January Meeting Speaker: Nicole White

Transformational Creativity: Embracing Creativity as a Lifeline, a Presentation by Nicole White

Saturday, January 13, 2024, at 1 pm Mountain Time via Zoom

Do you have several beautiful handmade books sitting empty? If so, Nicole will share a way for you to confidently and joyfully begin to fill them. Whether youre a seasoned art journaler or just starting, Nicole will help you add another transformative process to your creative toolbox. In this session, attendees will dive into the world of Transformational Creativity—a practice that reduces stress and anxiety while bringing more joy, focus, and purpose into your life.

Transformational Creativity may sound like magic—and in a way, it is. However, it’s actually a very simple and consistent practice, much like weaving threads together over time to create a beautiful tapestry.

During Nicole’s presentation she will guide you through two engaging activities:

  • A simple and short journaling activity
  • A special process she calls Expressive Doodling

Nicole will demonstrate Expressive Doodling on a 9” x 12” sheet of watercolor paper, using a Sharpie for the initial marks (so that you can see what is going on) and then watercolor pencils for the rest.

Please have your supplies ready prior to the online meeting:

  • 90-lb. mixed-media paper (or heavier if you are using a pen, colored pens, colored pencils, or markers); OR
  • 140-lb. watercolor paper (if you are using watercolors, watercolor pencils, or any wet media)
  • A pen or marker with which you can easily draw with on your heavyweight paper (such as pens, colored pens, a marker, a Sharpie, etc.)
  • Your favorite coloring tools—colored pencils, watercolor pencils, markers, watercolors, water media, etc.
  • Several sheets of writing paper and a writing pen for the journaling process

Nicole says that this is a fun, easy, and joyful practice, and that many people in her Art Therapeutics courses have adopted this as their go-to stress reliever.

This exercise is inspired by Nicole’s second book, Finding Your Angel: Your Road Map To Transformational Creativity, but it is not included in the book. Therefore her presentation is an exclusive opportunity to explore a powerful creative process.

Nicole White 
is a book maker/lover, author, artist, certified hypnotherapist, online workshop teacher, and former president of Libros New Mexico Book Arts Guild. Art has always been her lifeline, but it was only when she learned to use it positively that she transformed her life from depression and anxiety to one of joy and fulfillment. Nicole’s mission is to empower her participants in this vibrant chapter of their lives, helping them to quickly unlock their creative abilities and transform their lives for the better. Her research-based approach helps people break free from self-imposed limits, offering simple and fun creative practices to manage stress, release depression and anxiety, find purpose, and embrace a more fulfilling and creative life. In short: helping people do more of what they love and less of what they dread. Visit her at https://www.ravenartcenter.com/

Online Workshop in November: Variations of the Sewn Board Binding

Please register NOW for this great workshop; you’ll need to prepare (or order) materials. The workshop is limited to 15 participants and costs $75 each plus $35 kit payable to Roberta (or you can assemble your own materials; see November 1 below).

Variations of the Sewn Board Binding, a Workshop with Roberta Lavadour

See dates below; actual time to be told to participants
Online via Zoom
Register here: https://santafebag.org/register-for-roberta-lavadours-workshop/
$75 for BAG members; you must be a member to participate


This structure provides a novice with a great introduction to sound constructions and allows the seasoned binder to refine their technique and discover new avenues for expressive design. The opportunities for incorporating personalized elements are endless, and we’ll take inspiration from examples that display weaving, embossing, the incorporation of found objects, and more

Monday, October 30: Deadline for students to order materials kit online from instructor. $35 shipped to mainland US addresses. (We’ll send info after you register.)

Wednesday, November 1: All students receive link to online illustrated instructions for the project, including instructions for those who would like to prep their own materials.

Saturday, November 4: Expected delivery date of materials kits.

Friday, November 10: One-hour introduction with time for Q&A. Some students will have already sewn their book blocks and some may just be getting started.

Sunday, November 12: Students will log into Zoom for a two-hour session with their sewn, lined book block ready to finish together as a group.

Sunday, November 19, optional: Students to gather for an hour to share their finished projects and any subsequent books they’ve made, and show off the adaptations that each incorporated.

