Wednesday, April 1, 2020

THE WASH TUB 6

"Moo Updo"
I had a lot of requests from my Facebook followers to include a Holstein cow in my new "Wash Tub" series and I am to please.  Here I present to you my 6th design- "MOO UPDO".  I spent some time trying to think of a clever title using a cow pun but then I decided to focus on the curlers.  I've never had an UPDO myself personally but it rhymes really well with MOO so there you have it.

She has a bit of a shy look on her face.  Maybe she is a tad modest and is uncomfortable with all the new attention she is receiving.  Whatever the emotion, I'm sure she will bring many smiles to all the faces of her fans.  Right now we need plenty to smile at so here at Julie Townsend Studio, I am doing my part to help you through this COVID-19 crisis.

This gal along with her 5 friends are all available in prints, note cards and magnets on my ETSY SHOP.




HERE'S THE WASH TUB GANG

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Old McDonald has NOTHING on ME

What a week...  We are now almost to 2 full weeks of lock down here in Nevada and what is an artist to do with all this extra time?  You guessed it!  CREATE! 

That is exactly what I have been doing and it seemed like the perfect time to start a new series of art.  While  I haven't picked up a paintbrushes much, my color pencils have been getting a real workout! 

A month or so ago,  I had taken notice of a very successful Etsy Shop that had the most adorable photographs of different types animals that she had Photoshopped into a claw bathtub.  It was really cute and my mind jumped immediately to an old galvanized steel wash tub. I decided to create a series of specifically farm animals taking a bubble bath in just such a wash tub.

And just as I suspected, this series has really struck a chord with many of my fellow Farmhouse Whimsy followers.  They have made my March a record Etsy sale month for me and I am absolutely thrilled. TAKE THAT CORONAVIRUS!

I've completed 5 drawings so far in the series and I am currently working on a Jersey Cow in curlers as my 6th design.  I really don't know when I will finish drawing these because 1. I'm having a blast and 2. There are so many more farm animals to draw.  I've got goats, horses, sheep, chickens and the list goes on and on.  All waiting patiently for their turn to take a nice bubble bath. 

Let me introduce you to the my washtub crew:

"HOGWASH"- My first drawing in the series was of this beautiful but rather portly smiling sow.  She actually has a look of contentment and relaxation on her face.  She isn't stressing and the cares of the world are melting away in a sea of bubbles.  ORIGINAL AVAILABLE

"SWEET & LOVEABULL"  is the 2nd drawing in the series and it really makes me chuckle to think about a two thousand pound Brahman bull soaking into a washtub.  ORIGINAL AVAILABLE

"WASH TUB DIVA" is my 3rd drawing in the series and probably the most popular design so far.  She just looks silly with her pink shower cap and her mouth moving, chewing her cud.  ORIGINAL AVAILABLE

"BERKSHIRE BUBBLE BATH" is number 4 in the series and it and number 5 are actually commissioned pieces that are now on their way to their new home in Alberta Canada.  I think I captured her sweetness with her little pig snout. 

"MOO LA'LA'" is the 5th drawing that I have completed.  She is a French Charolais cow and so that explains how I came up with the name.  I just had to make her a bit fancier than the others and so she has a very special pink polka dot shower cap and a rubber duck. 

I hope you enjoyed my little show.  All of these images are available in my Etsy Shop as prints, note cards and magnets.  I even have worked a couple of them into t-shirt designs (Wash Tub Diva and Sweet and Loveabull)














Saturday, March 28, 2020

My 10 Amazon MUST HAVES for the studio

I have grown to really depend on my ability to order supplies from Amazon.  I am sure you do to.  There are certain supplies that I do buy locally because I can take advantage of sales and weekly coupon offers but most of my supplies are purchased online with Amazon. 

I thought I would just make a list of the items I purchase the most often and give the links to those items.  I hope you find this helpful.  I'm not sure but I think it is going to be a difficult task to limit this post to just 10 items but I will do my best. 






