Tag Archives: mixed media

Dragonfly In Mixed Media Day 17 of 30 Paintings In 30 Days

Mixed Media Art On Canvas Day 17 of 30 Paintings In 30 Days
Dragonfly In Mixed Media 8×10 on canvas board by Lillian Connelly and T.S. age 4.

I love this dragonfly in mixed media. It was another painting collaboration with my daughter. She painted the background using acrylic paint, graphite, and sharpie markers. Then it was my turn to add some ink, paint around some shapes, and create the dragonfly. I really like the marks my daughter made. They are typical of the pretend writing she is doing on all of my important papers, empty notebooks, and occasionally on my furniture. The mom in me is shrieking, “Stop the madness!” but the artist in me is quietly smiling at her desire to create and leave her mark on the world. Thank goodness for paint, canvas boards, and somewhat structured activities! I am glad we have something appropriate for her to “work” on and a more permanent recording of what she is doing at this stage in her life. I know at some point we will refurbish the furniture, repaint the walls, and toss the old notebooks. At least with a painting we can frame it and hang it on the wall for future reference.

I am hoping to start a dog painting next week and maybe do some paintings in watercolor. I have a few small portraits sketched out and I am also thinking about working on something really big that may be a work in progress over a few days. We’ll see what happens!

Jim and I are planning to go shopping for a four-wheel drive vehicle so we don’t get stuck at home when it snows or rains too much. Living on a dirt road does have some disadvantages. Shopping for a new vehicle may take up some of my painting time next week, but I’m already planning ahead so I don’t get off track or lose my momentum. Sometimes a small kink in my plans can throw me off for days. That certainly happens with my exercise regiment anyway! Hopefully, with a little planning, I’ll be able avoid that pitfall. Painting consistently helps me to be more productive in other areas of my life.

I hope you have a happy and creative Saturday!

P.S. If you are interested in guest posting on my blog  and talking about your art please let me know. I am working on scheduling posts for Wednesdays in February. You can find more information about what I am looking for by clicking here.

Her Hair Was A Bird’s Nest -Day 15 of 30 Paintings In 30 Days

We’ve been having battles about hair brushing again. I thought we had moved past or through the daily hair combing tragedies, but they seem to have resurfaced right after Christmas. Tiny-Small is now officially opposed to all grooming. I even caught her trying to throw the hairbrush in a trash can the other day. She is not messing around and she knows how to get things done. Or, at the very least, she knows how to get things lost so that things cannot get done.

Oh my shining stars. Parenting is exhausting sometimes, isn’t it?

Just when I couldn’t take one more moment of chasing her around the house, while begging her to let me comb out the tangles so I could put her hair into tangle-proof braids, she decided to brush her own hair. This seemed like a great idea until I noticed she was somehow managing to get her hair tied into even bigger and more painful knots. At one point she even had the brush itself stuck in her hair. In one of my not so wonderful parenting moments I lost my cool and in a fit of frustration, I said, “Fine. Walk around with your hair a mess then!” She just smiled at me in triumph so I dug deep looking for my inner 6th grade mean girl and that is when I told her that her hair was a bird’s nest. In typical 4-year-old fashion, she looked me straight in the eyes and, with the best know it all voice she could find, she announced, “There are no birds living in my hair!”

Of course I muttered something like, “Well, maybe not yet,” under my breath and finally she started getting concerned. I could tell she was imagining what it would be like to have birds living in her hair. Her literal, preschool kid brain believed that birds would soon be subletting the bottom half of her hair. Unfortunately, just when I thought I had her, I over-played my hand.  I joked that she would have to be very careful not to crack the eggs in the bird’s nest once the birds took up residency in her bird’s nest hair. I think that’s when she realized that real, feathered, breathing birds would not be moving in any time soon. Birds she could fathom, but eggs? Now that was darn right ridiculous.

Her Hair Was A Bird's Nest Mixed Media Painting For Day 15 Of 30 Paintings In 30 Days
Her Hair Was A Birds Nest 8×10 mixed media painting on canvas.

This little painting was inspired by Tiny-Small and our daily hair struggle. I thought about how funny it would be to walk around with birds living in your hair. Well, maybe funny isn’t the right word. Maybe I should have said “odd” instead. Anyway, if this kid doesn’t succumb to the brush soon she very well may end up with a bird’s nest in her hair. Or, even worse, a rat’s nest! Now I know exactly what to say tomorrow….


Two Blue Birds In Mixed Media Day 14 Of 30 Paintings In 30 Days

Two Blue Birds mixed media art collage Day 14 of 30 Paintings In 30 Days
8×10 Two Blue Birds mixed media collage on Watercolor paper.

I decided to do some work in mixed media today. I needed to work in a way that brought stress relief and mixed media work always has a therapeutic quality for me, even when what I am doing turns out to be terrible. I came up with Two Blue Birds pretty quickly, and luckily, it wasn’t terrible!

Mixed media is a medium in which I have been trying to improve my skills. If you Google “Mixed Media” you will see a variety of styles. I seem to be drawn to artists who know how to layer well like Chellestein from Journal 52 and to artists like Catherine who seem to be able to put people, words, and textures together in fun and sassy ways. I stare at their work in awe and I love it, but I can’t seem to create that way. I’ve heard other artists say, “we are drawn to what we cannot do” and I am starting to believe that is true.

When I attempt a mixed media piece I seem to do better when I keep it fairly simple. I think I just get overwhelmed by too many possibilities when I try to add several elements into a piece. Somehow it just ends up looking cluttered. A few too many layers and my eyes no longer know where to look. My work gets too busy too fast and then I don’t know what to do with it.

The other day someone commented on one of my art journal entries. She said, “I love your pages because they are simple and that makes them powerful.” Her comment really made me stop and think. First of all, I was grateful because my word for the year is “simplify” so maybe I am sticking to it! I was also caught off guard because I’ve always felt awkward about my simple and somewhat plain mixed media pieces. I’ve been disappointed in them because I wasn’t able to pull off what I thought was a “real” mixed media piece. And by “real” I mean one with lots of details and layers under gorgeous images and words placed in just the right spot. To hear someone call one of my pieces powerful gave me new courage and confidence. Maybe it wasn’t so much that I was doing this whole mixed media thing the wrong way, it was just that I had a different style than the artists I admired most. Not to mention, it is always humbling to discover that someone loves something you feel insecure about. It makes you realize you should have more gratitude for what you can do and for what you are doing.

With my new found courage and confidence I started putting together Two Blue Birds. I thought maybe I would start embracing my simple approach and see where that path takes me. I can tell you for sure that I am much less frustrated by letting go of what I wish I was doing and enjoying more of what I am doing. I’m really happy with how Two Blue Birds turned out. I’m looking forward to doing another mixed media piece with my new “embracing my strengths” and having more gratitude approach!

Have you ever tried to paint or work in a style that you admired, but never really managed to pull it off? Did you feel more joy, or even relief, once you finally gave in to doing something your own way?


I want to remind you that I am on day 14 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. If you would like to see all of the artwork other artists in the challenge have been creating please click over to Leslie Saeta’s blog and take a look. You’ll be amazed by what you see.