Thursday, December 19, 2019

Starting out the New Year Right

I was recently reading an online article 10 easy things to start out your new year right.  A few of the items on the listed included (1) buy a plant, (2) buy a new pillow and (3) tell someone you love them.  Those ideas seem simple enough  and are probably excellent suggestions.   I think however that making a goal to smile more each day should be at the top of the list.  Smiling is good for the soul and I have just the thing to help you achieve that goal.

My first annual 2020 wall calendar, filled with my bright and humorous art, is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.  The calendar is sturdy, well constructed and is 8.5 x 11 inches in size.  Each month features my original artwork.

I'm no hand model but I believe in using the resources that you have so here I am showing off the beautiful layout for the month of December.  It's a year of bunnies, mice and assorted farm animals.  You are going to love seeing this calendar hanging on your wall for the year and you will want to even matte and frame some of the pages.

You can order one of my calendars to give as a gift or to enjoy yourself simply by visiting my ETSY SHOP 2020 Calendar listing. 

SPOILER ALERT:  Here are a few of the artwork examples that you can expect to enjoy each month. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Spreading Joy One Cowbell at a Time.

2 Custom Cowbells Completed and Sold
I have gotten where I write "Spreading Joy One Cowbell at a Time" on the outside of each shipping box as I send a bell off to it's new home.  This past week I have had the pleasure of designing 2 custom cowbell orders in time for Christmas gift giving.  I have a number of completed cowbells in my inventory but sometimes collectors have a strong idea on what they want on their bell.  So for just a small fee I do my best to create a bell they will love.  Here is the two from last week.  "A Fat Chef" bell and a "2 Calf Hereford" bell. 

I was a bit concerned because I've not tried to squeeze two calves onto one bell.  I was afraid that it would loose it's characteristic details of the sweet eyes and wet nose that I usually achieve on my cowbells.  Since adding 2 calves meant that I would have to paint them so much smaller.  I think it turned out really well and the collector was thrilled as it was a gift for her mother.  I just checked the USPS tracking on it and it is still in transit so now I've got fingers crossed it makes it to Beaumont, Alberta, Canada in time for Christmas.   It's got me thinking of the lyrics to the old song, "Please Mister Postman".  International mail just takes so much longer.

Also this past week I have been so pleased at how my paintings on slate have been received.  Each one has actually "SOLD" before I even had them finished. 

We love to spend some of our summer in Ely, Nevada and a couple of summers ago, while out exploring near the ghost town of Cherry Creek, Brad and I happened upon this large outcropping of slate .  The desert floor was covered with piles of colorful slate as you can see.  We picked out a small box of it and brought it home.  Here is a picture I took of the site, complete with the free range cattle welcoming committee checking us out.

To finish off each piece after I have painted it, I carefully select the distressed wood that we will use to mount the stone upon.  I try to keep visible as many unique flaws in the wood as possible to help with the whole rustic feel.  I must be doing something right, because I can't paint them fast enough.  I really like how I pieced together the buffalo out of two separate slate pieces.  Right now I have 4 pieces laying out together in my studio like a puzzle trying to decide exactly what I'm going to paint next.  Maybe another buffalo would be nice but those roosters are sure fun too.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

What Country Kitchen is Without a Cast Iron Frying Pan?

I'm so excited about this new studio product that I am now offering.  Well, it's not exactly new I did paint a few last year but I feel that I have now brought it to it's full potential.

What is this "thing" that I am referring to?  My CAST IRON SKILLET ART of course.  A small piece of artwork, framed in a real 6.5 inch cast iron skillet.  It makes the perfect addition to any Farmhouse kitchen and now you can change out the artwork for the seasons or just to fit your mood. I even had recorded my first Studio Youtube video about them.   I told you I was excited.

Here is a quick snap shot of all the artwork I have painted in the past 2 weeks to go along with my skillet art.  I will be taking these all to the Pomegranate Festival in Logandale, Nevada on Nov 1st and 2nd.  I'm hopeful that these will turn out to be as popular as my cowbells.  

After the festival is over,  I will be adding both my available cowbells and skillets to my Website and Etsy Shops so that you can browse through the selection in plenty of time for your holiday shopping.

