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


Friday, April 30, 2010

Dana Passage Clouds 2

4/30/10 "Dana Passage Clouds 2", 8" x 10", Oil
This is the second cloud painting I did on Thursday of the view from my backyard. Its a lot more exciting to paint on location because everything changes so fast, but I think its not a bad idea to work things out in the studio from photographs on the rainy days--and there have been a lot of those these last few weeks. I'm off to Eastern Washington where I hope the sun is shining!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dana Passage Clouds 1

4/29/10 "Dana Passage Clouds 1", 8" x 10", Oil
Today was windy and the clouds were scudding across the horizon so the paintings were fast and loose. I'm leaving early tomorrow morning for Eastern Washington for some outdoor painting, so I will post the second painting I did today tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lilacs - NFS

4/28/10 "Lilacs", 12" x 12", Oil NFS
There were some amazing clouds in the sky today in between the rain squalls, but the lilacs coming into full bloom won out as today's subject matter.  Here, west of the mountains in the Pacific Northwest, everything grows profusely.  We are slowing converting our lawn to the most lovely moss, much to the consternation of the guy who mows my lawn and keeps asking me if I want to get rid of the moss.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Storm Clouds Escalante - SOLD

4/27/10 "Storm Clouds Escalante", 8" x 10", Oil SOLD
From a photograph, this is another cloud study and also a quick study--I set the timer for 40 minutes.  Utah is a paradise for outdoor painters--the colors are warm and the skies are big.  Nothing like the cool greens that surround me the Pacific Northwest.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Table Land Escalante

4/26/10 "Table Land Escalante" 10" x 12" Oil
This is another of my cloud painting series done with big brushes from one of my photographs from Utah.

I am still trying to figure out the best way to do a shopping cart on the blog because I've gotten feedback that there is interest in this.  However, since I don't want to litter the blog with Paypal buttons, I've created on the sidebar a drop-down box with the last 10 paintings and some low-key "cart" buttons.  Since Paypal doesn't allow more than 10 items in the list, I will be periodically updating it with more recent work.  If you are interested in any work not in the list, you can always send me email.  Not all the blog paintings are for sale through this site for the "daily painting" rate.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Last Light Oregon

4/25/10 "Last Light Oregon", 10" x 12", Oil
In this painting from a photograph, I experimented with different paint mixtures to get better color saturation. Eastern Oregon is one of the most beautiful areas of the Northwest.  The Wallowa Mountains rise up from Joseph like the Swiss Alps.  Hells Canyon at sunset is eerie, rugged and beautiful.  The farm lands around Baker City, as in this painting, are expansive and lush.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sky Over Escalante

4/24/10 "Dark Sky over Escalante", 9" x 12", Oil
I like to work in a series--partly because it removes a variable that can be a barrier to the daily process--I don't have to decide what to paint each morning.  But its also because I like to explore different aspects of the same subject.  We went to Utah in October and I painted every afternoon we were there, but I also took many photographs, especially on the "cloud" day.  Painting from a photograph just isn't the same as painting on site, so this painting was really about color--trying to get a depth of color that didn't exist in the photograph.  I think I could have made the color more saturated.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Escalante Outcrop


4/23/10 "Escalante Outcrop", 10" x 12", Oil
To add inspiration to my cloud studies, I painted today with two large brushes--a one inch diameter round bristle and a #16 filbert.  Its a lot harder to clean big brushes because they are loaded with so much more paint.  So I used one for the very light passages and the other for the rest of the painting.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sun over Escalante

4/22/10 "Sun over Escalante", 8" x 10", Oil
This is another cloud study--a sheet of clouds over the Escalante with the sun shining through a break.  Its also a brushwork study.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Clouds over Field

4/21/10 "Clouds over Field", 10" x 12", Oil
This is another cloud study. Clouds often line up horizontally on the horizon so I'm trying to get them to look like they are flowing back--to give the sweep of the sky. Its a perspective problem.  Not sure I succeeded, but this is the type of thing I'm trying to study.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cloud Study - SOLD

4/20/10 "Cloud Study", 10" x 10", Oil SOLD
This is a study of clouds with a high key palette.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Clouds on the Horizon

