Thursday, May 11, 2017

Puppy Love x 2

This week marked an exciting event for me.  I received my very first Etsy commission request and I am beyond thrilled.  Etsy is an online marketplace that I really want to be part of for a while now and maybe this will be the start of some regular orders.  Building a reputation with customer satisfaction is critical to your success and I need to get a number of 5 star reviews under my belt.

I was contacted by a potential customer asking if I could change the composition my sketch of my granddaughter and her very large doberman to include her 2 little nieces, ages 4 & 6. Her brother had just purchased a doberman puppy and she thought this would be a perfect gift.   A few messages back and forth and I had several photos of the girls to use and a reference.  We agreed upon a price and I went in a created a special variation button to included customization.  To my joy she paid the price and placed the order right away.

After a super busy weekend, I was able to start working on it Monday evening.  Total drawing time was probably 3 hours I think.  Using several references photos of my 4 year old granddaughter I was able to combine them into what I think is a solid composition.  The challenge came in when I found out their doberman puppy doesn't have his tail docked or his ears cropped.  Finding a photo of the backside of a doberman to see the detail of the tail wasn't easy.  Actually, I never found a true backside view but I think I didn't do too bad of a job here.

The original drawing is much brighter and those pink sweaters just pop off the paper.  I have to figure out how to get a better scan of my drawings so the colors look more true.  Right now when I am working with a print of one of my drawings I usually grab the color pencils and my black pen and quickly go over some of the areas to brighten them.  I like the idea they are hand embellished but I have so much still to learn when it comes to the technical side of producing reproductions.

All that is left to do is to matte the drawing and get it packaged up for shipment.  This actually represents a new first for me too.  This package is being shipped international because the buyer lives in Douro Dummer, Ontario.  I looked that up and that town is sitting right on the border of the US and Canada but it is still international shipping so my usual USPS Standard Rate Shipping boxes won't work.  Yesterday just happened to be "trash" day and I was able to find several boxes that appear to be the right size that I can use to ship.  As I get busier with my shipping, I will have to find a good source of small shipping boxes that fit the dimensions of my artwork.

This image will soon be available as cards and magnets on my Etsy Store.  If you want to check out my artwork you can go to my website gallery at Julie Townsend Studio Gallery.  Let me know what you think because I would love to hear from you.

You can also visit my Etsy Store if you are interested in this image in a small print, magnet or greeting card at: Julie Townsend Studio on Etsy

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

It's Red Dots and Red Ribbons For Me

I think this is about the 4th or 5th year that I have been involved in the Helldorado Art Show and Auction.  It is really one of my favorite local shows at this point.  The art is amazing and so winning a ribbon there is really special.

I entered 4 pieces total and won a second place ribbon in the acrylic category on my painting, "Rise and Shine".  That piece also happened to be bid on and so I only brought home 3 pieces and this ribbon.  This piece was nearly the last painting I have completed.  I really wanted to enter it in my solo library show but didn't quite make the deadline.

The whole time I was painting this piece I struggled with it.  I had initially tired to paint a mottled background in blue but I struggled with that and especially with the foreground. It just didn't seem to work out the way I had it in my mind.   I loved how the rooster was progressing,  but I felt as if he was floating in the middle of the canvas and I didn't know what to do with his feet.  I was pretty sure I wanted a fence post with morning glories but things just didn't seem to be lining up right.  
The current and final background was actually my 3rd attempt of painting it over.  I'm so pleased that I just kept at it even though I felt that I might just scrape the whole piece.  I love the bright colors and the combination of detail and pop art together.  This will not be the last time I combine these two styles I am sure.  

In April I had taken this piece and entered it into the Clark County Fair and Rodeo in Logandale and I received a very positive response with it.  I actually won 2nd place in the show with it.  Of course the competition wasn't as stiff as it is with Helldorado.

Ribbons are wonderful, but art sales are the true compliment paid to an artist.  Well unless you win BEST OF SHOW ribbon.  I'm guess that ranks up there pretty high.  I will miss this piece, but I am happy he found a new home where someone appreciates him enough to pay their hard earned money for the privilege of hanging him on their walls.

Now even though I have sold the original painting, there is still prints and merchandise available that can be ordered with this image.  I personally turn most of my artwork into small prints (4 x 6, 5 x 7 or 8 x 10), 4 x 6 art magnets or stickers.  These are all available on my Etsy store.

I've included just a couple of images that shows just how great this image would look on products such as prints, book bags, sweatshirts, mugs, shower curtains or phone cases.  You can click this link and it will take you right to this image to place your order.  What a great gift for any "Rooster" lover on your list.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Blogging about Carrots

I've been a little over the top these days about carrots it seems.  It was just a few weeks ago that I jumped in and got really messy trying my hand at paper mache' and made some large carrots as part of my Easter entryway decorations.  They make me smile each time I walk through my front door.  These giant vegetables added just the right amount of color to my display.

