contemporary collage paintings
the process
Leslie Avon Miller

My life flows when I'm in my art.

Jean De Muzio

Sunday, March 31, 2013

giving thanks for the light and beauty

Drink your tea slowly and reverently, 
as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves
 - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.

Thich Nhat Hanh

The hummingbirds have returned, with their quick flights, and territorial behaviors. Some Native American’s call them warriors. Hummingbirds were thought to be the sun, courting a beautiful woman, the moon. They are also a symbol of good luck and joy. Off in the woods I hear the quail call for the first time this season. It is fully spring.

A pattern forms, built over time, influenced by dark and light, warmth and cold, proximity and personal preference. Awareness and gratitude play a part.

This weekend is Opening of the Studio.  My studio beckons in the light of the changing season, in the warmth of the space and daylight for the walk back and forth. The sound track in the background is the song of birds in the day and the one billion frogs crocking in a near by pond in the evening. 

I’m a fair weather painter. I create all winter, in a small warm spot near the fire. The studio is welcoming in spring and summer and fall. And so the painting experiments continue. Water colors, papers. Monoprinting. They cover the floor and any flat surface. Each day I pull the dried papers apart to see what has happened.

The gardener called me to the door and said “I’ve found a treasure.” In his hands was a year old nest found in the honeysuckle. 

The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. 
If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it.
 Your life will be impoverished. 
But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.

Frank Lloyd Wright

I’m drinking tea, making marks and giving thanks for the light and beauty in my life.

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


Friday, March 1, 2013


Leslie Avon Miller, Collage

The god of dirt
came up to me many times and said
so many wise and delectable things.

 I lay
on the grass listening
to his dog voice,
crow voice,
frog voice; now,
he said, and now,

and never once mentioned forever

~ Mary Oliver ~

Leslie Avon Miller, Collage

Leslie Avon Miller, Collage

I have been seeking refuge, a sanctuary and retreat. 
I find my path by making small art.  

Art is my refuge.

Leslie Avon Miller, Collage

Do not let Sunday be taken from you.

If your soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan.

~Albert Schweitzer

Paper, textures, torn edges, small patterns, marks and my thoughts.
These make up the collages 
which are my refuge, my Sunday.

My soul is not an orphan.