Supply List

  • Linen sewing thread (25/3 or so)
  • #18 Bookbinding needle or something close
  • Beeswax for waxing thread
  • Scissors
  • Bonefolder
  • Teflon folder with squared end (optional but encouraged)
  • Metal ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Utility knife
  • Awl or pin vise
  • Waste paper sheets (old catalogs, etc.)
  • PVA adhesive
  • Medium and small glue brushes
  • Large UHU Glue Stick (not purple)

Roberta Lavadour lives and works in rural eastern Oregon, near the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Her work is fueled by a rampant curiosity and explores a range of themes, sparked by everything from estate sale finds to her tangled family history. She’s been exhibiting artist’s books and design bindings for twenty-five years and has contributed several innovative structures to the field of book arts. In addition to maintaining an active studio practice, she teaches in workshop settings, sharing a passion for both sound construction and fearless exploration. https://robertalavadour.com/

Please register as soon as possible! We will email the supply list after receipt of payment.

Questions? Email santafebag@gmail.com. Not a member but want to join BAG? Go to https://santafebag.org/join-or-renew-bag-membership/.

Art Flea Market on Saturday, October 14

(Hey! Help us publicize this event by downloading the graphic here and posting it to social media and emailing it to friends and family!)

The Santa Fe Book Arts Group Presents its Annual

Art Flea Market

Saturday, October 14, 2023, 10 am to 3 pm
St. John’s United Methodist Church, 1200 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (new venue!)

Multi-vendor flea market featuring:

  • art journal kits
  • artwork: prints, paintings, watercolors, collages, sculptures, etc.
  • beads: ceramic, paper, etc.
  • bookbinding tools
  • bookboard
  • bookcloth
  • bookbinding kits
  • books and magazines about art
  • books: journals, notebooks, artist’s, miniature, zines, flexagons, etc.
  • boxes
  • braided cords
  • brushes
  • collage packets and supplies
  • crochet hooks and knitting needles
  • dolls and doll parts
  • dollhouse furniture
  • ephemera
  • frames
  • garland kits
  • greeting cards and notecards
  • knitted accessories
  • leather scraps
  • linoleum
  • marbling combs/supplies
  • markers
  • matchboxes, decorative
  • mats
  • metal and wood pieces
  • buttons
  • mirrors, framed
  • mixed-media items
  • paints: watercolor, etc.
  • palettes
  • paper: dyed, marbled, handmade, collage, pads, etc.
  • pastels
  • pastepaper
  • pencils and pens
  • printmaking paper
  • rusty stuff
  • small paper sculptures
  • thread
  • tins
  • washi tape
  • watercolor pencils
  • yarn


  • Ruthanna Abigail
  • Diane Adair McEvilly
  • Ashisha
  • Jeffrey Atwell (for Gordon Fluke)
  • Bonnie Binkert
  • Andrea Cypress
  • Anne Engelhardt
  • Carol Erickson
  • Esther Feske
  • Julie Filatoff
  • Audrey Hinsman
  • Jennifer Jordan
  • Will Karp
  • Cynthia Leespring
  • Mary-Gray McGee
  • Marcia Moore
  • Micaela Seidel
  • Julie Shelton Snyder
  • Julie Wagner
  • Richard Wolfson (for Vicki Bolen)

BAG Meeting on Saturday, July 8, 2023

Saturday, July 8, 2023, 1 pm to approximately 3 pm MT, via Zoom (online)
Free; Open to the Public; All are Welcome


  • Welcome and Announcements by President Linda Zwick
  • Fall Classes at Santa Fe Community College by Ro Calhoun Gouletas, Rebecca Bradshaw, and Sudeshna Sengupta
  • Presentation by Marci Easterbrook (see below)
  • Update on Exhibits of Members’ Works in 2023 and 2024 by Will Karp
  • Upcoming Programs and Workshops by Linda Zwick
  • Upcoming Salons by Gail Murray
  • Artist Trading Card Update by RuthAnna Abigail
  • July Mail Art Description by Linda Zwick
  • July Anything Goes Description by Linda Zwick
  • Community Announcements (calls for entry, upcoming exhibits and workshops, other highlights) by Attendees (2 minutes maximum per person; will be timed)

Structure & Story, a presentation by Marci Easterbrook

For our online presentation on Saturday, July 8, Marci will discuss how different books structures show and narrate content or even create opportunities for understanding your own story with varied structures. This will include several structures.

Marci Easterbrook has taught book arts, papermaking, lithography, letterpress, and the book as sculpture at Santa Fe Community College since 2012. She also teaches drawing, painting, printmaking, and books arts at Mendocino College in California; workshops at the Mendocino Art Center, the Cape Cod Art Center, Santa Fe BAG, and Humboldt Public Libraries. Marci received her BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design; her Professional Printmaking Certificate in Lithography from Tamarind Institute; and an MA in Art Studio Education from the University of New Mexico. Visit https://www.marcieasterbrook.com/.

