Welcome to my Studio!

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

Monday, October 20, 2014

Teanaway Meadow

Teanaway Meadow, 10 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board

And here's another meadow--this one close to my heart as it is in the Teanaway Valley where I painted with some other folks from Plein Air Washington on Saturday. What is it about the Teanaway? Maybe years of hiking in the area from my girlhood. Maybe that there are three roads up the valley--the North Fork, the Middle Fork and the South Fork and they lead to some of the most beautiful areas in the Middle Cascades. Maybe because on a dreary rainy day on the Sound the Teanaway is filled with sunlight and fall colors. The valley itself is beautiful in all seasons.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Colorado Foothills Meadow

When I went to Denver at the beginning of the month for the American Impressionist Society Show, I participated in a paint-out with other artists in the show. This is the painting I did up in the foothills of the mountains west of Denver. I am definitely trying for abstraction in my landscapes--it is so much more interesting than trying to paint exactly what you see. It is a way of seeing differently.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


"Boathouse", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board, Unframed

This painting was done last fall. I believe it is another one I did Gig Harbor along with others from Plein Air Washington and host juror/instructor Eric Jacobsen. I'm going to have to start writing on the back "Date and Place". My memory is not as good as it used to be!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Rocks and Waves

"Rocks and Waves", 9 x 9 Inch, Oil on Museum Board, Unframed

From our vantage point above the crashing waves, my friends Jeanne Edwards and Jane and Mel Wallis and I painted the sea on the west coast of Vancouver Island near the town of Ucluelet. I've posted two of the paintings and this is the third. What a powerful spot it was--so dramatically changing second by second. In a place like this a painter is nothing but an eye and a brush and the feeling of the roaring ocean--there is no time to pause!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Winthrop Road

Winthrop Road, 10 x 12 Inch, Oil on Museum Board

This was painted on a dirt road off the highway west of Winthrop, Washington with my friend, Jeanne Edwards. I'd painted at this exact spot years ago, and was amazed to find it again, still speaking to me.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mt. Shuksan

Mt. Shuksan, 10 x 12 Inch, Oil on Museum Board

This was painted from the parking lot at Artist's Point, between Mt. Shuksan and Mr. Baker. It is so easy with a painting like this to look at it back in the studio and see everything that could be "fixed." And it is a mistake to do it--I say that from experience!

"As I said to you before, I cannot interest myself in whether they will pass juries or not. More paintings have been spoiled during the process of their making, through such considerations, than the judgments of juries are worth.

"The object of painting a picture is not to make a picture--however unreasonable this may sound. The picture, if a picture results, is a by-product and may be useful, valuable, interesting as a sign of what has past. The object, which is back of every true work of art, is the attainment of a state of being..." Robert Henri, "The Art Spirit"

Friday, September 26, 2014

Dock at Gig Harbor

"Dock At Gig Harbor", 9 x 9 In, Oil on Museum Board, Unframed
Eric Jacobsen, last fall in 2013. Its one of the paintings that I found in my studio. I like the abstract qualities of this little painting.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lower Bagley Lake

"Lower Bagley Lake", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board

This little painting was done from the covered porch of a ranger station on the road up to Artist Point on Mt. Baker. We did drive up to the end of the road, but the mist just thickened the further we went. Back down at the ranger station, Bagley Lakes drifted in and out of the fog, wind and rain. Its always a lesson to paint in all conditions.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wild Pacific Trail

"Wild Pacific Trail", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board

This is another painting of the rocky coast near Ucluelet on Vancouver Island where I painted with others from the Plain Air Washington group a couple of weeks ago. It is hard to believe the water was so blue, but the sun was bright, unlike the following days of painting in the rain and the fog. The rocks and the waves are intense and amazing.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Point Wilson Lighthouse

"Point Wilson Lighthouse", 6 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
This is painting from Fort Worden State Park near Port Townsend, Washington. I joined others from our group, Plein Air Washington, when we were painting the State Parks in 2013. I am unearthing these paintings in my studio. Even with Photoshop, it is difficult to get the image right. In the actual painting, the lighthouse is bright white, the trees are not quite so dark and the sky is maybe a bit darker and pinker. The brushwork is a different space in my hand/head. Sometimes there is meaning in just slapping on the paint. Here is the history of Point Wilson Lighthouse and one of my friends, Jane Wallis, painting on the beach.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Beach at Incinerator Rock

"Beach at Incinerator Rock", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
This is another of my paintings from my trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island. Unlike that last painting, this one is so restrained in the brushwork. I was trying to capture the ephemeral fog and I hope I succeeded.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dosewallips River - SOLD

"Dosewallips River", Oil on Museum Board, 9 x 9 In, 2014

I painted this forest scene in the spring of 2014 and going back through my calendar, I remembered where--the Dosewallips River on the Hood Canal side of the Olympic Peninsula. "The Dose" is one of my favorite places from my teen and early 20's hiking years--a gateway into one of the most beautiful mountain areas of the Northwest. I find myself taken with this painting and the abandonment with which I painted it. I love the abstract qualities of the brushwork.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ucluelet Rocks

"Ucluelet Rocks", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board, 2014

I spent the second week of August with my painting buddies on the wild coast of Vancouver Island in a small town called Ucluelet.  The first day we painted just outside of town by the lighthouse.  Who can resist the waves of the Pacific crashing on the rocks?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cape Disappointment

Cape Disappointment", Oil on Museum Board, 10 x 12 In, 2013

Dear Friends,

I've worked out how to deal with the new changes to blogspot and solved the problem of not having all that I wanted in either the old or new formats by utilizing both formats! Now you can click on the "View All Images" button and you simply go to my second site, created in the new blogspot format. Its a bit more work because I have to post to both sites, but better than creating an entirely new site with another provider. That was looking like a nightmare!

