Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Little Bit of Country in the Middle of the Desert

I absolutely love this picture my husband took of me, standing in what is actually the middle of a long row of large focal pieces.  The perspective and lighting are just perfect.   This was Tuesday, March 28th at my artist reception for my show called "Down Country Roads". We had a few minutes before the guests started to arrive at the reception and he did a great job documenting the gallery and how my pieces looked hanging there. I also couldn't have been more happy with the response I received from my friends, family and even total strangers.  One young boy that appeared to be about 11 even asked if I would be in a picture with him like I was something important.  How cute is that?

Solo art shows are a tremendous amount of work and for this show I have been painting for several months, trying to add new pieces to make my "Down Country Roads" collection larger and more impressive.  It is hard to describe the feeling you experience as the artist when you walk in the gallery for the first time and see all your hard work hung on the wall.  The closest analogy that I can of is it's like arriving to a family reunion where you actually LIKE all your relatives!

Besides displaying a total of 29 pieces of art, the Library District allowed me to include 12 of my poems.  Of course I would expect that a library would be a poem friendly environment.  Most of them have been written over the past year or so and just like my art, each of the pieces have an element of humor to them.  Pretty much everything I do is geared to hopefully make you smile.

I decided that to make the event even more special I would have a drawing and give away artwork as a prize.  Here are a couple of happy winners.

I had the chance yesterday to run back to the library to meet my daughter there.  I spent about an hour observing complete strangers walk into the gallery room and look at my art.  I was blessed to watch an older gentleman walk around the room reading each piece.  The last piece he read just happened to be my "Go Grab a Tissue Please" poem that accompanies a sketch of a cute calf using his tongue to lick his nose.  I was so pleased when I heard him actually laugh out loud.  That, my friend is the exact response that I am hoping for.

My really good friend is a high school English teacher and she tells me that she is planning on bringing her senior class down in April for a field trip because in April they have a poetry unit.  Now I call that perfect timing.  Someday I hope to publish a book of my art and poems and maybe only my grandchildren will want a copy but for now I'm just thrilled to have them hanging on the wall of the Whitney Library on Tropicana and Boulder Highway.

Let me share "Go Grab a Tissue Please" with you here and if you are interested in seeing more of my artwork or reading my poetry then please check out my website at Julie Townsend Studio

Go Grab a Tissue PLEASE!
Julie Townsend

Picking or licking your nose is a bad habit I say
I promise you will regret that you did it someday
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



The Poetry of Julie Townsend

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I've Been Feeling a Bit Blue

That is probably due to the fact that my hands are speckled and splattered in a nice shade of cerulean blue Now you know that saying about a woman's prerogative.  In this case, rather than just changing my mind, I think it is more that I have discovered over the past year where I was wanting to go with what has turned into a series of paintings.  A series that I believe is helping define me as an artist.   With these first two pieces that I did I really had no idea how this was going to evolve and grow into what is currently 6 large 24 x 36 inch pieces and a number of smaller pieces.    All featuring the fence post with blue morning glories climbing on it.  

I have no idea where this theme is going to take me but I do know that painting them makes me smile.  That is also the common reaction I am told often by those that view the pieces.  I just tell them that is exactly what I want to hear.  After all, there isn't nearly enough smiling going on in the world these days.  

I have a solo show coming up and all my work in this series has to be delivered next week.  These first two pieces have started to really bother me because I feel that I have improved my skill and I want them to match the rest of the series.  The bright green background has really began to bother me.  At the time I painted them it looked good to me but now it separates them from the rest of the work and I really need them to be part of the series.

Sometimes it is actually easier to start all over than to make such massive corrections to a painting.  The task isn't for the faint of heart because it isn't no easy feat to change to color of the background while leaving the mailbox or the fence post untouched.  Believe me when I say that I used a large quantity of cerulean blue to cover all that green but now that I am done, I would say it was it so worth it.  The before and after pics below tell the real story.

 This piece I call "Life at the Fence Post".  This was the beginning of what has not turned into a series.  At the time I painted I was trying to paint loose and colorful.  I choose a green background because it represented to me the stark contrast between being raised in the Missouri Ozarks and where I now live in the deserts of Southern Nevada.  Green is a color that I greatly miss and I guess I was trying to over compensate here.

In my redo of this piece I repainted about 1/2 of the canvas covering the background in blue. For some reason that I'm not completely sure of, I decided to reduce the number of bluebirds and double the mouse population.  In the end, I'm pleased at the changes and think that the piece is a bit more interesting than it was before the changes.


