contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I tell you, we are here on earth to fart around...

Gaia's Pond
mixed media by Leslie Avon Miller

This post is a reblog from November 12, 2010. Seth Apter at The Altered Page has an annual event in which he invites bloggers to share a post from the past.

This is what Seth has to say about Buried Treasure:

So many little time. With so many wonderful art blogs to follow, it is difficult to always find the time to keep up with every new post -- let alone have the time to visit the posts that were put up before you discovered each blog.

So...three years ago I started an annual treasure hunt.
Buried Treasure is about digging deep to uncover some hidden gems. The premise is simple. On Wednesday, July 11th all participating bloggers will re-post one (or more) of their favorite posts that ever appeared on their blog.
So without further ado – here is one of my favorite posts. I also enjoyed the resulting conversations. You can find the original comments here.

I want to make art. I have time.
Walk and take photographs.
Flat efforts.

Tidy working space.
Look at my art.

Tidy living space.
Look at other people’s art.

Read about other people’s art.
That’s what that’s about?

Look up the word oeuvre.
That’s a big word.
Not in size. In meaning.

Read poetry.
Read more poetry.
Organize poetry collection.

Stumble upon rich quote.
Laughter and gaiety.
Thinking, thinking.

Feed the cats, and find comfort in the

See the daylight begin to fade.
Realize what it’s about for me.
Make a list of words.

A map for my work.
It’s all ok.

I kind of know what I am saying.
I am exploring, seeking, finding.
Choosing. Integrating. Releasing.

Look up the word imbue.
That one will work.

I’ve found the door to get
back in
my art.

The poem:

On Becoming the Poet You Were Meant to Become
(note to self)

Many poets are not poets
for the same reason that
many religious men are not saints:
they never succeed in being themselves.

They never get around to being the particular poet
or the particular monk they are intended to be by God.
They never become the man or the artist who is called
for by all the circumstances of their individual lives.

They waste their years in vain efforts
to be some other poet, some other saint…

They wear out their minds and bodies in a hopeless endeavor
to have somebody else's experiences or write somebody else's poems.

There is intense egoism in following everybody else.
People are in a hurry to magnify themselves
by imitating what is popular—
too lazy to think of anything better.

~Thomas Merton

The quote:

I tell you, we are here on Earth
to fart around, and don't let
anyone tell you any differently.

~Kurt Vonneget

They mean the same thing.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Keep some room in your heart

Untitled Collage by Leslie Avon Miller

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

Untitled Collage by Leslie Avon Miller

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
~ Rumi ~

texture sample by Leslie Avon Miller

I have been a guest house to a number of fluctuating emotions of late…

Sadness and feelings of loss on top of feeling adrift as I am no longer working with paints, acrylics…. I don’t know what to do. I have also felt annoyed. I don’t want to change mediums! I don’t want to go on yet another up hill learning curve. I want what I want! (See me stomping my feet?)

I also have feelings of joy and gratitude because I certainly feel much better now that I am no longer exposed to intense VOCs. Living in harmony with my physical self is delightful. There is a spring in my step. I am quick to laugh. Life is good!

Because my painting routine has been interrupted, I have found myself with more time and space, which has been freeing. I had a day of total silence this weekend to explore where I am now, with my art, my well-being, and my process as a creative individual. I simply listened to the silence. I felt at peace about it all. I don’t know where I am going; I only know where I am right this minute. 

Texture sample by Leslie Avon Miller

The painting sample above is a guide I have used in my studio for years. I think of it and the one further above as "samplers" of the textures I make with acrylic. I miss this technical knowledge, these things I know. 

Explorations with water color and collage have been engaging and enjoyable. I have no real expectations, so it’s all an interesting foray into new worlds.

Researching options for art products, techniques, and the general process of detoxing has lead to a lot of information. 

I wanted somewhere to keep this wealth of information, so I started a new blog. It’s called Detoxing My Art Practice.

As I research and try the art materials I already own I am posting my thoughts and those of the manufacturers and other artists. Today I experimented with oil pastels. I will be posting about those on the new blog soon.

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.

~ Mary Oliver