Anyway--this is a photo of one of the paintings I did with the Plein Air Washington group in the State Park down by the mouth of the Columbia River in September 2013. It was a gorgeous, stormy day!


Sunday, December 29, 2013


"Margaret", Oil on Museum Board, 11 x 14 In, 2005

Dear Friends--

I have not been painting much or posting because of some personal issues, but I hope to get back to a little more of what I love to do in the New Year!

Meanwhile, Google Blogspot has changed their format, and from my current blog, the "View all Images" function no longer works. The Blogspot people apparently arbitrarily and without notification deleted this function from the traditional blog template. When I went back to my old template after trying out the new one, even my old template was changed and some features are missing.

Since I don't like the new blogspot template and I no longer trust them, I may move to a different provider--and that will be a lot of work. But figuring this out is one mission for the New Year. If any of you are having similar problems with blogspot and have figured anything out--please let me know! Or if you use a different provider that you like, I'd also like to hear about that.

I wish you all the best for the New Year!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Columbia River - Cape Disappointment

"Columbia River - Cape Disappointment", Oil on Canvas, 18 x 24, NFS

First place winner of the Washington State Parks exhibition at The American Art Company Gallery in Tacoma, Washington. It was a wonderful painting season with the Plein Air Painters of Washington, painting the State Parks. I have belonged to this group for several years, painting with them in such places as Glacier National Park, Canyon de Chelly, and the Grand Canyon as well as our local and beautiful Washington State. They are good painters and I thank them all for their friendship to me. There is nothing like a "painting buddy." Thank you to all of you.

Currently available at the American Art Company Gallery in Tacoma, Washington.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Grand Canyon Sketch 9

Grand Canyon Sketch 9, 6 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
This is another of my paintings from my trip down the Colorado in the Grand Canyon in May, 2013. I have not done much studio painting in the last few months, but the trips in the open air are still very important to me--they definitely take me outside of myself and as you can see, I'm painting with more abandon than ever.

Purchase this unframed painting for $150.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Grand Canyon Sketch 3 - SOLD

"Grand Canyon Sketch 3", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
We painted early morning and late afternoon. Deep in the Canyon the sun goes down quickly. All these paintings were fast and loose with the brush and I felt a wonderful sense of both focus and freedom painting them.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Grand Canyon Sketch 6 - SOLD

"Grand Canyon Sketch 6", 9 x 9 In, Oil on Museum Board
This was the last painting I did on the trip, as the sun was going down behind the walls of the canyon and most everybody was partying down by the river. I wanted to do this last painting but I also wanted to hang out with the group, so this was a quick painting--maybe 30 minutes. Its hard to describe what its like being in the canyon on the river--it is a world apart. One of my favorite things is that because the canyon is in an uplift zone, the rock in the Inner Gorge is vischu schist. Here is a photo I found on the web of the vishnu schist. I've got some of my own photos--just haven't managed to go through them yet.

Here's a close up photo of the schist with pink granite.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Grand Canyon Sketch 2

"Grand Canyon Sketch 2", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
The painting is fast in the Grand Canyon. We are up at 5 am breaking camp, then breakfast, then paint, then load the raft and leave by 9:30 am. I never painted for more than an hour on any particular painting and sometimes less if I did two paintings. So like the river, these are fast and swift. We were able to paint again after setting up camp late in the afternoon.

Purchase this unframed painting for $150.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Grand Canyon Sketch 1 - NFS

"Grand Canyon Sketch 1", 6 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
My third painting trip down the Grand Canyon was as welcome as any trip I have been on. There is just nothing like it.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Monterey Wharf", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board
My friend Jeanne Edwards and I were down on the beach by the wharf, out of sight of the other 500 some painters up top that day at the Plein Air Convention in Monterey.

Purchase this unframed painting for $175.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Monday, May 13, 2013

"Canyon Walls", 11 x 14 In, Oil on Museum Board
From my trip to the Grand Canyon in 2007. What an amazing place!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Asilomar Bay - SOLD

"Asilomar Bay", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
This was done during the Plein Air Convention in Monterey along with at least 200-300 other painters on the beach below Asilomar. It was a beautiful and windy day. Kind of amazing to paint with that many other painters!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Storm Hells Backbone - SOLD

"Storm Hells Backbone", 9 x 9 In, Oil on Museum Board
This is a small painting I did on a trip to Utah with my husband a few years back.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Artist Friend - SOLD

"Artist Friend", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
This was painted at an indoor gathering of my outdoor painting group earlier this year.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Roses In Cup

"Roses In Cup", 9 x 9 In, Oil on Museum Board
I'm not sure where I am going, but this little painting is on the path.

Purchase this unframed painting for $135.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mt. Rainier from Spray Park

"Mt. Rainier from Spray Park", 6 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
I painted this view of the northwest face of Mt. Rainier sitting on a big rock in Spray Park quite a few years ago. My husband, kids and I hiked to the vast and beautiful alpine meadows of this elevation from Mowich Lake. The painting is a sketch that includes so many memories that its not one I could part with.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Yellow and Red Flowers

"Yellow and Red Flowers", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Museum Board
This was done at the Plein Air Washington Paint-In yesterday. The last painting of the day, I worked on it for maybe 45 minutes. I wasn't trying to make it look particularly realistic, just slapping on the paint. That's really what I want to do at this point in my painting life.

Purchase this unframed painting for $185.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.