Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Seeing Red Spots

I LOVE RED DOTS!
I love seeing RED SPOTS!  No, it's not a rash or the chicken pox but rather they denote a sale of art and to me that is the ultimate goal as an artist.  The measurement that you are heading the right direction with you work.  If the public appreciates your style well enough to fork over their hard earned cash, then you know they love what they see.

Yesterday I was thrilled to received a phone call from one of the Boulder City Art Gallery where I have several of my works hanging.  I was told I had a man there that was very serious about my "Autumn Gold" piece and while I was on the phone he made the decision to go a head and buy it and have it shipped to him.  I'm not sure where he lives but I will try to find that information out.

The original may be gone now, but you can always order a beautiful print, a pillow or a greeting card of this painting or any of my other pieces at my FineArtAmerica.com site.  Here is the link if you are interested in checking it out.

Fine Art America- Autumn Gold Print

You can also visit my gallery at my website at julietownsendstudio.com to see this and  my other works.



What a great way to end 2014!  I'm looking forward to seeing what 2015 will bring!

"Autumn Gold"- 24 x 36 Original Acrylic - This piece won the 1st Place Visitor's Choice Award at the Lincoln County Art Show in Caliente, Nevada in 2013!  I even got an amazing trophy for this piece.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fresh Look for 2015

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and are looking to 2015 with joy and excitement.  Here is this year's Family Christmas Photo
Merry Christmas from the Townsend's

I had to include our Funny Christmas Picture too!


The past two days I have been working to overhaul the looks of my website and this blog.  Gone are the heavy dark colors that draw your eye away from the main focus of the website.  I have just a few more house cleaning tasks to do on my website and I will be done with my remodel and then it's back to the studio for me.

Approaching the new year is a great time to begin scouting out other websites to see what the professionals are doing and what catches your eye.  If you don't have your own website and or blog to showcase your artwork or whatever you are passionate about, then I encourage you to step up and just do it.  I found Weebly.com to be fairly easy to navigate and as you can see I am on blogger.com.  Both are free and provide a good internet presence if you just take the time to keep them updated.

Check out my website at julietownsendstudio.com


Putting A Little Action In Your Dreams







Well, it is that time of the year again.  You know the time that we all begin thinking about the new year that is too quickly approaching. It has been 2 years since I left the 8-5 workforce, so in my mind that marks 2 years that I have seriously been pursuing my art career.  I've managed to hit many of my early goals and targets but now I find in this current economy it very difficult to grow and really be successful.  It is a good time to evaluate your true motavation and ask yourself why do you DO art.  Is what you are doing a business or is it a hobby?  This is the first important question to consider.  If your art is simply an activity that you enjoy doing with no regards to the profitability of the activity then you are a hobbyist and there is nothing wrong with that.  I on the other hand want to measure my success by seeing my hard work and effort actually helping supplement our household income.  I want to end 2015 with a positive bottom line. The concept is a pretty simple one....I want to make money with my art.

So I have been considering some 2015 goals and doing some research artist goals in particular.  Today I actually began compiling a list.  If you are serious about your art being a business then you must focus on measurable goals.  You need to DREAM and DREAM BIG, but more importantly you must put ACTION to those dreams or they are really nothing more than fleeting daydreams. 

(1)MAKE $1000 A MONTH FROM MY ART-That is how my list starts.  I started my list by establishing a monthly profit amount that I would like to see me attain.  $1000 a month may seem small to many established and successful artists or it may seem completely out of the grasp of many that are struggling to get a sale.  I'm currently in that struggling category and so increasing my sales is certainly a priority in 2015.  

(2) REGULAR ART STUDENTS- A good revenue source that many artists can utilize is that of teaching.  Having students is a scary step because it feels like I need to have become an expert at painting in order to teach painting and that is so far from where I see myself.  I have been told that your art improves greatly as you begin to teach others so for 2015 I am hoping to find those that appreciate my style enough that they are willing to paint with me and pay me money for that privilege.  Having just 3 weekly student taking 2 hour lessons at $20 an hour gets me almost half way to my monthly income goal.   

(3) BECOME A LICENSED ARTIST- A second revenue source that I am going to start to focus on is getting my art licensed.  It feels a little like moving away from fine art, but there is money there if you work hard enough and I actually really enjoy sketching and painting in more of an illustrated style almost as much as painting a large landscape. Much of my weekly goals for 2015 will be focused on creating designs that can be licensed by companies and eventually provide a steady stream of revenue.  I joined a greeting card facebook group and I downloaded an excellent how-to book by Kate Harper.  I have also been reading some excellent articles on the subject.    

