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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


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Orange and Spoon

1/31/10 "Orange and Spoon", Oil, 12" x 8"
I wanted to experiment with this color scheme one more time--high key with predominantly warm colors--pinks, oranges, yellows and violets.  I really saturated the oranges in the foreground to create more movement.  I find it a strange color scheme and wonder what you think about it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

White Bottle with Apple

1/30/10 "White Bottle with Apple", Oil, 12" x 8"
This painting started out as an exercise in close values, but then it got more interesting when it became about color. Warm colors are definitely dominant in this painting.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Greens


1/29/10 "Greens", Oil, 12" x 8"
I am still on the red and green theme, but this time it is more about greens.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Red and Green

1/28/10 "Red and Green", Oil, 10" x 8"
The goal with this painting was to not forget to keep enough paint in the mixing area of my palette in order to load the brush for every stroke, and I mean really load it.  Mostly it's "taking the easy way out" that prevents me from doing this, for example, by not putting enough paint out in the first place, using paint from two days ago that is starting to dry, not stopping to put new paint out when a particular color is used up, substituting one color for another when the color I really want to use is gone.  I saw all these tendencies with this painting, so I'm hoping this confession will have a salutary impact.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

White Peony - SOLD


1/27/10 "White Peony", Oil, 10" x 8"
This painting was about values.  I wanted to get the peony to look white, so I had to surround it with mid value gray. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Study with Yellows


1/26/10 "Study with Yellows", Oil, 12" x 9"
I tortured myself working again on a slick canvas.  A few years ago I painted on this type canvas but used Liquin to fix the darks.  Since I don't use Liquin any longer, its a lot easier to paint on an absorbent ground.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Yellow Roses


1/25/10 "Yellow Roses", Oil, 12" x 8"
A painting on smooth oil primed linen.  I am testing different canvases for a trip.  But I still prefer an absorbent ground.  This painting was a problem in values, since they were close, but in order to get to values that worked, half way through painting it, I had to switch to a limited palette to remove variables.  The palette was Quin Violet, Cad Yellow Light, Cad Yellow Deep, Cad Green, Titanium White and Ivory Black--sort of a split complementary palette.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Study in Grays


1/24/10 "Study in Grays", Oil, 11" x 9"
This was painted on a heavy duty oil primed canvas, unlike the museum board I usually use with an acrylic gesso.  So it was not as absorbent.  Will have to experiment more to get the feel for it.  Without painting every detail and every petal, I am trying to understand how to paint flowers--and it is hard but I am determined to master it.  Its all about warm and cool colors.  Suggestions are welcome!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Study with Green


1/23/10 "Study with Green", Oil, 12" x 8"
This painting had a surprise ending, since I had put the still life on a yellowish table.  That just didn't work and in the end, I changed the color of the table so it would be more harmonious. Its not perfect, but it works better.  One of my teachers said that if you can paint a still life in natural light, you can paint anything.  Winter is the perfect time to work on still lifes under the skylight.  I welcome your comments on any of the paintings.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Two Roses


1/22/10 "Two Roses", Oil, 12" x 8"
Painting is often about paying attention to what I am doing wrong.  I am hoping that having a commitment to posting a painting every day will accelerate the learning process.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pots and Peonies


1/21/10 "Pots and Peonies", Oil, 12" x 12"
This one was harder, can you tell?  In fact the one I tried yesterday was completely scraped away.  Well--as I said, it is about process.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bottles Apart


1//19/10 "Bottles Apart", Oil, 12" x 12"
The main goal of this painting, with the exception of the white bottle, was to use as little white paint as possible.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bottles and Apples



1/18/10 "Bottles and Apples", Oil, 12" x 12"
I struggled with the green of the bottle and in the end used ivory black and cadmium yellow--a sure combination for a beautiful dark green that harmonized better than viridian and pthalo. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pink Light



1/17/09 "Pink Light", Oil, 12" x 8"
This painting was basically a value study.  All the still lifes so far are under an opaque skylight or from window light, so the light is diffused and the values are closer than in direct sunlight or under artificial light. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sentinels


1/16/10 "Sentinels", Oil, 16" x 10"
As I've taken photos of my daily paintings, I've noticed that sometimes the colors in the photo are more saturated and look better than the original.  I have to adjust the photo.  So I am working on using more saturated color in the paintings themselves.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Purple Blue Pot



1/15/10 "Purple Blue Pot", Oil, 12" x 8"
Everything on the painting depends on what is on the palette.  How much paint is on the palette and how it is mixed determine how color harmonies develop.  I'm trying to develop better habits related to this.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dark and Light


1/14/10 "Dark and Light", Oil, 12" x 12"
Morandi seemed to break a lot of rules the way he arranged objects in his still life paintings--the line of one object connects and merges with the line of another object.  What are considered (bad) tangents in today's world, are part of the design in Morandi's world.  I'm experimenting with this.

