Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Beginnings of an Art Club

I'm excited and a wee bit nervous to meet a couple of new students this afternoon that are signed up to join me on our first meeting of the MVCS A-Club.  I made this poster to hang on our door helping parents and staff know where we are.   My plan is to just do a lot of drawing in this session and use the book written by Kathryn Temple called "Art for Kids Drawing" as a guide to our drawing discussions.  It is a great book that covers all the basics.  

 Today's lessons plan:  I hope we can get this all covered during the one hour allotted me.

* Talk about the importance of the Artistic Journal- I have sketchbooks to give them that they can use and decorate  

* Stress these points from page 9 of the book    
       ~There is no right way to draw    
       ~Don't compare your artwork to others    
       ~There is really no messing up    
       ~Practice and then practice some more    
       ~Don't stress about showing your art to people  

*I'm going to then show them my favorite drawing and sketching materials-Pen, Pencils, Prismacolor Pencils and my Tombow Markers I have created a zentangle pattern work sheet to practice from and a blank sheet that they can fill with their own created zentangle patterns.

*Finally, I have prepared a blank art page that has nothing more than a circle drawn on it from which we are going to start our own zentangle artwork.  I will post pictures as we progress through the next eight weeks.  I'm hopefully to find areas around the school and venues away from campus that we can display the art we create.  I pray to encourage their creativity and passion for art and at the same time, lay a strong foundation of sketching basics.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I Want to be a MOOver

I have been giving a great deal of consideration to what steps I need to take to MOOve or propel my artistic goals forward. 2016 is rapidly approaching it's end and am I really further along than I was on January 1.  I know I was determined to take strides to make this year the year of my art.  So besides creating art, I've been considering some of my accomplishments this year.

In April I sold almost $800 worth of art during my solo show "Down Country Roads".  One piece broke my personal sale record for a single piece of art.  So I guess I can state that this show was pretty successful and has pushed my art down a path towards a style that is uniquely my own.  I've heard the word "Whimsical" used a number of times when describing my little country scenes. Also I have heard the reaction that my art makes them smile or reminds them of their childhood.  This is such a compliment to me because it is this exact emotion that I am trying to achieve.  I find myself smiling at my own work often.  You can stop worrying at this point because while I may smile to myself, I don't talk the animals in my paintings!

2016 has seen me adding some poetry to my creative collection.  Again my humor always takes over when I'm trying to be creative and my poetry is far from a serious collection.  One of my favorite pieces I wrote this year is called, "Go Grab a Tissue Please" and corresponds with several of my paintings and sketches that demonstrate the nasty habit that cows often participate in of licking their own nose with their super long tongues.

Go Grab a Tissue PLEASE
By 
Julie Townsend

Picking or licking your nose is a bad habit I say
I promise you will regret that you did it some day
When all the other calves are playing, jumping and having fun
You will be too embarrassed to join them to rumpus and run
So when the hay fever strikes and won't slow
And the snot runs free like a steady river flow
When that fountain is turned on and you have the urge to sniff and snort
And even though God has given you a tongue that is far from short
Please! Oh please! Go grab a hanky or better yet, a wad of tissue
To handle the problems of your snot and dripping green issue 
Blowing your nose is so much better than using a tongue to lick

Be considerate of those around you for you will surely make us all sick

You can read more of my poetry on my website at Julie Townsend Studio-Poems

One of the biggest goals that I wanted to see 2016 MOOving me towards was that of licensing my artwork.  I know that I need to create a portfolio of consistent work that reflects images that are in demand and marketable for merchandise.  I established both an Etsy store and uploaded images to an my newly created account on Redbubble.com and on Zazzle.com.  A couple of tiny sales so far but as always things must start slow and build.  