(4) FIND A CREATIVE ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER- In my researching articles about artist goal setting, I noticed on several sites a common suggestion.  Find a friend that can be your creative accountability partner.  Someone that can weekly motivate you to keep your time and energies focused on attaining your goals.  It doesn't have to be another artist, but someone who has an equal drive to attain measurable goals that you can meet with or talk to and share everything you did that week to reach your goals.  I'm thinking of creating a private Facebook group just for that purpose.

(5) FIND GALLERY REPRESENTATION OUTSIDE OF LAS VEGAS- Gallery exposure is key and I want to expand my exposure outside my local area.  

I have a number of other goals listed and I won't bore you with all my ramblings, but I would close with encouraging you to a notebook and pencil and start your own 2015 business goals.  I would also love to hear from you about your plans or suggestions on how you reach your creative goals.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Don't Throw Away Your Revenue Potential....Rather Turn it into a THROW PILLOW

"Bluebird and Rose Hips" as a beautiful throw pillow






















Did you know that even though you have sold the original artwork, you as the artist still owns the image?  If you don't take the time to get a high resolution photo of the piece, then your revenue potential for all your hard work is over.  For the last three years or so I have made sure that I get a good photo of each piece of original artwork I produce  I can then load it to my website and make it available for purchase there like my own brick and mortar gallery.  I also upload the image to a wonderful site that allows my image to be custom added to a number of items.  This is a wonderful way to continue having a revenue stream.

How many of you have an account with FINEARTAMERICA.com? I love this website. This week alone I have sold 1 print and 2 pillows. All I had to do was upload my images over a year a go and after that, they do all the work including mailing me a commission check.
It takes time and no way am I saying you are going to make lots of money but I find it a great way to have my work available to the public so they can order pillows, prints, greeting cards or phone cases. You set the profit you want to make. I include a link button on my website for each of my works that says "PRINTS" that allow anyone interested in my work to go straight over to my Fineartamerica page.
2015 is a great time to make your art promotion a goal. 

Here is my link to one of the pillows I sold this week.  Doesn't this painting as a pillow make a wonderful gift?

Most of my artwork is available at on my website at JulieTownsendStudio.com so click the link and check it out.  




Saturday, November 29, 2014

Telling Stories With a Paintbrush

Today, I'm thinking of the words to one of my favorite Bread songs "If".  The song so beautifully asks the question, "If a picture paints a thousand words, then why can't I paint you?" and that makes me think about how powerful the visual image really is.  For thousands of years, man has tried to capture a moment in time on a flat surface using mixtures of minerals and plants to give him or her COLOR.  Now I'm not an art historian, but it is obvious that art has always impacted the human race and has played a very important role in our history.  Good art evokes emotion at the most basic human level.  It will almost always cause one to stop and ponder its meaning or reflect on a distant memory in ones past or a currently pleasure.  

As an artist it is always my goal that each piece I paint tell a story to those that see it.  I am always drawn to subjects or compositions that have a connection to my own past or to things that have great meaning to me.  

I grew up in the woods and hills of the Ozarks in Central Missouri.  My family owned 20 acres of land and 90% of it was covered with thick woods and even thicker, almost impenetrable underbrush.  Poison ivy, chiggers, ticks and copperheads were in abundance and were just a few of the things we had to battle with on almost a daily basis.  Besides dealing with a few pests, my childhood was one of amazing freedom to use my imagination, to run, to climb and just to just be free to play.  I loved being outdoors and would frequently take long walks up the gravel road, play in my clubhouse or ride my bike.  

I recall when I was about 13 my dad became concerned about me walking the half mile up the country gravel road to the highway to check the mail each day. With tears and pleading on my part, we were finally to arrive at a suitable compromise-I had to from that point on carry the unloaded shot gun with me to act as a deterrent in the event that some unknown criminal element would be traveling down the road and might wish to do me harm.  My how times have changed in 40 years!

Last week I decided after seeing a couple of pictures that my photographer son had taken of my grandson walking in a field of very tall grass that I had to try to capture that youthful spirit with my own paintbrush.  I thought about my childhood and that of my children and grandchildren.  How much more complicated just living is in 2014 than in 1974.  


