A Moment of Stillness.
Self Portrait by Leslie Avon Miller
I have been waiting so long to show you this work and tell you about this project.
Good things take time - almost two years!
You may be aware that this month Seth Apter’s new book
The Pulse of Mixed Media
has just been released.
Seth identified a number of artists and asked them to participate
by creating a self portrait.
He also asked us to answer some inquiries about the thoughts
and creative process of artists working in mixed media today.
It has been a fun process.
My self portrait for this book took over my studio for months,
as I explored this way and that,
went down one road, then another,
searching for the just right expression of me in mixed media.
Since Seth asked questions of us,
I thought it would be fun to ask Seth some questions
about his creative process in authoring this treatise on mixed media.
Here is our conversation.
Seth: This piece is called 'xpress'.
I painted it in 2009 and it has never been posted online before.
It speaks to the paths that I have taken and in a sense represents the map of my journey...layered,
with many detours, and with both smooth and rough patches along the way.
It represents the many others with whom I have crossed paths
and the many different directions I have taken in different periods of my life.
In a manner of speaking it is a self portrait.
So, Seth, what was your vision for this book when the idea was first born?
Seth: The vision behind the book has always been about community and connection.
I wanted people to have the feeling that they were sitting
with a group of very special artists,
in a private session of show and tell.
A true one-on-one art salon,
where each artist shared and bared their heart and soul.
Writing, like creating art is an evolution.
During the development of the book, what was your biggest surprise?
Seth:The biggest surprise has definitely been
the honesty and vulnerability that all the contributing artists have shown.
When the book was first proposed,
I considered keeping all the responses anonymous.
I was unsure how people would feel about
revealing their truths, passions, and fears.
But every single artist has been more than willing to be open
and revealing in both their shared words and their art.
Breathe In; Breathe Out
Artist book by Leslie Avon Miller
What has been the biggest thrill so far in this process?
Seth: There have been so many thrills along the way.
Each is a memory made that I will keep forever.
Being contacted by North Light Books.
Having my proposal accepted.
Sending out my initial open call...and receiving so many responses.
Receiving the first draft of the book from my publisher.
Seeing my book cover for the first time.
Finding my book on Amazon.
Finally...and I mean finally...holding the actual book in my hands.
Seeing The Pulse of Mixed Media in the window of a bookstore for the first time.
I asked Seth to choose a quote and talk about how it applies to his experience.
Seth: I will choose
"Writing makes a map, and there is something about a journey that begs to have its passage marked."
To me, my whole life had been a journey that has taken me along a path that has led to this book.
One of my philosophies in life is that what we do today, is really about tomorrow.
And I feel like the choices I have made in the past were the makings of the map that led me to the destination where I am today.
I also feel like the contributions of all the artists
in the book are also points on their own maps.
And now that this passage has been marked for all of us,
we will continue on our path, forever changed by this experience.
I understand you are looking forward to another book. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Seth: The process of writing a book has been quiet a challenge and has really monopolized my time in the last two years.
Despite that, the experience has been thrilling, enlightening and inspiring...and the book was just released this month!
Given this, I definitely plan to write a second book.
I have many ideas running through my head but I am letting them percolate in the background as I am intentionally keeping my focus on
The Pulse of Mixed Media and trying to savor
every minute of the current adventure.
Seth Apter in his studio
I want to let you know that I will be meeting with Seth
and some of the other artists in the book including Patricia Larson in
Vancouver British Columbia in early May.
I will also be joining Seth and artist Donna Watson
in Seattle around that same time.
Stay tuned if you would like to join us for these events.
I would love to see you there!
Seth is giving away several copies of his book.
And if you would like a small piece of my art to arrive in a handmade envelope in your mail box, go to my post here to leave a comment and enter a chance to win.
I’ll be pulling several names from a hat next weekend.
As always, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the blogging community.
And I am so glad I finally got to tell you about this work and Seth's book!
Cracked, A Self Portrait
Leslie Avon Miller