contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Artful Conversations

Breeze At Dawn
Leslie Avon Miller

The artist fills space with an attitude. The attitude never comes from himself alone.
~William de Kooning

One of the things I enjoy about the blogging community is all the conversation that goes on in the comments sections. The topics of Authentic Voice and Language of Intuition have been especially interesting. Here is a sample of the conversation with examples of the artist's work.

Book of Reliquaries
Judy Wikenfeld

If I don't use my authentic voice then nothing happens, no art, no inspiration - blank canvas as it were. ~Judy

Robert Kingston

I always noticed an awkward, clumsy mark or move that kept showing up in my work and I felt that if I could just get rid of that my work would be so much better. No matter what I tried though that clunky thing kept popping up again and again! It took me years until it finally dawned on me that that odd goofy thing was actually me! Everything else was just me putting on other people's clothes. Now I try to embrace who and what I am although Its still so easy to forget and to fall into emulating the flavor of the month. ~Robert

Bare Bones
Jo Reimer

One can riff off another's voice, sort of like jazz musicians do. ~Jo

I'll lean on you and you lean on me and we'll be okay.
~Dave Mathews Band

Ralph Bohnenkamp

I am always looking for the authentic voice. ~Ralph

When you do things from your soul,
you feel a river moving in you, a joy. ~Rumi

Beyond Form
Bridgette Guerzon Mills

I experienced that weeping for joy the last time I was in my studio and was working on the last painting I created for 2010. It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, it is a spiritual moment, I think. It's such an amazing and uplifting feeling. I wish I could carry it with me all the time...well, I try. ~Bridgette

Inner City Found Object Assemblage
Don Pezzano

Without our true voice we are just bumping into things with a paintbrush in our hand. ~Don

Seedpod of the Leopard Tree
Sophie Munns

I will never cease to be amazed at how one can view the work of another and almost feel you want to be there doing that....and yet it can be a long way from what lives in oneself to do. I've found it quite mysterious at times to feel I'm drawn to a certain fields of work quite powerfully and consistently yet that is not what I'm about at the end of the day....I have to stay true to what issues forth from myself even if it doesn't always make sense!
Being authentic no matter what is the stronger pull. ~Sophie


So often voices sound homogenized, and I can't tell who is speaking and from where--and then when you find authentic sound your heart hears it, knows it! ~Mansuetude

The landscape listens and we hear it call our own name.
~Emily Dickinson


  1. What a rich and inspiring post, Leslie! Your Breeze at Dawn is a refreshing start to my day. Stunning piece! I enjoyed Roberts Kingston's remark about "that odd goofy thing was actually me!" I had a similar experience:-)

  2. Hey Leslie,
    Breeze at dawn - so stunning. light , bright and tranparent in my morning. Love it.

    Sometimes there are too many voices around me.
    My own voice I have not heard for a while so clearly. Now I hear it crystal clear again and am very happy with it.
    Yes, it is sometimes difficult to listen only.
    But it is even harder for the right words to listen.

  3. Love the art collection and the quotes. All ring so true.
    And of course the lovely freshness of a breeze at dawn!

  4. Wow, some really great artists to look at here, thank you.
    I like what R.Kingston wrote, made me laugh in recognition.
    Your piece here is very lovely. And it immediately reminded me of one of my own! Like minds...:

  5. Beautiful compilation of quotes very inspiring and your art is awesome! I like your blog and your art! Thanks for this post.

  6. Leslie, your 'Breeze at Dawn' is fabulous, so restrained yet full of information.
    Thank you for all the quotes and examples of artists work, I am afraid that rather too many of the quotes are relevant to myself.

  7. A beautiful post, full of wonderful images and inspiring words. Thank you.

  8. And,

    you sing arias with your

    authentic voice...

  9. LAM - an experienced artist once said to me - just follow your art journey - create what feels right for you. There is often a tension between creating what feels right for us and what might sell or what we might be recognised for. The fact that only 10% of all artists in all form or art can make a decent living from their art offers us the unique opportunity to be authentic and follow our own journey. B

  10. Great words, great images, and a great new look. Thanks Leslie for sharing your creative joy with the rest of us xoxoxoxo

  11. All wonderful artists offering great insight to their work.

    I'm so intrigued by what Robert Kingston said about "that odd goofy thing." Perhaps I would free myself up more if I could just accept the odd goofy thing that is me.

    Great post Leslie! I will return later with a cup of coffee.

  12. Another insightful post Leslie. Thank you.

  13. A gorgeous compilation of interesting words and art. You've given me yet more to add to my ever expanding list of blogs to read!