(1) I sell a quite a few of my note cards throughout the year.  I purchase the scored 7 x 10 card stock directly from Red River Paper Co but I always get my envelopes on Amazon.  I just LOVE these self adhesive envelopes by Valbox.  They are high quality and are a perfect match to my beautiful cards.   I get them in both White and Kraft Brown and they come 100 to a box for $10.59 but just now I found a value box of 200 envelopes for $14.49.  I will be ordering that size from now on because I always want to have penty of extra envelopes on hand.  Here is the link:  VALBOX ENVELOPES



(2) To matte my reproduction prints I use white bevel cut matte board with a backing board and cellophane bag.  Amazon provides a complete set up of all three parts and offers a great quantity discount that I always take advantage of.  I keep on hand the 5x7, 8x10 and 11x14 mattes to take care of all my print orders.  Here is the link to the 8x10 size.  MATTE SETS




(3) Here is my favorite matte sticker paper that I print out my stickers I sell on my Etsy Shop.  They are strong and durable and as long as I print on the correct side I have no problems.  You do have to make sure you are printing on the whitest side and as I get older sometimes this is a challenge to see the difference.  I actually mark the box on both the sticker sheets and all my print paper as to which side the correct print side is.  I then am careful that I return it to the box facing my arrow correctly.  Just my little trick in the attempt not to waste my precious supply.  Here is the to the STICKER PAPER



(4) Framing supplies are a biggy and I purchase my hanging wire and d-rings here on Amazon.  The prices are much better than the tiny packs I can get at the craft stores or the hardware store and they last a long time. I may be going on 4 years on that spool of wire.   I just purchased 200 small black saw tooth hangers as I have decided my smaller 4 x 4 and 6 x 6 canvas art just doesn't allow enough space to use a wire.  The color matches perfect with the black fabric dust cover I finish off all my canvases with.  It's a WIN, WIN as far as I am concerned.  They have enough of a gap that I am able to hang them from a gallery display hook so that shouldn't be an issue when I want to have them on my wall at the gallery.  D-RINGS  BLACK SAW TOOTH HANGERS  HANGING WIRE




(5)  My 2 favorite sketching pens are black Micron .005 and .003 and the Black LePen by Marvy .05 and I get all of them here on Amazon.  MICRON .003  MICRON .005 and LePen by Marvy





(6)  I use the Epson Premium Presentation paper to print out all my art reproductions.  It's a great value per sheet and gives me a nice quality print.  EPSON PREMIUM PRESENTATION PAPER

(7) I use both of these when making my 4 x 6 magnets.  I have just recently started cutting the magnet sheet in half so that it isn't as difficult to line up on the back of the laminated print.  It also cuts my magnet production costs significantly. 
Magnet making Supplies- LAMINATION SHEETS and 4x6 MAGNET SHEETS








(8) Some of my shipping supplies are purchased here on Amazon.  I just recently invested in a large rigid mailer that I just love.  I feel it will do a good job of protecting my artwork as they head off to their new home.  I have to face the fact that sometimes things are ruined while in the possession of the USPS and these offer as much protection as I can give them.  I even enclose that inside a vinyl mailer to protect against any bad weather.   RIGID MAILERS









(9)  I use acid free artist tape to attach my original drawings and reproduction prints to the backside of the matte board.  I find this works great and can be pulled off carefully without damaging the artwork but still holds the paper in place securely.  I accidentally purchased the 1/2 inch size last month when I really wanted the 3/4 inch width tape but I guess I will make it work. This roll will most likely last you for several years.  ACID FREE ARTIST TAPE


(10)J-B WELD epoxy glue is my go to adhesive if I really want something to stick.  I use this to attach the rare earth magnets to my cast iron skillet art and to attach the rubber bumpers on the back of each of my stone coasters.  I haven't had any problems with either coming off if I use this glue.  Great stuff and this price is slightly less than I can purchase it at one of the building stores.  J-B WELD 



And there you have my 10 Amazon art supply recommendations. Let me know if you found this post helpful.  I would love to hear from you.  Please check out my artwork on my ETSY SHOP or "LIKE" my FB STUDIO PAGE








Sunday, March 15, 2020

Could all this CRAZY be just HOG WASH?





This past week has certainly has sure been a crazy one and the last think I want to do is to get on that CRAZY TRAIN.  "I have enough toilet paper, thank you very much!"  I don't even want to go shopping for the next few weeks and it's not because of the germs I will encounter.  It's that CRAZY TRAIN that's pulled into station and everyone is jumping on board. 

