Current Shows

Due to the Corona virus, the Surface Design workshop has been postponed until this summer. The new date for it will be announced when the Art House re-opens.


I'll be teaching this one-day workshop on March 14, 2020 at the Art House! Learn to design your own unique papers and other materials for collage, card making, scrap booking, journal making etc. I supply all the materials. All you need to bring is a sack lunch and a beverage. Hours are 10-4; fee is $90 per person. Register online at or call 678-543-5777. Act now! Seating is limited!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Art on the Road: How to Create While Traveling

If you're like me, you love traveling to new places but dislike having to spend time away from your studio. Especially if the trip calls for you to be gone for several days or even weeks. It can seem like an eternity before you're able to return home to the studio and resume your usual routine. In the past I'd practically experience separation anxiety when I was on the road. Yearning to be at home with my paints and papers sometimes came dangerously close to overriding the happy experiences that traveling yielded.

Here I'm checking out a local newspaper while on a trip to North Carolina. Words pulled from headlines often make good collage fodder

Traveling light

Forget about lugging paints, brushes and canvases through airports, hoping airport security personnel will know enough about the nature of art supplies to refrain from detaining you. With nothing more than a few items small enough to fit into a purse or pocket, I've discovered how to remain in tune with my Inner Creative Child while living out of a suitcase!

No matter where we go, it's possible to make mini collages, while packing nothing more than a glue stick, a few pens or color pencils and a 6x8 inch pad of 140# watercolor paper.

Watercolor paper makes a good collage substrate. And there's no need to use gesso. Just apply the glue stick to the back of your collage papers, and press them down onto the surface of the watercolor paper. Nor do you need scissors if you're willing to tear your collage papers rather than cut them. Vary the look of the edges by tearing the papers toward yourself as well as away from yourself.

"What collage papers??" you ask. "You didn't mention packing collage papers!!!"

Here's the good news. You don't need to. Wherever you go there's a wealth of collage material all around you. Below are just a few sources available to on-the-go artists. Because many are likely to be copyright protected, artwork made with them should not be offered for sale or used for commercial purposes. Such collages are to serve as personal creative exercises only!

Consider the source(s)

That said, here are 10 places to find collage papers when you're away on vacation or traveling for business:

1. Roadside welcome centers offer hundreds of colorful travel brochures for the taking, as well as road maps.

2. Restaurants are usually happy to give you their menu if you ask for one.

3. Many hotels and inns provide their guests with free newspapers.

4. Ticket stubs can be used if you take in a play or concert, visit a museum or attend a sporting event.

5. Ditto for printed programs and seating charts these venues may provide.

6. If you attend religious services while traveling, don't overlook take-away materials such as Sunday bulletins.

7. Free magazines and circulars are commonly offered in racks at entrances to shops and restaurants.

8. Boutiques and specialty shops often have attractive graphics or patterns on their shopping bags.

9. If you like the grunge look, curbs and sidewalks can be great places to score interesting bits of paper litter. The same holds true for parking lots.

10. Stopping to buy snacks at convenience stores and gas stations can yield colorful candy wrappers and other useful packaging, provided they're not greasy or waxy. Bonus: you get to eat the contents!

As you can see, there's no reason to leave your creativity at home when you hit the road. You'll be so much happier, and get more enjoyment from your travels, if you take a few art supplies with you. So don't leave home without them!

©2014 Lynn Edwards

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