contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Sunday, July 31, 2011

An Overdose of Satisfaction

There are some days when I think I'm going to die 
from an overdose of satisfaction. 
~Salvador Dali

There is something about creating collage on paper that I find very satisfying, more than any other substrate. Paper is friendly, tactile and receptive. It’s easy to manipulate during the process of creating a painting or collage. Paper has it’s own language.

Since I am the creator of the painting 
and the first real 'viewer' – 
when I feel satisfied, 
I put the brushes down and hope 
that someone else will feel satisfied too. 
~David Lussier

Presentation of art is important to me. I feel my work is enhanced by a simple, clean surrounding that allows the viewers eye to make the journey through the piece in a leisurely manner. 

Each piece is unique and takes its own time to be realized. 
I am not concerned with the quantity, but only that they
communicate my understanding of life and my craft at that particular time. 
~Sharon Knettell

When we started building the studio/wood working shop building, about 5 years ago, I was certain I needed a mat cutter so I could frame my works on paper. A local frame shop was going out of business, and I had been gifted a coupon from Kurt for a mat cutter once we decided which one to get. As luck would have it, the mat cutter was available when we got to the shop. We also obtained the wall mounted cutter for cutting glass and making straight cuts on anything from large paper to mat board. I use it often. 

The only person you have to please, 
with your art, is yourself. 
~Don Getz

For a time while the building project continued the cutters were stored where they would fit; awaiting the day they could be moved to the studio and put into use. We moved the cutters to the studio awhile ago, but this weekend we began to cut mats. 

You learn the essential skills, 
how to manipulate the brush and how to handle paint, 
and you study the works of artists you admire. After a while, though, 
you have to be yourself. 
That's scary, but satisfying. 
~T. M. Nicholas

I thought I would cut the mats, but Kurt, wood worker that he is, could not resist trying out the new equipment. My turn will come. We thought we would start framing up a few things for ourselves as practice. We laughingly set out to challenge ourselves to find out how many ways there are to make mat cutting errors. And we have found several!

The painter goes through states of fullness and evaluation. 
That is the whole secret of art. 
~Pablo Picasso

I have a real sense of satisfaction seeing the works set off by nice clean mats. We have some frames on order and once they arrive, we will compete the presentation. 

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

I hope you all found satisfaction this weekend too. 


  1. the mats surrounding a well loved art is so important..what a joy that you both can make your own...

    at the beginning of your post ..such truth in the thought of paper having its own language ...

  2. That sounds exciting! And the piece surrounded by the mat looks wonderful.

    As usual love your collection of quotes!

  3. ELK: The language of paper is one a lot of us love to speak.

    ZDot: Glad you enjoyed the quotes.

  4. Leslie, you have my admiration, taking on the task of mastering the mat cutter. I have faith you'll find a way to work with it intuitively, coming up with solutions that haven't yet been put into practice:) In the meantime, what could be better than a love affair with paper?

  5. HI Hannah: I agree, mat cutting is a whole different challenge, but working with framers I can see the art in it. Much to learn. Thank you.

  6. How wonderful to have found the equipment and now ready to mat the work in a well done manner.
    Very satisfying to properly frame.
    I too like working with paper...all kinds, from thin tissue to heavy quality!
    Are you planning a show?

  7. Hi Mary Ann: Thanks. It is satisfying to get the art out from the drawers and onto the walls. These are destined for our walls.

  8. Great post Leslie! Your work looks especially beautiful matted. I was a picture framer for 6 yrs and I loved every part of mat cutting. It takes a bit of practise but your will soon be making perfect corners!

  9. When I saw the title of your post in my sidebar i knew I was in for a treat. LOVE your header and the pieces in the post. Wish I had your patience with the mat cutters! My Monday morning is off to a good start Leslie. Thank you!

  10. The Don Getz quote is something I try to practice but find it difficult to stick to. I am sure you will find matting and framing hugely satisfying and all your wonderful work will look doubly fine.

