Star By Star – Collaging The Night Sky

Posted on August 24, 2016 by Erin Hughes | 0 comments

Davis and I spend many evenings moon and star gazing as well as watching the magnificent sunsets here in the desert southwest. The Tucson skies rarely disappoint in providing endless photo-ops that I then turn to for collage inspiration. 

This summer a brief sunset during a rainstorm caught my eye and emerged on paper as this:

And last night I finally finished laying down stars in a desert night sky that features a storied inhabitant of the Sonoran Desert, the magnificent saguaro.


 I am so grateful for the Tucson skies and surrounding desert for all of the beauty and inspiration they provide me. 

Posted in Collage, Creating Art, Inspiration, Night Sky, Saguaro Cactus, Sonoran Desert, Stars, Sunset, Tucson

If You Listen—A Picture Book's Evolution, Part One

Posted on June 20, 2015 by Erin Hughes | 0 comments

In the midst of the the love notes I created for Davis while he was in preschool, a poem emerged. The image above was the first in a series that became the text for If You Listen, a picture book about the wisdom in Nature.

After realizing that the shells that Davis and I gathered on a day of beach combing all had their own stories, we pondered the tides of the ocean and what they could tell us.


From the sea we moved on to watching the night sky and talking about the cycles of the moon, a subject that inspires infinite discussions.


After the moon the owl appeared, emerging out of a discussion about nocturnal creatures.


Then we spent a day in the garden, planting seeds and talking about how plants grow. This led to a fascinating discussion about how plants grow, always a good one with the preschool set. From this sprouted the seed and its tale.



This was the last love note I did for Davis in this series, but many more later appeared as illustrations to If You Listen. In the next blog post I will begin going through the book, page-by-page. All of the illustrations for If You Listen are paper collage since my drawing skills only go so far and I have a deep love of decorative paper! And some of those illustrations are currently available as greeting cards at  

In September of this year I will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the publication of If You Listen. Check back soon for more information or sign up for our mailing list for updates!


Posted in Creating Art, If You Listen, Inspiration, Kids, Picture Books

Creating Art with Davis – Collaging the Summer Rainstorms

Posted on June 07, 2015 by Erin Hughes | 0 comments

Sometimes when I am collaging or drawing, my son, Davis, will want to create art side-by-side with me. I often collage while sitting on the floor of my home studio/office so there is plenty of room for Davis to join me. My deep love of decorative and handmade papers means there is always an abundance of collage materials and I keep a good stock of non-toxic adhesives on hand. Add in a couple of pairs of scissors and we are ready to create some art! Sometimes Davis will collage based on the same theme I am working on such as when we created side-by-side pieces inspired by the summer rainstorms here in Tucson. Below you can see the piece Davis made (I have this one hanging next to my desk).

And the one I created.

At other times Davis launches himself into intricate drawings of irrigation systems or diagrams of how storm water drains here in the desert, subjects I have never thought to tackle! Our styles are very different and I love to watch him create and express himself through art. 

Posted in Collage, Creating Art, Greeting Cards, Kids, Sonoran Desert, Tucson