contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Friday, November 12, 2010

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around...


I want to make art. I have time.

Walk and take photographs.


Flat efforts.

Tidy working space.

Look at my art.

Tidy living space.

Look at other people’s art.

Read about other people’s art.

That’s what that’s about?

Look up the word oeuvre.

That’s a big word.

Not in size. In meaning.

Read poetry.

Read more poetry.

Organize poetry collection.

Stumble upon rich quote.

Laughter and gaiety.

Thinking, thinking.

Feed the cats, and find comfort in the


See the daylight begin to fade.

Realize what it’s about for me.

Make a list of words.

A map for my work.

It’s all ok.

I kind of know what I am saying.

I am exploring, seeking, finding.

Choosing. Integrating. Releasing.

Look up the word imbue.

That one will work.

I’ve found the door to get

back in

my art.

The poem:

On Becoming the Poet You Were Meant to Become

(note to self)

Many poets are not poets
for the same reason that
many religious men are not saints:
they never succeed in being themselves.
They never get around to being the particular poet
or the particular monk they are intended to be by God.
They never become the man or the artist who is called
for by all the circumstances of their individual lives.

They waste their years in vain efforts
to be some other poet, some other saint…

They wear out their minds and bodies in a hopeless endeavor
to have somebody else's experiences or write somebody else's poems.

There is intense egoism in following everybody else.
People are in a hurry to magnify themselves
by imitating what is popular—
too lazy to think of anything better.

~Thomas Merton

The quote:

I tell you, we are here on Earth

to fart around, and don't let

anyone tell you any differently.

~Kurt Vonneget

They mean the same thing.


  1. i LOVE your new blog header photo. love the look of this and of course got sucked into the title per my google reader about being here to fart around :)
    love it

  2. Hello Leslie,
    I had fun discovering your many treasures.
    I invite you to read my journey of sorts : and

    Peace and passion with he(art) ©
    Betty Esperanza

  3. YOu are being so cute here..

    Having a day like that today too..
    wafting through like a ghost of myself.

  4. Love the carefree feeling of this post. Love the exploration of what its like for you to simply be present. Such a delicious day, walking and making art and looking at art and feeding the cats, and so on. I feel the richness of this wonderful day. What more could we ask for but to live this simply and deeply? Thanks for the reminder

  5. I usually call it wafting around but Kurt Vonneget's quote has set the tone for the day. Love this post.... My kind of day!

    "I've found the door to get back in my art" ..... Yay!

  6. Hello Leslie - love the new header and thank you for the words - brilliant timing and just what I needed! Have been very lax in visiting my blogger friends lately which now makes me think it is easy to miss gems like this

  7. what an encouraging post leslie. . brilliantly written, and applies to so many of us ! h.x.

  8. Incredibly beautiful. I like the earthy colors , the structures and streaks of color.
    thank you for your comment on my blog. Unfortunately I can not so good english. And now I'm not sure what it means.

  9. I seem to fart around most days, Leslie, when I'd far rather have a shop full of customers!!

  10. Awesome! I love both quotes, and I'm quite sure they do mean the same thing. I thank you for your insight and encouragement- this is exactly what I needed to hear.

  11. You, Merton and Vonneget seem to get it!

    I love the words about your day -- humorous, rich and eye-opening.

    Thank your for sharing all of these words and thoughts with us, Leslie.

  12. lovely, intriguing words, thoughts, ideas, sparks of inspiration . . I too today am spending time creating, splattering, spilling, seeing and experimenting, and I love it.

    Happy weekend to you :)


  13. absolutely great post Leslie, you have captured some of my days as well and I love that Vonneget quote !!

  14. The image at the start of your post is fantastic and your poetic description of your day and the quote by Thomas Merton are both uncomfortably close to home. Very often I could be the subject of either of them.

  15. YES!! Now I'm going to celebrate your liberating post by doing just that.

  16. I especially love the first poem, which so well describes the way I often flow through a day. Hoping from this to that, yet they are all connected. Love the photos of your artist book in the sidebar. Create on, Suki

  17. Hi everyone. I'm glad this sparked something for you too.

    We need time to find ourselves and our art, time to explore and time to meander.

    That in-between state can be a bit uncomfortable for me, so it helped to chronicle my efforts to find the door to my art.

    And how could we resist the Vonneget quote? It's so naughty but fun to use words like "fart" in a blog post title!

  18. This so resonates with what is in my heart at present; I am so grateful for the presence of blogs; acquaintances calm me when life becomes stressful.

  19. we're here to
    that's pretty much it
    as far as i can make out

  20. Perfect! so right Leslie - the process of farting around is so important, to gather all the threads and get to the begining of something new.