Then the following weekend…

Structure & Story Workshop with Marci Easterbrook

Presented by the Santa Fe Book Arts Group
Saturday, July 15, and Sunday, July 16, 2023; 9 am to 4 pm (with a break for lunch; nothing open on campus, please bring your lunch)
Santa Fe Community College, Room 700
$185 for BAG members with most materials included; must be a member in good standing
Details and registration: https://santafebag.org/register-for-marci-easterbrooks-workshop/

Please note: For security reasons we never put the Zoom link on our website. If you did not receive an email from Santa Fe Book Arts Group with the link, please check your email program’s “spam” or “junk” folder. Still not there? Email santafebag@gmail.com with your name and your email address.

Monthly Art Challenges Announced

Mail Art–12 in ’23: Color

Each month you will create a 4×6 postcard (using cardstock) that focuses on one color.

Then email Linda Zwick (lindazwick55@yahoo.com) with your address before the third Saturday of the month. She will email you the name and address of your recipient the next week.

You have the entire month to work on your card. Please mail it to your mail art recipient by the end of the month. (For example, if you sign up in December for the January mail art, please mail your card by the end of January.)

Also email a photograph of your card to BAG (santafebag@gmail.com). These images will be used on social media, the BAG website, and occasional BAG slideshows. If you would prefer not to have your card exhibited in any of these venues, please just skip sending in an image.

Anything Goes! Adventures in Art: Famous Artists

Create a piece of art, any size, shape, and with whatever materials you choose.

There is no assigned exchange involved in this project, so send to anyone you like or keep for yourself.

Please photograph and email an image of your creation to BAG (santafebag@gmail.com) by the end of the next month. As with Mail Art, your image may be used on social media, the BAG website, and for a Zoom presentation. Emailing an image serves as your permission for BAG to use this photo of your art.

BAG President Linda Zwick has given us a challenge. Create a piece of art of any kind (no limitations on size or structure), send to friends and family if you like, and send a photo to santafebag@gmail.com (for posting on the website and social media, and inclusion in a likely future slideshow at a BAG membership meeting). The themes are just suggestions; create whatever suits your fancy!

Click the links below to see examples of the artists’ work.


January 28 is Jackson Pollock’s birth anniversary. Experiment with poured paint and spatter!


In February 2022, Cuban-born artist Carmen Herrera died at age 106, having worked in relative anonymity until age 89. Experiment with abstract geometric shapes.


In March 1891, Georges Seurat died at the age of 31. Following his lead, experiment with techniques he devised: chromoluminarism and pointillism, or use Conte crayon to draw on rough surfaced paper.


Lyubov Popova was a Russian avant-garde artist. This month, try your hand at Suprematist art, that is, focus on pure artistic feeling rather than on visual depiction of objects.


Barbara Kruger is a contemporary artist most well known for her collage style consisting of black-and-white photographs overlaid with declarative captions. Suggestion: create a collage of an image overlaid with text.


M.C. Escher was a Dutch graphic artist who made mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. As noted in Wikipedia, “his work features mathematical objects and operations including impossible objects, explorations of infinity…truncated and stellated polyhedra, hyberolic geometry, and tessellations.” Suggestion: create an exploration of infinity or mathematical objects.


Chuck Close was a visual artist, photographer, painter, and printmaker who made many abstract portraits of himself and others. He is known for many styles of artwork, including tapestry portraits and portraits made of many miniature photographs. Suggestion: play with a portrait or self-portrait with a unique design.


We all, I bet, know of Andy Warhol, who was a leading figure in the pop art movement. Suggestion: step away from fine art and experiment with imagery from popular culture, that is, focus on a mundane image from an ironic view.


Alma Thomas became known for “exuberant, colorful abstract paintings” (per Wikipedia). She had a long career teaching art and did not become a professional artist until about age 68. About this time, she developed a style of pointillism using dramatic contrasts of colors in a mosaic style; most of her works have circular, horizonal, or vertical patterns.  Suggestion: experiment with contrasting colors in mosaic configurations.


John Dwyer McLaughlin was an abstract painter and a pioneer in minimalism and “hard edge” painting, in which abrupt changes occur between color areas that are often of unvarying shades. This style of paining is related to color field painting (see December challenge). Suggestion: create an image of bold shapes and strong colors.


Margarete Bagshaw was born in November 1964. She died (an untimely death) in 2015. She was a member of Santa Clara Pueblo; her grandmother Pablita Velarde and her mother Helen Hardin were both famous New Mexico artists. Bagshaw was a modernist artist and many of Bagshaw’s paintings incorporate designs based on the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical formula that’s called “nature’s secret code” or “nature’s universal rule” (an example being the shape of the nautilus shell). Experiment with harmonious components in a piece.


