contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Friday, January 20, 2012

Any Small Thing

The poets know of morning sun, 
falling snow flake and the things we circle around, 
like the book ends of birth and death 
and the space in between.  
 They write what we remember 
at the half edge of sleep and awake.

The poets have words 
and they have the white space between 
where they leave us room 
to feel the words pierce or comfort, 
room to breathe in and breathe out. 

I have lines, and dots and I draw them. 
These lines and dots form a story or maybe a poem, 
perhaps of the woods and birds and the feelings 
I have for the glorious world and my very temporary place in it. 
Wanting to speak of these things I retreat to the alphabet I know.

Dot. Line. Crossing. 
I love this artistic language of ours. 
On canvas, in wood, with paper, thread, 
clay, twig or found object an artist makes her marks, 
sings in her own voice, dances with the elements.

Any small thing…..

A small color


Happily exploring my way into the new year 
with small things created in the evenings 
near the warmth of the fire, 
I am inviting awareness, openness, and acceptance. 
These attitudes are meant for my art, 
to see what will come, 
to remove myself from the front of the equation, 
to drop my bucket deep into the well.

This attitude shift, shifting, shifting 
feels like vital work to me, to step back, and back, and back, 
to get very clear that I am not driving the bus, 
but that I am invited to create. 
And that I humbly accept the gift. 
My art. My life.

Do you know words for this?


Dot and line together


Lines crossing



There are so many kindred spirits in the blogging world. 
And I appreciate you. 
I would like to introduce you to an artist and blogger you may not yet know, 
but she is another kindred spirit, 
living her life with quiet gusto, 
being true and blogging about it.

Here, at “to live poetry” you can find Anca Gray 
who today has blogged some of my thoughts and work. 
I am honored Anca.
Thank you.

Anca is an artist friend of mine from tumblr 
who has graciously included me in her blog post series. 
Anca describes her series as
“a regular friday feature, a series of quick interviews with strong creative confident women that inspire me”.   

I found Anca’s questions enlightening. 
You might answer them for yourself and 
see where they lead you. 

One word rolls across the floor,
Lodging under the slipper
Of the man who has felt uncomfortable
All day.

Now he knows what to say.

~naomi shihab nye

From a poem titled 

Listening to Poetry in a Language I do not Understand

For me, 
I am following the lines and dots to the well. 
It’s probably also sometimes called the rabbit hole……See you there?

Any small thing can save you.


  1. I found it helpful to my art practice to answer anca's questions...sometimes questions can be very enlightening.

    I certainly appreciate my connections with artists through the blogging world. My world is richer because of the blog world. Thank you for being part of it.

  2. Leslie...thank you for the post here and at anca's. I commented on her blog but will add a note here too. I follow you mostly via tumblr and it is very inspiring - powerful in a way to see what artists select to put into their tumblr folder - it brings thought a vision together is a wonderful way, really. very much like watching process unfolding. very grateful to have you both in the bloggersphere.

  3. oh your words and images are so inspiring today, Leslie! And these little tag art works are so delicious there are no words to express. many bows of appreciation for your exploration and the inspiration you give us by sharing it! happy studio day!

  4. fireside chats with your well:
    small marks making their way
    from there into this larger world.
    marks made, kept close
    or released beyond the touch.
    markings finding the way
    out and into


  5. hi Henrietta - so nice to to hear that tumblr has been inspirational for you as well. I learn so much there from so many people. Thank you for visiting both blogs.

    Hi Carole - and while we have the snow it is nice to work small, near the fire and seek inspiration from the well. Thank you.

    Oh, Neva, your words are inspiring.
    "markings finding the way" - love that!

  6. Love this post - your words, your art - lines & dots - the questions - the answers - yes - inspiration!

    1. thank you Judy, inspiration is to be found all over the blog world.

  7. Love your marks Leslie, I find them so beautiful and touching. And I wouldn't mind touching. Thanks.

    1. Hi Liz - yes seeing an art work close enough to touch would be ideal. Thank you.

  8. Leslie, you are a huge inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing yourself and your work.

    As a tag-maker myself, I especially love your tags.


    1. Oh, Colette, tags are such fun. Small, hand held, and a great place to try things out.

  9. mid way thorugh your post you asked if I had words for this.

    I do:


    Your simple lines and neutral tones remind me I am still lost.

    Or still deep in the rabbit hole, which could be the same thing.

    Off to See Anca...

    1. Lost in the rabbit hole - there is something to be said for that....its good for exploration!

  10. Oh Leslie,
    Your blog post is once again so beautifully!
    I am very excited by the small labels.
    I wish I could hold in my hands.
    very inspiring
    Many thanks for it!

    1. Tags and labels are meant to be held. Thank you Ralph.

  11. Leslie ..... I'm at a loss for words here. Your post has filled a void I was feeling. Thank you!

    1. The poets have the words for us. We feel something beyond the words I think.

  12. LAM - love the intimacy, clarity and simplicity of the tag pieces. Great work. B

  13. wow, i must come back. really richness here, leslie.