Farmhouse Art, Farm Art, Julie Townsend Studio
Here is the WHOLE BARNYARD FAMILY of skillet art pieces

Farmhouse Art, Farm Art, Julie Townsend Studio, Sheep, Pigs, Cows
Skillet art featuring sheep, cows and a pig

Farmhouse Art, Farm Art, Julie Townsend Studio, Goat Art, Cowbells
Goat Cowbell and Skillets

Farmhouse Art, Farm Art, Julie Townsend Studio, Cardinals, Cowbells
Cardinals galore- both cowbells and skillet art

Friday, October 18, 2019


If you are part of the art community, you are probably aware of an phenomenon referred to as "INKTOBER".  This is a month long drawing challenge started in 2009 by artist Jake Parker to challenge himself and improve his skills as an artist. There are 31 prompt words for you to use to guide you through the month.   I personally haven't participated in past years but have always wanted to.

This year I picked up my pens and my sketchbook and decided to give it a shot. Day 18 and I'm glad I did.  From the beginning, I decided that each of my drawings would feature a little mouse. This will help me on my quest to develop a little illustrated character that I can draw into little adventures and build an audience with.  Inktober is going to be GREAT practice for me to achieve that goal.

I thought I would just share a few of my favorite drawings so far this month.

Day 1- Prompt word- RING

Day 2- Prompt word- MINDLESS
Day 7- Enchanted

Day 10- Pattern

Day 15- Legend

Day 16- Wild

Thursday, September 26, 2019

A Horse with No Name

Horse With No Name
Marilyn Lott

He was a horse with no name
But he sure did have style
Strong and handsome he was
and I visited him one in awhile

I was captivated with him
His eyes were bright and clear
Intelligence was obvious
Packed his head from ear to ear

No other animal is like the horse
They are so magnificent to me
Whether in a fence 'round the farm
Or on the range and running free

I found this cute little poem that was just the perfect sentiment  for what has been much of my studio focus these past few weeks.  Towards the last half of my annual Ely, Nevada art sabbatical part 2, I stepped out of my comfort cow zone and began to paint a piece that was of a beautiful gray mare.  It turned out so well that I couldn't stop and wound up painting 5 total horse pieces that week.  Three of which sold immediately when I posted the image on social media.  Each reminded the new owner of a horse they had fond memories of.   

The canvases were relatively small (8 x 8 in) but the horses were dramatic and filled the space perfectly.   The dark background really added to the drama and made the horse seem to pop right off the canvas.  I've picked up more 8 x 8 inch canvases because I'm not stopping.  I feel compelled to paint more.

This week I worked to create a nice print and a set of note that feature my equine art.  These are available for purchase on my Etsy Shop.  I would love to hear your comments about this series of work. 

Set of 5 note cards for $20

The Gray Mare- SOLD
The Paint- SOLD

The Palomino- $150 
The Quarter Horse- SOLD

The Mare and Her Foal- $2

Friday, August 30, 2019

Bunnies in Stocking Caps and Mittens

What a beautiful time we had spending 3 great weeks of the summer in the small mining town of Ely, Nevada. This was our 4th year in a row taking time for what I call my "art sabbatical" and living in our camper.   I have gotten a lot of art accomplished while I’ve was enjoying the cooler temperatures that the higher altitude affords.

One of my biggest projects in the first week was the creation of 10 new designs that I have used to make my Christmas cards for 2019.  I had to create each piece of art that I used and then come up with the designs.  I so appreciated all the feed back I received from my followers on my Facebook Studio Page.  The ladies were so encouraging and shared their valuable opinions as I was coming up with each design. 

One set is called “Barnyard Country Christmas” and the second is “Gingham Country Christmas”.   Besides the 2 sets of cards I also created to fine art prints that can be framed and displayed on the wall to bring a smile to all your holiday guests.   They all turned out super cute but I will just let the images speak for themselves.

You can place a order on either my Website or on my Etsy Shop-Barnyard Christmas & Etsy Shop-Gingham Christmas.

 Barnyard Country Christmas 
all 5 designs included in the set
8 x 10 print matted to 11 x 14- perfect to add as a holiday focal to any wall
 Gingham Country Christmas 

all 5 designs included in the set


8 x 10 print matted to 11 x 14- perfect to add as a holiday focal to any wall

Friday, August 23, 2019

In LOVE with Plaid

I have always loved a plaid design.  I have fond memories of dressing my sweet baby boys in little plaid flannel shirts, jeans and little high top faux work boots.  Cutest thing ever.  So it is just natural for me to LOVE this BUFFALO PLAID decorating style.  The sharp contrast found of the black and white plaid bows, table runners and pillows just makes me so happy!

