Once Upon a Piece of Paper



I was so excited about Andrea D’Aquino‘s new book on collage making that I ordered it two months before it was released… something I rarely do. But I had previously acquired her illustrations in Alice in Wonderland (read my review here) and follow her art on Pinterest and Instagram, so when I saw she was coming out with a how to book “Once Upon a Piece of Paper” I was quick to get in line!

A quote from the book:

“Use imperfection to your advantage”

Andrea D’Aquino does this beautifully. One thing I love about her collage works is that they feel much less calculated than most collage, and certainly more than mine.  I admire the child like freeness she exhibits… a paper version of intuitive painting.


The book is chock full of advice, and her words of wisdom for approaching creativity.


But she doesn’t stop there, she also gives a lot of practical how to tips, like this page on how she creates her patterned papers…


….AND she gives her readers a jump start with a lovely pad of her own designed paper to use!  So far I have just flipped through admiring the papers, but I will dive in and use them as she intended one of these days!


For all of you collage artists, or wannabes, this is an inspiring little book!  Head to your favorite bookstore to pick one up, or it is available on Amazon if you would like to order!

Wired to Create – Book Review

wired to create

I am currently reading… well, actually listening to while I work, “Wired to Create”  by Scott Barry Kaufman  and Carolyn Gregoire.  I am finding it quite interesting.  It examines ten different attributes of creative people:

  1. Imaginative play
  2. Passion
  3. Daydreaming
  4. Solitude
  5. Intuition
  6. Openness to Experience
  7. Mindfulness
  8. Sensitivity
  9. Turning Adversity into Advantage
  10. Thinking Differently

Not only does it give a rather interesting discussion of each of these attributes, it also addresses how anyone can become MORE creative.  It is worth picking up for a read!


The Art of Lester Raymer


Earlier this week I shared the general studio area and grounds of the Red Barn Studio and Museum.  Today, I would like to share a small sampling of Lester Raymer’s works.  Raymer was born in 1907, and worked as an artist until his death in 1991.

Raymer was very accomplished in an extensive variety of mediums including painting, sculpting, carving, pottery, woodworking, metal work, fiber arts….. you get the idea!  I also love how he repurposed sardine tins, erasers, farm tools, spools, and so much more into his diverse artwork.  The photo above shows his oil on wood painting “Enigma II” and also some of his carved horses and embellished trunks.

Th Kite

This is my favorite of the many watercolor pieces housed in the museum.  I love the little gnome style children carrying the Japanese kite.



Sacred, iconic style art was one of Raymer’s common themes. The twelve apostles turn up in places like the brick wall of the patio, on furniture, or in wood carvings.  He created numerous mother and child paintings and figurines as well.




There are many versions of these little gesso covered fabric creations.  This Mary has yarn hair and baby Jesus is holding a ball made from a used eraser!


I also love his fabric based wall hangings. Some of them have very elaborate detail. If you look  closely you can see some jewelry and other creative embellishments in this piece.




So many different styles make me feel better about my own diverse artistic forays!  This man must have truly loved creativity in every form!

More pieces include circus or jester themes, lots of roosters, lino cut prints, ceramics and metal work!

I like this painting of the Illustrated Man, painted shortly after the Ray Bradbury book by that name was published.


Raymer also altered a lot of furniture by adding molding or carvings, or in this case, a fascinating painting.




If you would like to learn more about Lester Raymer, I recommend this book, available from The Red Barn Studio gift shop.  I also encourage you to make a visit to the Red Barn Studio where you can take a free tour of the museum and grounds.


And if you want to purchase a Raymer work… consider this one!




The Coloring Studio Issue 2

The Coloring Studio

Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak.

Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.

Allen Klein


Everyone can be cheered with a bit of color.  Pick up some colorful pens, markers, crayons or paints and it is hard to stay gloomy!  I am excited to announce on the news stands today… the second issue of The Coloring Studio by Stampington Company! I really love the owl on the cover!  Get your color on!

my page

Here is my page of happy coloring ready for you!

Time to pull out my favorite coloring supplies… watercolors and Tombow markers!


The Story Happening by Sabrina Ward Harrison


I was recently introduced to this book by my friend Darla. I seldom do this, but I got on Amazon and ordered a used copy right then and there!  It is designed to be a starting place to add your own journaling, drawing, painting, photos, or memorabilia to.  She has scribbled in words and phrases that can serve as prompts for the lovely pages.  I find it inspiring just to look through!



If you like the look of an art journal but aren’t so sure about actually doing it, this book would be a perfect starting place!

Also by Sabrina Ward Harrison, “The True and the Question” and  “Spilling Open” and other books as well!  Go take a look!


Funky Crow Board Book


I have a small stack of board books left over from my own kids that I am turning into small scale art journals.  The sturdy pages make collage easy, and the limited number of pages make them perfect for a theme.

BK 1 cover

This first one is full of papers cut from a book full of graffiti photographs, as well as some funky crow creatures.   I thought about adding words, but for now I think I will just leave the graphic illustrations to inspire their own story in our imaginations. Guess it is truly a picture book!

spread 1 done

There are some bits of Citra Solv paper here and there, and lots of doodling!

spread 2 done

spread 3 done

spread 4 done

spread 5 done.jpg

And finally, the back cover….

BK 1 back

Which page is your favorite?

I was definitely influenced by the work of Roxanne Coble (aka by bun) go check out her cool pages!

Hutchinson Magazine


The Hutchinson News puts out a lovely little magazine called simply Hutchinson Magazine.  In it are features of local interest, both individuals and businesses.  I love discovering how many amazing things go on right here in my area!


In this Winter 2015 issue is an article on Artlandia, a new gallery space in Hutchinson. More than a gallery, it has office space for creative businesses, studios for artists, and a meeting place for all kinds of creative activities. Owner Jennifer Randall refers to it as a “makerspace”.


I am looking forward to having my artwork hang in the gallery again in February 2016.  I will also have some sort of interactive workshop where people can just have fun getting together to create.


A copy of Hutchinson Magazine can be picked up at the Hutchinson News office for a very reasonable $4 or, it can be viewed for free online! It’s a great way to keep up with what is happening in Hutchinson!