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


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Turquoise Mug

2/28/10 "Turquoise Mug", 10" x 8", Oil
This painting was done with a studio light, rather than the natural light from the skylight.  I can't wait for spring to take the still lifes outside into the direct sunlight!  Because of the lighting, the color of the image is not quite right--the shadows are actually less red and more violet.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Orange Plate

2/27/10 "Orange Plate", 10" x 8", Oil
This painting is about having fun with brushwork.  In fact to me, brushwork is one of the most fun things about painting.  Maybe its the kid in me who was never quite satisfied with finger painting.  Right now I use Classic Artist Oils in the studio, not because I know for sure that they are the greatest paints in the world, but because I can buy them in 10 oz caulking tubes at a good price, and I like to use a lot of paint.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Violet and Yellow

2/26/10 "Violet and Yellow", 12" x 12", Oil
The problem with posting paintings every day is that I immediately photograph them, and in the computer image, immediately see everything wrong with the painting and decide I have to "fix" it.  When I'm painting outdoors I just put the painting in the box, usually after about an hour, and then I don't look at it, maybe for days.  There's a trade-off here--one way is to just leave the painting alone with the freshness of the original statement.  This is why artists sometimes say it takes two people to create a painting--one to paint it and the other one to tell the first one when to stop.  Two much second-guessing takes all the air out of the process.  The other way is to keep going--to push past the comfort/fear zone and to simply not worry if the painting is "ruined" by being overworked.  Sometimes this "not caring" process puts me into a zone where I paint better--where after hours of doing, scraping and re-doing, the painting is actually a lot better.  This painting, which turned out to be about violets and yellows, I pretty much left alone--I decided to metaphorically put this one "in the box."

Please feel free to comment on any of the paintings!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Orange


2/25/10 "Orange", 12" x 10", Oil
Because I like to paint natural light, this still life was set up under the opaque skylight, which gives an "overcast" day light.  So the painting was about the big value shapes without the drama of strong shadows, and with soft light coming from above.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

White Bowl with Spoon

2/24/10 "White Bowl with Spoon", 8" x 10", Oil
I'm experimenting with cropped compositions--not something that comes easily to me.  Sergei Bongart said: "Still life is the most important exercise for students.  If you learn to paint still life you can paint anything!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Red Mug, Green Apple

2/23/10 "Red Mug, Green Apple", 8" x 8", Oil
Landscape painting is easier for me, so going back to the still lifes is a struggle, but learning how to do it is a worthwhile goal.

Monday, February 22, 2010

San Miguel Rooftops in Fog

1/16/10 "San Miguel Rooftops in Fog", 8" x 10", Oil
This is one of my favorite rooftop paintings of San Miguel.  Painting in fog is always a challenge, but the colors can be beautiful.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

San Miguel Sunrise - SOLD

2/15/10 "San Miguel Sunrise", 5" x 8", Oil
This is another quick 10 minute oil sketch as the sun first hit the clouds above the hillside about 7:00 a.m. in San Miguel de Allende.

If you didn't get a post yesterday--check the blog for the painting I posted. I didn't get a copy of the post by email so I think there is a problem with the feed and I don't know how to fix it!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

San Miguel, Morning Light

2/14/10 "San Miguel, Morning Light", 5" x 8", Oil  NFS
This little painting was one of the very quick sketches from the roof-top in San Miguel de Allende--just a few abbreviated strokes of color using a #10 round bristle brush.  I am inspired to do these types of sketches by remembering the room full of miniature oil sketches called "apuntes" of Joaquin Sorolla at the San Diego Art Museum Sorolla Exhibition around 1990.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Yellow House on Callejon de Quixote - NFS

"Yellow House on Callejon de Quixote", 9" x 9", Oil 
These were typical of the houses on our street in San Miguel de Allende--all had interior courtyard gardens and roof-top patios.  Houses and walls were reds, yellows, greens, mustards, pinks and blues.  Painting them was about getting the colors to the right values and about reflected lights.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cathedral of San Miguel - NFS

2/12/10 "Cathedral of San Miguel", 8" x 10", Oil  NFS
San Miguel de Allende is a city of roof-top patios, and this proved to be the most enjoyable of painting exercises--to go up to the roof at dawn and paint several small 15 to 30 minute paintings as the sun came up from behind the hill or in the case of overcast mornings, to paint the changing colors of the mist that had settled into the valley.  This was undoubtedly my favorite view--of the cathedral about a mile away.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Apple and Friend

 
1/5/10 "Apple and Friend", Oil, 6" x 6"
This is a painting about values and color temperature. I love the color of this apple and will be sad when it dries up!  I am leaving on my painting trip early tomorrow morning.  I'll post my paintings when I get back!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Red Bowl

2/4/10 "Red Bowl", Oil, 6" x 6"
The challenge of this painting was the drawing--the foreshortening of the spoon and I'm not sure I quite managed it.  But the beauty of doing a series of paintings such as simple still lifes, is that by changing one variable or a few variables, there is limitless variety.  The variable here was the angle--looking down on the objects.  Its something I want to experiment with more when I get back from my trip.  Leaving on Saturday!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Zangle Sky, Winter - NFS

 
2/4/10 "Zangle Sky, Winter", Oil, 10" x 12" 
The sky was so beautiful over the Cove that I stopped to paint it.  Then 15 minutes into the painting everything merged into mist and it started raining--but I had gotten the main colors down.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Red Mug

2/2/10 "Reg Mug", Oil, 6" x 6"
Another small painting.  Two things I like about this painting:  the values are pretty straightforward and the colors are pretty wild.

Monday, February 1, 2010

White Pitcher

2/1/10 "White Pitcher", Oil, 6" x 6"
Since I'm getting ready for a painting trip, I thought that it would be easier to do a smaller painting.  Not so! Changing to 1/4 of the size I am comfortable with made it harder and I completely scraped two tries before coming up with this one, which was quick, because it got dark.  This is a value painting.