Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Old McDonald has NOTHING on ME

What a week...  We are now almost to 2 full weeks of lock down here in Nevada and what is an artist to do with all this extra time?  You guessed it!  CREATE! 

That is exactly what I have been doing and it seemed like the perfect time to start a new series of art.  While  I haven't picked up a paintbrushes much, my color pencils have been getting a real workout! 

A month or so ago,  I had taken notice of a very successful Etsy Shop that had the most adorable photographs of different types animals that she had Photoshopped into a claw bathtub.  It was really cute and my mind jumped immediately to an old galvanized steel wash tub. I decided to create a series of specifically farm animals taking a bubble bath in just such a wash tub.

And just as I suspected, this series has really struck a chord with many of my fellow Farmhouse Whimsy followers.  They have made my March a record Etsy sale month for me and I am absolutely thrilled. TAKE THAT CORONAVIRUS!

I've completed 5 drawings so far in the series and I am currently working on a Jersey Cow in curlers as my 6th design.  I really don't know when I will finish drawing these because 1. I'm having a blast and 2. There are so many more farm animals to draw.  I've got goats, horses, sheep, chickens and the list goes on and on.  All waiting patiently for their turn to take a nice bubble bath. 

Let me introduce you to the my washtub crew:

"HOGWASH"- My first drawing in the series was of this beautiful but rather portly smiling sow.  She actually has a look of contentment and relaxation on her face.  She isn't stressing and the cares of the world are melting away in a sea of bubbles.  ORIGINAL AVAILABLE

"SWEET & LOVEABULL"  is the 2nd drawing in the series and it really makes me chuckle to think about a two thousand pound Brahman bull soaking into a washtub.  ORIGINAL AVAILABLE

"WASH TUB DIVA" is my 3rd drawing in the series and probably the most popular design so far.  She just looks silly with her pink shower cap and her mouth moving, chewing her cud.  ORIGINAL AVAILABLE

"BERKSHIRE BUBBLE BATH" is number 4 in the series and it and number 5 are actually commissioned pieces that are now on their way to their new home in Alberta Canada.  I think I captured her sweetness with her little pig snout. 

"MOO LA'LA'" is the 5th drawing that I have completed.  She is a French Charolais cow and so that explains how I came up with the name.  I just had to make her a bit fancier than the others and so she has a very special pink polka dot shower cap and a rubber duck. 

I hope you enjoyed my little show.  All of these images are available in my Etsy Shop as prints, note cards and magnets.  I even have worked a couple of them into t-shirt designs (Wash Tub Diva and Sweet and Loveabull)

Saturday, March 28, 2020

My 10 Amazon MUST HAVES for the studio

I have grown to really depend on my ability to order supplies from Amazon.  I am sure you do to.  There are certain supplies that I do buy locally because I can take advantage of sales and weekly coupon offers but most of my supplies are purchased online with Amazon. 

I thought I would just make a list of the items I purchase the most often and give the links to those items.  I hope you find this helpful.  I'm not sure but I think it is going to be a difficult task to limit this post to just 10 items but I will do my best. 

(1) I sell a quite a few of my note cards throughout the year.  I purchase the scored 7 x 10 card stock directly from Red River Paper Co but I always get my envelopes on Amazon.  I just LOVE these self adhesive envelopes by Valbox.  They are high quality and are a perfect match to my beautiful cards.   I get them in both White and Kraft Brown and they come 100 to a box for $10.59 but just now I found a value box of 200 envelopes for $14.49.  I will be ordering that size from now on because I always want to have penty of extra envelopes on hand.  Here is the link:  VALBOX ENVELOPES

(2) To matte my reproduction prints I use white bevel cut matte board with a backing board and cellophane bag.  Amazon provides a complete set up of all three parts and offers a great quantity discount that I always take advantage of.  I keep on hand the 5x7, 8x10 and 11x14 mattes to take care of all my print orders.  Here is the link to the 8x10 size.  MATTE SETS

