Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Zinnias


One of my favorite garden flowers is the Zinnia.  They are easy to grow and just full of bright, bold colors that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard.  So this new piece was just so much fun to create. I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about the name and I couldn't really come up with anything funny, punny or clever so I named it "Zinnia in the Bucket".  It's rather obvious name but I find that it is better to keep the title simple than to be too elaborate or wordy if a "clever" title alludes me. 

The medium I used here is Prismacolor pencils.  I get asked often it the is watercolor and so I thought I would mention that I use odorless turpenoid with a brush to melt the wax and blend the layers of color pencil.  This process gives it a painted look that I just love.

I decided I was going to also make the design into a coloring sheet and offer it on my website as a free download. I have a number of design there already and I just love the whole process of sharing my art with others.  So feel free to hop on over to my website and print as many coloring sheets as you need.  All I ask is that you don't try to sell them. 

Here is the link:  http://www.julietownsendstudio.com/free.html






Friday, May 22, 2020

3 Ways to keep your Art Safer


What an interesting week this has been.  I decided to add some of my "Wash Tub" drawings on as downloadable art on my Etsy Shop.  In hindsight, I started feeling a bit uncomfortable about having the actually artwork available in that format.  It makes it very easy to steal.  I've actually received a number of comments recently on my Facebook feed advising me to "Copyright or better Watermark" my art as "Soap Makers" specifically were going to use it for their labels.  No offense meant to soap makers reading this, I'm just telling you what I've been told.  



I do know, as an artist, that all my original art I create is automatically my "Intellectual Property" and is legally protected from unauthorized use.  Taking the time to get an official copyright on your art would probably make winning an infringement court case easier but I don't believe it is completely necessary.  I'm not a lawyer but that is my understanding.  I actually had already created an account with eco.copyright.gov website and had listed 10 of the 13 wash tub drawings there with the intention of having them copyrighted.  I stopped the process midstream because I didn't realize that they had implemented a much higher fee structure recently and it now costs $85 to copyright 10 visual art images when before it was $35 for a whole file folder full.  I assumed I had answered something incorrectly so I decided not to proceed to the check out.  


Who knew that low and behold, just a few days later, I would be faced with that exact "unauthorized use" issue myself.  I had a recent Etsy sale and when I looked at this Etsy customer profile I immediately noticed she was a previous SOAP MAKER. (Alarms and Bells began ringing in my head!)  There was also an Etsy Shop linked to her name so I took a little peak at her listings and was immediately greeted with shower curtains and bath mats all covered with my artwork!  She didn't even take my name off the image.  

Now, she claimed she thought it was okay and that I didn't actually say in my listing that the files were for personal use only.  Of course that isn't true.  I clearly communicated that fact about 2/3rds of way down in my listing description but obviously she didn't read or didn't think she was going to be caught.   I contacted her immediately and to her credit she pulled the 10 listings down but had the nerve to ask me for a refund.  

The popularity of this series is making me rethink a few things.  I'm doing a better job of putting a watermark right in the middle of my smallest files to discourage future thievery.  I've also thought about making the image more of a poster design rather than my 100% my pure artwork.  Here is two of my more recent drawings wash tub drawings, "Rooster Cluckburn" and "Bathing Broodies".  




1.  WATERMARK your artwork- I created a file in Photoshop that give me 4 color choices for my watermark.  I add it to the top center of my smallest print at 50% opacity.  
2.  USE ONLY LOW RESOLUTION IMAGES-  
3.  USE GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH TO MAKE SURE YOUR IMAGES ARE NOT BEING USED WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION.- Just like searching for words in Google you can also search images by choosing the little camera icon.  You then upload the image you want to search for and it will give you all the examples where that image or a similar image is found.  

Today, I came up with this bathroom poster format using the rooster and the hens.   I have included the 4 colors all available on my Townco Studio Etsy Shop as printable art.  I think they turned out cute and hopefully there will be Etsy Shoppers that want to purchase the files from me.






   






Just a little side note:  I learned something today.  To be able to print the "cent" sign like I wanted on the above poster designs, I found out that if you hold down the alt key on a PC and type 0162 it is the keyboard command to give you that ¢ symbol.  How cool is that?










Sunday, May 3, 2020

We need a real gully washer down here






Remember that old hymn "Showers of Blessings"  I can still hear the words in my head, "Showers of Blessings we need.  Mercy drops round us are falling but for the showers we plead."  Yes! Lord bring us the Showers NOW.

Lord, we need your help as a church, as a nation and as a world.  We're in trouble down here and we need your Holy Spirit to rain down on us with giant cleansing, reviving MERCY drops.  The kind that can soften hardened hearts and heal our land.

I've always heard heavy rains referred to as "Raining Cats and Dogs" and I wondered if there were more idioms that were used to describe a huge down pouring and I found a few I thought I would share.

Let me know if you have heard of any of these sayings:

  1. raining monkeys
  2. raining bullfrogs
  3. raining pitchforks
  4. toad strangler
  5. goose drownder
  6. fish drownder
  7. gully washer
  8. mud-sender
  9. palmetto pounder
  10. Sizzly Sod Soaker  (https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/80169/11-imaginative-regional-idioms-describe-heavy-rain)
I love that last one because it is so much fun to say.  That is the kind of showers I'm talking about.  Not that gentle summer rain that just is enough to mess up your car.  No, we need a Sizzly Sod Soaker kind of drenching down here.  That's my prayer today.