Under the Skylight


1/13/10  "Under the Skylight", Oil, 12" x 12"
It is easier to paint in outdoor sunlight than under an opaque skylight on a cloudy day.  The light is so diffused.  Its worth struggling with. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Red Mug


1/12/10 "Red Mug", Oil, 12" x 12"
Good news!  I only scraped this one down once and only removed one object.  Since I've been having so much trouble, I limited myself with this painting to a #10 filbert bristle brush and was determined to simplify.  Amazing how that can help.

Mugs in Heaven


1/11/10  "Mugs in Heaven", Oil, 12" x 12"
This painting no longer exists.  It was the least worst iteration of a process of second guessing--scraping, removing, adding, changing.  People say that you must not be afraid of failure, but its also a bad idea to keep painting when the light has changed.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pink Mug with Apples


1/9/10  "Pink Mug with Apples", Oil, 12" x 8"

OK, another strange painting day ending up painting in the dark and changing the painting many times.  How can such a small painting have so many problems.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pot and Apples


1/8/10  "Pot and Apples", Oil, 11" x 11"
This painting changed strangely as it became very dark in the studio mid-afternoon under the skylight as a heavy rain came through.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fading Light


1/7/10  "Fading Light", Oil, 10" x 8"

I started about 4 pm when the light was just starting to fade.  Thought it would be quick, but by the time I was finished it was pretty dark in the studio, even under the skylight, so it did not turn out quite as I expected.  Glad that the days are getting longer!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Zangle Cove, Winter Light - On Hold

1/6/10  "Zangle Cove, Winter Light", Oil, 12" x 12"

Yesterday I wiped a still life that I had worked on all morning.  Often this means I have forgotten my goals.  But it is also very depressing and makes me realize, again, that painting can be a case of heaven or hell.  So in the meantime, because I have to think about what I want to do, there is Zangle Cove, always there, always changing.  I have painted it so many times.  Here I am trying for more abstraction.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Composition in Orange and Blue

















1/5/10, "Composition in Orange and Blue", 11" x 14", Oil

Mainly complementary colors of cadmium orange, ultramarine blue, titanium white and ivory black in natural light under opaque skylight--cloudy day.

Black Mug



1/04/10  "Black Mug", 10" x 8"
Only time for one mug, cloudy day, skylight

Monday, January 4, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mugs with a lot of Paint


1/1/10 "Mugs with a lot of Paint", 12" x 12"
Big brush. Paint got thick, maybe too thick. Tomorrow less paint. Change one thing.

Mugs in Natural Studio Light


12/31/09 "Mugs in Natural Studio Light", 12" x 12"
Objects stay together. One edge meets another edge. Alignment.

Pitchers under Opaque Skylight


12/30/09 "Pitchers under Opaque Skylight", 12" x 16"
Looked again at Morandi. He touched the objects with his brush.

Mugs with Apple


12/28/09 "Mugs with Apple", 8" x 10"
Mugs under opaque skylight, diffused light. Objects that stay together.

Zangle with Clouds


12/23/09 "Zangle with Clouds", 8" x 10"
More flat shape experimentation.

Zangle Cove, Late Light

12/21/09. "Zangle Cove Late Light", 8" x 10"

Step two, abstraction. 20 minutes.

Zangle Cove, Solstice


12/21/09. "Zangle Cove, Solstice", 8" x 10"
First steps abstraction. Flatten everything. 20 minutes.

Yellow and Blue


12/20/09 "Yellow and Blue", 9" x 9"
Objects together.

Zangle Cove, Autumn


10/19/09. "Zangle Cove, Autumn", 10" x 12"
View from my studio window. Have painted Zangle Cove a hundred times or more over the years. Always changing.