Monday, November 9, 2020

There is DUST on my PAINTBRUSHES

 I have been so busy these past few weeks, that I haven't picked up a paintbrush or even a colored pencil.  Now don't be concerned that I may be giving up on my artwork!  It's far from it.  Rather, I have been working on a couple of new projects that I'm really excited about and that are dear to my heart.  The learning curve has been pretty steep but I feel as if I have climbed to the summit and now can see the possibilities on the other side.

What am I speaking of you ask?  Well, I will tell you.  I have been learning all about low content self publishing using KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) on Amazon.   I just published my first coloring book and it went live on Nov 1st.  "The Farmhouse Whimsy Coloring Book" contains 35 line drawings of my original artworks that you can color for yourself.  Many of the "Wash Tub" series are included in the book and priced at only $8.99, I think this coloring book will make a great gift option for the coming holiday season. Well that is at least my hope and that I receive passive income from here on out with continued book sales.   I'm already planning to create more coloring books in the coming year.

 My second project may not be as popular but I'm excited.  I'm almost ready to push the button to publish my first desk planner for 2021.  It's a large 8.5 x 11 inch paperback (just like the coloring book) and has both a monthly and weekly calendar and 142 pages filled with my artwork, digital designs, scriptures, prayer journal and a big "TODO" list page for each week.  I designed it with my needs in mind but I'm hoping a few others will also find that same appeal.  Because it had to be color print, I had to set my Amazon retail price at $21.99.  

Each of the 12 monthly pages has a full size image of the Wash Tub drawings that appears on my 2021 wall calendar that is available on my Etsy Shop.  The weekly calendar has also a combination of my original artwork and adorable clipart that I have arranged.  The thing that I am excited about is that each week there is included on the layout a large "for this week" page that allows you to prioritize your goals and consider your blessings and victories.  I'm a list girl and I have not found a planner that gives me the ability to organize my week like this one does.  




If my copy of this planner is the only one that sells, I think I will be okay with that.  I felt with the craziness of this past week and the uncertainty I feel about the coming year, along with the continued economic fall out caused by COVID, a happy planner full of funny farm animals and scriptures was exactly what I need to make it through.  Besides I learned a lot and at my age that is SOMETHING!

To find both of these books (hopefully the planner will go live on Amazon by tomorrow) you just search "JULIE TOWNSEND STUDIO".  





 












Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Thanks a HOLE PUNCH

I have shared before that one of the little "BRANDING" touches that I use when packaging up my art sales is what I call my "FARM CONFETTI".  I have invested in a couple of paper punches and my favorites are of a cow, a pig and a small heart.  Farm animal paper punches are hard to find and I would LOVE to add a Goat and a Chicken paper punches to my little collection.  You would think these companies would realize how popular farm animals are and get on the "HAY WAGON" and make more designs.

The pig punch is my favorite but, while the PUNCH BUNCH paper punch plunks out pink pigs proficiently (I dare you to say that fast 10 times) it is rather stiff and puts a real strain on the old carpal tunnel.   

On the Punch Bunch website,  they actually sell a lever device that they call their POWER PUNCH for a whopping $60 bucks.  I love my pink pig paper confetti but not that much!

After showing my husband the picture of the "Power Punch", he decides that the thing for him to do is to make me one from all his scrapes of things he has lying around in his garage.  So while it might not be as "PRETTY" as the one selling on the Punch Bunch website, this device works just as well.  

I can now PUNCH PINK PIGS to my hearts content.  I just have to say that my husband is so supportive of my artwork that I just had to do some BRAD BRAGGING today.  THANKS A HOLE PUNCH HONEY!














Monday, October 12, 2020

Coloring Anyone?

 Who likes to use coloring books?


I've decided that I'm going to work on publishing a coloring book that will contain primarily my "Wash Tub" series along with other farm animal related drawings that I have done. I'm kind of excited and nervous about this project but I have over 32 pages designed and now I just need to scan them and make edits to each page. Then I have to work on designing the front and back cover along with the first few inside pages. This is going to keep me pretty busy. I would LOVE to have this book ready to sell on my Etsy Shop by Christmas but we shall see about that.


I think I also want to include small thumbnails of my completed artwork so that there is a coloring suggestion for how the finished page could look. My thoughts here are that while the images are simple enough for children to use, that with proper attention to shading and techniques, these drawings can be enjoyed by adults. Does that make sense?

The BIG learning curve will come to play when I work on getting the book published. I'm going to research the KDP self publishing arm of Amazon. I was listing this week to "Coffee with Ronnie" of Ronnie Walter Biz Coach for Creatives this week and that was one of her topics. It was like she was talking straight to me. I have tons of drawings already so for me it is really a matter of getting them edited and organized. I'm hoping she decides to offer a small Zoom class just to help those interested in see their book published. I've already sent her a message to add me to her list.

Anyone already have experience with publishing a coloring book? I'm sure this will be a blogging topic of mine for quite sometime. I would LOVE to hear your opinions and suggestions.


Sunday, October 4, 2020

I Didn't Know My Artwork was so POLITICAL



This past week I experienced, in just a tiny measure, the world's sad state of affairs when 
 a comment about a post I shared in a farmhouse decorating group had me scratching my head.  This nation's political division, for the first time, raised it's ugly head in my studio.  

Don't get me wrong,  I have very strong political opinions, but I work hard to keep all that off of my Facebook studio artwork page.  I feel that this world lacks joy, and that a great deal of what is passed around Facebook is more like throwing rotten vegetables in a pot to stir up unrest and create division.  So I feel strongly that my online mission is to share art that brings people back to a happy place where they, even for a brief moment, forget all the junk going on in the world and just smile.  So how could I possible, in drawing a cow and some watermelon have made what can be construed as a political statement? 