This little sketch I did last year of a bunny sitting among a whole bunch of carrots is a favorite of mine.  I call it "Don't Forget Your Vegetables" and I love the contrast created by the black and white of the bunny against the bright orange and green of the carrots.

This week I had a few hours that I had to be away from my studio.  I'm part of a co-op gallery in the downtown Las Vegas Arts District and there are afternoons that I must take a shift to keep the gallery open during their scheduled business hours.  Sometimes I lug my paints down there and sit up a table, but this week I just took my small sketchbook and my travel pencil bag.  I decided to draw and I think you can just guess what the subject of my drawing was...You got it!  A Carrot!  I really wanted this carrot to have obvious bunny chew marks on it and I'm pretty happy with how the end results came out.  I decided to add some text so one of my digital files of this sketch has "Some Bunny Loves You" on it.

 I love when I can just sit for a short time and do something that I absolutely love to do and then take that effort and turn it into a potential income source.  I thought these two sketches made a perfect pair and so I couldn't wait to work on a sticker sheet that focused on these drawings.  Besides stickers the carrot sketch makes a beautiful magnet or gift card to give to someone special.  I have this full sheet of cute carrot stickers available now on my Etsy Store and will soon be adding the magnets when I get some good photos of them.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Traveling Down Country Roads

I lived the best years of my childhood on a dusty dirt road surrounded by trees, flowers, wildlife and farming.  I love old farm houses, gardens, livestock, barns, porch swings, old mail boxes, barbed wire fences and fence posts covered in morning glories and banks of wild flowers dotting every dirt road and 2 lane highway across this amazing country and they are my inspiration as I approach my senior years. 

When the world feels like crazy is becoming the normal,  I have to only return to my roots to find that this country is still full of good folk that appreciate the freedom to work hard and get their hands dirty, to raise their families and take care of their neighbors. This series of paintings is my tribute to that way of life and looking at them.  My goal with this series is frankly to, if only for a moment, take you back to your childhood and make you smile.

My artist motto, "Telling Stories with My Paintbrush" has never been more relevant in my life.  So I'm stuck on painting farm animals and standing along barbed wire fence posts   Cows are such curious creatures and will often watch you as drive by, especially if all your children are hanging out of the windows yelling, "MOO."  

I just can't help myself and found that I have a strong compulsion to paint these giant creatures with their sweet curious faces and large eyes.  Maybe they are just chewing their cud or engaging in the disgusting habit of licking their nose with their over sized tongues.  No matter what they are doing, cows make great subjects for my stories. Pair that with the consistent theme of blue morning glories and tall green grass you have all the elements of a great composition.  

I have painted 6 large feature works and several smaller pieces for this theme and hopefully all of them tell a story of life "Down Country Roads".  

I hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane.  All of these images are available in prints at Fine Art America or as 4 x 6 art magnets on my Etsy Store- Country Magnets or Etsy Store- Cow Magnets

Monday, May 1, 2017

Stuck on You Like Gum on Your Shoe

These Stickers are the best of fun
Just plop them on and you are done
These stickers are making the world a brighter place
I’m just doing my part to help the human race

Can you tell I'm just a bit excited about making my new stickers?  I'm not sure exactly what it is, but I have been fascinated with stickers for sometime.  Not just any stickers.  I know that there are a group of people that are crazy about stickers and have sticker collections.

They are cheerful and pretty much brighten up any surface that you apply them to.  I should clarify....When my niece, our last child at home moved out to leave Brad and I to finally enjoy the empty nest we found that she had put a number of cheap stickers on her beautiful solid wood dresser.  I was not happy about that to say the least so PLEASE USE THESE STICKERS RESPONSIBLY!

So applied correctly to notebooks, laptops, books, journals, planners and such they are a really nice touch.  So this week I took the step to start making my own stickers using my original artwork.  Now that is a sticker I can get excited about.  I chose 4 of my farm animal sketches to begin with.  I purchased an inexpensive laminator and a 100 sheets of matte sticker paper and when they all arrived the learning curve commenced.

With a few other adjustments yesterday I was able to add stickers to my Etsy Store listings.


Besides Etsy, I want to make these stickers available locally and several galleries so packaging and display concerns I also dealt with.

Another new addition to my Etsy store is beautiful bovine magnets.  Now over this pasts year and a half I have come up with a half a dozen or so paintings of cows.  There is something about these creatures that really struck a cord in the hearts of many.  I get a lot of positive feedback on these pieces so it only makes sense to make them available in a small 4 x 6 inch format with a magnet backing added.  Now they can easily be added to brighten your kitchen appliances, office cubical, file cabinets, lockers or many other surfaces that are made of boring metal.  I even laminated the print to add extra durability and make them water and stain resistant.  These guys and gals will make an excellent gift for any country girl or the cow lover in your life.  Guys....Mother's Day is coming!