contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.


Jean De Muzio

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tangling and Interweaving

Nest Leslie Avon Miller









Here’s the sexy white hot truth about creativity. 
It’s a religious experience. 
It’s a transcendental adventure.
 It’s the losing of the daily self and entering the magic kingdom. 
You come back bigger. 
You come back satiated. 
You come back sweeter. 
You come back with wings and fins and new toes that seek for higher ground. 
You never come back the same.


~Tama J. Kieves

Nest II, Leslie Avon Miller



I watch as the art, the creation takes on its own beingness.   
What didn’t exist now does. 
Messages come to my hands and the materials weave and 
move and engage with one another. 

It’s a time of making. 
The more I make the more I want to make. 
The more I make the more I think of to make. 
You know how that is.
 





It’s also a time of giving, so I won’t show you everything
 so as not to spoil the surprises.
 




Cedar Root Coil, Leslie Avon Miller



Roots. 

Tiny tendrils at the terminal ends especially delight me. 

These precious cedar roots have been coiled and waiting.
This particular coil is bundled so beautifully I can only call it art and leave it as it is.
 



Nest III Leslie Avon Miller


Nest III Leslie Avon Miller



Cedar Root Coil


Under a sky the color of pea soup
she is looking at her work growing away there
actively, thickly like grapevines or pole beans
as things grow in the real world, slowly enough.
If you tend them properly, if you mulch, if you water,
if you provide birds that eat insects a home and winter food,
if the sun shines and you pick off caterpillars,
if the praying mantis comes and the ladybugs and the bees,
then the plants flourish, but at their own internal clock.

Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.
You cannot tell always by looking what is happening.
More than half the tree is spread out in the soil under your feet.
Penetrate quietly as the earthworm that blows no trumpet.
Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree.
Spread like the squash plant that overruns the garden.
Gnaw in the dark and use the sun to make sugar.

Weave real connections, create real nodes, build real houses.
Live a life you can endure: Make love that is loving.
Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in,
a thicket and bramble wilderness to the outside but to us
interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.

Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen:
reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in.
This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always,
for every gardener knows that after the digging, after
the planting, after the long season of tending and growth,
the harvest comes.


                                         The Seven Of Pentacles by Marge Piercy


 
Nests Leslie Avon Miller



Materials: cedar root, cedar bark, morning glory vine, sweet grass, excelsior

62 comments:

  1. There is a freedom in not painting...everything is possible. There is no path.

    This evening I do feel satiated, but excited to keep going. Happy sigh.

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  2. what a wonderful path u have found

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  3. Sighhhh .... Just the post I needed to start my day. I feel content. Nests, beautiful quotes ... your words ....messages across the world. The more you make the more I want to make. Your creativity feeds mine.

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    1. Isn't that the way of it? The energy is contagious, all across the world! Thanks Robyn.

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  4. Nests. Some of the most beautiful things made by anyone, ever.

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    1. Thank you Greer. We share a love of beautiful roots.

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  5. ces jolis nids me font penser : printemps !

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    1. Hi Elfi: Yes, Spring, but also fall when the nests are abandoned, no longer needed and left for us a gift from the bird family.

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  6. I had to smile Leslie. A couple of days ago I was looking at an email from the Butter Factory which is an art centre quite close by. They were advertising some basket weaving courses and I though it would be wonderful to go and learn a few techniques so that i would make some nests. I LOVE those you have made and I am quite envious. My friend and next door neighbour collects real birds nests and has each of them placed in a handmade perspex box which she then stacks. the look like nest totems and are delicious.

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    1. Hi Susan: I hope you find time to follow your instinct. As creative people it seems we can be engaged by so many different media and directions! Nest making is easy, random and wholly experimental. It did help to "know" my materials.

      The idea of nests in clear boxes as totems is quite intriguing! I have 4 natural nests, gifts from the birds, and they are on my Christmas tree. However, they are so fragile, they may only appear once. But the birds always come back and build new nests.

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  7. I love the nests! Thanks for posting the Marge Piercy poem - I'd forgotten how powerful it is.

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    1. Hi Annie: Yes, as a gardener the poem must really resonate for you. I wonder if you could make a nest from the baby corn leaves? Just thinking out loud....

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  8. Your nests and the powerful words do indeed tangle and interweave into beauty! Beautiful post.

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  9. i think Judy just above has said it for me
    but
    i want to add an echo...

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  10. Interwoven connectedness so beautifully illustrated and expressed.

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  11. perfection Leslie...
    a beautiful post to nourish the creative soul...
    roots and nests
    many kindred sprits here..

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    1. One of the things I love about blogging is the kindred spirits we find and connect to. Thank you Lisa.

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  12. My wings and fins are itching for more!
    Beautiful post :)

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    1. Well, your wings and fins are just delightful!

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  13. You always surprise me when you've been silent and then arrive with some miraculous creation. I cannot tell you how delicious these are! Look at the wonderful creation that has sprung out of your not being able to use acrylic paint!

    And that first quote! How I love that.

    I am smiling so wide from this post!

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    1. Yes, when one door closes...the transcendental adventure can occur while painting or making nests! Thanks Carole.

