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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


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.



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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.

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painting.

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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!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Man in Dark Coat


"Man in Dark Coat", Oil on Museum Board, 12 x 10

I watched a figure demo recently from a well-known artist who uses, at least in this instance, a very small brush, working on small discrete areas of the figure for long periods of time. I can always learn something from other artists and certain things he said rang true. However, I have to ask myself why I've studied with artists such as William Reese, Jove Wang and Ovanes Berberian. They are not "paint the whole canvas with a tiny brush" kind of guys. But being visually oriented, it is not so easy sometimes to put the visuals in perspective and the influence on the hand from the visual memories in the mind can be a big one.

So in this painting, my goal was to do the opposite in order to reorient myself--to use bigger brushes and do the painting in one hour--not leaving time to go back "fix it up."

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Aix Vineyard - NFS



"Aix Vineyard", 6 x 9 In, Oil on Museum Board
I'm still working on cataloging my paintings and probably will be for months. This is another one from years ago from a painting trip to France.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

St. Tropez - NFS


"St. Tropez", Oil on Museum Board, 6 x 9 In

I'm working on a long term project to organize my paintings of the last 20 years. There are some I've kept and have on my walls and others long gone--just numbered images on my computer. For many of them, I can't remember exactly when or where I did them. Fortunately, this one has a date, September 2002, and with a little help from my facebook friends, identified it as San Tropez. I went to France in 2002 with my instructor Simon Kogan and others from our class and have wonderful memories, but for the most part, no memory of geographical location.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mazama Hillside


"Mazama Hillside", 6 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board

This was painted back in June in a valley near Mazama just east of the North Cascades with the Plein Air Washington group. Everything was still so green.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Wheeler Peak - SOLD



"Wheeler Peak", Oil on Museum Board, 8 x 10, Sold

The sun was shining on this view of Wheeler Peak just outside of Taos. The fence was down right by a dry meadow so I climbed over the barbed wire. I usually paint facing the sun so my canvas is in shadow, but I had full sun on it this day and it was a good lesson. Sometimes I become aware of silly rules I have in my mind when it is necessary to break them.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Above the Turquoise Trail - Sold


"Above the Turquoise Trail", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board

I didn't know the name of the valley I was painting until I got home and looked it up. But even without knowing the name, "Turquoise Trail", there it was in the valley shadow. Of course maybe that refers to real turquoise--now I have to get out my history books or maybe someone from down there will enlighten me!

!--Purchase this unframed painting for $225.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.-->

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chiracahua Mountains


"Chiracahua Mountains", 9 x 9 In, Oil on Museum Board

On our recent trip we drove up to the Chriacahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona. There were beautiful pine forests and amazing rock formations. Every turn was a painting.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Santa Rita Mountains


"Santa Rita Mountains", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board

This was painted a couple of weeks ago south of Tucson in the Santa Rita Mountains. It is so interesting that in Washington State, 5500 feet elevation is timberline--above that are alpine meadows and upwards the glaciers. In Southern Arizona, at 5500 feet, I'm not even sure you are out of the desert! I tried to look it up, but I couldn't find a site that told me what the tree line is in the Santa Rita Mountains. If anybody knows, please comment!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Roses with Cup


"Roses with Cup", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board

I haven't painted a still life for months. Its a good thing to do when it starts to rain in the Northwest. But this one didn't go smoothly Three days of scraping the canvas and starting over--and such a small canvas! Its so wonderful when the painting paints itself. But when it doesn't then its better to think of it as process.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mt. Baker


"Mt. Baker", 9 x 9 In, Oil on Museum Board
This was painted on the ridge between Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan in northern Washington. It was the first time I had been to Mt. Baker in many years and the only time I can remember when the sun was actually shining. More than 40 years ago we attempted a climb of Mt. Baker more than once, and the weather was just too awful.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Ucluelet Harbor


"Ucluelet Harbor, Oil on Museum Board, 10 x 10 In
Our painting trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island in August was filled with sun, and of course, rain, for who could live in the Northwest and not be prepared for it! I had my little painting umbrella, which didn't help much, but we found a spot sheltered at least from the wind down below some warehouses on the harbor. This was the result of my soggy experience.

Thank you for your interest in my work and my blog!

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