Thursday, May 16, 2019

Roosters and Rock Climbing

My newest painting "In All His Morning Glory" 24 x 36 Acrylic
Today was one of those very rare overcast days here in Las Vegas.  A little bit on the windy side but beside that, it was a PERFECT day to go out for a little hike.  Since I just finished my newest painting titled "In All His Morning Glory" I thought it was perfect to "Kill two birds with one stone" sort of speak.  For the past six months or so I have tried to take a photo shoot of my artwork as part of my saying goodbye ritual. I include myself in the photo as if it was a family picture of sorts.  While, this painting hasn't found a new yet, I wanted to be ready just in case.  Also, if we wait much longer, the temperatures here will be too hot for me to handle.

We often just head out of town toward Lake Mead (that is the edge of town we happen to live on so we can be out in the desert in just a matter of 15 minutes or so).  There are a number of places that have outcroppings of beautiful red rocks that make a good backdrop with just little bit of hiking.

I'm happy with how this piece turned out
Today we found an amazing hollowed rock formation that we had not noticed before and even as clumsy as I am, I was able to work my way over to it.  The hollowed out area was rather large and a whole group could find room to stand inside.

A photo collage posted to my Instagram acct

Side angle of the formation
Beautiful red toned rocks everywhere

Brad showing off
Me standing at the edge
Inside the formation

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Baby Goats on Cuteness Overload

So I've been seeing this meme floating around Facebook lately and I couldn't help but notice that the timing couldn't be more perfect.  I have just painted two darling baby goat paintings just last week.  Honestly, the paint wasn't even dry when the original paintings were snatched up by collectors.  I did manage to get a nice photo of each and the prints turned out GREAT!

This past year I have made it a tradition to actually take the time to arrange a photo shoot of sorts that includes not only the new artwork but me actually holding the finished painting.  I do this for several reasons.
1. It is a great marketing tool because it adds to the story of the painting.  Collectors what to know you and often purchase the art based on knowing your story.
2. It actually helps the online buyer get a sense of size of the piece.  I think this is especially true when you're talking larger paintings.
3.  It helps me personally with the emotions I go through when letting go of a piece of art.  I think of this as a family photo of sorts and it helps me remember.

Here is a collage of photos taken just last week with my two newest paintings, "The Face of Mace" and "Cute as a Bug".  Sometimes I just take the photo standing in my front yard but here we drove out into the desert near Lake Mead.

These adorable baby goats are actual babies born just last month at the Galloping Gertie of Glenns Ferry, Idaho.  Katie Lanni, the owner of this amazing little farm gave me permission to use the photos she had posted on her Instagram account @Galloping_Gertie.  I was so thrilled because her baby goats were just the sweetest things ever. 

The Face of Mace

The first one is of a little goat named Mace and so that is why I titled the piece, "The Face of Mace".  I loved the contrast of lights and shadows on this one.

Cute as a Bug

The second painting was of darling twin goats, Perry and Berry standing in the straw filled barn.  I loved their cute smiles and you can tell they are real buddies.

Both of these pieces are available now on my Etsy shop in a variety of matted prints along with 4 x 6 inch laminated magnets or blank greeting cards. 

Let me give you the link to both my Julie Townsend Studio Etsy Shop and that of Galloping Gertie Shop. 

I thought I would end this blog post highlighting some of the images that I put together to demonstrate how these images would look framed or matted. 

I probably should also mention that I have a goat painting titled "The Nanny Squad" that I painted last year and is also available on my Etsy shop.

Feel free to comment if either of these pieces of art, when viewed made you smile.  I LOVE to hear about the smiles!

Have a blessed Day

The Nanny Squad


Thursday, May 2, 2019

Up to my Eyeballs in Ribbons and Rosettes

Art Show Ribbons
It doesn't take long on this artist journey to begin to amass quite a collection of ribbons.  This last art show alone I think I received 5 ribbons for different levels of awards.  Here you see my painting the "Nanny Squad" has won 2nd best of class and a champion ribbon.

My ribbons have been stuffed in a drawer in my studio for quite some time.  I wanted to display them but just didn't have a clue what the best way to do that would be.  As you can tell these ribbons are at least 12 to 15 inches long.  Some of them have the information on them but as I went through this pile I realized that I had not done a very good job of recording them on my website resume or even making notes as to which piece won what.

Pile of Disorganized Ribbons
It took about 3 hours of pouring over old photos to figure it out and still wound up with 1 extra judges preference ribbon that I couldn't identify.  NEVER AGAIN!

My intention from this point forward is to stay on top of this and I knew I had to come up with some sort of display option that took less space than hanging each ribbon up individually.