My daughter was telling me a story last night about how my son-in-law went to the store to buy baby wipes.  After all, they do have 2 small children and wipes do come in pretty handy when you are changing diapers.  The store shelves were completely OUT.  As he was standing in the check out, the woman in line in front of him changed her mind about the package of small wipes that she had in her card and asked the cashier to remove them from her bill.  My son-in-law spoke up and told the woman and the cashier that he would like to purchase them if she wasn't going to.  Can you believe that another woman stepped up and grabbed them right out of the cashiers hands and quickly scanned it on her self check register. I would hate to think what it would be like if we had a true emergency to deal with.

What is there to do?  My peace comes from my faith in my Creator who is bigger than the NASDAQ or the World Health Organization.  A virus isn't bigger then my Heavenly Father.  So I believe in common sense here is what is needed, not panic.  I think avoiding large crowds is using good sense and of course washing your hands often is on the top of the any common sense list. 

Besides the obvious course of action, my second plan is to start a new series of color pencil art in my Farmhouse Whimsy style.  Each piece will feature a different farm animal taking a bath in a large wash tub.  We all need to find a place free of worry and panic and mine is my studio.  Here is my newest drawing and I'm calling it "Hog Wash". 

This new drawing would be a perfect to display in your country or farmhouse bathroom.  I have prints, cards and magnets available on my Etsy Shop if you are interested and want to check it out.  I have all kinds of great farmhouse out to look at.  Here is the link to HOG WASH       

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Spring Green, Lime Green or Chartreuse it all means GREEN THUMBS for me

8 x 8 Spring Bee Paintings
Spring is HERE in Las Vegas!  We are forecasted to have weekend temperatures in the 80's and I've added nightly allergy medication to my evening med lineup.  Yes, tis the season of sneezing and stuffy noses.  It is also such a sweet time of new life and brilliant colors.

Yesterday, I even planted some morning glory seeds in my big flower pot outside and added basil to my herb garden.  Besides dirt under my nails, I'm finding my thumb to be green and I'm not referring to the "green thumb" you have when they say you are a gardener.  No, I'm talking a literal GREEN THUMB from all the painting I have been doing this week.

Did you know that CHARTREUSE is the ETSY color of the year?  I found that out last week and ever since then I have had a big pile of bright green paint on my palette.  These little bees have been so much fun to paint.  I started out with painting (3) 6 x 6 x 1.5 canvases with colorful abstract flowers and then adding bees.  The green is just so alive and vibrant as a background color.  Now I have moved onto cowbells and mini bees on 4 x 4 x 1.5 canvases.

Work in Progress- Cowbells and Mini Bees

















Sleepy Bee design with scripture on ETSY


Another "BEE" art piece that I created this week involves my "Sleepy Bee" design and a scripture.  Here I have created a matted print available in different sizes, a blank note card and a laminated magnet.  This design is available for purchase on my ETSY SHOP at this LINK













Monday, March 2, 2020


We did it!  “Life on the Funny Farm” is all hung up and I think it looks great.  Of course I could imagine that you would think my opinion would be just a wee bit biased.  I can say that I have been anxiously awaiting this opportunity and I'm so happy that March 1st has finally arrived.  It takes nearly a year to get on the schedule and I missed out in 2019 but the wait was worth it and I am now officially the featured artist at the Boulder City Art Gallery for the whole month.

The reception is scheduled for March 21 from 1-3 pm.  Now I just need to start planning the fun for my reception in a few weeks.  I certainly plan to make one of my much requested cheese balls but I need to find some other goodies to make.

This is such a lovely gallery, nestled in the heart of the "Old" Boulder City and located in the historic Boulder Dam Hotel.  The gallery has been in operation for over 40 years and it really is a little gem in the desert.   I believe this is my 6th year as one of their gallery artists.  It is a great talented group of local artists and I'm honored to be listed among their ranks.

If you are in the Southern Nevada area, I would love it if you would stop by on the 21st to say hi.  It will be fun and you will LOVE spending the afternoon in Boulder City.  I promise. 

Check out my Etsy Shop for many of the cards and prints are available that I have here in the show.  Julie Townsend Studio Etsy Shop







Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Sometimes I Crack Myself Up

I have to confess, that there are times I actually catch myself laughing out loud at my art.  Just to clarify, I don't talk to my drawing and paintings, but they do make me chuckle.

