Friday, February 17, 2017

One Smiling Artist and a Couple of Happy Cows

I nearly finished this piece yesterday and I just couldn't wait to show it off.  When you have been working steadily on a piece for several weeks, like I have been with this one, there is a since of satisfaction that comes over you as you head to the finish line.  

I really experience so much fun as these paintings come to that completion stage.  This is when I decide on last minute additions to the composition that I think really add character to the overall piece.  In this case, I decided to add a spunky little male sparrow on the fence post and a small butterfly resting on yellow wildflowers.  The bright yellow and orange are a great balance to the signature blue morning glories growing up the old wood fence post.

As I painted on this piece, these last few days, I could almost imagine the scent of the sweet pasture grass, the sound of the birds in the distant trees and even feel the warm sunlight hitting my face.  This exact scene or a variation of it plays out over and over again across this big beautiful country.  If you have spent any amount of time driving across the middle section of this vast country, you know exactly the story I'm trying to tell you here with my paintbrushes.

Cows seem to be constantly grazing like giant grass machines. They are almost always curious to a fault.  I find that they will usually stop for a moment to stare back at you with their big brown eyes as they stand there trying to figure out what in the world you are doing.  Of course who wouldn't stare at you jumping up and down, flapping your arms in the air, and "Mooing" at them like a darn fool.

 I loved the challenge of painting the roan coloring of these shorthorns.  Mostly using a combination of Violet, Raw Umber and Burnt Sienna but if you look closely there are touches of Orange, Lavender and Light Ultramarine Blue and White making up the fur.  Between the bright colors and their comical faces this painting is sure to bring a smile to your face just like it did to mine.

I am titling this one "Happy Cows" because it is sure to make you happy!  This painting will be featured in my solo art show next month at the Whitney Library.  If you are going to be in the area between March 28th and May 30th, I would love for you to stop by the gallery there and let me know what you think.  My reception will be on March 28th and I will be there with several giveaways and drawings to make the evening special.  Here is an invite just for you.

Monday, February 6, 2017

A FREE Valentine Gift for you.

Last week I ran a contest for my other blog that I have started called "Embrace Your Creative Side" and the response was so amazing on my Facebook page that I decided I had better share this with my Julie Townsend Studio followers too.  Of my five Valentine designs for 2017, this one that I call "Puppy Love" won the most votes.  So to show my appreciate and to say Happy Valentines Day to all my friends, I made this image into a FREE printable PDF file.  There are two (2) 4 x 6 " postcards to a page and all you have to do is to click on the link below and it will take you to that blog post.

Let me know if you actually decided to print out the card and add it to your Valentine Gift Giving.  I would love to hear about it.  This image and many more are available in my Etsy Store or you can contact me directly by email.

Embrace Your Creative Side: My Free Valentine Gift to You

Am I Ready for the BIG Leagues?


"Reach for the Sky"- Commission Piece painted for Walter Johnson Jr. High School- 18 x 24 Acrylic 

In the past two weeks I took a step in my art career that has been one I have wanted to take for some time but was hesitant.  Then this painting came along and I decided to have my most recent painting "Reach for the Sky" professionally scanned and digitized so that I could have the ability to have quality giclee prints made in the future.   I felt this particular piece was one that might have a greater appeal to a pretty broad audience and so I took the plunge.

On the recommendation of a good artist friend of mine,  I contacted Joyce Kasprzyk at Max Art Production here in Las Vegas.  Joyce was so awesome and I immediately took a liking to her.  She wound up taking me on a tour of the entire facility.  Every room we visited was full of the biggest printers and scanners I had ever seen.  Of course she had to show me the large print job they had just completed for the actor Jim Carrey.  Who knew he was an artist but just looking at that giant print made me feel like I had just been moved up to the major leagues.