Last week I received a message on Facebook from a woman that was not my friend nor a mutual friend connection.  She asked if I illustrated books and then when on to talk about a story of a little calf that wanted to be a PBR rodeo bull.  My heart jumped.  My dad was bull rider in his younger days on the professional rodeo circuit and so this was such a perfect story line for me.  Let's not mention that fact that this year I have painted or drawn cows more than any other subject.  To my disappointment, her deadline was not something I could see myself accomplishing as she shared she needed 30 images in just 30 days.  I've not illustrated books before but that timeline seems a little unrealistic to even me as a illustrating greenhorn.

BUT...I'm always the optimist and so I asked her how she heard of me.  She shared that she just did a Facebook search of western art and really liked my work.  So rather than being disappointed about not getting the job, I choose to take the whole transaction as a compliment and confirmation that my art is headed in the right direction.  It will be only a matter of time before I begin to receive offers for commission and illustration work.  I'm confident of that fact and resolved to keep on practicing.

So since this blog seems to deal primarily with my bovine creativeness, I thought I might just aMOOse you with more of my cow artwork.


These are two of my "Cow Licking" pieces that I had great fun creating.  All my works is available prints, art cards and art magnets.  In some cases the original artwork maybe available.  Just message me if you are interested.
Always Greener

Fence Post Curiosity




Morning Roughage
This is a colored pencil sketch I did just this week of a sweet Jersey cow enjoying some pasture grass.




Resting Before the Rodeo













This is another sketch I did this year of a beautiful Brahman Bull.  What impressive creatures these animals are.







I just through this mouse and pumpkin sketch in because it is almost October 1st and I think it is cute.
Harvest Mouse

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I'm Seeing RED!...but RED is GOOD Thing!


Oh how I love blogging about RED DOTS- Their presence on a painting signifies that the art piece has been sold and is not longer available as an original.  Some lucky collector has picked your work over a gallery full of beautiful and skilled pieces.  Oh yes, RED DOTS can be in many cases more thrilling than winning large ribbons in juried art shows.

"Great Horned Owl"- 10 x 20 original acrylic


I am just pretty excited today after finding out that my most recent painting "Great Horned Owl" just sold at the Boulder City Art Gallery this afternoon.  Selling art is confirmation that as an artist, I am heading in the right direction with my art.  With each sale, I am encouraged, even when there are times that doubts and insecurities creep in.  That simple commerce transaction between the gallery, the collector and myself brings with it energy.  Energy to get back in that studio and CREATE more art with added purpose and passion!  

My recent disappointment caused by scammers (more details about this story can be found on my September 1st blog  post) is not going to get me down. I didn't fall for their schemes and while I was sad that I didn't make that first website sale, I am greatly encouraged today. There are people out there that appreciate my work enough to want it to spend their hard earned money in order to hang my paintings in their homes and offices.


If you would like, please consider checking out my entire gallery of work at Julie Townsend Studio.  I would love to have you stop by and leave me a comment to let me know you were there.







This week I also stayed pretty busy in my studio restocking my inventory of greeting cards.  I had gotten a little low on some of my designs and I just love having a nice selection to choose from to use as give away gifts to friends or for marketing purposes.  I probably put together over 50 cards yesterday and am waiting for more cellophane bags to be delivered to finish them up.  Then I can start work on updating magnet inventory next.

I'm putting this year's investment of my Canon Pixma Pro-100 to work.  I love that printer!

Here are just a few of the cards I put together yesterday.




Finally, this past week we celebrated two granddaughter birthdays.  I have for several years now tried to draw each grandchild a special drawing on their birthday that I'm hoping will be a treasured item for them in years to come.  Nothing too complicated but something from their year that they can recognize.  These are the two drawings I came up with for my little September girls, Katherine (4) and Jenna (2).  Brad and I are soon to welcome grandchild number 8 into our expanding family and so I have plenty of work a head of me.


           


Thursday, September 8, 2016

I Am Tormented With an Everlasting Itch


Herman Melville, author of the classic novel "Moby Dick" once said—"As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts."  Well this morning I have an appreciation for part of that statement....I'm back home in Missouri and am also "TORMENTED WITH AN EVERLASTING ITCH" due to a countless number of chiggar and mosquito bites.  

