contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.


Jean De Muzio

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Patience, grasshopper, patience.

Collage sketch, Leslie Avon Miller

Patience, grasshopper, patience.

That’s my new theme in the studio. Patience. More patience. 

After more then half a year of trying many mediums, my search continues to find something that flows for me. Soy paint? No, no. Pastels? No. Oil pastels? Quick drying oils? Nope, not those either. Eco dyes? Nice, but no. I even tried burying art outdoors in ashes over the winter. 
No, not that either.

Collage Sketch, Leslie Avon Miller






At the same time, I need to make art. I simply must. I indulge myself with small collage in my sketch book. I create slightly larger collage on paper. I mail art. I make new mark making tools. I use my own collage papers, watching my stash dwindle. I use crayons and charcoal and pencils and some inks.

When I experiment with new mediums I can’t find my compositional feet on the ground. I can’t design anything, let alone convey a message of some kind. Its painting, but it must be similar to going from a ballet on two skis to a heavy board strapped to both feet. Nothing feels natural. Nothing is dependable. I have no vocabulary. I can’t think in this medium, let alone speak or write a poem. 


Collage Sketch, Leslie Avon Miller






Patience, little grasshopper, patience.


With my collage sketches, I naturally fall into a river of my personal language of marks, patterns, juxtapositions, white spaces and textures. I can flow with the current. I can speak in my artistic voice. I have a vocabulary. 

These are my Haiku landscapes, my observations of the seasons and my place in the landscape. 

Collage Sketch, Leslie Avon Miller




Throw a pebble into a pond and watch the perfect circles 
form and spread effortlessly. 
Think of your art as that circle – 
a circle of creative energy spiraling out, 
taking in new influences, 
reaching out for new experiences – 
but always coming back to center – 
to you.

~Virginia Cobb


 



27 comments:

  1. I am currently trying water color in an experimental fashion, along with things such as graphite powder. It's been a wild ride in the studio this weekend! I come back to center with small collage. I shall remain patient and keep experimenting.

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  2. I love your openness. I feel your vulnerability and courage in your exploration. And I love the idea of haiku collages. These little gems seem exactly that, expressions of your sense of perfection and space.

    As always I look forward to your delicious posts! Great quote too!

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    1. I suspect we all have some vulnerability and struggle. It seems just part of the process of being on the planet. THank you Carole.

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  3. i find the notion of haiku landscapes deeply satisfying.

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    1. Hi India; thank you. I see the love of the land in all the creative work you do as well.

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  4. Exploration takes time as you've realized. Remember it's not about the destination but about the journey (however frustrating that may feel at times).

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    1. Hi Kathryn:You are so right. Time, tolerance for the process, because life is the process!

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  5. patience. surrender comes to mind too. thank you for talking about your current struggle with which materials will work for you. i have never heard an artist talk about this dilemma before. your centering haiku collages are lovely. awaiting hearing about what patience brings forth.

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    1. Hi Suki: Oh, surrender...that too. Surrender to what is, and find a flow anyway.

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  6. As a person who has struggled with 'mediums' and process, I am also grateful for your honesty. A textile artist first, I think I've tried almost every medium there is. Particularly gratifying for me in my years were printmaking (experimental collagraphs with chine collé), encaustic (again, monochromatic and mostly collage and transparent medium with a little burnt umber...lending it's self to drawing 'into' with any of the medium you are working with...use a hard surface or cradled board)....oil sticks on mylar (watch out as they do not dry well)...but slippery and immensely satisfying....and most recently in the past two years I've turned to metal work...experimenting with enamel, a complete twist. My observation (unsolicited) through your struggle and persistence and patience, is that your work is becoming very powerful.

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    1. I love that buttery quality of oil pastels. Love it! But to never dry...well, what good is that?
      I need the flow of water to work with in order for my expression to come forth.
      Thank you so very much.

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  7. Patience, little grasshopper, patience.
    This little phrase made me so happy. (am going to use it later, when i talk to a friend in pain.) thank you.

    The collage are lovely, and very balanced, one feels like rain, the others feel like meditations of architectural abstractions of world. I love them.

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    1. Ah, yes I see the rain now too. Thank you M.

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  8. Good for you Leslie...commitment to these new materials and staying in love with your personal process. Love your connection to collage and feel such balance and beauty in line and shape....carry on!

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  9. Your collages are to die for... the essence of simplicity and good design.

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  10. I like the sketch marks you are bringing to the collage - they really add life and movement. I am pleased you can find your way to be patient and gentle on yourself; it must at times be frustrating but also an amazing adventure and exploration. Me, I like ink!

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  11. Hi LAM - must be correct what they say about art being a journey - keep on travelling as you are creating some beautiful precious pieces. B

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  12. Your collages seem so you, so recognizable. Love the textures and patterns you gather together and compose into art; yes, your personal language comes through in each.

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  13. I have just discovered your site and am madly in love with your art, and inspirations and little quotes. So creative and inspiring. Thank you. I will be visiting ofter now.
    patq

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  14. Loved this post! I can really relate to your ongoing struggle as you look for a new medium. I just found this quote this morning and it seems to resonate to your ever beautiful and evolving collages:
    "Attention is prayer, and form in art is the way attention comes to life." Simone Weil

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  15. No matter what you do, you have a style that is recognizable. Even though you are experimenting with different mediums and going back and forth trying to find your footing again your art is still you. These pieces are simply lovely .... haiku .... meditations .... prayers.

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  16. I so agree with everything you have said...l am still struggling and l have to learn to be patient too. lynda

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  17. Ah . . patience. As Suki mentioned . . surrender is joined with that. Patience is hard for me . . I think because it does require surrender. Emerson's quote . . about nature's secret being patience . . what an example nature gives. Alas, we're all on the same bumpy road, toward acceptance and surrender.

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  18. i tend to fuss and get frustrated with the searching process, always looking forward to the moment i get things "figured out". and then i remember this is life. impatience squeezes the life out of our days, it blinds us from the mystery and magic of the journey, it robs us of the very essence of being alive. what perfect mantra you have found for this journey!

    and the collages? little fountains bursting with life while you travel under the burning sun.

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  19. Your sketchbook collages look wonderful.. you really do have your own vocabulary.. I like that idea.. that our artistic voice has vocabulary... and I love the Virginia Cobb quote... circles and all!

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  20. Oh this is all so true.
    to me once a teacher has said, why do you always looking so hard for something new. Take that what comes out of yourself ,and then work with it. You will then automatically develop more and more. Ideas will come when you work. You just have to have patience. This all sounds so easy.
    greetings Petra

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  21. One strategy with venturing into a new medium is to set a target of a certain number of works before deciding whether to continue with it - for example, a friend who was known for her bold watercolours decided to make 20 paintings in acrylics and then decide whether to consider switching mediums. (She decided not to switch just now, but will do the exercise again in a year's time.)

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