This world has become very scary and I fear from my grandchildren but for this moment my grandson is simply being a little boy on an adventure as little boys have been doing for hundreds of years.  I could imagine he was hunting for some hidden foe or enemy.  Perhaps he is hunting for a deer or a wild turkey to bring home for his dinner.  Maybe he is just hunting for grasshoppers.  It could be a vast number of possibilities, but I decided to give my composition a stick in his hand because almost all boys will pick up a stick and make it a pretend sword or spear while out on an adventure in the tall grass.





I decided to call my piece "Slaying Dragons" and I must be on the right track because shortly after posting my last blog entry I received these two emotional comments on my Facebook page about this painting and I just wanted to share them with you today and I hope you too enjoy my little STORY!

Fellow Missourian and artist:

  • Larry Smail reminds me of me as a boy!

  • Julie Diveley Townsend actually Larry Smail it reminds me of my childhood growing up in Missouri too. I was spent a lot of time exploring our 20 acres of woods and hills. Spent my summers building forts and going on pretend adventures.
    Larry Smail we had great lives as youth!!!!!!!!!


 Artist and fellow student of master artist Jerry Yarnell:


  • Jeff Riddle My mind is a whirlwind of Mideviel Engish folklore and tales of great adventures, brutal battles and the triumph good over evil. You've done such wonderful work that you not only captured my attention and drawn me into the painting, you sent my mind on a journey back in time when I was that little boy. Totally awesome. If my brain ever slows down enough where I can jot down my thoughts I'll share it with you. Nothing better than a little story to go with your work. I occasionally do that with my woodcarvings.


"Slaying Dragons" is an original acrylic painted on a 10" x 10"gallery wrapped canvas and will be available along with many of my other pieces on my website at julietownsendstudio.com.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Slaying Dragons

This week I decided to paint a piece inspired by an adorable photo of my grandson taken by his dad while out on what he called "An Adventure".  It brings me back to the time when I had 3 little boys of my own and I can say emphatically that I loved being the mother of little boys.  Their energy and their adventure loving spirit would often land them into some sort of trouble.  There were moments that stand out in my memory and are not easily forgotten.  Like the time I came to work to discover that the jar of escaped slugs had all taken residence in my purse or when I found my best cooking pans being used as shovels to haul dirt from their diggings in the empty lot.

Yes, little boys want nothing more than to have a warm sunny day to explore the nature around them.  The protector, hunter and brave warrior characteristics that God instilled in their very DNA comes out in full view just like it did this day with my grandson when presented with only a field of grass and a stick.  

The action in the reference photo was fascinating and I knew I had to try to capture it.  My grandson out with his dad traipsing through a field of tall grass and you can see the spirit of adventure all over his face.   I added the stick into the composition but I'm pretty sure he would pick up one on his own very soon after this photo was snapped.  Its a natural action for 4 year old boys to pick up a stick and turn it into a gun or sword.  

I called this piece "Slaying Dragons" because I could imagine that his look of intent is the result of his mission to seek out some hidden enemy or foe as he carefully parts the grass in advance of his path.  Intently looking for movement or a spark of color that will alert him to the illusive dragon that most likely lies in wait just a few steps further up the path. Sword or dagger in hand ready to battle to prove his braveness, this little boy will grow up to someday be the strong protector of his own family.   



"Slaying Dragons"- 10x10 Original Acrylic on wide gallery wrapped canvas

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ex Nihilo is Latin for "From Nothing"

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to be one of two featured artist at a small downtown co-op gallery here in Las Vegas that we are part of.  First order of business was to come up with a theme for the show, then a title and finally a date to hold the reception.  

Almost immediately I was prompted to suggest that we use this show to be a testimony to honor both our belief that our talent to paint is God given and to somehow in a small way use that talent to give honor to our Heavenly Father.  I have for a long time wanted to paint my interpretation of the Biblical account of the Genesis creation.  My friend agreed and we have both been painting like crazy women ever since.  

I was also immediately impressed with the Latin term "Ex Nihilo" which means "From Nothing". This is exactly how I believe that God created life and I'm excited to have the chance to show my faith through my art.  


Dates for the show and the reception

I have in 2 weeks complete 4 large pieces and I've got number 5 on the easel and well under way.  The originals look much more dramatic and I can't wait to see this show hung in a few weeks.  If you are in Las Vegas during the month of November you should make an effort to come down to the Arts District.  This particular gallery is open 1-4, 7 days a week right now.  You can also check out more of my work available on my website at JulieTownsendStudio.com.

