Tuesday, February 19, 2019

From Cowbells to Classic English Literature

So far this past week I have stayed busy, yet I seem to lack focus.  Oh, I do have some deadlines looming that should motivate me to stay on task.  I can't help but look at the calendar start counting down the days left until the Galleria Art Expo coming on March 2nd and 3rd.  Then there is the Clark County Fair and Rodeo in Logandale, Nevada on April 10-14th and that is followed closely by the Elk's Club Helldorado Art Show.  All of which require me to produce a number of new pieces of art and yet, here I sit at the computer and not in front of my easel.

Yeah...maybe I will start all that tomorrow.  In the mean time, let me show you some of the project I have been working on this week.

Last summer, while we were vacationing in Ely, Nevada, we came across a large deposit of discarded slate during one of our exploring day trips.  This was near the ghost town area of Cherry Creek.  It was such a fascinating area that we actually drove back there several times during that month.

I managed to fill up a box of medium size pieces with the idea of painting on them.  I tried to get a selection that not only gave me a nice flat painting surface, but that had bright appealing colors.  This particular piece stood out to me and it has been lying on my drawing desk for sometime now.

I finished painting this rooster on that piece of slate yesterday and have decided that it will need to be mounted on some weathered wood we had lying around.  I took this picture before we started the mounting process today.  I will try to share photos with you of the finished piece in my next blog post.

I love the contrast of the white painted feathers against the gold and rust tones of the slate.  The piece is rather thin and therefore fragile.  I will be glad to get it mounted on the boards tomorrow for fear I might chip or break it.

Today, I managed to paint a second bunny cowbell.  The first one I painted 2 weeks ago actually sold before I could even finished it.  I decided to have this bell be a Beatrix Potter themed bell and so you will find on the back a sign that says "McGregor's Garden, Keep Out" and nailed to the sign is my rendition of a little blue jacket just like the one Peter would have worn.  I am pleased with how the bell turned out and I'm sure that it will make some new collector very happy.

Last month, you will recall that I took the plunge and purchased a Cricut Explore Air 2 for the studio.  I have wanted to learn how to use one for quite sometime and knew that it would be helpful with my sticker sales.  NO MORE HAND CUTTING STICKERS!  I also was anxious to step up my greeting card game.  In 2018 I sold almost $800 worth of cards and would LOVE to see that number grow.  I feel that the Cricut is just the tool I need to see that become a reality.  

I spent part of yesterday playing around with some designs and just learning how to work in Design Space.  Here are a couple of my first attempts.   I really like that I printed the artwork out on a thick watercolor paper.  That gives such a texture and rich feel to this little 4 x 6 prints.  They are mini art prints and would be worthy of a matting  and a frame after the cards are used.

I decided to use both the black cardstock and the kraft paper cards.
To make the inside of the cards easier to write in and to add to their appeal, I decided to create a cute sunflower insert that really makes this card stand out in my opinion.  I finished it off by attaching a matching sunflower embellishment to the envelope.  It was so much fun to put these together.  They combine both my original artwork and colorful country charms that I can now make with Cricut proficiency.  I've added this greeting card style as a new listing my Etsy Shop where I hope to begin selling note cards online on a regular basis.

You can find the link to my Etsy Shop by selecting the tab at the top of this blog or by searching for Julie Townsend Studio.

I will end this blog post today with my Verse of the Week meme.  Be encouraged in this promise today.  I'm thankful that I know where my strength comes from.  Feel free to share this image on your own social media accounts as long as you leave my studio watermark visible.

Have a blessed day and remember to do something creative.  You will feel better if you do.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sharp as a Tack

It is no surprise that I love working in colored pencil.  I love the portability and just how flexible they can be as an art medium.  Keeping your pencils with a good sharp point is a whole other matter.  They are expensive and so you don’t want to unnecessarily waste them by over sharpening them or having the leads break.

I try to be careful but using a small portable sharpener is okay when you are creating art on the go but doesn’t make sense in the studio.  So I purchased this Mitsubishi KH-20 sharpener on Amazon for $24.77 when I saw it recommended by another local color pencil artist.  It arrived yesterday and this morning was my first chance at playing with it.  As I already knew to be the case, the box and instructions are all in Japanese and so I tried to figure it out myself.  That didn’t work so well so I then turned to YouTube.

I found a excellent video by Baylee Jae that answered all my questions.  I’ve included her link below if you decided to check out the sharpener in more detail.  As for me, I’m a happy girl and my pencils will soon be sharp as tacks.

I will leave you with a couple of cute little sketches that I have finished just this week.

KH-20 Instruction video

Saturday, February 2, 2019

and then there were T-SHIRTS!

Happy Saturday!  It is a rainy day here in Las Vegas and so a perfect day to work in the studio. 

I'm really excited about adding t-shirts with my artwork on them to my Etsy Shop listings.  I've had a number of coffee mug sales since introducing them and am looking forward to the possibility of selling t-shirts.  I'm planning on starting my own line of Christian t-shirts and greeting cards very soon. 

These are Hanes brand unisex t-shirts with sizes ranging from S-5XL and 3 colors to choose from (white, gray and pink)  Here is the link if you want to check out these and all my artwork available.

Julie Townsend Studio Etsy Shop