With my new note card series called "Funny Farm" I have been chuckling quite a bit.  I've combined my original artwork and some country humor to make the perfect all occasion cards.  A total of 15 designs (I had to make myself stop) are now available on my Etsy Shop for purchase.  I print them out myself using high quality note card paper sold by the Red River Paper Co.  I also use fade resistant ink so the colors are vivid and bright. The envelopes are self adhesive and are either white or kraft brown.

The link to my Shop is provided below and just search "Funny Farm" for these designs specifically or spend time just browsing through all my FARMHOUSE WHIMSY art. (I have almost 400 listings).  Let me know what you think by leaving me a comment.

KEEP SMILING!

 ETSY SHOP-Julie Townsend Studio




Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Two B's or Not Two B's?




The 2 B's that I'm speaking of are Branding and Biography. In my mind there is no question on just how important these two bricks are in the formation of a strong business foundation.  They really are the cornerstones.  This blog today is focusing on the "BRANDING" brick.

So, before you can really launch into a successful art business, you will need to roll up your sleeves, grab some bricks and mortar and start laying a foundational plan for you and your artwork.  Yes, there is just a wee bit more involved to marketing then printing yourself up some business cards but the rewards for the extra effort are great.

Branding is a marketing term that I know you have heard many times before.  I'm pretty sure your mind jumps immediately to any number of large well known corporations and their recognizable logos.  The NIKE swoosh or the McDonald's golden arches are good examples.  The reality is that branding is much more then just designing a catchy logo.  It's the WHOLE experience and it starts with the first interaction you have with a potential collector and continues on beyond the  shipping off your sold artwork.  That is why you have to have this worked out because just "winging" it won't create that consistent impression that you are wanting to achieve.

While this maybe a scary thought but you have to realize that YOU ARE THE BRAND! That's right! Along with being the CEO, CFO and all the other O's rolled into one big art ENCHILADA.  You could be the best artist on the planet and if you don't lay the right foundation then it is doubtful that you will sell the amount of art that you could have.   The old saying "The Buck Stops Here" rings true but if you lay a strong foundation then those bucks won't actually stop but rather will keep flowing right into your bank account.  I love this explanation of branding given by Angela Cross, "Your personal identity as an artist may be the well-spring of your work, but your brand is the vehicle that makes you money. (https://skinnyartist.com/artist-branding-tips/)

So here are some basic questions to help you get started creating your brand.
1.  What's your story?  This might be one of the hardest questions to actually answer.  It doesn't have to be a Greek tragedy or a stand up comic routine.  For goodness sakes, don't make it up or embellish it.  People can tell if you aren't being real.  You just need a story that will help people remember you and your art when they have walked out of the room.

My story is probably typical and a rather boring one, but I can work my story into my motivation to create art and that makes it memorable.  For example, I grew up in the heart of rural America, 1/2 mile down a gravel road in the middle of no where Missouri.  While we didn't own a farm, there was farming all around us and that has left an impression or mark on me, and even though I have lived in a very large city my entire adult life, the experiences of a country childhood have had a huge impact on my life and my art.  

2.  What's your motivation? Why do you create art in the first place?   For me personally, I create my art to find peace in the chaos.  In the process, hopefully bring those that view my art back to a more innocent time in their life.  I want to transport them back to their childhood and memories of visiting their grandparent's farm or family trips to the country.  The ultimate response I am looking for, besides them pulling out the wallet, is a simple "SMILE".  We live in such a dark and sad world and if I can only, for a moment, bring a spark of happiness or a spot of light to their day, then I have accomplished my mission.  After all, I feel that I have a God given talent and it is my ministry to use it to bring Him and His creation glory.

3. What words would you use to describe your style of art?   That was a tough one because I really didn't know.  There are realism, abstractism, impressionism and many other "isms" but none really felt like the correct label for my art.  There is one word that I do hear often from observers of my art and that is the word WHIMSICAL.  So the style I'm embarrassing to describe my art is "Childlike Whimsyism" or "Farmhouse Whimsyism".  It's okay to make up words, because after all, we are artists and the rules that govern proper language don't apply to us. Remember, we have that ace card up our sleeves called "Artistic Liberties".

