int. Collage Exchange thius year.. and now I see what you received in the mail I am kicking myself! We had a family wedding and I have been doodling a day instead. Next year!
    I love your colours ..wonderful.

  29. I haven't visited your blog in awhile and I've missed your wonderful creations. So inspiring! Thank you for sharing you exchange colleges. How generous to exchange these wonderful works of art. You are so fortunate to be a part of this group.


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