contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Pulse of Mixed Media

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 Apter

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. 
To enter the drawing head on over to his blog and leave a comment. 

Give Away 2

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


  1. What a beautiful post! There is much to contemplate. Your self portraits are wonderful. Cracked is simply exquisite. I feel stillness in all your pieces .... something I search for.(No wonder I love your work). Your questions to Seth and his answers actually made my heart race. A very exciting time for Seth and a journey he has so generously shared with so many of us.

  2. Leslie - I love your work and the relationship that you have with your work - a sense of deep respect and allowing - and yes stillness... your self portraits carry a mystery and a gift... terrific interview with Seth - such energy around the book - looking forward to savoring my own copy...

    xox - eb.

  3. LAM - thanks for sharing your journey with this project; and congratulations on being part of such a collaborative and connecting work. There is no doubt you work exudes quite contemplation. Go well. B

  4. As a textile student specialising in Print and mark making I adore your work! It's right up my "street" and you inspire me to mark make and paint in such ways for my projects!
    I just love it :D
    I'm loving the egg shells, and the drawing within side of it, so intricate :)
    I'm also loving reading about Seth's book :)
    Truly amazing work :)
    Well done :) x

  5. Great you're in Seth's book.Ilove the vision behind the book: about community and connection.

  6. l'autoportrait est parlant.. mais le livre est une merveille!

  7. What a great post! It must have been fun to have a chance to ask Seth questions. I've been slowing going thru my copy of The Pulse and enjoying every second.

    Your art has a quietness, a depth, an honesty to it that just takes my breath away. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  8. Seth has that way of bringing artists together and make me discover artists that I've not known of and who's work is breathtaking: YOU! Glad to have found your blog and your work, it's so wonderful!

  9. Your self portrait is stunning! Not only has Seth created 'community' with his book, but he continues to gather us all together in the marketing/release! What fun!

  10. Wonderful self portrait.
    and it's funny because there are many Easter exhibitions in my area, where you can see eggs that are painted inside. and painted pieces of eggs such as puzzles.

    happy sunday

  11. great post giving insight into the creator of THE PULSE. congrats for being included. love your artists book.

  12. Congratulations to both of you and the other wonderful artists in the book, all of whom I admire greatly.

  13. Compliments for your beautiful works in the book (and on this site).

  14. I'm so thankful that I visited here today; what a wonderful post! I'm going to look for the book. Also, I looked up Poemcrazy from your sidebar and think I'll get that one, too. I'm visiting Seth's site next.

  15. Leslie, wonderul post! Love seeing your work, and something new from Seth. Loved the Q&A, reflecting the spotlight back on him. I love those last pieces...I want to curl right up in them.

  16. Wonderful interview. Seth's book is totally amazing. Such a gift to be able to see the work of both you and Seth Apter. You are both such gentle souls. Thank you. Sondra

  17. What a great post Leslie! Loved the interview with Seth.
    Your self portrait is beautiful, and your words about it in Seth's book are so inspiring. Your work is an inspiration to me.

  18. Leslie, your work speaks volumes to me. It filled with such depth and emotion. Very inspirational. Thank you.

  19. Leslie, so glad to have my work in the book with you and see this lovely post today. Your work has such a poetic voice- each with it's own verses bringing forth it's own story. Love "cracked" and all of the questions and answers you posed to Seth. And you are the one who has heard him say - he defintiely plans to write a second book! Thanks for sharing this great interview and your beautiful work!

  20. I have to thank all the participating artists from Seth's book for the journey we are all having. Searching blogs that we would never have come across. Looking at the most inspiring work. If it wasn't for this wonderful book how would we have found you. I have loved every step of this wonderful adventure. Thankyou.

  21. very nice post on Seth and his book.. you and your feelings and aesthetic wove in and out of Seth's interview so perfectly in tune. I love your self portrait.

  22. So excited to come to your blog and discover your work from Seth's Altered Page post. Can't wait to explore...

    1. Please add my name to the list...these are lovely pieces! Great expression all around, the Seth interview, your thoughts and have been missed!

  23. Cracked, A Self Portrait is so fantastic. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  24. Leslie,

    It has been wonderful this month seeing what all of my fellow contributers have created. I LOVE your xpress piece. I would say just about everything I have seen, speaks "self portrait". You have such a serene look about you and your work is a mirror image. So glad Seth has introduced me to so many talented new people.

  25. Leslie, I find myself inexplicably drawn to your work and loved the pieces that were included in the pulse of mixed media (especially the self portrait you feature in this post). I also love the third image featured on Seth's blog today. There's just something about your work that truly speaks to me. I feel so lucky to have been introduced to you through Seth and also feel honored to have a piece of my artwork featured in his book with so many incredible artists.