Day 1- 12x36

Day 2- 12x36


Day 3- 24x36

Day 4- Still a Work in Progress- 24x24

Ex Nihilo-24x24


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Keeping it Fresh

2014 has turned out to be a year that I really feel that I have gained confidence and have started to open up as an artist and experiment with lots of color and a more free abstract style. Oh don't get me wrong, I am still painting dusty old prospectors but in between those prospector pieces or a mountain landscape painting a small colorful fun piece is just the ticket to get the creative juices flowing.  I thought I would share a few of them with you.

Coming up in November 2014, my friend and I will be the featured artist at the local cooperative gallery that I belong to. (City of the World Las Vegas) Jan Harris-Arduini and I haven't yet agreed upon a title for the show or the date for the reception, but we did decided the theme of our show would to demonstrate our belief in the Biblical  Account of Creation.  I just keep coming back to the Latin term "EX NIHILO" which translates "From Nothing".  It is my deep desire to honor my Heavenly Father by giving attention to His Creation and Handiwork.

I'm very excited to be painting some very special pieces specific to this show and I won't be sharing them until we have presented the show but I will also be including some of these small abstract pieces.  I'm planning on being a very busy girl this month.

If you are interested in seeing more of my work, please visit my website at JulieTownsendStudio.com



Summer Wildflowers- 8x10

Third Day- 12x16

Angel in the Sea Grass- 24x24

Two Clowns and An Angel- 11x14

Thursday, September 25, 2014

AND NOW THERE IS FOUR!

I just wanted to introduce my newest piece in my Nevada Prospector Series.  This one is especially striking because of the 12x36 inch canvas size.  This handsome fella is taking a moment away to set aside his Gold Fever and his dream of Striking it Rich to "Strike a Pose" for this piece.  I hope you enjoy.....check out my website for more of my work at JulieTownsendStudio.com

Striking a Pose- 12x36 Acrylic

"Big Rewards"- 12x16 Oil

"Just One More Pan"- 16x20 Oil

"Taking a Break"- 18x24 Oil

Whose Dusting Your Artwork?

It is said that a good thing can't last forever, but my solo library show may have closed at the Centennial Hills Library this week but it is at least going to continue on for most of 2015.  What an honor to be offered by the Clark County Library District to have my solo show "Nevada in Shades of Silver and Gold" to go "ON TOUR".  This means they have offered to show my collection two more times in 2015.  In March to April 2015 the show can be viewed in Laughlin, Nevada and again in August to October 2015 at the Windmill Library here in Las Vegas.  I was told this isn't offered very often and so I'm really touched by this gesture.  

The really humorous thing about this "ON TOUR" offer was that yesterday when I arrived at the Centennial Hills Library to pick up my artwork at the pre-arranged time, the assistant art coordinator informed me that the library actually wanted to STORE all my pieces at their art storage facility and I could pick them up at the end of October 2015.  As soon as I recovered from my shock, I kindly declined that offer.  As you can see by this photo I have 19 mostly framed pieces and it is the majority of my inventory.  You might not have thought about the fact that an artist would refer to their art as an inventory but this is exactly what this is.  If you are actively pursuing a career as an artist you have to be prolific with your paintings and at all times have enough pieces ready to hang that your not thrown into apoplexy when an opportunity presents itself to show off your skills.  There are always festivals, juried shows and galleries to keep happy.  

I have a heavy presence in 2 local galleries and 2 more galleries that have a number of my smaller works displayed.  This means I have to keep changing out my work so that the public sees new pieces every month or so.  You have to stay fresh, relevant and always evolving when it comes to your work.  

My marketing strategy with hanging my work at the library is completely that of "Public Exposure".  I am not allowed to sell any pieces that are part of the display until the display is over.  I'm here to tell you that SELLING art, not SHOWING art is the real goal of an artist.  I am told daily how beautiful my work is and what talent I have, but the ultimate compliment comes when someone is willing to take their hard earned cash and purchase my artwork.

As an artist, I am always looking for the venue that will afford me the most exposure to my target audience.  What art niche have you carved out for yourself and where will you find your collectors?  Maybe they will come to a library, walk through an art festival, read your blog or see your Facebook post.  In 2013 I had my first major exposure by having a magazine article published about my artwork.  It wasn't an art magazine but rather "Gold Prospector Magazine" and that was because of a niche I found and my efforts to think outside the box when it comes to promotion.  I simply sent an email to the editor of the magazine and to my surprise I received a prompt reply.