I created this drawing that I titled "One in a Melon" to be my July 2021 artwork in the calendar that I have been working on.  What says July and summer more than fresh watermelon, cows and the American Flag?  Well obviously I wasn't thinking straight because here is the comment I received after sharing this artwork in one of the many farmhouse groups I belong to:

"Thinly veiled political statement, much"  and a second person chimed in "My thoughts too".  I read and reread that comment, and for the life of me could not understand what she was referring too.  While it is just one comment, I felt it important enough to understand what about this image prompted that statement.  I shared this question on my studio art page and received an explanation that is probably accurate.  My artist friend felt that the "RED BLANKET" under the flag was a promotion of "the GOP".  She is probably correct in her critique of what this comment was about but let me tell you that this of course was not my intention.  

Do you remember way back in elementary art class when we learned about the color wheel?  Do you remember the each of the primary colors of Red, Blue and Yellow have a complimentary colors?  Red and Green, Blue and Orange, Yellow and Violet are all complimentary of each other.  I can tell you that this art rule was my whole motivation for picking a "RED" blanket to lay my "GREEN" watermelons on.  LORD what has the world come too?  

The post never got ugly or any more negative.  She liked my explanation that the image was not political and that this was a COW under the flag and not an elephant or a donkey.  LOL!  


To end my little rant here, I do want to share with you that this week I made my 2021 calendar available for purchase and this drawing along with 11 other "Wash Tub" images look great.  I hope 2021 is a better year than this year has turned out to be and having my funny wash tub artwork to look forward to is just a tiny contribution to that end on my part.  Here is the link to the calendar on my ETSY SHOP if you want to order one for yourself or for a friend. 


Cover Artwork for my 2021 calendar


JULIE TOWNSEND STUDIO ON ETSY


Friday, September 18, 2020

It's Coming

 Just 98 Days until Christmas...and I have the perfect Christmas Cards for you!


I've drawn this old washtub so many times that I can almost draw it now in my sleep.  With the holidays in mind, it just seemed natural to decorate it all festive for Christmas and invite some fun farm animals to the party.  I had a blast creating each of these drawings and it was natural to then turn them into a set of Christmas cards.  I just added the listing for the set a couple days ago on my Etsy Shop along with a "Woodland Critters Christmas" design that is just adorable.

I'm in love with the torn paper background and the hint of dark red surrounding it.  It compliments that old washtub perfectly and just makes an adorable holiday card to send to your farmhouse loving family and friends.  You're sure to get lots of smiles.  Wash Tub Christmas Card Set on my Etsy Shop

As a matter of fact, I'm SO in love with that background that I have decided to incorporate it into my 2021 calendar designs that I am currently working on that will feature many more of my washtub series.  I'm really excited about and will be sharing more next month.


When I create a new art for a series like this that I know I will be grouping together, I also list each piece of art separately on my shop where you can purchase a print or note card with just that image on it.  No background added, just the artwork itself printed on nice paper with my signature.  This gives 100% of the focus to the artwork without diminishing it with other colors and images to distract your view.  I have listings for all 4 of the Wash Tub Christmas designs on my Shop if you are interested in a print or a card of this style.  These cute animals are sure to brighten up any wall in your home with a splash of Christmas cheer!


If you would like to check out this image or more of my art you can hop on over to my Etsy Shop and poke around.  I LOVE having visitors!  Julie Townsend Studio on Etsy

Friday, August 21, 2020

Spreading Joy one COWBELL at a Time



Wow!  I can't even remember the last cowbell I actually painted,  I'm thinking it must have been last summer when I was on my annual art sabbatical up in Ely, Nevada.  FYI-I just looked it up and since I started painting cowbells way back in 2015, I have sold a total of 141 bells.  That my friends, is a lot of cowbells!

We have made a number of changes to the prepping of each bell and to the way that I paint them over that time and I think this new painted all over the bell design looks amazing.  I want to make it difficult to decide just which side of the bell that you want to display.  

I blogged yesterday about all the hydrangea and butterfly commission pieces that I have been doing in the past month or two and so it only seemed fitting that I would add that theme to a cowbell.  Here is the first "Hydrangea and Monarch Butterfly" cowbell and I have 2 more to paint on my easel.  

As you can see the design wraps around the whole bell and the bright orange of the butterflies just POP against all the purple and blue.  I'm really excited about this one.

Here is the link to the listing on my Etsy Shop if you are interested in checking this out.  They really do make and excellent gift. Hydrangea and Monarch Cowbell

Thursday, August 20, 2020

What is Your Favorite Grandma Recipe


Something to Sing About- Chicken and Dumplings Recipe




This note card design turned out so cute I think and I'm really excited about it.  I've combined my art with a vintage background and typed out an actual recipe to give it that recipe card look.  Right now I have 6 designs available and I've added them to my Etsy shop listings as both a card, a magnet or a print that you can have matted and framed.  These make a perfect gift for that farmhouse style lover in your life.

Just visit my shop and use the search term "Recipe" and all 5 designs will be there for you to check out.  While you are there take some time to browse the rest of my artwork.  I LOVE VISITORS!  

For a small additional charge of $20 I could combine one of my existing artwork images with your favorite recipe to make truly custom gift.  Just message me and we can chat about that.

JulieTownsendStudio on Etsy.com


You Got the Cookies- Snickerdoodle Recipe








Watching Carrots Grow- Carrot Cake Recipe


I Woof You- Peanut Butter Dog Treat Recipe



Forget the Worms- Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe


Cookies and Lemonade- Fresh Squeezed Lemonade Recipe