contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It Takes A Long Time To Look

Prajna by Leslie Avon Miller

To look at a thing is very different from seeing a thing.

One does not see anything until one sees its beauty.

~Oscar Wilde

Mary Nomecos

It takes a long time to look.

~Mary Nomecos

In this video Mary talks about her art, about play, and painting.
I loved the close up views of her work.
You will see fabulous brushstrokes and mark making, which I perceive as beauty.

She says that it takes a long time to look,
and looking is an important part of her art practice.

Perceptive observation is seeing with your brain,

feeling with your eyes,

interpreting with your heart.

~Robert Wade

Nota Bene by Mary Nomecos

Prajna is the Tibetan word for clear seeing,

the innate intelligence we all possess deep inside

that allows us to look at ourselves and others with humility

and compassion, but without judgments of good or bad

attached to those observations.

~Cynthia Grahm

Wide Open by Mary Nomecos

The most satisfying and most basic art experience is looking

– pure, unmediated observation and sensation.

~Roy Thurston


  1. I love to look at art!

    If you can't see the video here, click on the link to Mary Nomecos and you will go to the gallery website where I originally found the video.

  2. Prajna is breathtaking. I gotta get out more. Thank you for sharing these stunning pieces and the video of Mary's world. My exposure to Prajna comes from my studies of Yogananda. In God Talks To Arjuna, he describes it as "discriminative Intelligence", Kashiraja. He says, "Prajna is not the mere intellect of the scholar, bound by logic, reason, and memory, but an expression of the Supreme Knower....and protects the devotee from entrapment by the cunning troops of false reasoning." Your title therefore seems quite appropriate, and to hear Mary's description of the same process of discriminative intelligence applied to artmaking is equally liberating. What a wonderful post, Leslie. Thanks again! I am so glad I've found your weblog, and your work. \\///\

  3. I love your work Leslie!
    and I am also delighted with the work Mary Nomecos.
    thanks for sharing with us!

  4. Prajna . . absolutely beautiful!! Wow! And beautiful title.

    I had seen Mary's work and video a while ago, surfing on you tube. Very expressive and interesting palette.

  5. Prajna, I would have thought of this as a lovely word even before you told me what it means, and your painting is, as usual, wonderful.
    I found the video enchanting and inspirational, thank you for this and for introducing me to the work of Mary Nemecos.

  6. Leslie Im with Ralf on this one
    Love your work , and enjoy looking at your layers,we can see inside the artist.
    I really enjoyed Mary Nomecos Video and paintings,shows that strong abstraction comes in all colour palettes.

  7. I truly love your painting and this is such a wonderful post. Mary is a treasure and her art is fabulous.

  8. Hallo Leslie,
    Prajna - All-encompassing wisdom and love.
    wonderful work.

    A long time to look - that's so true. and Oscar Wilde and his clever quotes - love him.
    Thanks for the vid - interesting artist.

  9. Beautiful, beautiful paintings and art practice. Thank you Leslie for the introduction to Mary's work.

  10. lovely new piece. you are on to something! and Mary is inspiring! and her work beautiful.

  11. Beautiful work, I like it very much.
    And thank you to let us discoverMary Nomecos.

  12. Beautiful video! I like Mary's work.

  13. Your piece is beautiful. And thank you for the introduction to Mary Nomecos and her work. Inspiring.

  14. This is such an exciting post Leslie and yet it is also calming. I want to read it again. Prajna is stunning! A resting place. I loved the video and Mary's beautiful work. Wouldn't you love to spend a few hours chatting with her in her studio?!

  15. Hi Leslie! I've just found your blog, through someone else's. I'm going to read back through your old posts, but wanted to leave a comment first. I love the art in this post, both yours and Mary's. And thank you so much for posting the link to the video about Mary and her work! I love love love the video. I suppose for me it's also about the looking. Such an inspiring video, such inspiring art. Thank you! ~ Sara

  16. I agree with everyone above. I didn't know about Mary and her work. I am off to take a long time looking at more of her wonderful paintings. Thank you!

  17. Hi William - "protection from entrapment by the cunning troops of false reasoning." Wow.

    Ralph - thank you. We seem to share a similar aesthetic.

    Jann, Ian, David, Z, Jacqui, Eric, ZDot, Karen, Eva, Lynn, Sara and Mary - thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed seeing Mary's work.

    And yes, Robyn, I would like to chat with Mary and see her studio. I enjoyed hearing about the school she attended which was non-competitive. Everyone striving for their personal best. That's how I see the blog world. We are all striving for our personal best and we are supportive of one another.

  18. Petras and Karin - thank you. Don't you just love finding an artist who's work you admire and enjoy?

  19. great post. your new painting is wonderful. and the video was such fun to watch. her art is so interesting and also her comments about her husband just made me chuckle.

    colette recalls in one of her stories how she would be out walking with her mother who would so often stop, point and say "Look."

  20. Suki: What a good point. We can be taught to "see". I know I learned from my Mom, and other artists. And scientists who observe things.

  21. I loved this post! Loved the video and seeing the work of this wonderful artist. I'd also like to let you know how much I enjoy your Tumblr-have discovered some wonderful artists from it. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Leslie, love your collage! and the video of Mary and her paintings is wonderful and I love all the quotes too.. great post!

  23. Your post itself is such a a beautiful example of "prajna"--clear sightedness, which, I think, is always a process, a becoming, just like art. Your piece "Prajna" has such a clear sense of breath, of space, of inquiry. Lovely.

  24. so refreshing
    thank you Leslie
    you always open my eyes anew...

    xox - eb.

  25. Thanks Carol. I do love Tumblr.

    Thank you Donna and Hannah.

    EB - and you the same for me. Thank you.

  26. We look at so much imagery on a daily basis- indeed, how much do we actually see?

  27. Very interesting textures and colors, suggestive and evocative. The works of Mary awakened my imagination.

  28. Yes! As I always say, Look, SEE, Think.

  29. So much about life is in the looking and in being open to really see. Thanks for sharing your vision with us!

  30. Leslie, loved popping over and seeing that video on Mary Nomecos. What fun to find it enclosed on your blog. A new artist of value. Thanks. Your work is looking lovely.

  31. Thank you for posting about MAry. Just loved the video and "seeing" her art for the first time...xx..julia

  32. I followed a link to your blog from Barry's site....and I'm so glad I did. I like your work very much and so many of the artists that you have highlighted. Inspiration galore! Thank you.

  33. Love your composition.
    And thanks for sharing the beautiful neutrals-with-color work of Mary.

  34. Thankyou Leslie for your welcome back.
    Your work has changed a great deal since i was last visiting, so contained and direct I really love it....mind our work is certainly different from each other but it is so great to share
    Best wishes.

  35. Dear Leslie I'm in love with your painting ... is strong and fragile at once, how is this possible? I do not know but I love it!

    Thanks a lot for sharing
    and a big hug,

  36. Hi Leslie

    wonderful paintings by Mary Nomecos. Really good. Thanks Terri.

  37. Hi Leslie
    A glorious a satisfying cuppa Art/Life nourishment. all living beings.

  38. I read an essay once, forgot the author, she was from England (sorry) but what she had to say, seemed so important. She said we should look at a painting as long as it took the artist to create it. It might take that long to allow the work to seep into our conscious. We live in such a "short hand world." I looked, I got it, move on, without really seeing, or understanding.

  39. just scrolled down here, late but happy. Love that video of Mary and her work. The way she is so down to earth, too. Pranja, yours and the Universal, beautiful.

    One does not see anything until one sees its beauty.

    ~Oscar Wilde

    thank you


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