  26. A lovely post! I enjoyed reading it so much! And am glad to see your self portrait.

  27. How lovely to meet you through Seth's postings about his new book. I will definitely see you two in Seattle!

  28. Wow, thank you for sharing this conversation with you and Seth.
    I love your artworks. They are stunning. I am so glad Seth is introducing so many wonderful artists to me/us through his blog. What a find! I will be back, and am thrilled that I have become your 600th follower!! Wow!

  29. Hi Leslie! I live in the Lower Mainland and I hope our paths cross at Le Marche St George in May! I really love the first piece of art Seth posted to his blog, the one he owns. The textures and layers are so complex and interesting. I can see why he snapped it up.

    I agree with Seth that the questions were answered with utter truth and transparency and while I haven't received my copy yet, I believe that will be the magic of this book. Seth inspires trust in our community because everything he does is with such integrity and it's why we're willing to be vulnerable (in a good way!) with him. I think that's the essence of what makes this book is so special.

  30. Congratulations on your beautiful self portrait Leslie and thank you for sharing your interview.I look forward to being able to buy Seth's book in this neck of the woods. Di

  31. My thanks to each of you for stopping by and connecting. I will be around to visit your blogs, ones that are new to me, or ones I already know and love.
    Merci beaucoup!

  32. Leslie my heart is in my stomach. THE most important part of the body...emotionally speaking that is. There it is. My heart in my stomach. Because the thought of owning a piece you've created and the idea of an envelope and one made by you just puts my heart into my stomach. Joined with a chorus of butterflies I think too. Please toss my name in to the mix for a chance to win this giveaway. Just way fun. *smiles* Norma
    p.s. Your words talk to me. Thank you for these words.

  33. My goodness it must have been difficult to not post your selfportrait upon its completion! Leslie, it is beautiful and very personal. Thank you for interviewing Seth. He is an interesting and inspiring artist. Please add my name into the giveaway. Oh my, yes.

  34. thank you for posting your question and answer session with Seth, I'm truly enjoying the combination of an individual's work and insight into their inspiration. As I live on the West Coast many of the artists are new to me and I'm sorry I'll miss you when you're in Vancouver - I'll be in Japan reeling silk and dyeing with indigo.

  35. i always enjoy swinging by your pages Leslie
    inevitably i find wisdom as well as beauty
    looking forward to leafing through the pages of this book sometime...

  36. Leslie....I am SO delighted for the introduction!.....I feel "washed over" (in the best way) by your when a cleansing wave sweeps over you at the seashore and you feel renewed. Stunning. Just....stunning.

  37. Your work is so beautiful, Leslie; your words, as well! I love your conversation with Seth, here, and his revealing answers about his piece "xpress," as well as the process of getting his book published. Your words concerning the creative process, from the book, in Seth's 31/31 post on the Altered Page, today, I think pretty much say it all ("Begin. Fling paint, make marks, rip and tear. . . ."). Thank you for sharing your work and your wisdom in both "The Pulse of Mixed Media," and on your blog. I hope to meet you at the artist panel, when Seth is in Seattle.

  38. Wonderful that you turned the interviewing table on Seth, great to learn more about him! I have long been an admirer of your work and now your blog as well....I"ll be checking in and I'll see you on tumblr as I enjoy so many of your posts there as well!

  39. Leslie, your work has that serene sense, quiet, and tranquil, that speaks to me soul. Thank you for this opportunity and congratulations on the inclusion in Seth's book.

  40. nice post, Leslie! a treat to see you twice this weekend. And I love your self portrait, stunning. I enjoyed the interview with Seth too. Keep me posted of your Vancouver event. I'd love to join all you wonderful artists, if it worked out.

  41. The wait for your amazing self portrait, A Moment of Stillness was indeed worth it. As I peer into this community of artist I am touched, stretched and enlightened. I am getting it that art/creativity is indeed not a luxury but part our our humanity even perhaps of our spirituality. Thanks

  42. A wonderful post - as I expected. Your self portrait is stunning. You are certainly an inspirational woman and artist. I have missed you. xo

  43. Dear Leslie, congratulations on being included in Seth's book. I love the different layers in your artworks and your interpretations of a self-portrait. Very evocative.

  44. Great interview- should be a terrific book!

  45. Congratulations, Leslie! . . poetic and sensitive post . . love your palette and the spontenaity in your work. Wonderful self portrait!

  46. Hi Leslie, What a gorgeous self portrait! Enjoyed your post!

  47. loving the book, seth's bringing it together, and your spirit flinging the paint!

  48. I'll be participating in Seth's blog tour on April 10th, and am enjoying visiting the blogs of many of the artists in the book. Thank you very much for the chance to win a piece of your art!

