contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Just A Weird Kindergartner!

I learned that you should feel when writing, 
not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, 
but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten 
– happy, absorbed 
and quietly putting one bead on after another.

~Brenda Ueland

Returning to the studio after a long absence,
I found all kinds of art in process. 
Some of it was well under way and I really liked it. 

Some, well not so much. 

I also found I was a tad bored with black and white 
and wanted to try something different. 

Circling around reddish tones yet again, I began. 

Colors, brush, water, paper. 

Time to get in sync with my own weirdness. 

Stringing beads. 

Thoughts accompanied me. 

So weird, I thought. 

I’m so weird.

It was a happy weird.


I simply kept on with brush, water, color. 

Stringing those happy beads.

In the end, Brenda said it so well. 
The best of times in the studio are when 
I am a happy weird kindergartner, 
absorbed in stringing my beads 
and letting it happen as it will.

What kind of beads are you stringing in your studio?


  1. Other things have kept me from the studio, nothing that was any kind of big deal, just the everyday things of life.

    I have also had more than one kind of computer and Internet glitch. Some times I could post a comment at your blog, sometimes I couldn't.

    So it felt good to get back to the studio. I am looking forward to connecting out in the blog world too.

  2. We both just posted a blog post at the same time.. so here I am.. I love your piece the part of the Enso in it.. and I think we all wish for our 'kindergarten days' when we were free and played and painted with abandon.

  3. my beads were flying all over the floor today! now if I was a real kindergartner I would have been laughing! I have recovered now and am ready to try again!

    I love Brenda Ueland.

  4. Hi Donna: Playing in the studio is a real delight.

    Hi Carole: Flying beads- yes that happens. Something to laugh about for kindergartners!

  5. I'm glad to see you back at posting, Leslie. A little weirdness is so good for the soul, especially your kind of weirdness. I'm liking the red brushmarks.

  6. Im Lucky I born weird.

    Nice to see you back

  7. It is good to see you back Leslie and I fully approve of your return to childhood and your experiments with colour. I look forward to seeing more.

  8. So good to have you back in the studio and blogging. I agree with Johnny Depp...we're all weird in some way and should celebrate it. Love watching you play in the studio!

  9. love your palette! it is powerful

  10. I love this...the sweet gentle nudge
    to fly my freak flag just a little
    and dump those beads on the floor
    to see which sparkle the brightest:)
    thanks for the inspiring share,

  11. I was having an extremely low day (yes, I can tell this early in the day), until I came here. I've decided to go on a be weird. I'm going to do what I have to do this morning and then get up into the studio this afternoon and see what beads want to be strung.

  12. love the post & love the red, Leslie

    "We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." - Dr. Seuss

  13. Ha,,,I love weird!
    I also love the work you've shown here,,the signature style is so obvious that it sings.

    I share my weird with my own personal kindergartner here on many afternoons.We each string our beads in our own way. I loved it when he said: "Babs, it doesn't HAVE to look like something, does it?" He's learning that abstract and weird can be our best friends, and I am in studio heaven!
    Such a great post Leslie,,so good to have your blog jumping again.
    Game on,,,string away!

  14. Hi Jo: A reddish tint is so good to see during the winter.

    Hi David: Yes, its a good thing to be blessed with weirdness!

    Hi Ian: Thanks and I will try to get further with the red this time. I do like the reds I see in nature.

    Hi Jennifer: Play and celebration - good studio activities!

    Linda:A little color in winter is a good thing. Thanks!

    Jennifer:Beads on the floor - who knows where they will roll?

    HI Kim: Yes, yes we must go on with our own personal weirdness. That's something to appreciate!

    Catherine- Red as in nature - like rose hips, red osier dogwood, red berries - I love those in the winter landscape.

    Babs: To have an actual adventuresome kindergartner in your studio - how fabulous! Happy stringing!

  15. I had an aha moment reading this post.....maybe I was shy as a kid because I was always the weird one! Thanks Leslie for Johnny Depp's quote, it't just another reason I love him.