  14. your words and thoughts are inspirational. your art also. seeing the little tags makes me want to make some too. I will check out the link now. thanks.

  15. The only thing better than these small beauties is imagine you making them by the fire.

  16. Another beautiful and inspiring post. These small treasures are gorgeous!

  17. I love your work and these tags are exceptionally wonderful.

  18. This post has calmed, inspired, and comforted me. Your beautiful words ring with truth, as do your dots and lines... Thank you.

  19. Thank you for such an absorbing and lyrical post. I have had such a pleasant time with this.

  20. Hi Leslie,
    again a very inspiring post from you, the small labels i like very much. and circles and lines are my fav, too.
    many greetings

  21. Leslie, you have spoken to my heart and soul with these words and images. Thank you. I've been struggling with a big painting and see that that might just be the problem, too big when it's cold out and I'm in the coolish studio.Tonight I'll gather some paper and paint etc and move closer to the fire.

  22. Leslie,
    this is so lovely and inspiring
    as is the interview with Anca...
    yes - circles and lines
    and the glorious intersections
    discovered in cyber space

    thanks so much...

    xox - eb.

  23. looking for saviours small or large -
    was good to visit with you here

  24. Leslie - thank you for this gift. Whilst you find your making a gift to you - it is a great gift to us. Your words and images slow me down and calm me. This is very special what you are doing. Go well, keep sitting back and listening...

  25. Great post! The tags are quite wonderful...the soft blue is perfect! I feel the same way about the importance of connection in this blogging business. A special thanks for you!

  26. oh, leslie, i finally made my way over here after a couple of full and intense days kept me offline, only to find such a delicious surprise, this generous introduction.

    thank you for freely sharing your gift of insight. you open up the space between the words, between the lines, all around the dots, and it is welling up with hope and possibility for all of us.

    nothing to do now, but gather up my play things and cozy up on the couch to get lost in making little things. drawing up from the well. grateful for the gift. breathing deeply.

    thank you for the prompting!

  27. "I have lines and dots and I draw them"
    I love that.
    This entire post is delicious and delightful, as is your interview with Anca.
    I loved seeing your eggs at her site,,,,raw (or not) beauty in a black carton. Priceless!

  28. I think that the words that fit your writings, your art, and your place in the world are: grace, poetry and creativity.

  29. Lusious!! . . words, marks . . everything . . like Robyn . . I, too, am at a loss for words!

    And . . "not driving the bus" . . I certainly need to be reminded!

  30. is the word blessed? I saw your interview on Anca's blog……inspirational. x

  31. Dear Leslie,
    It is a rare artist that can draw on the collective consciousness.
    For those of us who are still out here striving to connect to something bigger than ourselves, your gifts of talent and self-revelation are beacons in the storm.
    I am yet another who has found you through anca and feel blessed that I have made the acquaintance of 2 such fine and loving women and artists.

  32. Thank you Leslie for such a poetic and inspiring post!

  33. Beautiful pictures, beautiful artwork, beautiful words - thank you for sharing!

  34. Leslie, so nice to stumble upon you again. I have been following your Tumbler, however your actual blog slipped by me. I am so happy to finally see some of your work...I have thought about you often since Aimones course. In fact today I cut up a large piece I did during his workshop and am now exploring marks on the smaller pieces. Always so much fun...
    Hope you are well. Are you taking any workshops this year?

  35. Beautiful words and images. Artists unite!

  36. What a rich post Leslie. As many have said, the tender marks, textures and rich circles are beyond words...but what a paradox that poetry, using words can do exactly that: speak to and of tenderness.

    I have a box of lovely tags in my art room at the hospital and after looking at yours, I'm going to pull out the box and share these small tablets, plenty of ink, and poetry with the kids. Gracias.

  37. Your blog makes me slow down, stop, and take time to read. It's like meditation.

  38. Beautiful work, beautiful words. Your blog always gives me a moment to reflect. I have been away a while but glad I am back.
    Thank you for sharing and inspiring

  39. What an incredible poem of a post. Thank you for your inspirations.

  40. Just heart sighed....
    I felt your openness to just being in the moment and living with the little things that make our lives...just the "is"...
    Thank you for your simple, stitched words making up a small part of the canvas of your life...x

  41. Leslie,
    Thank you for the beautiful blend of words and images. I also have one of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's poems on my blog (wonderful!).

  42. Dear Leslie, I fell in love with the small labels...,
    there are simply wonderful!!Everytime I visit your blog I am inspired ; thank you for it! Anna

  43. dear Leslie,
    I have been making tags
    it is raining outside
    but also inside sometimes
    I had to come back
    and look again
    at your exquisite tags
    such quiet loveliness
    these gems of yours
    inspiring me again and again now
    yes - this "being in the moment business"
    loving the loss of self and thoughts
    in the flow of making small collages on tags
    which I dyed with coffee and tea this last winter
    opening to more spaciousness and quiet
    in these small endeavors
    as the balminess of spring and summer bloom...

    thank you so
    for your gracious and lovely spirit,

    xox - eb.


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