Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.
-John O'Donohue

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Holiday!


Friday, December 19, 2014


buddha at Pacific Asia Museum

December has brought SoCal some glorious and much needed rain.  Everything feels washed clean.  May it continue, to shift the drought conditions.

Whether already celebrating or still preparing, how are your holidays going?  I wanted to pass along some inspiring book titles that I recently read.  

"The Art of Stillness- Adventures of Going Nowhere" by Pico Iyer is a lovely petite book about discoveries made when doing nothing.  Iyer writes, "Stillness is not just an indulgence for those with enough resources - is is a necessity for anyone who wishes to gather less visible resources."  Watch Iyer speak on this TED Talk.

In "The Last Best Cure: My Quest to Awaken the Healing Parts of My Brain and Get Back My Body, My Joy, and My Life" Donna Jackson Nakazawa, having suffered for years with chronic illness, relates her healing journey using meditation, yoga and acupuncture in a very down to earth way.  She brings in the science behind each of those modalities and why they work to bring benefit.  It was fascinating reading and a book I can recommend not only to you, but to my yoga students.

I will have some holiday projects to post, but they will have to wait until after Christmas!

Postscript:  I know the word "cure" is a loaded one.  However, it is what Donna Nakazawa chose to describe her healing process.  Others may have used a different word.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sharing Ideas

I don't know about you, but here projects are being put aside (somewhat reluctantly) for holiday prep.  Not much left to do for gifts... but there will be baking and other assorted projects preparing for family's arrival.  Looking to have fun with this and forget the stress...

Shot from 2013... my plants have only just set blossoms this year!

Looking for gift making ideas?  Today I came across Linda Matthews blog post with a list of  free creative sewing ideas.  You might find an interesting project there for yourself.  Enjoy!
And, I have a furry visitor keeping me company this week, while my folks travel north.  Meet Scooter...

Enjoy your holiday preparations!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.
A. A. Milne - Winnie-the-Pooh

leaf Linda A Miller

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I leave you with this lovely On Being post about gratitude by Parker J. Palmer, including a wonderful poem by Mary Oliver.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Exhibits in the Area

MUZEO Museum exhibit
MUZEO Museum exhibit

Sharing information on recommended local fiber exhibits that are on my to see list.
Quilts runs through February 15, 2015 at MUZEO Museum and Cultural Center in Anaheim, with twenty-six historic quilts provided by the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  The traditional quilts are complemented by 18 art quilts from contemporary California fiber artists, including Linda Anderson, Cindy Cooksey, Joe Cunningham, Jamie Fingal, Sheila Frampton-Cooper, Sherry Davis Kleinman, Kerby C. Smith, Lura Schwarz Smith, and Terry Waldron.  MUZEO is located at 241 S. Anaheim Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92805.  Hours:
Tuesday - Sunday: 10am to 5pm; Closed Mondays.
At the Fowler Museum on the UCLA campus:  
Hours:  Monday and Tuesday closed, Wednesday: 12 – 5 pm, Thursday: 12 – 8 pm, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 12 – 5 pm.

Congratulations to my friends and colleagues whose fine work is part of the MUZEO exhibit.   For those of you here in SoCal, enjoy the exhibits! 


Monday, November 17, 2014


You need a room with no view so imagination can meet memory in the dark.
-Annie Dillard

 Molten   © 2014 Linda A. Miller
19" x 15.5"  
© 2014 Linda A. Miller

"Molten" began with shrinkage technique of a hand dye.  I used wool gauze* (thank you for the sample, Karen Rips!) rather than wool felt... produces wonderful texture without the bearding.  Foil, oil sticks, embroidery, couching and applique were applied.  Initially intending this to be small, which changed as I was auditioning binding fabric.  The quilt's reds seemed to call for the framing by the large dark borders.  I appliqued the center section to the backing and couched the raw edges of the quilt, but leaving the raw edges of the gauze showing (thanks to feedback from my Fiber Fanatics friends).

And the name?  Hearing about the volcanic flow in Hawaii, Molten came to mind...

Molten by Linda A Miller
Molten (detail)

The exhibit Women's Work was on show at Freehand gallery this past month.  It was mixed media collection from 12 female artists "dissolving the boundaries between traditional gender roles" and 4 male artists finding voice in fiber art. Though enjoying the overall exhibit, it was the work of several artists that kept drawing my attention back.  Stephen Sidelinger's small thread paintings were intriguing and lively.  Michael Rohde, whose work I am familiar with,  showed brightly colored small tapestries.  Loved the detail of Rob Watt's embroideries.  Women's Work closed November 15th.