Once you have determined the style you are passionate about, then stick with it.  Create art that people will recognize to be yours even before they see the title card or your signature.  It's okay in the process to learn the techniques for creating from artists that you respect but the goal here isn't to copy them but to develop those techniques and apply them in your own unique way.  I don't want my art to look like a "Bob Ross" or a "Thomas Kinkade", but rather I want it to look like a "Julie Townsend".

4.  Who is your target market?  It would be amazing if our art could touch the 7.8 billion people that call this planet home but that isn't going to happen. Who would buy your art?  What do they look like?   You really have to consider what the demographics of your customer base looks like so you can come up with a strategy to best reach them.  I love to paint farm animals so it is pretty easy for me to find people on social media (mostly ladies) that share my love of cows, pigs and chickens.

HOMEWORK:  Get yourself a notebook and start jotting down words and phrases that come to mind to help you with your story and your style of art.  You don't have to invent the wheel here.  There are many great examples of successful artists and write them down on a list and then start reading their stories, looking at their websites and what they are doing.  I invite you to check out my Website, Etsy Shop or Facebook Studio Page.  


 

Monday, February 3, 2020

Death, Taxes and Painting

Back a few months ago I had the opportunity to give a presentation to a local artist guild about my "TIPS" on selling art online.  I've been associated with this group of artists now for a number of years and those that are somewhat online savvy have taken note to my recent increase in my Facebook following and sales.

So they asked me to be their guest speaker. Boy was I nervous.  It has been sometime since I stood up in front of a group of people and spoke more than just a few words.  In my previous life (before art) I was the business administrator for a church and private Christian school.  Since it was the law in Nevada that all business over certain number of employees have an acting safety committee I took on the task of creating one and added the hat of Safety Director to my wardrobe.  Let me just say, "I could give a mean BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS TRAINING".  So it isn't completely foreign to me to talk to a crowd but talking about selling art was a quite different than talking about blood and bodily fluids.

My first main slide point in the presentation was more of an outline of what I was going to cover that evening and I thought this might work well also as a guide to my future blog posts.  I mean, if you decide to write a blog then having a blog post plan is quite important and this is going to be mine for the next little while.

So the first point as you can see is REPORTING AND STATISTICS.  I'm sure you are wondering why an artist would first be talking about spreadsheets and numbers but did I mention that I have a business degree?  I've been wired to be an accountant since birth and that is, what I consider to be a gift from God, especially around this time of the year and the start of 2019 tax season.

So let me just say that I keep my whole business bookkeeping on Google Sheets.  This works great for a small business that uses the Cash Accounting method.  I kept my spreadsheet on Microsoft Excel for years but when I started using Windows 10 my old Office Suite program decided to go on strike and Excel no longer wanted to do any work for me.  I was forced to either buy a new program, go to an online subscription or embrace the free spreadsheet program offered by Google.  I chose the latter.  And while there was a bit of a learning curve, it really boils down to a "Spreadsheet is a Spreadsheet".  The one really exciting thing for me besides FREE is that I can now access my files from my phone or Ipad.  This is great for my mileage log because for the first time in 2019 I was able to keep my mileage current as I went and not have to spend hours pouring over my calendar and typing every odometer reading for the year into a spreadsheet.  I just have to add a formula to total my business miles and then print it out.  This has saved me hours of work!

So now you can see that I track my mileage on the spreadsheet and my bookkeeping on a spreadsheet but there are other uses too.  I have my art inventory that I track and a cost breakdown for each product I make on there too.  Spreadsheets are amazing tools and I thought you might actually want to take a closer look at my spreadsheet that I created so I have provided a link to a blank one that you can view.  Link to a spreadsheet file just like the one I use.  Of course this is a "View Only" link and I removed all the numbers but you can see how it works.  If you would like to receive a copy of the spreadsheet for your use then you can send me a message through my Julie Townsend Studio Website or Facebook Studio Art Page and I will send it to you the file.







Monday, January 27, 2020

5 Steps to Making Prints of Your Art

Your's truly holding the "Happy Cows" original
I love helping other artists on their journey and while there is SO MUCH more that I don't know, I feel it is important to share some of the things I have learned along the way.  After all, it just might be what someone else is trying to figure out.