The process itself was a wee bit expensive but I'm hopeful to recoup my invest many times over.  I was very pleased a week later when I arrived to actually view and approve the proofs.  The one proof you see is the one that I didn't take.  I was very pleased with the color and the clarity.  Of course this photo is taken only with my cell phone camera of the original artwork and with the proof laid on top. 

Usually we take a photo of my artwork outside in the shade with our Canon camera.  This works okay but sometimes I notice there is a flat spot or a little color distortion.  I make sure that I take have the picture taken before a coat of varnish is applied but even so often there will be a slight reflection that is difficult to deal with.  When I look at the two photos below and compare the images side by side I can see such a difference in clarity and color.  Perhaps if we knew just a bit more about our camera we could improve on the quality of the pictures we take but it is hard to image that we could get them as spot on as Max Art Productions did for me.  

Here you can judge for yourself:
No Edit - Photo taken by our camera
Photo using auto correction feature on Photoshop Elements

WOW-Professionally scanned image

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Why is RED the color of Love but You See RED When You're Angry?

Here is a little Valentine Joke for you....Q: Why do melons have to get married in churches?   A: Because they cantaloupe!

This past week I have been frantically working on some designs specific to that lovely holiday that shines a bright spotlight on sweethearts.  You know the one where large masses of pink and red bouquets of hot house flowers clog the entry way of nearly every retail store and the smell of chocolate can be found wafting in the air.  Yes it is soon to be Valentines Day.  I'm frantic because not only do I have just a few weeks before THE day arrives but coming up with designs is the just beginning of the work.  I have to make the cards and market them.  I'm afraid that I have already lost the war but maybe I can win a small battle.  Next year when ghosts and pumpkins fill the shelves I am going to be seeing only pink and red!

Country Girl Valentine

First is my Country Girl Valentine.  You might be able to take the girl out of the country but you sure can't take the country out of a girls heart.  I had so much fun filling this heart with comical little chickens.  I plan on at least having a cow version of this design by the end of the weekend. (Fingers crossed and behind my back)

If you have followed my work at all you know that I have a soft spot for both mice and chickadees.  That soft spot has once again made its way to the surface to combine with a fun Zentangle heart design.  I had so much fun drawing these and I think they will look great printed out as cards.  At least that is my hope and I will be working hard this weekend to make that happen.  Cards will soon be available in both Boulder City and at City of the World just in time for the 14th.  

I took a few minutes just to put together a couple of cards so that I could show what I had in mind.  I had purchased a pack of gingham craft paper a few weeks back and I think the pink and red will be perfect for this project.  I just grabbed a few items off my Valentine decoration from my entry way to stage this quick little photo session.  Lighting this time of the evening isn't the greatest but I think you can see just how cute these designs will work.

If you like my work and want to see more of it, please check out my Facebook page at Julie Townsend Studio or my website at  I can also be found on Instagram and at my Etsy Store.  Thanks for spending a few minutes of your time with me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Reach for the Sky

Here is a question for your....."WHY ARE GIRAFFES SO SLOW TO APOLOGIZE?"  (Answer at the end of this blog)

I have to admit that this one is just a wee bit different than my usual painting as of late and there is a very reasonable explanation for that difference.  This piece is a commission piece for a local middle school and since it had to have an "INTERNATIONAL" feel to it I of course had to look for a subject a bit more unusual than your run of the mill cow or chicken as my subject matter.   I finally settled on the tallest animal in the world that also has an unbelievably comical and expressive face.   Who do you know that doesn't just love a giraffe?  I mean what says exotic and foreign better than this very leggy herbivore?  And let me tell you, this guy was a blast to paint.  When it came to colors, I pretty much used them all.

If you have followed my work in the past year, you know that I have featured several pieces of art that focused on a cow or a calf licking their nose with their long pink tongues in my "Down Country Roads" series.  Well this habit I guess, while it might be disgusting to consider, is something that is also a commonly shared activity within the giraffe family and since they have such a beautiful blue tongue I just couldn't help myself.

