Friday, August 21, 2020

Spreading Joy one COWBELL at a Time

Wow!  I can't even remember the last cowbell I actually painted,  I'm thinking it must have been last summer when I was on my annual art sabbatical up in Ely, Nevada.  FYI-I just looked it up and since I started painting cowbells way back in 2015, I have sold a total of 141 bells.  That my friends, is a lot of cowbells!

We have made a number of changes to the prepping of each bell and to the way that I paint them over that time and I think this new painted all over the bell design looks amazing.  I want to make it difficult to decide just which side of the bell that you want to display.  

I blogged yesterday about all the hydrangea and butterfly commission pieces that I have been doing in the past month or two and so it only seemed fitting that I would add that theme to a cowbell.  Here is the first "Hydrangea and Monarch Butterfly" cowbell and I have 2 more to paint on my easel.  

As you can see the design wraps around the whole bell and the bright orange of the butterflies just POP against all the purple and blue.  I'm really excited about this one.

Here is the link to the listing on my Etsy Shop if you are interested in checking this out.  They really do make and excellent gift. Hydrangea and Monarch Cowbell

Thursday, August 20, 2020

What is Your Favorite Grandma Recipe

Something to Sing About- Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

This note card design turned out so cute I think and I'm really excited about it.  I've combined my art with a vintage background and typed out an actual recipe to give it that recipe card look.  Right now I have 6 designs available and I've added them to my Etsy shop listings as both a card, a magnet or a print that you can have matted and framed.  These make a perfect gift for that farmhouse style lover in your life.

Just visit my shop and use the search term "Recipe" and all 5 designs will be there for you to check out.  While you are there take some time to browse the rest of my artwork.  I LOVE VISITORS!  

For a small additional charge of $20 I could combine one of my existing artwork images with your favorite recipe to make truly custom gift.  Just message me and we can chat about that.

JulieTownsendStudio on

You Got the Cookies- Snickerdoodle Recipe

Watching Carrots Grow- Carrot Cake Recipe

I Woof You- Peanut Butter Dog Treat Recipe

Forget the Worms- Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Cookies and Lemonade- Fresh Squeezed Lemonade Recipe

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

I've Got a GREEN Thumb for sure

It has been one of my regular spring rituals to make my annual pilgrimage to purchase little pots of color at my local home improvement store to bring home and brighten my front yard.  I'm love the feel of the black dirt on my hands and the moist smell of the wet earth as I carefully arrange and plant each little flower.  There is real excitement and anticipation as I imagine just how pretty and inviting they will make the entrance to my home.  

I adore flowers and  LOVE to walk up and down the isles, admiring the vivid blooms, the fragrance scents that fill the space they call the garden section.    
All that comes to an abrupt end when the first day that the temperature hits 100.  The reality of the Las Vegas summers is once again painfully obvious as I try to ignore yellowing and wilting of what was once so vibrant and colorful.  You would think I would just give up but here I am again with a scrawny morning glory vine and wilted herbs lining the entrance to my home.  

Well one thing is for certain...the flowers grow great in my studio as you can well see. I have true GREEN thumb when it comes to my studio flowers.  Of course that is directly correlated with the amount of green paint I am using. It seems that I've been on a flower craze for a good portion of the summer and as the temperatures rise to record levels here in the southwest my studio stays a ablaze in the cool colors of spring. 
It really all started with this old red flyer wagon that belongs to my neighbor. He asked if I would paint one of my little mice with some flower pots in it for his wife.  They are such excellent neighbors I had to say yes.  Little did I know this was going to turn into such a thing.  It seems now my summer focus has been that of purple hydrangeas and lavender.  

I've painted several pieces and now I'm doing commission work based on this design.  The old reclaimed pallet wood panel has become a requested  favorite and has my husband out scouring the desert for more weathered wood.  It keeps him out of trouble so this is a good thing.


Here are the last 4 pieces I have managed to finish as of late.  I hope you enjoy and they all bring a smile to your face.  Check out more of my work to purchase on my ETSY SHOP.  

SOLD- 10 x 20 inch on canvas

2 panel commission- SOLD

Saturday, August 8, 2020


I'm always looking for ways to increase my artist reach and boost my sales.  The more marketing baskets you have the better and I have felt for quite sometime that I have placed too many of my marketing eggs in the Facebook basket.  

