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Daily Oil Paintings of Kathryn Townsend. The paintings posted on this blog are a journal of process. Daily practice, exploration and experimentation are the life blood of the artist's way.

All images are copyright of Kathryn Townsend Website: http://KathrynTownsend.com

“A man learns to skate by staggering around making a fool of
himself: indeed he progresses in all things by making a fool of
himself.” --George Bernard Shaw


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Chinese Girl - NFS



"Chinese Girl", 24 x 18 In, Oil on Museum Board
This is an older painting done in 2009 and I think it must have been done from a photo from my trip to China, but I don't remember. It is interesting comparing the old with the new--I often use more paint now, but the brushwork that I like is apparent. I always think I will remember everything, but so many things are forgotten. I am sometimes just lucky there is an actual memory right there on the canvas.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Young Woman



"Young Woman", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Museum Board

For me the portrait is the most difficult in terms of the obsession of the mind that seeks perfection. The compulsion to get a likeness takes over and the process becomes one of fixing and re-fixing--not a happy place to be. In this portrait, I just quit after basically the first take and despite those thoughts trying to hammer me about this and that in the painting, I'm very happy to just leave it. My goal is to actually think differently about it--get out of that old moldy thought process. Make it as unfinished as it wants to be.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Still Life with Oranges



"Still Life with Oranges", 12 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board
I'm always glad to get back to the still life. It is no less a challenge than a portrait, but I can more easily dismiss the battle with the mind and its seemingly incurable determination to exactly capture the proportions of every nuance of the model. You can basically do what you want with flowers and oranges and vases.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Grand Canyon Rapids


"Grand Canyon Rapids", 6 x 6 In, Oil on Museum Board
This was one of the paintings that went to one of the 6 x 6 In shows over the holidays. I think its coming back, but I haven't seen it yet. If it does come back, it will be available. Its one of my favorites.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Woman in Blue


"Woman in Blue", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board

Recently at a demo of a well-known artist, I took photos of my fellow artists, who were watching intently. I hope they now do not mind if I publish the paintings that I did of them. The expressions were unique and beautiful

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Portrait in High Key


"Portrait in High Key", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board

This painting was an experiment in high key. Its a little straight on and I think it looks better in the photo than in actuality, but they are all experiments, right? Sometimes that is all I can ask of myself--to paint and put it in the box and go on to the next one.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Chinese Girl



"Chinese Girl", 12 x 9 In, Oil on Museum Board
I'm still experimenting with portraits and I feel like I'm on the open road--not sure where I'm going!

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dana


"Dana", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Museum Board

I painted this portrait in early December and then couldn't find it. I finally found it today!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Yellow Dress



"Yellow Dress", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board

My experiment with a limited palette is over, at least for now. A limited palette is good for a value painting and its interesting to see how far one can go with it. But I'm not sure I want or need to return to the days when all the wonderful colors we have today were not available. This painting uses a full range of color and it was so much more enjoyable to paint and its much more in the direction I want to go.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Man Watching


"Man Watching", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board

This is another experiment with limited palette and if I remember correctly, it was blue, orange, black and white. Doing this type of exercise is interesting, but the paintings are more value sketches than color sketches.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Girl in Pink


"Girl in Pink", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
I've been doing portraits all this month and I am struggling! Sometime I scrape off a painting three days in a row and try over. But to do that and get anywhere, I need a focus and a goal and a new strategy. I'm working on figuring out what that might be. Currently I'm reading "Hensche on Painting." This painting is one that I had put aside a couple of weeks ago, and here it is now--on my blogspot!

PS--I just want to add that although I mentioned I was reading a book on Hensche, I didn't mean to imply that this painting was related to that reading or Hensche's methods of color painting. This painting is undoubtedly more of a colored tonalist painting--not what Hensche is talking about. It is interesting to study this distinction.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Old Man with Pipe - NFS


"Old Man with Pipe", 14 x 11, Oil on Museum Board

I posted this painting a long while back, but I'm posting it again because it was selected for the December 2014 FAV 15% Bold Brush Painting Contest. I entered on a whim and promptly forgot about it--then got the notification. This painting brings so many memories of my painting trips to China.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Liz - NFS


"Liz", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Museum Board"
I'm still cleaning up my studio and unearthing paintings that I probably considered as sketches at the time, but now I value for their simplicity. This one is of my youngest daughter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hood Canal Sky