Helen Frankenthaler was an American abstract expressionist painter. Per Wikipedia, “her style is notable on its emphasis on spontaneity.” In 1960, the term “color field painting” was used to describe her work. According to Wikipedia, Frankenthaler often painted on unprimed canvas with oil paints heavily diluted with turpentine, a technique she termed “soak stain.” Suggestion: create an image based on “color field” design, using large areas of color and hues similar in tone or intensity.

Tribute to Douglass Rankin (with link)

Recently we said goodbye to a dear friend, Douglass Rankin.

Douglass was a potter, poet, photographer, printmaker, pastepaper marker, postage stamp collector, mail art maker, journal keeper, book artist, beekeeper, butterfly counter, bird and fish watcher, cat lover, gardener, cook, hiker, star gazer, traveler of paths least traveled, wife of Will Ruggles, and most of all, a great book arts friend. We miss you, Douglass!

The photography in the slideshow tribute was supplied by Gail Murray, Dorothy Rankin, and Douglass herself. Paul Murray assisted with the technical aspect of the slideshow, which you can view at https://santafebag.org/2022/11/07/tribute-to-douglass-rankin/.

2023 Membership Dues Increase

The Santa Fe Book Arts Group Board voted to raise membership dues to $40 annually as of January 1, 2023. This is the first dues increase in several years. Members who renew by December 31, 2022, however, can do so at the 2022 rate of $30.

Over the years Santa Fe BAG has consistently expanded the number and breadth of programs we offer as a membership benefit. Programs include meetings, workshops, presentations, and exhibition opportunities. This dues increase will enable us to continue to support and enhance our broad range of programming, because we are committed to supporting your growth as book and paper artists.

Renew today! Visit https://santafebag.org/join-or-renew-bag-membership/.

Artwork by Douglass Rankin.

Two More Paper Engineering Projects

Today at the end of the BAG meeting Sally Blakemore will demonstrate two more paper engineering projects. This is part of an ongoing series for those working on the “Santa Fe Origins” collaborative book, and anyone interested in paper engineering.

First are the animated tabs and pulls. This mechanic operates with multiple slots through the front that contain items that lift when the tab is pulled down. Use it for any kind of reveal-and-conceal idea; for example, bugs under leaves or birds flying up or dancers or a village where the houses and the trees pop up.

You can add as many windows and struts as you wish.

Click on any photo to enlarge.

Click on the diagram to open it in a new window to download and print.

The second mechanic is the two-track wheel with two windows. This can be used for showing comparative things. In her example, Sally has humorously shown things you can accidentally run over with your car in New Mexico: snakes, tarantulas, scorpions, stink bugs, rabbits, chipmunks, ravens, beetles, and more. (Don’t worry, folks—it’s not real.)

Click on the diagram to open it in a new window to download and print.

Book Arts Bugs Abound at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum

Thanks to BAG members Sally Blakemore, Barb Macks, Helen Fabel, and Lynn Grimes, Santa Fe kids are going to look at bugs in a whole new way. Recently the four artists decorated two windows at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum: one with Nature Bugs and one with Urban Bugs.

“The installations are a wildly diverse experiment using materials as inspiration,” said Sally. “We created a Mylar ‘waterfall’ filled with bugs made from repurposed cookbooks from Kitchenality and Barb’s Tyvek color experiments.”

While working on the installation, the team heard that Eric Carle died. “Eric was a beloved children’s writer and illustrator who created bugs from paper and was one of our heroes of children’s publishing,” explained Sally, “so we dedicated the whole Bug exhibit to his memory.” The 91-year-old author was best known for his book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

The BAG Bug Team also created kits for the Museum’s Garden Camp that starts in June.

The Santa Fe Children’s Museum is at 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87505; visit https://santafechildrensmuseum.org/ or call (505) 989-8359 for more information. The bug windows are in the Lego building and will be on exhibit through September 2021.

Here are a few photos of the Bug Team at work.

Two Pop-Up Designs by Sally Blakemore

Sally Blakemore, BAG’s Artist-in-Residence, will be demonstrating pop-up engineering at the BAG member meeting on Saturday, April 10, 2021. She will do this because it’s fun, but also to help those who are interested in being part of the “City of Mud” large pop-up book project. Here are two of Sally’s designs. Click on the image to open in a new tab.