The second piece I painted in what is now my Down Country Roads series is called "Lunch Under the Mailbox".  This piece was also one that I really liked but grew tired of the green background.  I took the same approach and repainted about 1/2 of the canvas, getting rid of the green background and making it solid blue.  Other than just some brightening of the colors, the composition on this one remained pretty consistent.

The picture we took here I fear doesn't really due the piece justice.  It was the perfect overcast day outside but I think we waited just a little too long and we were starting to loose our light.  For the blog purpose I suppose they are sufficient for you to get the before and after effect.


If you would like to see more of my work, then feel free to check out my website at

Friday, March 17, 2017

Watching Carrots Grow

Watching Carrots Grow
I finished up writing a poem I wrote just in the last few days to go along with one of my illustration sketches that I call "Watching Carrots Grow".  I think it turned out pretty cute and so I blogged about it yesterday on my Embrace Your Creative Side Blog.  Embrace Your Creative Side: Watching Carrots Grow:

I know I'm probably crazy to try to maintain two blogs.  I mean it's not like this blog has gone viral or anything but I found that I really needed to bring more creativity into my life and not just me painting on a canvas or drawing a cute little bunny rabbit.  I need my surroundings to reflect my creativity too.  I also need to pass on creative memories to my grandchildren and that all takes planning.  Blogging about projects and ideas will help me stay focused on what I really think is important.  So I say all that to really trying to step up my game.

Don't Forget Your Vegetables
With Spring weather arriving and the Easter Season quickly approaching, I decided I had better pull out some of my bunny sketches that I did last year and maybe add one or two new furry friends.  Now is the time to get these guys making a gallery appearance in the form of magnets, cards and small prints. Combine that fact with me working like a crazy woman trying to get all the details worked out for my March 28th solo art show "Down Country Roads", I have a pretty busy week in store.

This art and more is available on my Etsy Store. Check it out at:

Julie Townsend

Waiting and watching for Carrots to grow
Have you ever seen anything so painfully slow?
From the time in the spring when you place the seeds in soil
And don’t you forget to water, weed, sweat and toil

Then you jump for joy when you see that first bright leafy green
Looking like a plate decoration for some fancy cuisine
Remember with carrots the important part is growing out of sight
Deep in the ground without a single spot of light

For it’s the roots of the carrot that cause your lips to smack
Their crunchy sweetness is always a favorite snack
Patience is a virtue many will say
And you better have plenty because it takes many a day

Remember the saying “Good things come to those who wait”
Waiting you must do before that orange goodness is on your plate
There is an important lesson that you should take heed
Plant these words deep in your heart to grow just like a weed

I’ve read in the Bible that we should “fix our eyes on things unseen”
It’s not the outward appearance that makes you selfish and mean
But just like carrots that grow underground and out of our sight
It’s those invisible qualities of Love, Joy and Peace that makes you shine bright

And let’s not forget to save plenty of room
Because there is nothing so sweet when Kindness and Patience are in full bloom
Stand strong and guard the garden of your heart

The reward of that harvest will give your life a good start.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Stampede of Bovine Beauties

So I'm working like a crazy woman trying to get all my artwork together, framed, matted, printed, inventoried and yes, I'm still painting one last piece for my solo art show on the 28th of this month.  Today, I had to visit 2 different printers and drop off artwork at 2 separate galleries.  We put almost 100 miles on the car just driving around running all my art errands.  I'm so excited about this that I'm sure all this running around is going to be worth it.  

There is just something amazing about seeing all your work hung together in a solo show that makes you as an artist feel so happy.  It is kind of like having all your children home for the holidays or attending a family reunion when you haven't seen everybody for years.  I'm starting to line up artwork along the wall of my hallway and in my kitchen trying to maintain and organized approach as I have now less than two weeks to pull this all together. 

As I just walked past the hallway I couldn't help but notice just how many of my "Down Country Road" pieces feature cows.  It looks like a stampede of bovine beauties in my studio and so I thought I would share them with you.  And if I did the job I intended,  they all will         make you smile.

This is my newest painting and I just got it back from the printers and now am ordering a 24 x 36 inch giclee print made on stretched canvas.  Since this is the first time I have had a print made of my artwork,  I'm really excited to see how it will look.  So if you might be interested in owning the original or having a print of any of these beauties, just send me an email and we can discuss the details.  If you want to see my other works, check out my gallery on my website at

"Happy Cows"

"Always Greener"

"Fence Post Curiosity"
Who Needs a Tissue
"Good Morning Sunshine"