I've only been offering reproductions of my artwork for maybe 4 years now.  When I first started thinking about it, I felt a bit lost.  I didn't have a clue where to even start.  First, you have to decide if you are going to pay to have your prints made professionally or if  you plan on trying to tackle that job yourself.  Because I create so many pieces of art,  I felt that I would never be able to figure out which ones to make the investment in and I didn't want to have lots of money tied up in inventory just collecting dust in my studio.  The logical decision for me was to print my own.
Prints getting ready to be matted for sale


I think it would be helpful here at this stage in this blog for me just to give you a list of the supplies I use for making my prints and their Amazon links.  I hope you find this helpful.

Canon Pixma Pro 100 Printer 
Photoshop Elements or other photo editing program
Epson Premium Presentation Paper
Matte set (backboard and cellophane bag included in 8 x 10 & 11 x 14)
Art Tape
Scotch Brand Adhesive Glider (acid free adhesive)
.009 mechanical pencil
Authentic Reproduction sticker
Rigid Mailers  for shipping your prints



When I have a new work of art. the first thing you have to do is get a good photograph of the piece.  This is the foundation for being able to continue making money from your work so this is the most important step.  I'm using my image of "Happy Cows" painted in 2017 and sold two years later in 2019.  I actually had this piece professionally photographed for about $65 I think and I'm glad I did.  The larger pieces seem to be more difficult for us to get a good photo of with our camera.  The smaller canvases are much easier.  I just scan all my drawing and color pencil art.

So now you have your photo. I create a folder just for this piece and I save all my print files in that folder.   I save the original image in a PNG format to folder first and name it in this case, Happy Cows-Original.  I save it in a PNG format because JPEGs are of the devil.   I'm kidding, but I do know that over time and after a number of copies a JPEG looses it's clarity as an image and you don't want that to happen to your file. I do save a JPEG image of the 5x7 size and add a watermark to it for social media sharing purposes.  I also am sure to keep the original image unedited if for some reason I need it down the road before I have made any edits.

I want to create a print file for these 4 sizes along with a note card template.  4 x 6, 5 x 7, 8 x 10 and 11x14.  I start with the largest size desired size which in my case is 11 x 14 and I create my new document size 1" smaller on both sides; for example the 11 x 14 print file is really sized 10 x 13 inches and so on.  This insures when printed that I have a nice even white border around the image.  I leave the bottom border slightly larger because this is where I am going to write the title and sign the print using my .009 mechanical pencil.  I love the very fine line that this pencil gives me.  It is also my go to drawing pencil so I always have it there in my studio.

For the 5 x 7 prints I can actually fit 2 on one paper so I create a a file that I title 5x7 (2).  This is what the file looks like that I print from.  I get 2 prints on one sheet of paper and then I have an extra one to file away to fulfill any future order that I will have.

The image size here is really 4 x 6 (remember it is one inch smaller on both sides).  I print 4 x 6 images usually on glossy photo paper, laminate them and put a magnet on the back.  I sell a lot of magnets and at $8 each they certainly add up.  Here is the Amazon link for both the magnet sheet and the lamination film.  I've started actually cutting the magnet in half because it make it easier to place the magnet on the laminated photos and it also cuts the cost in half. It was one of those light bulb moments where you smack your head and say "Gee I could have had a V-8".  I have for years been painstakingly trying to place that 4 x 6 magnet perfectly on the back and not have any of it showing on the front side.  What a challenge that was and sometimes failed miserably.  This way it is just so less stressful to use 1/2 a magnet centered on the back.  I'm giving away all my trade secrets today.  LOL!

My Note Card Template for "Happy Cows"
I sell a lot of note cards throughout the year and so I also make a note card template for each of my pieces of artwork.  Here is the template I use for "Happy Cows".  I use card stock that I purchase directly from the Red River Paper Company.  I love their 60lb Polar Matte paper.  It comes in 7 x 10 and is already scored for me.  The colors that come off the printer are amazing.  For my Canon Pixma Printer I had to create a custom paper size and I use the setting Photo Paper Pro Premium Matte as my paper type.