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  14. As an ex-basketry artist (and who knows, maybe I'll be one again one day...), I must be honest and admit to holding my breath while gazing at your perfect nests. My fingers yearn to pick each one up and exam them, to follow the weave through the tangle, to feel the delicate lightness of each, to listen to the stories woven into them.

    Your nests are exquisite.

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    1. The nests are feather light, mere wisps of tangles. Thank you Jennifer, for seeing their stories.

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  15. "emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities." -d.t. suzuki
    what you are sharing of where you are now in your art practice reminds me of these brilliant words. and what delightful possibilities you are unfolding!

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    1. Oh yes, a reservoir of possibility! Love that Anca!

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  16. "Tangling" what a beautiful word as are your nests as are your quotes...love everything about this post! The adventure continues.

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    1. Hi Mary Ann - yes, the adventure does continue. I am so thankful that it does. Thank you.

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  17. wonderful new work. nests are such miracles. and yours enter that catagory too. thanks for sharing and showing us size by the comparison with your hand.

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    1. Hi Suki: I thought the hand held image would help illustrate the size of these small pieces. Thank you for stopping by.

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  18. This post touches my (creative) heart! It really does emphasize the process and the almost always secret rewards. Love the Piercy poem and that you seem strengthened by your recent physical challenges. There is always a creative healing about to happen. I trust that!

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    1. Hi Marie: Oh the process. Yes. There was an initial nest..and I change course and listened more closely to the whispers of the materials. You are right - there is a secret reward!

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  19. Such lovely nests, Leslie... any bird would be envious of your skill. These beautiful creations remind me of your eggs. I see a series brewing.

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    1. Hi Jo: Oh what a good idea - a series. Yes indeed! I love it when things are brewing. Good to "see" you.

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  20. ahh, cedar root. and these nests...

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    1. Hi Velma. Cedar root. Its a spiritual practice to go gathering in the deep woods, approach a tree and gently take a gift of roots. I always leave more than I take.

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  21. I think your nests are wonderful..birds could use them :) and all your quotes of poetry and prose are heartwarming and inspirational.

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    1. Hi Donna: I loved this part "Live a life you can endure: Make love that is loving. Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in..."

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  22. purely the transcendental adventure--
    love
    these

    when every curve and line and fleck of bark is a tenderness
    one can barely bare to spare not touching
    or honoring its majesty, to use it
    to make of it light and a host for our love. Here is poetry

    a you held in your hands
    waiting again in morning sun, at dusk, while dreams
    shiver in the lamplight of looking inward.

    New life born here.

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    1. yes, nests are a place of new life, aren't they? Lovely thoughts said so beautifully.

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  23. Hello Leslie,

    I do not recall how I came across your blog, probably Pinterest, but I just love it. It feels warm and comforting here...like I want to snuggle down with a cup of hot chocolate loaded with fresh whipped cream, and a soft, cozy blanket. I love and adore all the quotes - I am a quote and poetry junkie, so it is a joy to read your blog.

    Have a great evening!

    xoxo

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    1. Thank you! Its a good time of year for warmth and comfort. I am glad you found some here.

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  24. These are such beautiful nest Leslie, love the ones with the inner liner. Every fall, after the leaves drop I collect the fallen nests, often made with our dogs fur as as liner. Hope you are feeling so much better and this is the birth of the new you.

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    1. Hi Liz: Yes, it feels better to be creating again for sure. Thanks so much.

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  25. this is stunning beautiful....a shot of B-12 to my creativity
    and fresh juice to my heart.
    glad thanks,
    Jennifer

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    1. Hi Jennifer. Thank you. I love it when a blog post is a shot of B-12!

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  26. What a luscious treat this post is, both your beautiful nests and the quotes you've chosen. Thank you for brightening my (gray and soggy) day!

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    1. Hi Sharmon. Its been gray, soggy and windy here too. It helps so much to have creative projects to take us away. Thanks!

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  27. I love your nests and oh, Marge Piercy... one of my favorite poets... a wonderful post through and through... so glad I dropped by!

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    1. Hi Laura: Marge Piercy's poem really struck a cord with me. It's the vision of all those roots...Thank you.

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  28. LAM - beautiful and delicate; and love the artistic way you have photographed the pieces - and art work in its own right. B

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  29. my Mother nest
    is quiet
    after the after
    thank you Leslie
    for filling me up
    with your tireless
    and nourishing spirit...

    xox - eb.

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  30. Thank you Leslie - these are wonders of creation and special little bits of beauty. Perhaps I'll call you Birdie from now on....

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  31. These creations are special Leslie. So organic. So mesmerizing. So compelling. And how perfect that nests represent home...which may just be what you have found here as you navigate this next part of your journey!

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  32. oh, that sexiness of that truth
    evidenced in these little homes.
    nesting. resting. practicing flights.

    take my heart away!

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  33. Dear Leslie In the morning dark I stumbled upon your post. It's been a while, but a treat. I have been drawing nests for over 40 years, of course not all I have done. But a couple of years ago, I pulled out a drawing, and saw the date, over 40 years ago. Your nests are as beautiful as some of the bird's built nests I have seen. I have read only bird's can build nests, they cannot be built by "man," but you have proven that they can be built by a "woman." This year has passed in a slow "hurry up," may next year stand still just a little. Beautiful post.

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