Another example would be this show...I realized the timeliness of my theme as this coming October 31st is the 150th anniversary of my beloved state achieving statehood.  Since mining and Nevada are often themes of my work, I decided to contact the state committee and have my show designated as an official state sesquicentennial event.  I took that designation and used it as added validation to invite more people to my show.  

So I guess my closing thought here today is to always look for opportunities for self promotion and if your artwork needs dusting, let it be dusted by you in your studio where you can get to it rather than collecting dust in a library storage facility somewhere.

If you would like to take a closer look at these pieces all my works, visit my website at JulieTownsendStudio.com

Friday, September 12, 2014

Accounting and Art- Used to be Like Oil and Water

I  know you have probably heard the term "Creative Finance" but I have just given that term a whole new interpretation.  It is probably hard for many of you to imagine that it would be possible to pull off combining both accounting and art together in the same piece but I think I've accomplished just that here in my new series that I call "Confessions of a Recovering Accountant".  

These pieces are both colorful and expressive and yet at the same time simplistic.  For me these 3 pieces represent the sum of my professional life after spending 30+ years in some capacity doing bookkeeping, accounting and business administration.  At times, I consider with some regret those years where art was for me but a distant memory of a youthful passion.  I feared that somehow that ability to be creative had totally disappeared and I would never get it back.  People that I had worked with side by side for years had no idea that I had once possessed a hidden talent to draw and paint and now they express shock as they come to visit my solo shows or the galleries where my art hangs.  

In less than two years, my life really has changed drastically.  Rather than stressing over the accounts receivable collections report, balancing the general ledger or working to prepare my monthly board presentation, I am now always working on a current painting, planning a new painting, sitting a gallery or sketching in my journal.  This series has been so freeing to me and I already have ideas to includes several more pieces. I have ideas to include my beloved Monroe 10 Key and another that I have already titled "Cooking the Books".  

To check out these and my other works, please visit my website at JulieTownsendStudio.com

Coloring My World
Right Brain vs Left Brain



Creative Finance



Monday, August 25, 2014

Making a Big Impact With Just a Pen and Some Colored Pencils

I have always loved sketching from the earliest age I can remember.  In school or in meetings, you will often find my paper covered with strange doodling.  I'm sure this isn't unique to just me, but it helps me understand why recently that I find myself often reaching for a pen and a piece of paper rather than a paintbrush and canvas.  Oh don't worry, painting is something that I will never tire of, but when I can't paint I will often draw.  This past couple months I have turned to the pen and combined that with either colored pencils or a watercolor wash to finish off my creation.  Below are two floral pieces that I have completed and wanted to show to you.

Nature's Bounty- 11x14 Pen / Colored Pencil
This is the first floral sketch that I did and I decided to only add color to the fruits and flowers.  I liked the contrast that this effect created.  I decided also to make my apples green to give a variety of color.  Perhaps I should have gone with an odd number of apples.  Three apples might have been more interesting than just two but this is an observation after the sketch was completed and therefore is something I will have to consider if I repeat this composition.


Nature's Bounty of the Sierra Nevadas- 11x14 Pen/Colored Pencil
Once again I decided this week to do a second floral piece.  Keeping with my wild roses, blackberries and pine cones for this sketch.  I did decide to change some of the fruits represented.  I found that there is a variety of wild plums that grow in the boarder area of Nevada, California and Oregon that is called the Sierra Plum.  Also a very interesting berry that grows in the Sierra Mountains is that of the gooseberry.  What a odd looking berry it is.  Full of stickers but I read that once you get past the sticky exterior that the fruit itself is amazingly sweet.  I know there is good sermon material in there somewhere.

With this composition, I decided to color all parts of it with my prisma colored pencils.  It turned out to perhaps have more red and pinks then I would have originally considered but I love how that makes the foliage and the blackberries stand out.