  14. thanks for my "magazine" read this nice when i see you have a new post! your directed energy is such a gift

  15. Bravo Leslie!
    What joy to visit here tonight. I savoured the post and every corner of the blog...! You've tinkered and finessed and deliberated on each part to make a beautiful whole. I'm honoured to have appeared here... but more than that... its restored something to me in a moment when I've lost my studio (unexpectedly) and found myself so busy with critical demands that paint brushes are temporarily packed away.
    This past month has washed away some things it was possibly good to wash away... and now you have brought back in to view something precious and timeless ... and offered for reflection an all important sense of a shared journey across many miles around this globe... many of us sharing what's so valuable to us all.
    And you noticing...
    and taking the care to bring forth...
    thank you indeed Leslie!

  16. I especially like your painting! Really nice! It is to practice with a pure heart and allows the authentic voice to speak.

  17. I do feel the connections we are making right around the globe. We are solitary in our studios, but when we can speak of the process, we find we have much in common.

    Sophie I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your studio! I hope you find a new place very soon.

  18. Thank you Leslie for including my painting and my comment that I had left for you here!

    This really spoke to me: "Now I try to embrace who and what I am although Its still so easy to forget and to fall into emulating the flavor of the month. ~Robert

    That is so so important, especially in this day and age where we are all constantly bombarded with images and what people are doing via social media.

    Thank you for the wonderful inspiring posts you create and bringing so many different voices together.

  19. This is a wonderful post Leslie-- connecting comments on voice and authenticity with great quotes is inspiring and then showcasing the artworks that represent unique 'voices' is brilliant.

  20. What an inspiring post again. It all looks so simply: some pics + quotes + comments. But all together it gives a beautiful insight view on the creative process and "the odd goofy things". Thank you for sharing.

  21. What an inspiring post again. It all looks so simply: some pics + quotes + comments. But all together it gives a beautiful insight view on the creative process and "the odd goofy things". Thank you for sharing.

  22. What an inspiring post again. It all looks so simply: some pics + quotes + comments. But all together it gives a beautiful insight view on the creative process and "the odd goofy things". Thank you for sharing.

  23. Ooops! And my odd goofy thing posted it three times......

  24. Leslie,
    I also feel honored to be published here. Many thanks!!

    I am very excited about your picture "Breeze At Dawn"
    and from your new header.
    Your posts are a great joy and enrichment for more!

  25. Very powerful words and images, Leslie. I agree with Sophie that it's easy to find yourself wanting to do what someone else does. When I've tried it, though, it never worked. The authentic voice always comes through, at least in my experience; it's not possible to speak with someone else's voice. Thank you for sharing this inspiration!
    I love the feeling of Breeze at Dawn- so beautiful!

  26. Thanks for bringing the thoughts of the artists to us.

  27. I found this blog by chance, maybe not chance- a guiding hand maybe?

  28. Yesterday I found Rebecca Crowell--today I found you. I am brand new to blogging, what a discovery--there are actually other people in this blogosphere just like me. I've been painting and writing like this in virtual seclusion since the mid 70's, imsgine. The only interface I've had is the gallery scene--never first had contact with really great process motivated artists--and my work always got the bum's rush. Always got that vacant look form the non-artist gatekeepers. But here you all are--my people. This is overwelming! Thank you for this blog site from the bottom of my heart. Wm

  29. Leslie, I very much like that you've mined the riches of the comments on your 'authentic voice' post. Adding images to the comments is a wonderful way of extending the conversation. I was taken then with Robert Kingston's comment about mark making and ownership and now seeing his work makes it that much more powerful. Thank you!

  30. Tremendous post. Thanks Leslie for providing a platform for these very authentic voices and their beautiful artwork.

  31. I was thinking yesterday how to write about silence; here, Breeze at Dawn full of such essential sensual awareness emerging from a place of solitude, answers something in that idea. Satisfies it.
    wealth. That's what i think of from my online experience. shared teaching and self wealth.
    thought of you many times these weeks while reading and listening, the ideas of "authentic voice" kept jumping out at me all the more for your highlighting it.

    The poet Williams said "a new ryhthm is a new mind" and one should write from that. To make possibly a language of our own; and i can see that idea in the marks, the rhythms of the painters and collage artists too. Thank you.

  32. Oh Leslie, these words and sentences are all so beautiful together, and by themselves... ane the art pieces as well. Thank you for this. roxanne

  33. an interesting post and some wonderful links to fantastic artists. you keep us thinking along our way.

  34. I really enjoyed eavesdropping on these artful conversations. So lifeful are the words and the art. "Breeze at Dawn" has a wonderful delicacy and lightness.

  35. Hello Leslie,

    I was wandering around and found you on two of my favorite blogs: Ralf Bohnenkamp and Sophie Munns.
    Finding our artistic voice often seems difficult, outside of ourselves. I am realizing that the voice has and is always inside us. Waiting patiently for us to notice and listen.

  36. Thank you for a wonderful comment on my blog today and for this post which resonates with the thoughts I'm currently having regarding being authentic and true to self. As others have written, we are bombarded with images and it can be easy to be seduced into using things we aren't naturally drawn to, because someone else has been clever with those things. You're blog is really inspiring and the visual candy, sigh. wow!


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