  11. Nothing better than taking a piece right to the finish. I love how you talked about the idea of finding out how many ways it can go wrong! Anyway, looks like it's all going well.

  12. As a saxophonist I hAve to ask whether Don is any relation to Stan...?

  13. LAM - always a good feeling when you get a little more of the gear inlace and operating. Thanks for the quotes - reminds me about the importance of creating fir myself. Go well. B

  14. "paper has it's own language" i like this so much, leslie, may i borrow your words from time to time? they're perfect for this papermaker.

  15. Some great quotes here. Loved using (learning) a mat cutter when I worked n a framers- tricker than they look to get those perfect corners.

  16. It seems like you have thought of everything!

  17. love the title of the post, the quotes, your work matted the way it is....its 'space/surround' honoring the WHOLE piece!

  18. Carole - yes, those corners!

    Robyn - good Monday morning to you too!

    Ian - pleasing ourselves seems a challenge worth striving for.

    Annie - mistakes are inevitable, so why not have fun with it, we thought!

    India - I don't know. I wonder too!

    Barry - setting up equipment is very satisfying indeed.

    Vlema - of course. I would be honored - from one paper lover to another.

    Don - yes, those darn corners have caused a bit of grumbling...and striving too.

    Hi Annell - still, we are challenged.

    Neva - Space surrounding is cherished. Thank you.

  19. my heart's ears began to dance
    over the crisp crinkle and slice
    and shrrrrifff of paper as I strolled
    through your post
    ....I could hear and smell
    as well as see.
    Thanks for the delight:)

  20. How exciting that you now have the space to do the cutting yourself. And your quote "paper has its own language" will stay will me!

  21. The satisfaction of starting with a piece of paper, creating a part of yourself on it, and taking it through the further steps of mounting it, matting it (the setting apart from the rest of the world), and framing it -- it all brings satisfaction step by step. btw, anything your husband wants to do.. let him! :-)

  22. You're right, Leslie - presentation of art is so important! And it's also about respecting your own work if you give it a perfect mount and frame.
    Your work and your comments are very inspiring, thanks for sharing!

  23. Oh yeah,,,I'm overdosed.
    On this entire post!
    (and loving it)

    Matting dresses the work up,,, all in it's Sunday best.
    LOVE the piece closest to the viewer in the first photo. The ancient tree outside my window; abstracted.
    I made mats.
    But once only,,,,I'm applauding you!

  24. I think it is so neat that you and Kirt doe some art things together. Wonderful. and glad the studio is shaping up to be such a flexible workspace for you.

  25. Leslie,
    thank you so much for passing by at my blog. And I love the quotes on this post!

  26. Leslie as ever I enjoyed a story of the process and a chance to glimpse some one else's studio, but what I left with mostly was this lovely send of quiet satisfaction that you had, that you had mastered something that was special to you. Continue to explore and enjoy. F

  27. What a huge new toy you have.

    Thanks for the quotes..

    and my fabric brings deep satisfaction. Handling it, heaping in odd piles and ratting through it.

  28. Am I meant to be able to play those things that look like they maybe video clips? For some reason I can't play them. Your mounting looks very professional..I've tried it with one of those tiny blade holders but this looks like the real deal!

  29. "There are some days when I think I'm going to die
    from an overdose of satisfaction." How wonderful is that , and we all know what great feeling THAT is :) thank you for your wonderful post again Leslie !!

  30. "There are some days when I think I'm going to die
    from an overdose of satisfaction. "..... How wonderful is THAT .... and we all know how good that feels :)) thank you for your wonderful post again Leslie :)

  31. Look fabulous - I aspire to being able to present work as well as you do.

  32. Oh, Leslie, I do understand the satisfaction of seeing your work, all dressed up like a child going out to school for the first time! And if I were you, I'd let Kurt do all the mat-cutting forever. But maybe you don't hate it as I do; I want my own full-time framer! lol The quotes you shared here are wonderful!

  33. No matter how beautiful a piece may be... it is made even more beautiful when well-framed and well-matted! These photos are beautiful:)


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