Monday, December 28, 2020

Coffee with Julie- Just CHILLIN with my iPad


Even though it has been pretty chilly in my studio these past few weeks, I've been working on some new spring designs for my shop. I can't think of any better subject to use than a "Herd" of adorable bunnies. They sure can wreak havoc on your garden but here on this sticker or note card they are as cute as can be.

In reality, there wouldn't be any flowers left at all but since I'm the artist and I create my own reality, little spring flowers and butterflies abound.

The sweet little bunny at the bottom is named Flo and she will be making more studio appearances in the future. Of this fact, I am certain. She is just too cute not to have her become a studio regular.

I decided to carry on the flower pot theme this week with my next studio visitors, two sweet little kittens. The little gray kitten at the end is named Bella and she also is going to become a studio regular. So watch out for Bella, she has little streak of mischievousness in her.

I had a blast drawing this pair of cute kittens playing hide and seek in the flower pots. I was trying to think of something funny to say about them when I saw the play on words of "CATcus" I just had to make some changes by adding a cactus to my end flower pot and now I chuckle every time I think about the title. 

Bella wasn't ready to leave it seems, because yesterday she showed up hiding in this knitted pink mitten looking as cute as ever.  Before I was finished with the composition I decided to draw a safety pinned note that read, "Don't forget your mittens.  Love Mama" and a soft pink and gray watercolor background. Now I think it is PURRFECT!

I think all these designs have turned out so adorable and is perfect for all the cat and bunny lovers on your list. Did I mention that I created all of these images using the app Procreate on my new iPad Pro?  Yeah, I didn't think so.  I've had my new iPad for about 3 weeks and I'm just having so much fun with it.  We may find ourselves still stuck at home for much of 2021 but I'm going to have some fun doing it!

These three designs are available in cards, prints, stickers and magnets over on my Etsy Shop

Have a purrfect day!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Coffee with Julie- 12/8/20


Good morning!  I'm loving my coffee this morning and am looking forward to my day.  I have the privilege of hanging with my babies and it has been a week since I saw them last (last week I was a bit under the weather if you recall).  So I am up bright and early and feeling good.

I'm so excited about painting again and I love how my first ever saw blade turned out.  These blades were given to me and have been lying around my studio for several years.  I'm determined to may 2021 a year FULL of art and that means using the resources around me rather than purchasing more canvases.  I really like how it turned out and so I wanted to share it with you.

A few months ago I decided I was going to paint these two old saw blades and so I got the idea to have my husband weld some old horseshoes on them that we had lying around.  It really helps with handling them and I think it will make a perfect way to hang the finished art on the wall.  

First thing we did was to clean them up really well.  My husband used the pressure washer on them to get rid of all the dirt or oils on the surface.  Once they had dried I applied 2 coats of Miniwax Indoor/Outdoor Helmsman Spar Urethane- Clear Satin to both sides.  Here is the link for that product on Amazon.  For the cowbell we use a different process to prepare them and I might blog about that whole process another day.  Here is the link on Amazon:  Helmsman Spar Urethane

I had to fashion a safe way to hold these blades to my easel.  I have a real fear of them falling off and landing on my foot (I don't own any steel toed boots) so I have them hanging on the screws and then I loop the bunge cord over them to hold them in place when I'm not painting on them.  In this photo you are seeing the blades with the first coat of acrylic paint applied.  I just made them a very dark color because I've decided that I am going to paint a goat on the one and there will be a dark barn in the background.  The blades are naturally very dark so this just even it all out and gave me a nice solid colored surface to begin with.

Now I didn't take pictures as I started but I used a white pastel pencil to light sketch in my basic composition.  It doesn't have to be prefect because I dial it all in as I'm painting.  That is the beauty of painting in acrylics and oils.  You can fix anything.

It takes a number of layers to get your colors vibrant when painting on metal but I' couldn't be happier with the final piece.  This cute little goat is named Rosemary and she is one of the goats raised by Katie  at Galloping Gertie's Goatery.  Katie takes the best pictures of her goats and I'm so grateful that she gives me permission to use them as reference photos in my work.  If I paint or draw a goat they are more than likely from Galloping Gerties.

This piece is looking for a new forever home but first I have photograph it with the good camera, spray a fixative coat on it and then give it a couple coats of a clear glossy varnish to seal up it up and help prevent fading or scratching.  When all that is done I will be adding this piece to my Etsy Shop if I haven't sold it before that. Just send me a message if you would like to own this piece.  

Now to finish the 2nd saw blade and that cowbell this week.  We also collected a number of old cans while camping over Thanksgiving.  It will be fun to see what I can paint on these.  

Be sure and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and now I'm starting a vlog on YouTube. (just search JULIE TOWNSEND STUDIO)    

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Morning Coffee with Julie - December 5th, 2020

I've been a little under the weather this week with either a cold or allergies (not sure which) but during this COVID pandemic (I call it a PANDAMNIC) a runny nose might as well be an admission to having the bubonic plague.  Oh well, I know I'm on the mend because I didn't even use one tissue yesterday.  That is a good sign!

I've been trying to stay busy during my runny nose banishment.  Lucky for me, I received my brand new iPad Pro 12.9 inch with a Apple Pencil.  I spent most of yesterday playing around in Procreate and managed to create a color page for my newest coloring book and this little goat drawing.  I think he turned out really cute but BOY do I have a lot to learn!  

Another really exciting thing that happened yesterday was that I received my Amazon order for my 2021 weekly/monthly planner in the mail.  This is the first time I have actually seen a printed version of it and I couldn't be more thrilled with it.  It really turned out nice and I can't wait for 2021 to begin using it. I created these Pinterest pins this morning to promote it on my board.

Here is the link on Amazon if you want to check it out:  MY AWESOME 2021 PLANNER

When I worked in the real world as the Business Administrator for a Christian school and church here in town, I was always thankful for all the new beginnings I had.  There was the start of each new school year, the new fiscal year and the new calendar year.  Each new beginning had it's unique requirements and demands for the business office but I always looked forward to the "CLEAN SLATE" feeling.  

Now I have really only the new year to celebrate the new beginnings but I look forward to it with the same excitement.  Maybe even more now that I am a small business owner.  I've been blessed with steady and growing art sales this past year and my plan for 2021 is to continue to stay focused on my art and helping other artists achieve success.  

A really important tool as a small business owner is your spreadsheets.  I know, I'M SUCH A NUMBERS GEEK!  I think it was the end of October when I created my 2021 Income/Expense Spreadsheet.  I try to track each revenue separately so I know how much I made in gross sales of cards, stickers or original art. I also track my sales for galleries, Facebook, Etsy Shop and other revenue sources.  I have a worksheet tab for each month and that all rolls into a year to date worksheet.  My spreadsheet is on Google Sheets and I would be happy to send you a blank copy of my spreadsheet if you are wanting to see how I have it set up.

Stay safe, warm and blessed