textures shapes and color

 

Being an artist is like breathing.
It’s this incredible urge to create, that you can’t question.
Like breathing you just have to do it, or else you will die.
– Marina Abramović

How could you not love a blog with a quote like this displayed in prime screen-space? But even without it, I’d still love Leslie Avon Miller’s collages and creations – and the way she writes about her creative process. Her need for “solitude, contemplation and stillness” resonates here, as well as her profound appreciation of Life as rich and miraculous.

 
Artwork by Leslie Avon Miller

 

On her profile page we read:

Leslie Avon Miller experiences her work as a means to observe and honor the world around her. This requires solitude, contemplation and stillness as the work evolves.  Once the finished pieces are shared with others they become a conversation between the artist and the viewer. Each collage is as an entry into a journal, keeping in mind, as Heraclitus said; we can’t step into the same river twice. The compulsion for creating collage comes from experiencing life as beautifully wild, poignant, and fleeting. The process of creating collage clears space and light for experiencing the moments.

And in a recent post she writes:

Pausing to deeply enjoy the stars and moon before bed and hearing the bird song in the early morning brings me enjoyment and satisfaction at the beginning and end of the day.  It is enough. Life is rich.  Life is a miracle.

 

Texture Shapes Color: Leslie Avon Miller

Click on the screenshot to visit Leslie’s superb blog.


form and emptiness

 

Wonderingmind Studio: Miriam Louisa Simons, washi bowl

washi bowl
Kyoto, Japan
Japanese washi, silver threads, cardboard stand

 

I find the fragile beauty of  Japanese handmade washi irresistible and came home from Japan laden with sheets of all kinds.  Actually it’s much sturdier than it appears.  Not quite strong enough for bowl-making, however.  How could it be stiffened, strengthened?

I decided to do some research and unearthed an old Chinese recipe used to stiffen silk for flower making.  A few dozen experiments and many failures later I had devised a recipe that enabled me to make bowls using just one layer of washi.  The diaphanous quality of the paper was preserved, and the bowls held their shape. Stitching sometimes appears, but seldom for construction purposes.

The bowls each have their own small base, and a storage box – just as do traditional tea ceremony bowls.

Why bowls?  To spend time in Japan, to participate in the rituals of tea making, serving, and drinking, is to enter another entire mindscape.  Coupling this with contemplation on the paradox of form and emptiness is a deep and profoundly awareness-enhancing practice.  Bowls can be potent teachers.


More bowls
Nomad Collection: Japan


creating from joy

 
Many years ago I copied Thuksey Rinpoche’s words of wisdom from Andrew Harvey’s book,  A Journey in Ladakh. I mounted them on card, and wherever I have set up a home and studio, they have been pinned up. I never tire of them, and it’s easy to see what an influence they have had on both my work and this website. Gratitude for this  profound teaching.

 

 

The most beautiful paintings and sculptures, the greatest poetry, have not always been born from torment or bitterness.

Often they have sprung from contemplation, from joy, from an instinct or wonder toward all things.

To create from joy, to create from wonder, demands a continual discipline, a great compassion. . . .

With time and sincerity, you will discover a way to work and write that does not harm you spiritually, that does not tempt you to vanity, that is the deepest expression of your spirituality.

You will find a voice that is not your voice only, but the voice of Reality itself. . . .

If you can be empty enough, that voice can speak through you.

If you can be humble enough, that voice can inhabit you and use you.

– Thuksey Rinpoche


From A Journey in Ladakh by Andrew Harvey

Photo credit: Prayer flags on the Digar La, Ladakh, Rudolph Abraham