Monday, June 27, 2016

Googly Fish Eyes in my Goggles

Today has been a pretty productive day in the art department around here.  Inside my home studio was the place that I spent most of my time today.  I was just itching to start a little 11 x 14 painting of my grandson Jonas wearing these adorable swim goggles.  I worked until the piece was done and it was just in time since the City of the World juried art show titled "H20" deadline for art turn in is tomorrow.  This will be my second entry for this particular water themed event.  I finished a piece last week that I titled "The Swimming Hole" that also features this blonde headed cutie and his older brother Judah.

Lately, I have been trying to write a little children's poem or rhyme to go along with each of my paintings or drawings to add to the story that I'm trying to tell.  In this case, I actually had the poem written first but in both cases, I knew exactly the reference photos I was going to use to create the illustration portion of my literary and artistic duo.  This is my 10th poem I've written so far.  One thing for sure...with such cute grandchildren, I am never at a lack for reference materials.

This painting, "Swim Goggles" will be added to my website within the next few days but if you are interested in seeing my other works, why don't you take a moment and check out my gallery website.  There is quite a collection of artwork there to look at.  Leave me a comment below or send me an email if you have any questions.

If you are in Las Vegas, please stop by City of the World for First Friday and check out my work and the amazing art of about 35 other talented artists.

                                               Swim Goggles
"Swim Goggles"- 11 x 14 original acrylic
Julie Townsend

Fishy, fishy in this brook
Please stop swimming so I can take a look
I want to take a peek at your home below
And these goggles help me see don’t you know
With them I can spend my day
In splashing fun and play
Until my skin is wrinkled and all saggy
And my swim trunks are soaked and all baggy
Seeking out all sorts of lost treasure
Spending time in pretend and fun beyond measure
This vast underwater kingdom is all mine to explore

As long as I don’t get to far from the shore!

Original Reference Photo taken by Jason Townsend Photography

"Swimming Hole"- 18 x 24 original acrylic

Sunday, June 26, 2016

I'm Partial but These are Just Stinking Cute

For the past 6 months I have been painting a number of pieces with the idea they would all be part of a collection that I'm calling "Down Country Roads". The artwork is a combination of large acrylic paintings and pen and ink sketches that have been embellished with color pencil.  All the pieces focus on a country or farming themes.  To see the whole collection please feel free to take a peek at my website gallery.  I would love to hear what you think.
Now I'm new to the whole Zazzle market but as an artist I want to try to tap into any market that will get my artwork out there.  So the other night I was adding a few of my "Down Country Road" images to a puzzle coaster that they offer.  I thought this was about the cutest thing ever and so I thought I had better share it in case someone else decided this was the perfect gift.  

I can just see this as a great gift for friends that enjoy a touch of country.  Also young children would love the puzzle aspect and who can resist cows, pigs and bunnies?

Feel free to look up my Zazzle store and order your very own coaster set.  I would love to hear if you do.
                 I see......COWS!

and PIGS!


Bunny Puzzle Coaster Set

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Seeing Eye to Eye

"Eye to Eye"- Acrylic on 12 x 14 stretched canvas
was completely intrigued by a photo my niece posted on her Facebook wall of a close-up of her horse Spartan's eye.  There was such expression and depth in the photo and I knew it would make a dramatic painting and so I started this 12 x 14 piece in acrylic a few weeks ago.

So as I put the final strokes of paint on this one, I decided to find out more about the vision of this amazing animal.  Frankly, I find that most eyes, regardless of the animal to be interesting.  But there is something special about a horse's eye.   Maybe that has something to do with just how very large, complex and expressive their eyes seem to be.  A horse is such a beloved animal and the bond between horse and man is very strong.

Just a few generations ago many of our ancestors depended on horses to provide their substance, travel and often their lives depended on their horse.  A few years back, my life was greatly impacted when my car was stolen.  It was then that I suddenly had a new appreciation for the wild west and their handling of horse thieves. That was a really big deal!

 Horse ownership has greatly decreased as has our dependency on horses for our livelihood.  A high percentage of households that own horses own more than one horse. Some of the statistics online were not as clear as I had hoped as I started to research the percentage of Americans that own horses but one thing I do know, owning a horse can be very expensive and labor intensive if they are only used as a pet.  So hats off to my niece Emily and her beautiful horse, Spartan!

Here are just a couple facts that I found to be just fascinating.

  1. The equine eye is the largest eye of any land mammal—yes, including giraffes!
  2. Horses can see a total of 350 degrees around them
  3. Horses have “Dichromatic” color vision meaning they can see two colors—shades of blue and gold.  (
I thought I would share with you a couple more equine themed paintings that I have worked on recently.  If you are interested in seeing more of my work, please check out my website gallery.  There is a little bit of everything there so you might just find something you really like.