"Hood Canal Sky", 6 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board

This is a little sketch I did last summer on the Plein Air Washington paint out on Hood Canal. The long highway along the Canal, next to the Olympia Mountains, is one of my favorite areas of the Puget Sound region--I have many memories from my teen years of going to camp in the summer on Hood Canal, canoeing on the water and backpacking in the mountains.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Margaret - NFS


"Margaret", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Museum Board
This is another portrait of my eldest daughter.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Still Life with Apples


"Still Life with Apples", 20 x 20 In, Oil on Canvas

I used to be able to organize everything in my mind. Now that that is no longer possible, I have to organize everything in fact. It means keeping track of my paintings on my computer and in my studio. After so many years and so many paintings it is not easy! This is one of those paintings that I did last fall and basically just put aside. But I know I am not going to paint on it again, so I will say its finished and get it photographed and in my computer file.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Three Faces of Eve - NFS



"Three Faces of Eve", 8 x 11 In, Paper
There is a story behind this one. Last fall I went to a "horse experience" in Arizona with a famous horse whisperer woman. On the last day I was hoping to spend time with the horses--not an unreasonable expectation. However, the program that afternoon was to sit in her living room and meditate with a blind fold on, listening to some really horrible non-music that was so loud I could not think straight. In desperation I pulled off my blindfold, pulled out some regular paper and did this drawing--came right out of my brain-- "Three Faces of Eve"--and then I did "Three Faces of Adam." No idea where these ideas came from. And the most interesting part was that when I was focused on drawing, I didn't hear the "music."

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hood Canal



"Hood Canal", 6 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
This painting is from last summer--a fast sketch from the Dosewallips State Park on the banks of Hood Canal. Hood Canal is a long arm of Puget Sound that backs up to the Olympic Mountains--a place with so many childhood memories of canoeing on the Canal and hiking in the mountains. This view is looking east to the low hills on the other side of the Canal.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Girl in White Dress - NFS



"Girl in White Dress", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Canvas Board
I'm still experimenting with the Zorn palette (Cadmium Red Lightt, Yellow Ochre, Ivory Black, White). The only zinc white I could find in my studio was so hard I had to throw it away, but I did find some Titanium/Zinc. Curious what you all who use zinc white think about its consistency. Also, my new year's resolution is to get all really bad stuff out of my studio, so I did this painting who no mineral spirirts or turp--definitely a challenge. Ordered some spike lavender painting medium today--hope I got the right stuff.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Liz - NFS


"Liz", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Museum Board
Thanks to whoever posted Anders Zorn's palette on Facebook--I think it was Florin Bosinceanu. The cad red light, yellow ochre, titanium white and ivory black--was an experimental inspiration--have to try it again--

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Clouds and Sunlight


"Clouds and Sunlight", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board
Sometimes its a relief to just do clouds. This was one of those days.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Storm Hell's Backbone - NFS


"Storm Hell's Backbone", 9 x 9 In, Oil on Museum Board

Painted on my trip to Utah.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mt. Shuksan - SOLD


"Mt. Shuksan", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board
This was painted in one of the most beautiful spots in Washington States--on a ridge between Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Girl with Green Eyes


"Girl with Green Eyes", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Museum Board.

I could paint my daughters over and over again.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Friday, December 19, 2014

View from Winthrop


"View from Winthrop", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
Winthrop is a beautiful area on the east side of the North Cascades in Washington State. Our plein air group painted there last summer.



Purchase this unframed painting.

Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Back Side of the Reef - SOLD


"Backside of the Reef, 10 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board
This was painted some years ago on a trip to Utah. Capital Reef is not a well known National Park, but it is amazing. The main sites in the Park are on the western side, but this is the eastern side--the backside.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Margaret - NFS


"Margaret", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board

This is a portrait of my daughter that was an experiment using blue, orange, white and black. I think I should try it again, as this painting was from long ago.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Watching


"Watching", 12 x 10, Oil on Museum Board
I went to a painting demo a couple of weeks ago and towards the end, realized I could do more with my camera than far-away shots of the work in progress--my fellow watchers. When I got home and looked at the photos, the expressions of the "watchers" were often enigmatic. This is Susan.

Purchase this unframed
painting.

Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Girl in Red


"Girl in Red", Oil on Museum Board, 12 x 10

I'm still working on trying to restrict time on these small portraits to one hour, though I think maybe this went went another half hour. When I was done, I couldn't remember when I started! I am still thinking about Leonard Cohen's lyrics: "Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That's how the light gets in". I'm trying to figure out how to link to the video--if anybody knows how--please let me know!

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.