contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Monday, January 21, 2013

One Heart Telling Another Heart

Shell Bundle, Leslie Avon Miller

The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible
 and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. 
It is a little star-dust caught, 
a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched."

— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Bundle, Leslie Avon Miller

Art takes all the time I can give to it. And in return I gain the satisfaction of striving, creating, expressing, and knowing what it is to engage deeply. Being an artist is like living in a poem of sorts. I feel so very fortunate to be on this path.

I would willingly give more time to my art.

Bundle, Leslie Avon Miller

But that’s not the way of it for me. I juggle between day job work, home life work and art.  I enjoy most aspects of my day job as I assist lovely folks who are in a predicament. I like people, so being a helper is good work for me. I feel rewarded on the best days and I know less rewarding days come with the territory.

I love our home and take on the tasks which are mine with a willing heart, at least most of the time. I am into the Zen of kitchen work. I find that preparing a beautiful meal is a type of art in itself. I can even find some satisfaction in a folded basket of clean laundry. 

Bundle, Leslie Avon Miller

I don’t think of art as work exactly, more like a sustained endeavor, a quest, a joy. Most of all I love the long hours in the studio, exploring and creating to my heart’s content. Like the waves breaking on a rocky beach, exploring and creating art goes on and on and on in an eternal rhythm. I can’t stop.  I wouldn’t want to.

Furoshiki, Leslie Avon Miller

I experience this juggling of activity as a constant dance. If I throw in the laundry while I cook up a meal, I can have the afternoon as studio time. If I can skip out of work early, I can have an hour in the studio before supper time. 

And (here is a favorite) if I stay up late I can make some art after enough of the other things are taken care of. To be fair, there are plenty of times I stay in the studio and get called to supper prepared by my patient and understanding husband. Much to his frustration, sometimes he has to call me several times, as I say “in a minute, just another minute.” That’s another great way to carve out more time in the studio.

Bundle, Leslie Avon Miller

A couple of months ago, I read a particularly inspirational blog post which was spot on about the juggle and reward of having both a day job and a creative life. Fiona Dempster called the dance creating an artistic life style. Fiona said


I can't quantify how much living an artistic life adds to my life, my experience, my well-being, my pleasure and my joy. It means that we think about art, talk about art, visit galleries, contribute to exhibitions and have art-minded friends who we chat to over coffee. Living an artistic life is full of joy and happiness and pleasure, satisfaction and wonder.  I think continuing to live a life like this will be the best thing I can do. I am also grateful that I have the opportunity - I don't take it for granted for a moment.

~Fiona Dempster

Bundle Box, Leslie Avon Miller

I would add to the list of artistic lifestyle elements the connection I have with artists via the internet, like you dear reader, that enriches my life. Thank you for the conversations we share. It is on line where many connections with other artists are made and enjoyed.

This year I decided to eschew many of the traditions of the holiday season, and focus on the parts I really enjoyed. With this new mantra, I made hand made gifts for friends who would appreciate them. I began to bundle. And bundle. Part of creating an artistic life style is what I choose to do, and what I choose to let go of.

Bundle Boxes, Leslie Avon Miller

It really doesn’t matter how we engage our art and creativity, 
as long as we keep dancing the creative dance.

Bundle, Leslie Miller

Our intention is to affirm this life, 
not to bring order out of chaos, 
nor to suggest improvements in creation, 
but simply to wake up to the very life we’re living, 
which is so excellent once one gets one’s mind 
and desires out of its way 
and lets it act of its own accord.

John Cage

Paper Bundles, Leslie Avon Miller

The act of painting is about one heart

telling another heart
where he found salvation.

Ai Weiwei