While the original painting, done in acrylic on an 18 x 24 " stretched canvas has been sold, there is the possibility of having prints made or I would LOVE to paint another one similar to this.  Just message me and we can discuss that possibility.  I would LOVE to paint one on an even larger scale.  While you're at it, why don't you check out my website and look at my other works?  Be sure and leave me a commit below and let me know what you think of my art work.

Just thinking out loud here....I wonder if a giraffe can get a sore throat?

ANSWER:  It takes them a long time to swallow their pride!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Just A Gaggle Of Silly Geese

WHAT GROWS DOWN WHEN IT GROWS UP?-  A goose of course!  

I also learned something new today....a GAGGLE is equal to or greater than 5 geese so technically this painting is 3/5th's of a gaggle but saying a Gaggle of Geese is just too much fun not to have it as part of this post title.

The Neighborhood Watch Committee- REDO
This is my first completed painting of 2017 and it is actually a resurrected piece that I painted in 2011 when I didn't know much better. There was just so much about my treatment of the background and foreground that I didn't like.  I've been ITCHING to take a paint brush to it for quite some time now and last week decided to go for it.

There is always an element of anxiety when trying to repaint a large portion of a painting.  I pretty much painting out every part except for 2 of the 3 geese.  The goose on the left had to have his neck straightened to allow for the fence post and morning glories to be added.

The original 2011 painting of "The Neighborhood Watch Committee"

I think my redo makes my trio of trouble here a much more solid composition and goes perfectly with the rest of my "Down Country Roads" series that all feature country scenes with a wooden fence post covered in blue morning glories.  Since I have an upcoming solo library show in March of this year I have a goal of adding at least 5 additional pieces to the series. One down and at least 4 more to go.   I guess I have my work cut out for me.

Original Reference Photo taken in 2011 in Marysvale, Utah

Can you tell that I'm just a little bit excited about this show?  I want you to be excited too so I will be planning some fun give-away prizes as the time grows closer. 
If you are at all able to come see my show I promise you won't be disappointed.  Take note of the dates and times and I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Good Morning Sunshine!

 Good Morning Sunshine!  That is the name I decided to give this one.  Cows just have such expressive and curious faces and I LOVE painting them.

I actually finished this painting a couple weeks ago but between rain and  the busy holidays the time just flew by and we didn't get a chance to use the good camera to get some pictures of it. My cell phone takes photos that are probably adequate for a Facebook post but I really like to wait to show a picture here on my blog until I have a photo that is of a higher resolution.  Good photos on a blog are critical.

I have seen other artists paint a frame around their work and so I thought I would give it a try.  I like how it turned out and gives the cow more of a 3-D appearance.  She looks like she is popping out of the canvas.  I decided not to worry about the fact that the 12 inch width of the canvas really wasn't enough to handle this girls extra furry ears.  So I let them extend over and wrap around the side of the gallery wrap.  I think this adds to the charm of the composition.

Because the canvas is pretty full with the frame and the cow herself I kept the rest of the painting really simple.  No flowers or bugs to be found.  Only blades of really tall summer grass for her dining pleasure.

All in all I'm really pleased with the final outcome.  This piece will be included in my 2017 solo library show that I am once again calling "Down Country Roads". I had such a great time with this show in 2016 in Boulder City that I just don't think I'm finished with that theme yet. I am just having too much fun painting from memories of my Missouri country childhood.

The show starts March 28 and runs through May 30 at the Whitney Library.  I will be posting more specific details as the time comes closer but you might want to keep that in mind if you are going to be in the Las Vegas area this spring.

My goal is to have half the show be new pieces so I had better get busy painting more of these adorable barn yard friends.

I'm planning some fun giveaways and contests leading up to the show and for those that attend the reception.  Send me your email address if you would like to be on my mailing list.  I would LOVE to hear from you!

For more of my artwork be sure and check out my Website !