Carol Sauvion opened Freehand in 1980.  The gallery is also a center for Craft in America.  Work is on exhibit by several artists from the latest installment of the television series, "Service", which aired on November 2, 2014.  Included were Pam Deluco's fascinating "Paper Doll Stories" and Ehren Toole's compelling ceramic cups. Check with the gallery to see how long this exhibit will show.  If you missed "Service" you can watch it online here

Linking to this week's Off the Wall Friday.  Enjoy!

* Source for wool gauze

Friday, November 7, 2014


We can choose to move like water rather than be molded like clay.
~ Terry Tempest Williams

Curious that some work can sit in limbo, incomplete and seemingly to remain so, when something sparks interest and clarifies the artwork's direction.  Such is the story here, after being quilted and shrunk, this piece sat in a rough unfinished state.  Now with water imagery calling again, I am absorbed in painting and stitching.

I did not think to photograph the beginning state to share, it was the barest of image (original drawing washed out).  Below is a detail of the first stage after watercolor work with Prismacolor and Inktense pencils, crayons...

Linda A Miller work in progress

Next stage with more watercolor and oil stick additions.  And the beginning of embroidery stitching...

Linda A Miller work in progress

And, yes, the piece shown in the last post is still in progress.   I work on several things simultaneously.  Do you?

Speaking of watercolor... here is a link to a sweet animated watercolor:  see video

Linking to Off the Wall Friday.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Off the Wall Friday and more....

Sometimes intuition needs coaxing, because intuition is a little shy.
~Anne Lamott, excerpt from "Bird by Bird"

Work in progress Linda A Miller
Work in progress

Work in progress... shrinking, painting and embroidery.  Stay tuned for more.

And for your enjoyment, a video by Luke and Laura Bisagna from the October 10th reception of SAQA's Shades of Passion exhibit at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts which runs through 10/29/14:  view video here

I have been reading Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life"... though aimed at writers, much could be applied to visual artists (well, anyone really).  Funny, with some laugh out loud moments, reflective and down to earth.  How about this line from the book:  "To live as if we are dying gives us a chance to experience some real presence."  Now there is food for thought.  And what are you reading?

Linking to Off the Wall Friday.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Appreciating the Ordinary

Anyone who wants to can be surprised by the beauty or pain of the natural world, of the human mind and heart, and can try to capture just that - 
the details, the nuance, what is.  If you start to look around, you will start to see.
-Anne Lamott, excerpt from "Bird by Bird"

contemplative photography

For most of us, photography is linked to family, friends, places and memories.  Of course it is even more prevalent these days with all the new technology.  Most individuals have ongoing access to some form of camera.  Everything is photographed and shared.  I have read that the overuse of photography could be actually be replacing retaining those memories within our own brain.  This may or may not be true.

However, photography can be an ideal tool to open ourselves to the wonder of an ordinary moment.  I had the opportunity to explore contemplative photography in a recent Creativity Lab class, monthly meetings where meditation meets creative process.  Walking the neighborhood, we photographed what our visual sense responded to, quickly without the usual concern for composition, design, etc.  Later, we each chose one photo to share with the group.  (Mine is above.)

It is surprising what arises from directly seeing... how an ordinary bit of parking lot is transformed from a disregarded thing into something intriguing, even beautiful.  Seeing with fresh eyes, I become a part of the world around me.  I encourage to you to take out the camera and experiment for yourself.  See what you discover!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

In Flux

The courage of a river to continue belief
In the slow fall of ground,
Always falling farther
Toward the unseen ocean.
~ John O'Donohue, excerpt from In Praise of Water

In Flux   -  16.5" x 22.5" © 2014 Linda A. Miller
  In Flux   -  16.5" x 22.5"
© 2014 Linda A. Miller

Water is a theme I return to again and again.  There is something compelling about water's power and beauty.  "In Flux" is the latest in this flow series, using my shrinkage technique to bring out texture.  You can see the sculptural effect in the rivers, where large gaps in stitching create puffing of fabric due to the felt backing shrinking.   I used water soluble pencils (primarily Inktense), along with hand embroidery.  It is bordered with brocade that is also embroidered following the details.

In Flux   detail © 2014 Linda A. Miller
In Flux  - detail
© 2014 Linda A. Miller

In Flux  detail © 2014 Linda A. Miller
In Flux -  detail
© 2014 Linda A. Miller

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays.  Visit to see the work....


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