A Pandemic Remembrance

BAG member Austa Oliver created a greeting to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the pandemic. “I want to wish all BAG members well as we have just finished a year of hibernating,” explained Austa. “I made the word cloud (below) at the beginning…on 3-12-2020. And on 3-12-2021, I decided the part about changing my age number! Just a thought, as we all think about how long this has all been going on.”

See Austa’s artwork below. (If you’re receiving this via email, click on the title of this post–A Pandemic Remembrance, above–to view it in a web browser.)

Valentines by BAG Members

What a talented, loving bunch of people are BAG members! We received photos of more than 50 valentines from these artists: Ruth Anna Abigail, Monica Andersen, Tracy Armagost, Ashisha, Sally Blakemore, Kim Burkholder, Jill Cowley, Andrea Cypress, Freya Diamond, Liz Faust, Julie Filatoff, Leah Gibbons, Cathleen Higgins, Marjie Kamine, Cynthia Leespring, Elizabeth McKee, Pat Moses, Mavis Murphy, Gail Murray, Austa Oliver, Victoria Rabinowe, Douglass Rankin, Helen Spielman, Susan Surprise, Kim Walter, and Amy Thompson West.

Click on any image to start the slideshow. Click the < or > arrows to advance; click X to close. You can also view a .pdf document with artists’ names here (large file).

Why BAG? A Visual Explanation

At the December 2020 membership meeting, Kim Burkholder led us in an exercise to create a “Word Cloud” by submitting words/terms of what comes to mind when we think of BAG, or what we are thankful for about BAG. She used the tool at Menti.com, and the larger the word and more centrally located, the more people submitted it.

Below is a screenshot; click to enlarge. You can also see it by clicking here.

Why BAG? A Word Cloud

2020 Year-End Greeting Card Project

Because we won’t be able to gather in person at our Annual Meeting on December, we asked BAG members to send their year-end greetings digitally.

We’ll continue to update this page as we receive more cards, so check back!

Click on any image to start the slideshow. Click on the < and > arrows to go forward and backward. Use the X to close the window and come back to this post.

Year-End Greeting Card Project

Because we won’t be able to meet in person at our Annual Meeting in December, we would like to give you an opportunity send your year-end greetings to your BAG friends.

All members are encouraged to make a greeting card. It can be a holiday card (Christmas, Hanukah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, New Year’s, or any other holiday you want to celebrate). It can be a card that communicates any message you want to send out in December that is not linked to a specific holiday.  You are artists; I don’t have to explain the concept of “no rules.”

Once you have completed your card, photograph it and send the photo to elizfaust@gmail.com no later than Tuesday, December 1. You can send a single photo of the front of the card or two photos—one of the front of the card and one of the inside. These will be assembled into an online gallery that will be posted on the BAG website. Also, send me a greeting from you to other BAG members. This greeting will be displayed along with the images of your card.

Cards can be any size and shape that you can dream up. If you would like some help kickstarting your creative process, our Artist in Residence, Sally Blakemore, has designed some pop-up templates that you can use as a starting point for your design. The templates are listed below.

Liz Faust

Sally’s Templates

All of these are just formats, so I encourage artists to just the the idea for themselves and do something totally in their own styles!


Tiny Book Holiday Greeting Tree

Download the template here.

Tyvek (FedEx Envelope)
Angel Wing Prayer Flag

Slot Movement Mechanic
(Butterfly, Bird, Bee,
Sugarplum Fairy—
Anything That Flies)

Download the butterfly template here.


Download the bird template here.

Skinny Comet
Pop-Up Card Using
Mylar for the Comet

Download the template here.

Soft Pop-Ups
Using Florals Made of
Tyvek and Paper,
Platforms Stacked

Download the template here.

Slot Designs:
Floral or Cactus Pop-Ups

Download the template here.

Pop-Up Basketball Court
(Can be Adapted to
Fireplace With Hanging
Christmas Stocking)

Download the template here.


Order Now: Pantone Postcard Book

Pantone Postcard Project: Mail Art 2017-2019

217 full-color pages! This book showcases a collection of mail art postcards from members of the Santa Fe Book Arts Group. It is a visual fiesta, a diverse exploration of art that illustrates the range of talent within the BAG membership, keeping alive the mail art tradition.

This book tells the story of the two-year project, fashioned after Emily Martin’s similar project. The project was based on the Pantone Matching System (PMS), considered the “universal color language” used in art and industry. The cards, created by 54 members of BAG, are original and very creative.

You can order the book here: https://www.blurb.com/b/10438615-pantone-postcard-project

Left, The “plain” Pantone postcards that artists used as the basis for their artwork. Right, the cover of the book showing a selection of the cards by 54 artists. Click to enlarge the photos.