  21. Well, I've been farting around all day and I have the paint on my fingers to prove it! I hope you do too!

  22. I wish we had little "thumbs up" signs as we do on facebook. I'd be hitting thumbs up on all your comments!

  23. Hi Leslie - your description of the day is so apt for my days - filled with fleeting connections and jumps here and there. Thomas Merton is remarkable. I love the sense of this poem and how we can only truly be ourselves and our work. And Kurt - I laughed out loud! I like that you had paint on your fingers at the end of the day - I had rust and ink and glue so all is well with the world. Thanks for continuing inspiration.

  24. L - Whilst cutting up old silver plated trays and cake stands today I reflected on your post, quotes and poems. In the end I thought fart applied particularly well to the creative side of art. I think it means - 'Fluffing Around until the Right Time' to create - the u is silent of course. Thanks for sharing and starting another discussion. B

  25. I love your style, very nice

  26. That sounds about right, a day in the studio. Wonderful post!

  27. When the word 'fart' appears in the blog lists . . . well, one cannot resist, can one? Wonderful entry, Leslie!

  28. Wonderful post!
    best regards, Ralf

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Here, here Leslie!
    Sometimes poetry is the only answer to art. I have been enjoying that combination very much of late and I Love both Vonnegut and Merton. (I consider them both comrades of mine!).

  31. Dear Leslie, mostly here what I love are your words, the story of your day... the wonderful day of an artist free to exlplore! And your paiting!! I have most of today to fart around too... roxanne

  32. I've been M.I.A. in the Blogworld recently, but I'm so glad I didn't miss this post.
    The painting is your usual awesome,,and hey, any word good enough for Kurt is good enough!

    I do an awful lot of what I usually call putzing around,and I have clay under my nails or paint on my fingers most of the time.
    When I don't, I'm thinking about it. Like now.
    Thanks for the fun, Leslie!
    Maybe Blogger takes requests,,,surely they could give us some thumbs to stick up,,,,don't you think?
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  33. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I give thanks for each of you and I hope we all get to fart around!

  34. This sounds like the perfect day!

  35. Leslie--I like both your opening lines and Thomas Merton's. They are so helpful to me reading them today-a kind of guidepost for letting my winds carry me where they may!

  36. Placing words from Vonnegut in the same context as Thomas Merton is very Leslie, Leslie being herself.

    Thank you for being you on this day. And all days.

  37. What an amazing post-- Fun yet deep and thoughtful-- how clever and wise.
    I am getting back into the blog world and see I have missed some posts while in Hawaii. I will have to read through your post again.

  38. Yes, every day should be fun! And looks like you are enjoying the process, thumbs up!!

  39. Dear Leslie, I just want to thank you for visiting my blog and leave some comments.It has been a privileg for me.
    I love your work very, very much!
    Unfortunatly my English is not good...., I would be glad to verbalized it much better...,
    many regards, Anna

  40. What an amazing post and how beautifully written!
    Being creative is both a great joy and a a burden because one is so astoundingly busy.
    Thank you for your kind words about Buster.

    I have posted all of the JANE story but need to add the photos.

    All best wishes

  41. that day sounds just wonderful - I hope you have many more like it!

  42. you, thomas, kurt... all brilliant...

    thank you...


  43. Just wanted to say hello, and that I love your tumblr blog. I love the new look here, the background and the banner. Thank you for all your inspiration... roxanne

  44. whenever I am feeling high on my horse I read Merton, I love him, thanks for your thoughts!

  45. Great quote from Vonnegut; enjoyed reading your blog post too!

  46. Fabulous quotations and poems, Leslie.
    How we should try to live inside them
    and understand them......
    How true their philosophy is.

    On a lighter note

    SEASON"S GREETINGS and blessings to you and yours.

    Buster, the philosopher, sends licks and says: go for a nice walk out side and look around.
    That is very good for you.


  47. I found your blog through Seth Apter. I just love everything about it (mostly the art), but I'm in love with the blog background, content resources in the sidebar. I'll be back often. Thanks for sharing your beautiful art.

  48. Ah. And my dawg who loves and has been eating garbanzo beans Literally agrees with you ( and kurt).

    Love the allusion to an arch- ing full branch in painting.

    Some irony in merton's words considering the internet for me. Vs his silence.

    Thank you

  49. Beautiful! Love the Today poem.
    So pure. The essence.

  50. Marry Christmas and all the Best for You and your family.
    Greetings from Bavaria

  51. Thankyou for your lovely comments on my work
    look forward to seeing new work from you in the new year.
    Merry christmas

  52. Dear Leslie, I don´t want to miss the opportunity to wish you and your family merry christmas, and all the the for the New Year 2011! Thanks for all your comments! I have enyoyed everyone...,best regards, Anna


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