I stopped counting at about 10 on my right ankle and leg with new ones appearing every few hours.  What makes some of us cursed to be part of the insect food chain while others, my husband in particular, can trop around through the underbrush completely oblivious to all those micro predators and the vast jungle of toxic foliage that cover earth crust of this beautiful state.  

Thinking back about my happy childhood growing up here in the Ozark hills, I find that I often suppressed the bad memories.  Maybe that is some sort of self preservation trick that my mind plays because you see, I have always been on the list of favorite menu items for any and all of the blood sucking and panty line biting pests that were created to inhabit this earth as a result of Adam and Eve and the original sin.  Thanks a lot grandma Eve. 

Looking back,  I'm pretty sure that all my childhood teachers thought me to be in a constant state of sunburn as my complexion was more bright pink than peach due to the vast amounts of "Rhulicream" that my mother had to apply to my body or I would have surely gone insane.  Scratching was just a way of life and the every night "TICK" checks were part of the night time routine the same as  putting on your PJ's and brushing your teeth.  

As my usual practice, I decided to deal with my current stress by turning to humor and art to take my mind off my discomforts.  I had forgotten the chiggers were so small and such a beautiful shade of red.  No larger than a dot from my pen and yet they leave itchy red spots the size of dimes all over your extremities.  They love to get in tight places so all the bumps at my sock and panty lines are a testament to their feasting. 

We had only stopped for a few minutes on a picturesque spot of dirt road we had found.  I walked in the grass just a few feet to get in the back of the truck.  Brad on the other hand tromped all over the area and was even sitting there on the ground enjoying the little shady creek that we took our refuge by.  I sat in the truck the whole time with the door open and feeling itchy.  I couldn't find the culprit but I had the distinct feeling that I was being bitten.  The next morning the tail tale signs were there, pointing to what I had suspected- CHIGGERS!

This is just for fun....if you want to see my serious artwork, please check out my website at Julietownsendstudio.com.  You won't be disappointed.



Sunday, September 4, 2016

Just a Couple of Silly Wabbits!

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait- 8 x 10 colored pencil sketch
YOU SILLY WABBIT!   It is hard to think of anything as cute as a sweet little bunny rabbit.  Here are two cute little guys that are part of my "Down Country Roads Collection".  Sorry for the poor cell phone photo of my latest drawing, "Good Things Come to Those that Wait" but because I'm on the road and away from my handy flat bed scanner I have to depend on my cell phone to snap a picture of my artwork.   I was so excited yesterday when I finished this piece,  that I decided that I would use the cell phone photo for now.  

I have had the experience of having pet bunnies several times in my life and one thing that stands out to me about their behavior is that they are natural born chewing machines.  Just last week a dear friend of mine shared a story of how recently her pet bunny chewed her clothes dryer cord and nearly burnt their house down.  That's a bunny rabbit for you.  They love to chew unattended electrical cords.  

I also remember that we had to put chicken wire around the base of each of our trees in the backyard to keep them from striping the bark off and in the process killing the trees.  No shrub, flower or vegetable could stand a chance against their always moving incisors.

When you think of bunnies, you also immediately think of carrots, or at least I do.   I'm not sure that this particular vegetable is actually a favorite food over any other leafy green delicacies but the association with them is very strong.  Maybe it all started with something as iconic as a cartoon character and the phrase "What's up Doc?".

Whatever the reason, I love these carrots and how their bright colors add to my sketch compositions.  When I started drawing this little lop ear fellow I was thinking about the old saying "Good things come to those who wait" and the virtue of patience.   I could visualize this little guy patiently watching the carrots grow and that thought made me smile.  

Both of these original sketches are available along with prints, greeting cards and art magnets.  You can check out all my artwork on my website at julietownsendstudio.com.  



