Honoring Your Creative Process

We all want to tell our own stories, and sometimes those stories become clearer when we honor our own creative process. This is something that I strive for. As an artist and an art workshop teacher I find this is so important, both for my students and for myself. My process begins not just when I start to work or experiment on my worktable, but also when I get my workspace ready and have objects that surround me that are inspiring.

The Roxanne Evans Stout Spring Collage Collection has the techniques, ideas, and materials to start your own collage projects inspired by the season.

Let me help you find your magic with my Springtime Collage Collection, which includes my first book, Storytelling with Collage, two of my stencil designs from StencilGirl Products, and my newest book, Dancing on Raindrops. In Storytelling with Collage you’ll find step-by-step projects, my own photographs, and inspirational collage artwork by me and other amazing mixed-media artists. In Dancing on Raindrops you’ll discover vibrant and thought-provoking photographs, writing prompts, and ideas that will empower you to be more creative in your own life. My nature-themed stencil designs are featured in both books, with unique ways to use them in your art.

Dancing on Raindrops is a visual journal that will inspire and encourage you to honor your creative process. It will help you find beauty in your own world and be uplifted by your original connection to art. The photographs will draw you in and introduce you to my world as an artist. You will find yourself gathering and laying out your own treasures in a new and inspiring way.

Enhance your creative process with prompts and inspirational photographs found in the book Dancing on Raindrops: A Visual Journal.

Here is how I begin a project: I clean off my surface and lay out my favorite art supplies, some found objects or things from my nature collections, and a treasure from my travels or even from a walk in my garden. Fresh flowers are wonderful, but any kind of remembrance from your time outside works, such as a bundle of twigs, a shell, a butterfly wing, or a flat stone.

Nature is a wonderful catalyst for creativity; in this collection you’ll discover ways to incorporate natural found objects into collage.

Next, I work on the background of my piece. I like to scrape an uneven layer of gesso across my page with a palette knife. While it is wet I carve in some patterns or marks with the bottom of a paintbrush, knowing that they might be covered up later. When the gesso is dry, I use PanPastels to tint my pages. I also like to glaze my paper with transparent or watered down acrylic paints.

Building early layers of texture and color is an essential part of the creative process when making a collage. (All artwork and photos by Roxanne Evans Stout.)

Finally, I am ready to collage! Now is the time I play with arrangements, moving around textures and patterned papers and fabrics until a design works for me. Then I place the whole composition aside and start adhering each piece, one at a time, with matte medium.

After everything is dry, I am ready to add a focal point. This could be something flat, or something dimensional. Often thinking about what I want to use takes several days or longer, and I like to leave my unfinished project out so I can experiment with different options.

Collage shouldn’t be rushed; audition various elements to see what works best with your composition.

In Dancing on Raindrops you will see views of these different stages of my artwork in the photos of my worktable, and see how this progression is an integral part of my creative process.

Dancing on Raindrops offers a rare glimpse into an artist’s creative process.

Roxanne offers some great tips for using gesso in mixed-media art in this blog post! 


Roxanne Evans Stout lives and creates in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and the mountains and the river lands that surround her home are her constant inspiration. She is an adjunct professor at Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, where she teaches mixed-media arts. She shares her art in workshops throughout the United States, and her work has been published internationally. Roxanne also teaches online workshops to students from all over the world. She is the author of Storytelling with Collage (from North Light Books) and Dancing on Raindrops. See more of Roxanne’s work at roxanneevansstout.com.

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Blog, Collage, Mixed-Media Techniques

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