  16. Lovely work . . and the quotes: they're support of my "weird" passion for visual beauty via computer lately!

  17. Yes, Leslie, welcome back and warm yourself with color. Allowing the child to play is such a freedom. Enjoy! If we are all weird, does that make us weird or sympatico?

  18. I truly love your blog. always a wonderful visit, a place to linger. Peace-filled. art and words. thank you!

  19. oh
    how I love this post
    the weird kindergartner
    this is the edge
    on this slide
    play indeed
    what else is there?

    xox - eb.

  20. LAM- sometimes the best way to re-engage after a break is just to go wild - be different , be free - and see where it takes us - and it is joyfilled creativity. Glad you are back into it and enjoyed it. Go well. B

  21. une peinture comme une seconde peau!la nouvelle couleur aussi!

  22. What a thrill to see your post in my sidebar and the new piece with the three little bowls. Love it!

    Another weirdo over here.... and now I feel a lot better about it after reading your post. I spent the morning splashing paint on my canvas backdrop .... and then ruined the good part. Ugh! Back to kindergarten and splashing more paint later when it cools down.

  23. I just know you and I would have had great fun back in yard, stringing beads, painting and clay molding...and smiling over our crackers and milk! Today or yesterday it's all good!

  24. Great weirdness here today, great explorations of magical weirdness.

  25. I love this post.
    Just the words "Stay weird" - perfect ;)
    draws me magically.
    I might add even more- never grow up and keep you always a little imagination
    Good, that you're back.
    many greetings

  26. well, the beads are small and far between the crud of working and etc...BUT the weirdness? well, i have been told all my life i am weird, so i guess it's ok! stay weird, gurrl!

  27. Thank you so much everyone! Its great to be blogging. Tonight, home from a long day at the day job, I find your comments especially uplifting.

    On with our weirdness!

  28. isn't it grand to know there is so much weird out in the world. wishing my marking was done so I had a little weird time today!

  29. this is fun.

    my k-teacher was such a disaster i almost dropped out of school before first grade. :)

  30. I love Brenda Uland too.

    Interesting to see you play with color. wonder what will evolve from this.

    play is an essential word for stimulating creativity I think. Weird would be a new one for me, I've never thought of myself as weird exactly. a bit odd perhaps.

  31. johnny's not only so darn handsome, but right. we're all weird.....sometimes it seems i am more playful with art making in groups; sometimes out doors; i like the analogy of stringing beads. .... one at a time. i always enjoy the feel of freeness in your mark making..but what do i know? ===i'm WEIRD! grin.

  32. sitting happily with one bead at a time, following the slender trail of a simple task, repetitive, soothing, calming . . . how marvelous for us that you shared this with us! Many thanks and I wish you a peace-filled holiday, Leslie

  33. I read Brenda's quote yesterday and brought it into the studio with me today. Her words have a sturdy, plain simplicity to them that makes a sacred kind of sense. I love the image of a child stringing beads. In my imagination, she is three years old, sitting on the floor with her chubby legs crossed and holding large colored wooden beads. Thanks for the inspiration Leslie, as always: )

  34. Hi Leslie - lovely to see you back at work (or play...). It's a special time when we visit the studio and get to play, and just see what happens; when our hearts and minds are open to exploration. And weird is good - knowing that it's OK to see the world as we do; a bit off-centre; a bit out of kilter (btw what a lovely word)...a little weird is good and we should celebrate! Go well

  35. Definitely stay weird!
    And happy birthday too
    and keep reading my GURU Brenda Ueland
    she is a constant inspiration to me.

  36. leslie, i thought i'd revisit to tell you that at school yesterday they had a little discussion about me. about IF i was weird. apparently, i still am. thought i'd keep you updated!

    and i really like your vessels-the top pic.

  37. Merry Christmas Leslie and happy holidays to you!

    Many thanks for all of the inspiration
    and wunderful Post!

  38. I love the idea of happy weird kindergartner!! Lovely and inspiring post Leslie - thank you for sharing your bead stringing!

  39. Hi Leslie!
    I love thinking that bits of red might be entering into your work. Love the Depp quote...
    Happy New Year!


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