Don't Forget to Eat Your Vegetables


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Just Another Pond Scum Sucking Scammer Trying to Steal My Artwork



My Beautiful Artwork being packed up to ship
I've been traveling the country and haven't had a chance to post to my blog this past week, even though I have had several updates that I wanted to share.  

The biggest news that has happened recently is that I was the target of a scam.  I know I have heard a number of scam scenarios perpetrated on artists and so I was weary when I received a solicitation for my information on my website regarding a desire for several pieces of art.  I sent my reply promptly to the email address of a woman named Linda Rudy in Miami Shores, Florida.       

A week later she expressed a desire to purchase three pieces that came to a total of $600 with shipping.  I sent her a PayPal invoice and waited.  Another week went by before I received an email telling me that her husband's assistant and mailed the check and I should be receiving it either that day or the next.  She asked to be contacted as soon as I received the check.  

With that information, I decided to go a head and package up the artwork so that it was ready to ship. We were leaving later in the week for Georgia, so my plan was to take the package with me and as soon as I was sure the check was good and not going to be returned I would mail the package somewhere on the road.

I was SO excited as this was going to be my very first website sale.  I have worked so hard making my website and keeping it current.  I just remind self often that someday all that hard work will pay off.  I was starting to feel confident that this was that time.  (Checkout my website at JulieTownsendStudio)

As expected, the check arrived the following day.  I opened the USPS express envelope immediately and noted that inside was only a check with no note or other information.  I pulled out what appeared to be a legitimate cashier check made out for not $600 but for $2150.  I knew immediately this was a scam.  I was sure beyond doubt that my next contact with this "Linda Rudy" would be giving me instructions as to where I was suppose to send the overage. Rather than making $600 on the sale of my beautiful artwork, I would soon be out $1550 and my artwork.  No matter how anxious I am to have my first true website sale, I would never try to cash that check.  I find it so sad that there is such crooks out there trying to steal from hardworking individuals like myself.  I pour everything I have into my artwork.  You have to put yourself out there for public viewing and so we have websites and social media accounts to sell ourselves and so I guess this is a natural outcome.  

I thought it would be good to actually share the exacting wording of her reply to my email informing her of the error.  Maybe with sharing this I will somehow save another artist from making a big mistake.

So here is the actual email I received:
On Aug 24, 2016, at 4:44 PM, Linda Rudy <theowallcot56@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Julie,
Good to hear you have received the payment. I am so excited you have
received the payment and can't wait to have the artworks on my wall. I
hope to give them a very good home and enjoy the pieces for many
years.

Regarding the check , my husband made a terrible mistake and overpaid
you because he didn't have full details of the transaction since I was
too busy when he sent it. I am very sorry for the confusion but I will
like you to go ahead and deposit the check today, deduct the cost of
the artworks plus shipping to my address below . Then you can forward
the difference back to him. The shipping address is below..

1481 NE 104th St
Miami Shores, FL 33138

Meanwhile, I spoke with my husband  now and he will like you to
forward the difference back to his chief accountant.A Money order or
cashier check should be made out to "Takeisha Carruth" and send to the
address below.

Takeisha Carruth
458 old buena vista rd #5
Columbus Ga 31906

You can send it via FedEx or UPS overnight delivery. Kindly take care
of this as soon as possible and get back with the tracking number.
Thank you.

Best Regards,
Linda.
Here is my reply to whoever it actually was that I was emailing:
"I'm sorry but I wasn't born yesterday.   I'm not comfortable at all with depositing this check in my account.    I really insist if you want the artwork then please follow the link to the PayPal invoice I emailed you last week.  Do you need me to resend that invoice to you or would you prefer I send it to your husband and or his assistant?

When I have confirmation of the PayPal transaction that I generated being complete, I will be happy to ship you the artwork to the Miami Shores, Fl address, otherwise I guess you are out the postage to mail me the check and I've wasted my precious time packing up my artwork and writing you a sincere thank you note."