1st Shadow Box with Ribbons on Display Completed
It was Pinterest to the rescue.  I found the prefect solution and that was to display them all in a shadow box.

I found the perfect shadow box (16 x 20) at Hobby Lobby and purchased 2 of them at 50% off.  The total I spent to purchase both of these beautiful shadow boxes was around $25.  That was far less than I had initially figured.

I just randomly placed each ribbon rosette face down on the glass of the open shadow box and tried to pull the long ribbons in behind so they didn't show.  I can see that right in the middle I failed because there is a green ribbon showing.  I will probably fix this even though it was a bit difficult to get the shadow box back securely fastened down.  As you can see by this photo, I already have some ribbons to add to the 2nd shadow box but I will plenty of room to accommodate future ribbons.

Since it has been a while since I last posted here on this blog, I decided to end this post with showing off a few of my latest pieces.  The large goat piece was painted last year but I felt I should give you a better look at it up close since my photo of it on display at the Clark County Art Show just didn't do it justice.  The little baby goat piece that I'm titling "The Face of Mace" was painted just this week.  While I painted Herman in March and the Meeting in April.

If you like my work, I would suggest that you follow me at my Facebook Studio Page  or join my VIP Studio Email List.  I often have art giveaways on both venues and you can also keep up with my newest artwork.  That is a WIN WIN in my books.
The Face of Mace- 11 x 14"

A Sweet Spot for Herman- 24 x 36"

The Meeting at the Morning Glories- 24 x 36"

The Nanny Squad- 24 x 36"

Monday, March 18, 2019

Gesundheit and Stock Up on the Tissues

It has been a week now and I'm still yawning and trying to adjust to daylight savings time.  Here I am at 3:00 am not being able to sleep and so I'm here making stickers and thinking about blog posts.  Spring is certainly arrived with it's high pollen count and gusty winds so I'm taking preventive measures to head off any allergy side effects.  Hopefully I will be successful in that and stave off all that sneezing.

Other than allergies, spring is such an amazing time of year.  I grew up as a child in the Ozark hills of Missouri and the transformation that happens from the gray of winter to the vast color palette of spring is awe inspiring. 

Here in Las Vegas the transformation isn't as noticeable. I do have three chaste trees (vitex) in my yard and sometime in the month of April they are covered in brilliant lavender flowers that resemble the shape of lilac blossoms.  It only last about a week but for that week my yard is amazing. Oh how I miss the sight of the dogwood trees in bloom.  I am going to have to research doing a piece or two that features that beautiful tree.

Anyway, back to original blogging plan, which was to introduce these stickers sheets I designed with spring in mind.  They are a total of 111 stickers here and I had so much fun designing them.  Unlike most of my stickers, I used royalty free images in the designs.  I usually try to focus on my own original artwork but I think this spring set has only the chick that comes directly from my sketchbook. 

I made the 4 sheets available on my Etsy shop as a digital download so that you can print them out at your leisure.  I have provided the link below if you are interested in checking it out.  If you are working on your planner and need something new than you had best hurry and download this file because SPRING IS UPON US! 
So grab the tissue box and get ready to say

Spring Flower Sticker Etsy Listing

Sunday, March 10, 2019

They Keep Messing with Me?

This is like a cruel joke that gets played on you every six months jut to mess with you.  I don't know which I hate more, the end of day light savings or it's beginning each year.  They both have their unique mind messing properties. 

So today will be a busy day with church,  bridal showers and family dinners and most likely I will need an extra cup of coffee just to keep my eyelids open.  Somewhere in there I have to squeeze in the time for baking my mothers blackberry cobbler.  So my day is full as us my coffee cup,

I hope you enjoy both of my little memes I've come up with.  The coffee pot one is available as a magnet and I have a t-shirt with the same theme on my Etsy Shop.  Go check them out.

Magnet Link

T-shirt Link

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Good Morning Glory

It is a glorious morning to celebrate one of my favorite flowers, the Morning Glory.  I have for several years now been featuring this cheerful annual by giving it a grandiloquent presence in a number of my paintings and now drawings.  This flower is one of several flowers that has strong memories of childhood affiliated with it and beside who can resist this cheery morning flower.

I just read that I can grow morning glories in a container and so today I'm off to the home improvement store to purchase a pack of seeds and a few color flowers to accent the front of my home.  I'm so excited at the prospect of once again enjoying these climbing beauties and yet having them contained as not to get out of hand.  They will be my inspiration in a pot during the hot summer months that are coming.