(3) Here is my favorite matte sticker paper that I print out my stickers I sell on my Etsy Shop.  They are strong and durable and as long as I print on the correct side I have no problems.  You do have to make sure you are printing on the whitest side and as I get older sometimes this is a challenge to see the difference.  I actually mark the box on both the sticker sheets and all my print paper as to which side the correct print side is.  I then am careful that I return it to the box facing my arrow correctly.  Just my little trick in the attempt not to waste my precious supply.  Here is the to the STICKER PAPER

(4) Framing supplies are a biggy and I purchase my hanging wire and d-rings here on Amazon.  The prices are much better than the tiny packs I can get at the craft stores or the hardware store and they last a long time. I may be going on 4 years on that spool of wire.   I just purchased 200 small black saw tooth hangers as I have decided my smaller 4 x 4 and 6 x 6 canvas art just doesn't allow enough space to use a wire.  The color matches perfect with the black fabric dust cover I finish off all my canvases with.  It's a WIN, WIN as far as I am concerned.  They have enough of a gap that I am able to hang them from a gallery display hook so that shouldn't be an issue when I want to have them on my wall at the gallery.  D-RINGS  BLACK SAW TOOTH HANGERS  HANGING WIRE

(5)  My 2 favorite sketching pens are black Micron .005 and .003 and the Black LePen by Marvy .05 and I get all of them here on Amazon.  MICRON .003  MICRON .005 and LePen by Marvy

(6)  I use the Epson Premium Presentation paper to print out all my art reproductions.  It's a great value per sheet and gives me a nice quality print.  EPSON PREMIUM PRESENTATION PAPER

(7) I use both of these when making my 4 x 6 magnets.  I have just recently started cutting the magnet sheet in half so that it isn't as difficult to line up on the back of the laminated print.  It also cuts my magnet production costs significantly. 
Magnet making Supplies- LAMINATION SHEETS and 4x6 MAGNET SHEETS

(8) Some of my shipping supplies are purchased here on Amazon.  I just recently invested in a large rigid mailer that I just love.  I feel it will do a good job of protecting my artwork as they head off to their new home.  I have to face the fact that sometimes things are ruined while in the possession of the USPS and these offer as much protection as I can give them.  I even enclose that inside a vinyl mailer to protect against any bad weather.   RIGID MAILERS

(9)  I use acid free artist tape to attach my original drawings and reproduction prints to the backside of the matte board.  I find this works great and can be pulled off carefully without damaging the artwork but still holds the paper in place securely.  I accidentally purchased the 1/2 inch size last month when I really wanted the 3/4 inch width tape but I guess I will make it work. This roll will most likely last you for several years.  ACID FREE ARTIST TAPE

(10)J-B WELD epoxy glue is my go to adhesive if I really want something to stick.  I use this to attach the rare earth magnets to my cast iron skillet art and to attach the rubber bumpers on the back of each of my stone coasters.  I haven't had any problems with either coming off if I use this glue.  Great stuff and this price is slightly less than I can purchase it at one of the building stores.  J-B WELD 

And there you have my 10 Amazon art supply recommendations. Let me know if you found this post helpful.  I would love to hear from you.  Please check out my artwork on my ETSY SHOP or "LIKE" my FB STUDIO PAGE

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Could all this CRAZY be just HOG WASH?

This past week has certainly has sure been a crazy one and the last think I want to do is to get on that CRAZY TRAIN.  "I have enough toilet paper, thank you very much!"  I don't even want to go shopping for the next few weeks and it's not because of the germs I will encounter.  It's that CRAZY TRAIN that's pulled into station and everyone is jumping on board. 