Both of these pieces will be available on my website JulieTownsendStudio.com and on Fine Art America- Fruits of the Sierra Nevadas or Fine Art America- Nature's Bounty  if you would like to order prints or cards.  I will also be making up my own original cards of both of these designs so just let me know if you would like to purchase a pack of 12 cards. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Its not Finished until the Chubby Lady Sings

What a learning curve I have experienced these past few years in my journey to becoming an artist.  Basically I knew pretty much nothing about the business of being a full-time artist to now feeling an excitement building as I am beginning to be more comfortable with the style I am developing and techniques I'm learning.  I can honestly say that being an artist is FUN.  I know...You thought that all there was to it was to just paint a pretty picture, huh?  Well that not quite all there is to it.  Not only is there the process of photographing and marketing your new work on blogs and websites,  but you have to finish it off with a good coat of varnish and a lot of love.  Another final consideration that I have just recently started adding to my "Getting Ready to Hang" checklist is preparing the backs of each of my canvases to give it that professional appearance that I feel is important.

I have observed a number of artists that wrap the backs of their canvas with paper to give even the back a cleaner and professional feeling.  I really liked how that looked so I have started this finishing process and believe me when I tell you that I have done plenty things wrong in an attempt to figure these details out.  There are a couple of tools that I have discovered along the way that I am very excited about and decided to share them with you.  

First of all, is my Scotch Advanced Glider double-tape gun.  I sing it's praises every time I pull it out of my studio supply closet.  The hardest thing about this gun is loading the tape and that isn't because it is so difficult but rather seems like you are doing something wrong and that it isn't going to work but it does.  I make sure I have kept the instructions just because each time we load it we find that we must consult the instructions again just to be sure we are remembering the correct steps.  Of course we have only loaded the gun twice so it is relatively a new tool in my artist tool box.  

Previously, I had tried to use a standard double stick tape but it just didn't hold the brown shipping paper I was using to the back of my canvas well enough.  There was always edges and corners that were coming loose.  Not with this tape....glides on great and sticks well.  I have even started using it to attach my photos to my customized cards.  Also it is ONLY $19.99 and it is PINK!  Both of these facts have this chubby artist singing loudly.


Here is a picture of my beautiful PINK tape dispensor.



Amazon-Scotch Advanced Glider

Whether it is finishing off the backs of my painted canvases or matted sketches, I pull out my Fiskars Cutting board and combined with my kitchen counter I find that it works as a perfect surface for me to get busy.  Silly me used to cut the paper first by tracing around the canvas and then just cutting it with ordinary scissors.  I would then apply the double stick tape all around the back edges of the canvas and then try to get the paper to lay flat and smooth while I would run my fingers around the edge trying to get it to attach firmly to the canvas.  Let me just say that I have discovered this is completely BACKWARDS to the most effective method.  It was one of those "Bop me the Head, What Where You Thinking" moments.  I now apply the tape to the canvas and then lay the canvas out on the unrolled brown paper.  I then can then take my box cutter and work my way around the canvas, cutting it as close as possible without damaging the canvas.  The box cutters worked pretty well as long as the blade was sharp but I just found a new tool that makes this job even easier.  It is the Fiskars Fingertip Craft Knife and boy does it work like cutting hot butter.  Only thing I can see might be a problem is that it is so small and attached to your finger that you might forget you have it on and cut yourself so please be careful because those blades are sharp!

I loved how it allowed me to glide along the edge of either the matte board or the canvas with control and ease.  Cutting straight and true with no frayed edges or tears.  I LOVE IT and I LOVE the price that I paid on Amazon too.  I didn't have to go wondering around the isles of my local Hobby Lobby, Blicks or Michaels or get in the REALLY hot car (Remember I live in Las Vegas) and drive 12-15 miles to go shopping.  I certainly use those stores plenty for the rest of my art supplies but for these type of things I think Amazon is KING!


Here is a picture of the knife:


Amazon-Fiskars Fingertip Craft Knife

I have made it so easy for you by giving you the links here to both tools. 




Thursday, August 7, 2014

Confessions of a Recovering Accountant

These are a couple of small watercolors and ink pieces I have done this week.  Colorful and expressive, they both have a personal meaning to me and were just plan fun to create.  I have been sketching in volume with pen and ink for quite some time now but I am new to using watercolors to add color to my drawings.  I'm quickly falling in love with the look and freedom that this medium gives me.

This is a little watercolor I painted on Wednesday that I'm calling "Right Brain vs Left Brain". It symbolizes to me the struggle the exists inside of me as detail, analytic person that actually is an artist deep inside. I went years, 27 as a matter of fact, working for an organization as their accountant and business manager and it wasn't until the last 2 years that anyone even knew I could draw or paint. There just didn't seem to be enough time. I'm so blessed because my time requirements have reversed so that I am now free to create art whenever I want and do taxes and some bookkeeping in my spare time.

