in this intensely image saturated world it is a rare occurrence when a piece of art work stops me in my tracks, causes me gasp with surprise and delight, compels me to linger and drink deep of life and beauty and inspiration. such is the case with leslie avon miller's 'cracked - a self portrait series'.
so it is with immense honor that i get to kick off my interview series of strong creative inspiring women with this lovely lady. leslie is a beautiful artist, contemplative writer, invigorating life coach, kind human being. she knows what it is to live poetry.
some things you love:
I like things with a lot of space around them
Soft unfocused light whites and grays
Morning sun slanting through the trees
The sound of a cat purring
Things, in small groups of three
Wooden spoons stained with berry or curry
Lines made by tall grass
Leaves, half decayed
The color of oats, the moon and old bones
Smells of lemons and clean sheets
Crinkled paper that rustles
The sound of the fog horn
My mother’s button box of tin
That there is no answer
- I wrote this earlier in the year for an artist book I am filling with things I love. The book is called The Color of the Moon and Other Small Things.
some things you love about yourself (go ahead, brag a little):
I like that I am a curious explorer of life. I like that I notice small things. I like that I am in love with life. It keeps me reverent.
what you're working on at the moment:
I am working on some small personal work. The aforementioned artist book, some small collage. I have also just returned to painting after a break for the holidays.
where do you draw inspiration from?
Being alive. The beauty of nature. The patina of age. The work of other artists. Good conversation. Poetry read aloud. Most inspirational to me is the creative dance.
I must also mention tumblr, and pinterest and the blog world. I love the connection with other folks who find similar beauty. I learn to see through someone else’s eyes. I learn to recognize another artist’s work. The gift of beauty and poetry is shared, along with a love of books, of creating, of being.
what is your creativity nemesis?
Over thinking. (It’s an invitation to the nasty critic who nitpicks….that critic needs to go fold the socks or something.)
and our most effective weapon against it?
I have found that stepping back, perhaps trying something very different for a while really helps bring back that explorer’s mindset. I recently worked with polymer clay. Because I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, it was all exploration. It was very good to bring that experience back to my painting.
something you've learned the hard way:
At the end of a long studio day, leave it. The painting and I both need a rest. Don’t paint over it. Come back in the morning with fresh eyes.
would you please recommend a book?
The elements of design; rediscovering colors, textures, forms and shapes by Loan Oei and Cecile De Kegel.
This book is like an artist’s date with one of your favorite artist friends. Full of images that show us how to see the alphabet of our creative language, this book takes us all over the world to see dots, lines, cross marks, circles, textures, grids and patterns. “Look at that! Look at this!” the book says. We see; we learn again to see. I love this book.
favorite natural food to snack on:
Right now it is a cracker with goat cheese and some of the chutney we made this fall from our apples and plums. And always herbal tea. My favorite is African Nectar by Mighty Leaf tea. Unless it’s later in the afternoon, and then it might be a glass of crisp white wine.
when i say feminine you say... juicy
something you need to do less of: hesitate
something you need to do more of: follow my intuition
your perfect day:
Today: It’s snowing. The studio is warm. My husband has gone to
the store and later he will make our lovely evening meal. I have
the day to create, to ponder, to be. Space, time, beingness.
thank you, leslie, for your time, kindness and generous sharing of life, wisdom and creativity!
to see more of leslie's work and be inspired by her writings,
please visit her blog, textures shapes color.
images via texturesshapescolor used with leslie's permission.