My daughter was telling me a story last night about how my son-in-law went to the store to buy baby wipes.  After all, they do have 2 small children and wipes do come in pretty handy when you are changing diapers.  The store shelves were completely OUT.  As he was standing in the check out, the woman in line in front of him changed her mind about the package of small wipes that she had in her card and asked the cashier to remove them from her bill.  My son-in-law spoke up and told the woman and the cashier that he would like to purchase them if she wasn't going to.  Can you believe that another woman stepped up and grabbed them right out of the cashiers hands and quickly scanned it on her self check register. I would hate to think what it would be like if we had a true emergency to deal with.

What is there to do?  My peace comes from my faith in my Creator who is bigger than the NASDAQ or the World Health Organization.  A virus isn't bigger then my Heavenly Father.  So I believe in common sense here is what is needed, not panic.  I think avoiding large crowds is using good sense and of course washing your hands often is on the top of the any common sense list. 

Besides the obvious course of action, my second plan is to start a new series of color pencil art in my Farmhouse Whimsy style.  Each piece will feature a different farm animal taking a bath in a large wash tub.  We all need to find a place free of worry and panic and mine is my studio.  Here is my newest drawing and I'm calling it "Hog Wash". 

This new drawing would be a perfect to display in your country or farmhouse bathroom.  I have prints, cards and magnets available on my Etsy Shop if you are interested and want to check it out.  I have all kinds of great farmhouse out to look at.  Here is the link to HOG WASH       

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Spring Green, Lime Green or Chartreuse it all means GREEN THUMBS for me

8 x 8 Spring Bee Paintings
Spring is HERE in Las Vegas!  We are forecasted to have weekend temperatures in the 80's and I've added nightly allergy medication to my evening med lineup.  Yes, tis the season of sneezing and stuffy noses.  It is also such a sweet time of new life and brilliant colors.

Yesterday, I even planted some morning glory seeds in my big flower pot outside and added basil to my herb garden.  Besides dirt under my nails, I'm finding my thumb to be green and I'm not referring to the "green thumb" you have when they say you are a gardener.  No, I'm talking a literal GREEN THUMB from all the painting I have been doing this week.

Did you know that CHARTREUSE is the ETSY color of the year?  I found that out last week and ever since then I have had a big pile of bright green paint on my palette.  These little bees have been so much fun to paint.  I started out with painting (3) 6 x 6 x 1.5 canvases with colorful abstract flowers and then adding bees.  The green is just so alive and vibrant as a background color.  Now I have moved onto cowbells and mini bees on 4 x 4 x 1.5 canvases.

Work in Progress- Cowbells and Mini Bees

Sleepy Bee design with scripture on ETSY

Another "BEE" art piece that I created this week involves my "Sleepy Bee" design and a scripture.  Here I have created a matted print available in different sizes, a blank note card and a laminated magnet.  This design is available for purchase on my ETSY SHOP at this LINK

Monday, March 2, 2020

We did it!  “Life on the Funny Farm” is all hung up and I think it looks great.  Of course I could imagine that you would think my opinion would be just a wee bit biased.  I can say that I have been anxiously awaiting this opportunity and I'm so happy that March 1st has finally arrived.  It takes nearly a year to get on the schedule and I missed out in 2019 but the wait was worth it and I am now officially the featured artist at the Boulder City Art Gallery for the whole month.

The reception is scheduled for March 21 from 1-3 pm.  Now I just need to start planning the fun for my reception in a few weeks.  I certainly plan to make one of my much requested cheese balls but I need to find some other goodies to make.

This is such a lovely gallery, nestled in the heart of the "Old" Boulder City and located in the historic Boulder Dam Hotel.  The gallery has been in operation for over 40 years and it really is a little gem in the desert.   I believe this is my 6th year as one of their gallery artists.  It is a great talented group of local artists and I'm honored to be listed among their ranks.

If you are in the Southern Nevada area, I would love it if you would stop by on the 21st to say hi.  It will be fun and you will LOVE spending the afternoon in Boulder City.  I promise. 

Check out my Etsy Shop for many of the cards and prints are available that I have here in the show.  Julie Townsend Studio Etsy Shop