"Riding the Buckskin"

Light-em Up

Fence Post Rendezvous

Heading Home

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Remembering the Old Swimming Hole

Swimming Hole- 16 x 24 Acrylic
I have absolutely the fondest summer childhood memories of spending hot afternoons in Missouri playing at the local swimming hole. I had just a few opportunities to swim in a regular swimming pool but I found them to be boring in comparison to the fun there was exploring and enjoying nature that an afternoon at the creek could offer.  You couldn't build dams, forts, hunt frogs or have rock skipping contests at those "Concrete ponds".

My mother would always pack a cooler with cold watermelon, sandwiches, chips and a jug of lemonade.  She would grab the old "River Blanket", air up a couple of old tire inner-tubes that took up the whole trunk and load it all in the Chevy.  She and us three kids would then pile into the car and drive the few miles to our favorite creek so that we could spend the afternoon floating and splashing.

All those memories come flooding back when I see my two beautiful grandsons now enjoying those same childhood pleasures.  I'm so glad they are being raised as "Country Boys".

A couple of weeks ago I actually wrote a small poem called "Swimming Goggles" and knew that I didn't have to look far for the inspiration for the illustration to go with my newest literary masterpiece.  This past week I started working on a painting that is inspired by this amazing photo taken by my son, who is a professional photographer in Leesburg, GA.    I've added a few tweaks here and there but I think I managed to capture their spirit of adventure and childhood innocence in my piece called "Swimming Hole".

Pretty easy to see why I would be inspired by this great shot.

Makes me laugh every time I look at this photo

Swim Goggles
Julie Townsend

Fishy, fishy in this brook
Please stop swimming so I can take a look
I want to take a peek at your home below
And these goggles help me see don’t you know
With them I can spend my day
In splashing fun and play
Until my skin is wrinkled and all saggy
And my swim trunks are soaked and all baggy
Seeking out all sorts of lost treasure
Spending time in pretend and fun beyond measure
This vast underwater kingdom is all mine to explore
As long as I don’t get to far from the shore!

To view more of my collection of literary masterpieces visit my website and while you're there, feel free to checkout my other galleries and see if there something that strikes your fancy.  I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Excuse Me...But Is That a Dog or a Small Horse?

So I started this little puppy piece yesterday that features a little doberman puppy. This is an 8 x 10 drawing done in pen and ink stippling, enhanced with Prismacolor pencils and Tombow markers

Pretty much all puppies are cute, no matter the breed but dobermans in my opinion really are one of the most beautiful dogs in the aggressive dog breed category.  I'm not fond of pit bulls or rottweilers but dobbies are so athletic, strong and very intimidating.  My oldest son owns 2 of them and the oldest one is absolutely huge.  His name is Odin and I think that is pretty fitting name.

My tiny granddaughter is dwarfed when she stands next to him and that concept of the problems a tiny girl could face owning such large dog just keeps rolling around in my head and I just can't seem to let it go.  I think it has the possibility of being a cute story line.  So I'm revisiting some of my earlier drawings on the subject and I have started writing some verses to go along. I thought I might share both of my works in progress with my blog readers as I work my way through this.

Here are two verses of about seven or so I have written so far.  I will share more of them as I work out more of the illustrations.  I hope you enjoy this and don't mind my anxiousness to share all this fun I'm having.

The smaller the puppy....
The cuter he appears
From his little black nose to his floppy ears
If only he could stay this size for all his years.

The growing puppy....
Don't fall for all this cuteness and be deceived
He will surely grow much bigger than you have believed
I hope you're ready for all the PUPPINESS you have received.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Is that a MONKEY on your back?....I mean HEAD!

Sock Monkey Hats are the CUTEST!

Sock Monkey Hat
I had a chance today to enjoy a refreshing trip up into the Spring Mountain Range and travel the road that runs between Kyle Canyon and Lee Canyon on Mt. Charleston.  The temperature was a mild 74°F, while down in the Las Vegas Valley the temperature was hoovering near 110°F.  That is quite a difference.

As we descended in altitude I watched as the car temperature gauge just kept climbing.  Oh how I hated to come back into the heat but was thankful for the few hours I had and the opportunity to do some sketching today.  I decided to finish this pencil sketch I did of my grandson several years ago.  I used my color pencils to enhance the drawing.  I'm still considering the fact that I want him to appear under his covers in bed so I think I will cover his shoulders with a blanket.  That might actually be a good project to work on developing my Photoshop skills.
I did decide to add the blanket using colored pencils

I also finished a poem that I started to write the other day to go along with this piece of artwork.  As my usual custom is to share my work here on blog I decided to today that I wouldn't even share it first on Facebook but rather just introduce both here on my blog.  I really would love to receive some comments about what you think and if you would like to look at my other artwork and poems then by all means drop by my website gallery and spend some time poking around.  So here goes.....