I have a template made for both vertical and horizontal orientations and so I just grab the correct template I want to use in Photoshop and add the image.  I have started adding the title of the piece and my name in a handwritten font (Homemade Apple) to give it more of a "Print" feel.

1.  You will need a good printer
2.  Get a good photo of your artwork
3.  Invest in a supply of paper and mattes 
4.  Learn to use a photo editing program like Photoshop Elements
5.  START MAKING EXTRA MONEY from your art by print your own cards and reproductions. 

Just remember to be patient with the process.  Everything has a learning curve but the end rewards are certainly worth the effort.

Want to check out my ETSY Shop?  I hope I have peaked your interest and now you want to see all the artwork available there.  I plan on blogging about my ETSY experience very soon because I am asked questions frequently by artists who are considering opening a shop themselves.

Was this blog helpful?  I would love to hear your feed back and comments.  Please consider following me on FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM too.








Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Journey of Self Discovery



"Showing Your True Colors"- 12 x 24 Oil
I started thinking about painting again 10 years ago after I finished taking a beginning drawing class at the local community college.  I LOVED art in school and I had a natural talent for it but life was hectic raising 6 kids and so for 30 years I did nothing to foster or grow creativity in me.  I occasionally told people I could paint and draw but I don't think they believed me because I had so allowed life to choke out every speck of creativity in me. 

It was in 2013, I painted this 12 x 24 inch painting of what is supposed to be my hand holding a giant paintbrush.  My first ever art show was titled "Showing Your True Colors" and this piece was the piece I painted especially for the show.  It hangs now above the door of my studio as a reminder of how my life completely changed directions 8 years ago when I made the decision to leave the 8-5 workforce.

"Creative Finance"- Watercolor and Pen and Ink
After giving almost 30 years my life to one organization, I found myself in a place I no longer felt called to be in.   Rather than being my ministry, it had become a place of  stress and disappointment.   I was no longer happy to walk into my office each morning.   I dreaded the routine of bank reconciliations, dealing with payroll and account receivable, closing out month ends, preparing financial reports and most of all, board meetings. It was TIME! So I packed up my 10 key and the daily grind of  being a business administrator and eagerly traded it all for the opportunity to take up my paintbrush.

Here is an early piece that I called "Creative Finance" and it encapsulates the transition that had started in my life.  I did several other pieces pieces that I jokingly referred to as my "Confessions of a Recovery Accountant Series."

It took a while and lots of practice over the next few years to improve my skills and come into my own style but I'm so happy that I did.  I love creating art that makes others smile.  I feel God has called me to this new creative life and I give Him all the glory that I am able to follow this dream.

At first, I thought I really wanted to focus on landscape painting, so I became a student of  a number of artists on YouTube and online.  I also took a few lessons locally from an artist I really admired.  Taking lessons from others is important part of the process because you have to learn many basic painting techniques.  The real challenge as a emerging artist is to take those techniques you learn from others and turn them into your own style. It's all part of the journey to finding your unique artist identity. 

Fence Post Curiosity- 24 x 36 inch acrylic
In those early years, I did a great deal of hoping around painting a wide variety of subject matters from old prospectors to floral pieces but nothing quite seemed like a perfect fit for me.

It wasn't until around 2015 that I started thinking about my Missouri childhood.  I have many fond memories of growing up in rural America.  I missed the green and the peace and quite that living way out in the country brought.  It wasn't until I painted this piece (Fence Post Curiosity) that I realized that painting simple country scenes, especially those with farm animals in them not only brought me joy but also resulted in lots of smiles on the faces of those that viewed them. 

My series called "Down Country Roads" not only began to define my current style of art but that also helped me find a niche that I could passionately paint in. I call it WHIMSICAL FARMHOUSE.

I have always loved farmhouse style decorating and so painting farm life with a splash of humor was just down my alley or in my case, DOWN MY COUNTRY ROAD.  I am so blessed to be able to start to see success in something that I am loving to do.  Thanks to all that have purchased artwork from me in the past or that follow me on social media.  I SO APPRECIATE YOU helping me do something that I LOVE!  2020 is going to be an AWESOME year!

Here is my latest mini shelf sitter calf that I finished yesterday.  It is only 8 x 8 but that is 64 square inches of pure cuteness.  Next, I'm painting an adorable mini goat on my easel for today.