Right Brain vs Left Brain

This piece I am calling "Right Brain vs Left Brain" and it symbolizes the struggle that I felt for years as I was consumed by deadlines, financial reports and board meetings.  These demands sucked the creativity right out of me and I used it as an excuse to push aside my desire to let the creativity inside of me out.  

Coloring My World

This one I am calling "Coloring My World".  If you look closely at the black and white drips you will notice they are actually full of numbers and mathematical symbols. They have become so swollen that the bulging drips have ruptured and spilled numbers all over.  The colorful drips of paint and the paint brush symbolize my new focus.  You can never remove the accountant in me, but I can sure make my life more colorful by filling it with art! 

I am blessed that I am now able to dedicate my time to creating art and still do taxes and some bookkeeping in my SPARE time.  I already have an idea for a 3rd composition in this series that I am tongue and cheek calling "Confessions of a Recovering Accountant".  I think these might make an excellent greeting cards but I'm not sure of that. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Beyond Excited!

Yesteday I recevied word that my Art Show and Reception, "Nevada in Shades of Silver and Gold", has been approved as an official 150th Nevada Anniversary Event and will be listed on that state website with other celebrations and events around the state.  I'm just thrilled to have this designation and I couldn't help but share my excitement. Here is the official logo that I now have permission to use.  Like icing on the cake, they are even sending me official lapel pins that I can pass out at my reception.  You don't want to miss out on that.

I'm so happy about this that I've decided to have a drawing on Sunday that you can register to win an original drawing that I'm preparing especially for my reception.  All you have to do is come to my reception on Sunday, August 10th at the Centennial Hills Library from 2:00- 3:30 p.m.  I would love for you to stop in and say hi.



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Making a Mark

I was stuck by that simple phrase yesterday- "Making a Mark".  What a great title for my journals and so I'm going to be working to add a tab on my website that showcases my journal entries and hopefully I can inspire others to grab a pencil or pen and join me in creating their own artist journal.

Yesterday, was a stressful and not very productive day for me.  I haven't painted anything for almost a week now and my studio is still in disarray from our long vacation.  So many things need to be put away and organized first.  I find that it is hard to be creative in the middle of a mess.  So distracted and disorientated, I chose to retreat to my journal and try to record my feelings instead.  

I have to say that I am having fun drawing simple cartoonish drawings that tell a story rather than focus on skill.  When I am done drawing, my spirits are lifted and I almost always feel like smiling.  


If you are interested in viewing my serious artwork, you can check my website out at JulieTownsendStudio.com.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I Completely Agree with Vincent....Vincent van Gogh that is!


"I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing."
Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890) Post Impressionist painter
I couldn't have said it any better myself!  What a wonderful and simplistic way to express my own feelings about drawing.  I recently started an "Artist Journal" so that I could record an event or a thought artistically and without the pressure of trying to create something for public display.  I find there is something freeing about just sketching for fun and yet I am hoping that as I fill up my sketchbook with little humorous and even cartoonish entries that this book will be a treasure for my family to cherish long after I am gone.  I'm really thinking of starting a personal sketchbook for each grandchild.  Wouldn't that be a great thing to pass down?  

I have included a number of my sketches that span our recent 5 week camping, roadtrip adventure that tooks us through Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and a day trip into British Columbia and Alberta Canada.  What an amazing time we had and I thought it would be fun to share with you.

















Friday, June 27, 2014

Celebrating 150 Years

Last year I had the pleasure of having my art work featured in an article in Prospectors Magazine.  It was a definately a high point for my art efforts in 2013.  



Since that article was published I have added to my collection of prospector pieces and wanted to share a few of them today in this post.   Mining is such an important part of the history of Nevada.  Its appropriate to take a moment to think about this part of our history as this fall Nevada will be celebrating it's 150th birthday. (October 31, 1864)  You will find that there are many examples of both Cowboys, Ranchers and the Native Americans used in western art, but there are really very few pieces that focus on the rugid prospector.  I love giving a little tribute to the prospector/miner who scoured this state leaving their artifacts scattered all over the desert floor.  

More information on all of these pieces and many more are available on my Website at JulieTownsendStudio.com.   Come check them out and I would love it if you would leave me a comment.