It is natural for me then to want to bring that same happiness to a design art prints and note cards that I have been working on for sometime.  To me a set naturally consists of 4 designs so while I had two of the designs created a while back, I still needed to work out a 2 more ideas.

I wrote a blog post back in June showing 2 new pen and ink sketches that I had recently finished and how I was going to take those sketches and with the aid of Photoshop Element turn them into the 3rd and 4th design I needed to make a set that I'm calling "Country Plaid".  I finished that project and I thought you might want to see the end results.  I am very happy with how they have turned out and the whole set is available on my Etsy Shop as either prints, magnets or blank note cards.  You can either click the tab above you use this to get to my shop.  Country Plaid Note Cards on ETSY

First, let me just repost the sketches as they appeared in my sketchbook and then I can talk about what I did to come up with these new designs.

There are a lot of people who love cardinals and since I already had a chickadee gracing the front of one of the cards, it was natural in my mind to include a second bird in the set.  I drew this cardinal with a seed in his mouth.  Sunflowers were also a theme in the first 2 cards so I decided to just to create then a another detailed sunflower sketch that I could use.  Again, the way my brain works, I had a mouse design so why not bring in a 2nd mouse?  I had the perfect drawing in mind.  I call him my "peeking mouse" and I have used him on lots of other occasions.

NOW it's HOCKUS POCUS, CLIPPITY CLOP...Work your magic oh mighty PHOTOSHOP!  

I sometime feel that it is magic for me to be able to edit my artwork in such a way that I can completely create such diverse compositions using the same drawing.  It NEVER gets old!

The finished set of "Country Plaid Note Cards"

Monday, July 8, 2019

Lots of Sunshine and Buffalo Plaid

Chickadee on Red 
I am in love with this combination of buffalo plaid and and pen and ink sunflowers that I designed a few months ago.  I think this little chickadee is my favorite.  Maybe it's the red with the black and gray that makes it so striking.

Using this design I wanted to create a set of cards that all had a similar feel to them.  Now as far as a set of cards goes,  I strongly feel that a set  should consist of  4 unique designs and while the first card pictured here in this collage does show sunflowers and is a design that I love, it just doesn’t go with the other three.  It almost looks like that Sesame Street matching game deciding “which three of these things go together”?

So even while on a recent vacation and many miles away from my studio my sketchbook is always near.  I decided to work on another sunflower design that will be used to come up with that 4th needed design.  I also get many requests or inquires about cardinals so I thought the combination of a cardinal eating from a sunflower would fit perfect.  The sketches below are still safely attached to my sketchbook and will be what I will be working with as soon as I get home to my scanner.  I'll be sure to post the updated set as soon as I can and they WILL be available for purchase on my ETSY shop soon at ETSY SHOP

If you like my artwork, I might suggest that you join my Studio VIP list through my website at  I try to have monthly art giveaways and being part of the list ensures that you have a chance at winning.  Sign up at the “GIVEAWAY tab.

New sketch that will be used for my 4th design in the series

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Roosters and Rock Climbing

My newest painting "In All His Morning Glory" 24 x 36 Acrylic
Today was one of those very rare overcast days here in Las Vegas.  A little bit on the windy side but beside that, it was a PERFECT day to go out for a little hike.  Since I just finished my newest painting titled "In All His Morning Glory" I thought it was perfect to "Kill two birds with one stone" sort of speak.  For the past six months or so I have tried to take a photo shoot of my artwork as part of my saying goodbye ritual. I include myself in the photo as if it was a family picture of sorts.  While, this painting hasn't found a new yet, I wanted to be ready just in case.  Also, if we wait much longer, the temperatures here will be too hot for me to handle.

We often just head out of town toward Lake Mead (that is the edge of town we happen to live on so we can be out in the desert in just a matter of 15 minutes or so).  There are a number of places that have outcroppings of beautiful red rocks that make a good backdrop with just little bit of hiking.

I'm happy with how this piece turned out
Today we found an amazing hollowed rock formation that we had not noticed before and even as clumsy as I am, I was able to work my way over to it.  The hollowed out area was rather large and a whole group could find room to stand inside.

A photo collage posted to my Instagram acct

Side angle of the formation
Beautiful red toned rocks everywhere

Brad showing off
Me standing at the edge
Inside the formation