Tag Archives: mixed media art

30 Paintings in 30 Days 2015 Day 2

I’m pretty excited about the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge this year. I am having a lot of fun. It’s only day two so I probably shouldn’t get too ahead of myself, but there is something really relaxing about painting and doodling and painting some more.

Today I painted a spotted Pitbull, but with a twist. I guess she’s a little more patriotic than most.

30 Paintings in 30 Days 2015 Day 2
“Pitbull In Red, White, and Blue” 5×5 mixed media on Ampersand canvas board.

I hope you are enjoying the challenge as much as I am!


30 Paintings In 30 Days 2015 Day 1

It’s the first day of 30 Paintings in 30 Days! I am about to embark on the fulfilling, yet slightly grueling (possibly masochistic) journey of painting one painting a day for 30 days straight. I’ve warned my family not to expect dinner, clean laundry, or my attention for a while. I’m pretty sure they didn’t hear a word I said. Oh well! Surprises are fun for everyone, right?

This September I decided my painting parameters would include two things: Only mixed media and always small. I’m not going to try to win any imaginary awards for strenuous painting this time around. Or have too narrow a theme. Mostly because I am pregnant and super lazy, but also because mixed media paintings need time to dry and breathe and have layers so smaller makes more sense. I’m probably going to paint a lot of animals because I am tinkering with creating a line of paintings specifically for nurseries and for the rooms of animal-loving children everywhere. This will give me some practice with colors and techniques. I also have an art show in October and would like to have a few more mixed media pieces to display. So this challenge will hopefully help me reach my goals. Fingers crossed!

Mixed media and I don’t always get along. I’m still learning (slowly) when to stop and how to combine medias. It’s something that I struggle with so I am bound to have a few duds this month, but the best part is I can paint over the pieces I really dislike and maybe give them another shot at life.

Today I started with a layer of flowers and then I added a leopard. I decided to cover up part of the painting with blue. Then I went back in with paint pens, markers, colored pencils, and a few liquid inks to add some detail. I’m pretty happy with how it came out. The leopard appears to be on the prowl and I like the whimsy the flowers add.

"Leopard in the Flower Jungle" 11x14 mixed media on canvas board by Lillian Connelly.
“Leopard in the Flower Jungle” 11×14 mixed media on canvas board by Lillian Connelly.

If you’d like to follow along with the challenge (or join it) please visit Slices of Life by Leslie Saeta. Artists all over the world are participating this year so please check out their work too and encourage them on this journey.

You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #30in30.



How To Make Your Own Stamps

I’m involved with some art journal groups this year. I haven’t kept up with the weekly prompts, but I am doing some of them and maybe I will catch up eventually. I see many of the artists in my groups using stamps in their work and I wanted to do some stamping too, but I also knew I wanted to make my own stamps so I figured I might as well learn how to do that for my art journal pages. I found a book on stamps to read up on the process. I bought some supplies. Then I started experimenting!

I bought some E-Z-Cut Printing Blocks and a couple of linoleum mounted blocks from Dick Blicks.

How To Make Your Own Stamps
Linoleum carving block.


I drew a picture I wanted to carve, after reading some tips in this book: Stamp Carving 101: A Complete Guide on How to Make Your Own Custom Rubber Stamps. Then I got out my trusty Speedball Linoleum Cutter and got to work carving. I tried to keep the images simple because, to be frank, I didn’t really know what I was doing.

I tried the linoleum first because it was what I was most familiar with. It was really hard to carve. I found it difficult to scrape away the linoleum. I only cut myself once so I am still claiming VICTORY! Once I had the stamp carved I used a brayer to apply some printing ink to my stamp. I turned the block over and pressed the stamp into the paper, but I think the linoleum was too rigid to make a clean, solid print. It might have come out better if I was able to put the block through a printing press and really squeeze it to the paper. Unfortunately I don’t possess a press so I can’t try that out right now.

I wasn’t too happy with how hard the linoleum was to carve or with the way it printed. It was a lot of work and a lot of disappointment. I think it might work better with a smaller block, but I haven’t tried that yet so I don’t know for sure.

How To Make Your Own Stamps.
The linoleum stamp doesn’t hit the paper in the same way. The flower doesn’t all appear. I may need to use a press with it. The bird on this paper was carved with the E-Z block and makes a clearer print.


Next I tried the E-Z printing block. It was like a big floppy rubber eraser. It carved like butter. I had to be careful about not cutting off more than I meant too, but quickly adjusted my pressure and started enjoying the process. It was so easy to carve that my four year old was able to do it. What a joy to work with! I cut the tree out of the block using an x-acto knife and was able to use the extra pieces to make some smaller stamps too (see the bird in the above photo).

How To Make Your Own Stamps
E-Z Block Tree Stamp.


I liked the way the E-Z printing block printed better than the linoleum. The rubber was completely flat on the paper allowing the printing ink to stick to the paper and create a lovely print. It was so much easier to carve. I don’t think I’ll bother with the linoleum again. The only problem with the E-Z block was it can crumble which makes me wonder how long the stamps will last for.

How To Make Your Own Stamps
The E-Z blocks were bendable and rubbery.


I was really excited about how my tree stamp printed. I just ordered some ink pads so I can see how the rubbery stamps print using that kind of ink next. I’ll keep you posted on how printing with an ink pad comes out in comparison.

I have plans to create many more stamps so I will have plenty of experimenting to do.

How to make your own stamps.
E-Z block tree stamp on card stock.


I am using this tree stamp to create hand stamped cards for my customers. It’s been fun using different colors of printing ink to see how the tree comes out. I am looking forward to making more prints and using my original stamps to decorate shipping envelopes for my online sales. It’s a pretty easy and fun way to customize your packaging and to help you establish the often elusive “branding” that businesses are always trying to capture. It’s also just fun to send mail to your friends in really cool envelopes.

Have you done any stamping? Do you have a favorite stamp related art product? I am interested in trying new things to see what I like to use best. Your tips and insights would be extremely helpful!


Happy Monday!


*Links to Amazon are affiliate links.