Whither you want to see them or not, this is where I'm going to share just a few of my MORNING GLORY artwork work with you.  READY OR NOT, HERE THEY COME!

These first three photos are taken while the artwork is still in my sketchbook.  These pieces are drawn using Prismacolor pencils and pen and ink.  All have been done in the just the past 2 weeks.  I'm currently working on a large canvas piece that features a small jersey calf lying on the ground just in front of a huge cluster of morning glories.  This piece has been a challenge because of the size and shear number of flowers and leaves needed to pull it off.  Drawing in my sketchbook helps me be a better painter and besides these three drawings stand on their own as cute artwork.

The next five pieces are all paintings that I have complete over the past 2 years for a series of work the I call "Down Country Roads".  Each large piece features a different farm animals standing near a fence covered in bright blue morning glories.  Of these five pieces shown here in this blog post, only the last one featuring the trio of noisy geese in "Neighborhood Watch Committee" is available as an original.  I can make prints but they have all been sold and have found new homes.

If you like my artwork and are on Facebook, you might consider following my art studio page.  I always post my newest work there and on Instagram first.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

From Cowbells to Classic English Literature

So far this past week I have stayed busy, yet I seem to lack focus.  Oh, I do have some deadlines looming that should motivate me to stay on task.  I can't help but look at the calendar start counting down the days left until the Galleria Art Expo coming on March 2nd and 3rd.  Then there is the Clark County Fair and Rodeo in Logandale, Nevada on April 10-14th and that is followed closely by the Elk's Club Helldorado Art Show.  All of which require me to produce a number of new pieces of art and yet, here I sit at the computer and not in front of my easel.

Yeah...maybe I will start all that tomorrow.  In the mean time, let me show you some of the project I have been working on this week.

Last summer, while we were vacationing in Ely, Nevada, we came across a large deposit of discarded slate during one of our exploring day trips.  This was near the ghost town area of Cherry Creek.  It was such a fascinating area that we actually drove back there several times during that month.

I managed to fill up a box of medium size pieces with the idea of painting on them.  I tried to get a selection that not only gave me a nice flat painting surface, but that had bright appealing colors.  This particular piece stood out to me and it has been lying on my drawing desk for sometime now.

I finished painting this rooster on that piece of slate yesterday and have decided that it will need to be mounted on some weathered wood we had lying around.  I took this picture before we started the mounting process today.  I will try to share photos with you of the finished piece in my next blog post.

I love the contrast of the white painted feathers against the gold and rust tones of the slate.  The piece is rather thin and therefore fragile.  I will be glad to get it mounted on the boards tomorrow for fear I might chip or break it.

Today, I managed to paint a second bunny cowbell.  The first one I painted 2 weeks ago actually sold before I could even finished it.  I decided to have this bell be a Beatrix Potter themed bell and so you will find on the back a sign that says "McGregor's Garden, Keep Out" and nailed to the sign is my rendition of a little blue jacket just like the one Peter would have worn.  I am pleased with how the bell turned out and I'm sure that it will make some new collector very happy.

Last month, you will recall that I took the plunge and purchased a Cricut Explore Air 2 for the studio.  I have wanted to learn how to use one for quite sometime and knew that it would be helpful with my sticker sales.  NO MORE HAND CUTTING STICKERS!  I also was anxious to step up my greeting card game.  In 2018 I sold almost $800 worth of cards and would LOVE to see that number grow.  I feel that the Cricut is just the tool I need to see that become a reality.  

I spent part of yesterday playing around with some designs and just learning how to work in Design Space.  Here are a couple of my first attempts.   I really like that I printed the artwork out on a thick watercolor paper.  That gives such a texture and rich feel to this little 4 x 6 prints.  They are mini art prints and would be worthy of a matting  and a frame after the cards are used.

I decided to use both the black cardstock and the kraft paper cards.
To make the inside of the cards easier to write in and to add to their appeal, I decided to create a cute sunflower insert that really makes this card stand out in my opinion.  I finished it off by attaching a matching sunflower embellishment to the envelope.  It was so much fun to put these together.  They combine both my original artwork and colorful country charms that I can now make with Cricut proficiency.  I've added this greeting card style as a new listing my Etsy Shop where I hope to begin selling note cards online on a regular basis.

You can find the link to my Etsy Shop by selecting the tab at the top of this blog or by searching for Julie Townsend Studio.

I will end this blog post today with my Verse of the Week meme.  Be encouraged in this promise today.  I'm thankful that I know where my strength comes from.  Feel free to share this image on your own social media accounts as long as you leave my studio watermark visible.

Have a blessed day and remember to do something creative.  You will feel better if you do.