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

Building Connection and the Human Body

Posted on May 09, 2015 by Erin Hughes | 0 comments

I think about the human body a lot. I was a massage therapist for over 20 years and once you become intimate with human anatomy you never really lose that awareness. Being trained as a massage therapist changed the way I interact with my own body. From applying lotion to taking care of myself when I'm sick to giving birth to my son, everything is different.

Lately I've been exploring the idea of human connection on a cellar and anatomical level and how that relates to connection on a personal level. Connection is a basic need, occurring billions of times a day on a cellular level. And without connection on a human, personal level we can no longer thrive. There are many ways to conenct with other people. Sending a greeting card is about making connection, from a simple, sweet hello to an intimate message of love, gratitude, or sympathy.

Connection starts on a cellular level. Connection is how our bodies form and develop.

Connection can have an amazingly positive effect on us.

And continued connection within ourselves is critical to being alive and being present.


So take the time to connect with yourself and to connect with others. Connection is what keeps us alive and thriving!


Posted in Connection, Greeting Cards, Inspiration, The Human Body