contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Monday, March 26, 2012

Art Coming to Your Mail Box

Standing near my door,
watching the rain as it falls
into my teacup
counting the tiny splashes
waiting shamelessly for mail.

~Michael Boiano

Today I was in a nearby Victorian Seaport. 

I think the post office has been there from the beginning of time. 

It’s a fabulous building, filled with row after row 

of vintage post office boxes, 

still in daily use.

I love these boxes, which are a type of art. 

Eagle, initials, circles, numbers, patina of age. 

What’s not to love?

In my last post I offered a give away. Tonight Kurt kindly drew three names. And the winners are 

Hehjude, Babs, and Zendotstudio!

So please go to my blogger profile where you can get my email address, 

and send me an email with your snail mail address.

Soon you will have an envelope and tag in your mail box.

Letters are like wine; 

if they are sound they ripen with keeping. 

A man should lay down letters 

as he does a cellar of wine.   

~Samuel Butler

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

High Tide In the Studio

In the flow of life there are daily tides, and waves. 

There are storms followed 
afterwards with calm seas again.

I am only human and I find myself bemoaning the storm, 
fighting the waves and wishing for perfect conditions....
which are not happening.

And this too, is forgiven. I forgive myself this as I write. 
This being in the moment business has its challenges....
I find it less challenging when the moments are full, 
ripe and rich for the picking. 

My moments now often contain obligations, chores, 
and multiple voices calling for attention. 
One of those voices is my own true self and though I hear her, 
I attend to the others. 
I say to myself 

"Wait. Wait a little bit. Soon, soon." 

My voice and I have been through this before. 

I know about these times, and that rather than writhe against it, 
I may as well put on my raincoat and keep walking.

Right now the tide is high, the winds are strong 
and the beach I walk is narrow. 

I have the same 24 hours as everyone does, 
but it seems not enough.

So I make tiny art. 
Small art. Palm sized art. 

And I console myself with this during stormy late winter high tides.  
And in those moments I am most myself, 
in love with being and making.

If you would like one of these tags to arrive in a handmade envelope 
to your mail box, please leave a comment. 
I shall include your name in a draw. 

I’ll announce the winners next weekend. 

So stay in touch so you can send me your snail mail address 
if your name is one of the ones drawn.

Meanwhile I will probably make more small art, 
until time opens up and I start painting again. 

Soon, soon.