Judah, my inspiration

Sock Monkey Hat
Julie Townsend

You are my favorite winter accessory
Nothing comes close to you, yes sirree
You keep my ears so warm and toasty
Stylish, soft and very roasty.
I love my sock monkey stocking cap.
Everything about you makes me a happy little chap
From your giant cheesy red yarn smile
That you can see for nearly a mile
To your black button eyes all aglow
Always keeping me warm against the coldest snow
My scarf and my mittens are by the door in a pile
But I’m so sad when you’re lost for only just a little while
When I’ve brushed my teeth and said my prayers
And I snuggle down deep into my blanket layers
When the lights are turned down low
And the household is quiet and slow
When no one is looking I slip you over my head
Then I can sleep like a baby in my big boy bed.

Sunday, June 5, 2016's What I had for Breakfast

Portly Porker Pals
I was just reading this morning that there are 73,150 pig farms in the United States, (Purdue University) While I can confirm or deny that fact, I do recall spending a little time on my Grandparents pig farm in Woodlake, MN., so I guess I have a little experience with these misunderstood and under appreciated livestock.

I also read this morning that pigs are smart, social and are very clean animals.  WOW!  I know that the smell that filled the air when the breeze was blowing from the direction of the barn could make your eyes water and nearly take your breath away.  I guess that is just the price to be paid for the smell of agriculture.  I can recall driving past the stockyards in Western Kansas as a child and that smell wasn't much better. (Pig Facts)

With that many pig farms, I would be amiss if I didn't draw or paint a picture or two of happy hogs for my Down Country Roads series.  Here is my newest sketch that I just finished this morning and I have to say I think these two turned out pretty cute.  I'm calling this one "Portly Porker Pals".

Both of these pieces are available on both my Website and in my Etsy Store so you can go there and check them out.  I have a number of other farm or country themed artwork pieces that you might also want to see that are part of my Down Country Roads series.

Lunch and a Spa Treatment

I will just end this blog today with a quote from the wise Winston Churchill.  Mr. Churchill once said that, "Dogs look up to man. Cats look down to man. Pigs look us straight in the eye and see an equal.”

The Farmers Alarm Clock

Something to Crow About- 24 x 36 Acrylic
I remember my son Jason's 2nd grade class hatched chicken eggs in their classroom via an incubator.  That was a very special experience and if the parents agreed, then your student could bring home a baby chick.  I never had chickens as a child so I had to quickly education myself on what was expected of me as the new owner of a tiny chick.

We bought the scratch food and made a little enclosure.  We were so happy to watch our tiny feathered pet begin to grow.  That bliss lasted a couple months until one early morning I was laying in bed and heard a completely foreign sound coming from my back yard.  It sounded something like a very sorry example of crowing and it hit me that this wasn't the egg laying hen I hoped for but rather my chick was soon going to become a huge neighborhood annoyance.  Since we weren't really zoned for livestock, there was only one thing I could do.  We packed up the adolescent bird and drove to the local feed store.  We traded him for a nice looking hen to the relief of all my neighbor's.

With my recent focus on painting country scenes for the series that I call "Down Country Roads" I would be amiss if I hadn't turned my artistic skills to the staple of all farmers and homesteaders for hundreds of years.....The Chicken.  

I've finished a couple of pieces in the past few months that featured this feathered farm fowl and I had a great time painting and drawing them.  Last week I decided to write a poem that I'm calling "The Farmers Alarm Clock" and I thought it would be a good time to share it with my blog readers.  

I've actually been writing a number of poems this past month.  I think I've reached 8 or 9 in my folder I carry around.  I'm seriously thinking about turning it all into a book in the next year.  I even was thinking of titling the book..."Grandmas Too Silly by 1/2", but that is a bit premature I think since I have such a learning curve facing me.  Either way, I am really enjoying coming up with funny little verses to accompany many of my drawings.  After all my artist statement makes it pretty clear:  I'm an artist who loves Jesus-Trying to tell the story of His creation with some paint and canvas.  "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.  Colossians 3:23"

A Farmers Alarm Clock
Julie Townsend

Don’t cover up your sleepy head
It’s time to throw off your covers and get out of that bed
I guess I’m going to have to crow extra loud
All your animals are forming a crowd
Waiting for you to serve them their morning meal
I know you can hear those pigs starting to squeal
It’s time to open up your eyeballs
Milk those cows and clean those stalls
Everyone is waiting so don’t you delay
No matter that it’s cold and you’re cozy where you lay
You have to feed the world you know
So grab your rake and pick up your hoe
Plow that field and bale that hay
The sun is coming up and you’ve got to start your day
This has been our routine down through the years
Don’t tell me you’re using that pillow to cover your ears!
For I’m the farmers best alarm clock
And it’s time for you to pull your work boot over that sock
Give a goodbye kiss to your wife
It’s tough I know but this is your life
Grab some coffee and run out that door
But first you have to put your feet on the floor.

If you liked that little rhyme then you might want to see more of my fine literary works you can check out my Sketchbook Gallery on my website because I have added a number of poems there.  While you are there, feel free take a few minutes to look at all my work.  I won't mind a bit if you snoop around.

Have a blessed day!