This concerns me as I don't want to be left with the proverbial egg on my face.  I don't want to find my  basket tattered and broken on the ground and only handful of cracked egg shells to show for all my years of hard work.  

I find that this dependence I have on one social platform makes me uncomfortable.  Don't get me wrong,  I LOVE my Facebook audience.  They are so supportive and bless my every day with their kind words  I have to remember that it is all great while the honeymoon lasts but the beast can rear it's ugly head and  can turn on you very quickly.  One ill thought out post or even an innocent "LIKE" emoji attached to something that others disagree with can have dire consequences and in no time at all you can see all your hard brand building flushed down the toilet.
What is an artist to do?  Well I have made the decision to diversify my marketing efforts in several ways.  I still encourage everyone I can to "LIKE" my Facebook studio page @JulieTownsendStudio but I also try to capture their email address so that I can add them to my Studio VIP list.  My list is now over 500 and is growing daily.  This way I still have an avenue to reach my fan base even if someday I find myself in a place where I can no longer depend on Facebook as my major marketing tool.

I am also focused on building my business using Pinterest to drive more traffic to my Etsy Shop and Website.  Pinterest is a visual search engine and not a social media platform and since artwork is all about being visual I think Pinterest is a perfect partner.  I will blog more about Pinterest in the future but for now this blog is my suggestions for growing your email list.

1.  HAVE A CONTEST-  In July I decided to run a giveaway on my Facebook page that focused on collecting email addresses.  I asked my followers to email me a birthday greeting and I would add them to my drawing. I was careful to let them know that by doing so they were giving me permission to add them to my studio email list.  I found this strategy very successful and not only did I feel LOVED❤💕 but I got to see my email list really grow.  

2.  USE YOUR ETSY SHOP SALES- Etsy actually doesn't allow you to use the email address associated with each of your sales and while it is tempting to add that email address to your email list you will eventually get into Etsy hot water.  What I have done on my Etsy Shop is make one of my two mandatory variations allowed on each listing to ask the following question.  "Would you like to join my Studio VIP list?" and their options are "Yes, please add me or No thank you."  So I have given them the option to opt in and you would be surprised and how many "Yes" replies I get.  This has been a great way to build my email list.  

3. JOIN MAILCHIMP-About a year ago I took the plunge and opened a free account with Mailchimp to house my email list.  I uploaded the data from my Google contact list and while there are a few additional services that I would like to have seen Mailchimp offer me, such as being able to keep good notes, address and phone numbers on each client, I'm overall satisfied. You can't beat FREE.  I am able to build my list up to 5000 subscribers, send out my studio newsletter and create a signup form that I can add to my website.  I'm sure there are plenty of other cool things that the program can do but I'm old and have to take my time figuring new technology out.  In my opinion, Mailchimp  isn't as user friendly as it could be but it serves me now and I usually am able to figure out what I'm trying to accomplish with the help of Youtube. 

4.  OFFER AN INCENTIVE- I feel it is very important to give your clients a reason why they should want to join your email list and hear from you on a regular basis.  I mean some may just like your art that much but I feel that I need to add a value to this decision to allow me into their private life.  In my case, I have decided that for most of my studio giveaways you will be automatically entered if you are part of the VIP list.  Let them have access to free stuff that you don't tell anyone else about.  I even eventually plan to give my VIP list members the first opportunity to see my newest artwork and have a chance to purchase it before I show it on social media or list it on my shop. You can also consider offering a special VIP discount code.   Just think of somethings that will make them just a bit more special to your studio and the email address will begin to pour in.  

5.  DON'T FORGET TO ASK-  You can't grow you email list or your social media following unless you ask.  Don't let the opportunity pass you by.  If you are chatting about your artwork then make sure you let them know how to find you.  Ask if them if they have a Facebook Page or and Instagram account. Oh, and don't forget to ask for their email address.  Always have your business cards in your purse or pocket along with a pen and paper to write on.  Meeting people in person is by far one of the best ways to grow your local fan base and I don't know about your, but I never have a shortage of words when it come to talking about my artwork.

You can subscribe to my VIP list by using the sidebar here on my blog and LIKE my Facebook Studio Page while you are at it.