  49. Leslie what a delight. to read your conversation with Seth. Both the questions and answers were so inspiring. As always I love your art and can't wait to see what you'll be posting next . Your self portrait is wonderful but I question the title. Must be your sense of humor. Looking forward to your next art showing.

  50. Leslie what a delight. to read your conversation with Seth. Both the questions and answers were so inspiring. As always I love your art and can't wait to see what you'll be posting next . Your self portrait is wonderful but I question the title. Must be your sense of humor. Looking forward to your next art showing.

  51. Huge!
    All of it.

    Both of your self portraits are so inspiring,
    as is this post, thank you!

  52. Thank you everyone for your kind words and encouragement. I am honored to see friends from the blogging world comment here, and new friends too!

  53. Hi, Leslie. You continue to evolve and generously share every step of the way. I would thoroughly enjoy a piece of your work.

  54. Hi Leslie, i really like your work, the feelings i have when i look at it is a very instinctual grounded one that seems to strip away the pretentious complication. (mmm, that kinda sounded pretentious itself, didn't it). Well, i hope you understand what i'm saying, your work speaks to me without the fanfare but with authentic feelings, so thank you for sharing your work and i look forward to following your blog too. ♥♥♥

  55. So glad to discover your work through Seth-rainy night here in texas so i plan to peruse through your blog~

  56. Leslie, congratulations on your book. I'll be looking forward to it. I'm drawn to your work -- I think I like the black/cream/white combinations and the abstractness of it. Has an organic feel to it. Thanks for sharing your interview with Seth. He is an outstanding contributor to the online community as well as publications.

  57. Leslie, how delightful to find you in Seth's book. Congratulations! I did enjoy your questions to Seth and his answers.

  58. Leslie I love your work and am looking forward to receiving Seth's book in e mail any day now...I will bring it to the signing in Vancouver where I'm so happy you will be too!

  59. Leslie I love your work and am looking forward to receiving Seth's book in e mail any day now...I will bring it to the signing in Vancouver where I'm so happy you will be too!

  60. Leslie..great blog post and very serendipitous. Have only recently stumbled upon Seths blog and was reading comments and there you were. I have bookmarked you now! Look forward to reading more.Until then ...julie

  61. I'm thrilled to have found your blog and enjoy browsing it and seeing your inspiring art. I really love your style. I live in Seattle so will avidly await details of your visit here!

  62. I so enjoyed having the conversation with you Leslie and reading through it here too. Your artwork speaks to me and enhances the book so very much. I am thrilled that you have been and continue to be part of my journey as an artist. Thank you!

  63. Leslie--I enjoyed your interview of Seth; a mirror to the book in which he interviews you. And, it also reminds me of your work--the delicate markings on the inside of the shells pictured at the bottom of your post, a look at what's inside a wrapper. I am always amazed by what you come up with--wish I could join you, Seth and Donna in April--what a powerhouse of artmaking you three will be!

  64. Quand les tracés et les mots se croisent, quand ils entrecroisent les mouvements d'âmes et multiplient les souffles, naît alors l'oeuvre. Celle qui percute, remue, touche.
    Quand elles se multiplient, par un livre ou à travers un blog, c'est l'humain en chacun, chacune de nous qui se met à vibrer.

  65. Hi, I have only very recently found you blog, through The Pulse of Mixed Media. I just love your style.
    I received a Versatile Blogger Award via Quinn McDonald and nominated you and now I've just noticed the 'award free site' widget. Oops! I hope at the very least people follow my link to your site and see your wonderful artwork. Wendy

  66. I am very drawn to your work. I love it! I am so glad that Seth featured you on his blog and that you were included in his book. Congratulations. Would LOVE to win a piece of your art. Thanks for the chance! (

  67. Images mots entrelacés, noués, dénoués.
    Une oeuvre miroir de soi. Un livre pour la durée.

    Craquelé, sectionné, assemblé, rassemblé: des multiples glissés délicatement dans une enveloppe. Petits papiers, témoins de partage.
    Bruissement de vie lointaine. Écouter, écouter encore. Regarder.
    S'y nourrir. S'y abreuver.

  68. At last I arrive just when therte is a give away - how cheap of me!

    Cracked must be my personal favourite since I spotted it on Tumblr and did not even know it was you.

    Very happy to read Seth's words, he has a way of minimizing the great distance between us all, and making a strong connection. Just ordered the book.

  69. I like the self portrait series very beautiful and intense work! Your blog always inspires and gets going the clogged engines of my creativity.

  70. Hi Leslie! Ever since I found you on Pinterest I've been hooked! You are an artist's artist!!! Hope to meet you someday if you ever come to Atlanta. I have enjoyed Seth's 31 days also...miss it now. The book is so awesome. Congrats to all!!!


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