4/19/10 "Clouds on the Horizon", 7" x 9", Oil
This is a simple landscape mainly about clouds.  I confess--I love to paint clouds and skies.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Gossip

4/18/10 "Gossip", 12" x 10", Oil
This scene was in a narrow street in Lijiang with no direct sunlight. I wasn't sure what I could make of it, so it was a challenge. It turned out to be about color shapes--with no detail.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lijiang Girl - SOLD

4/17/10 "Lijiang Girl" 8" x 10" Oil
From my China photos--a girl preparing food on a street in in the old town area of Lijiang, China.  This small study was about values.  I actually did a four value black and white sketch before I started and then wiped it off--didn't stick exactly with four values, but it was a good exercise.

Purchase this unframed painting for $115.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Yuhu Guest House Dog

4/16/10 "Yuhu Guest House Dog", 8" x 10", Oil
This is the other little dog at the Yuhu Guest House near Lijiang, China. These doggy paintings are about shapes and values and having fun with paint.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Old Man with Pipe - NFS

4/14/10 "Old Man with Pipe", 14" x 11", Oil  NFS
Across Lake Ehrhai from the city of Dali, we convinced a Bai family to let us come into their courtyard, and the grandfather--he was possibly the great-grandfather--agreed to be our model.  This is from a photo I took of him..  Earlier in the day we had witnessed a Bai festival in the village.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

End of the Day

4/13/10 "End of the Day", 10" x 8", Oil
This exercise is about high key values--no dark or even semi-dark values. I tried to keep most all values no darker than pure yellow ochre.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dali Meat Market

4/12/10 "Dali Meat Market", 8" x 10", Oil
Sometimes its fun to do a sketch of unusual material.  This is the meat market in Dali, Yunnan Province, China. It is in the quick sketch mode, but I didn't stick with limited strokes. I'm guessing this is pork, but I don't know for sure.  Pork is a big meat item where we were in China.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Naxi Woman

4/11/10 "Naxi Woman", 10" x 8", Oil
This is another "limited stroke" sketch from a photo of a Naxi woman from Yuhu Village, Western China.  Every afternoon the owners of the guest house would gather in the courtyard with the neighbors and play mahjong.  This was about 9000 feet elevation in March so it was cold.  They had cement basins with hot coals in the courtyard to keep warm.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Yuhu Village Dog - NFS

4/10/10 "Yuhu Village Dog", 8" x 10", Oil  NFS
This painting was based on the "limited stroke" exercise, but I did end up smushing the paint a bit rather than sticking to discrete strokes.  This funny little dog belonged to the owners of the Yuhu Guest House, where we stayed for a week at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Yunnan Province, Western China.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Naxi Girl

4/9/10 "Naxi Girl", 12" x 8", Oil
This is a "limited stroke" exercise from Peggi, meaning that I limited myself to 35 brush strokes (actual number at the end was about 40)  making it essential to load the brush with paint and think in big shapes.  This is when painting is fun!  There is no "fixing" anything. This sketch is from a photo of one of our models in Yu Hu Village during my trip to Yunnan Province in March, 2009.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Black Tea

4/8/10 "Black Tea", 10" x 8", Oil
Still muddling through the exercises from Peggi.  She makes them look so easy!  If you are interested in getting the CD's go to her website at http://www.krollroberts.com.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Girl in Sun Hat

4/7/10 "Girl in Sun Hat", 10" x 8", Oil
This is another of the quick exercises I'm working on this week--this is a value exercise.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Exercise with Green and Orange

4/6/10 "Exercise with Green and Orange", 7" x 9", Oil
My plan is to keep doing these exercises for a week, maybe longer.  It is hard to leave the painting at the first statement and go on to the next painting, but its sometimes a good way to get something into my brain. This one again is about massing the shadows.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Still Life Exercise

4/5/10 "Still Life Exercise", 8" x 10", Oil
In a couple of months I'm going to be taking a workshop from Peggy Kroll Roberts, so I got her CD's in order to experiment with her methodology, hopefully allowing me to get more out of the class.  When I struggle with something new it puts me in a receptive state of mind for learning.  Today I did a few exercises in massing shadow.  These were simple sketches, probably about 20 minutes--and then scraped for the next one.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Callejon de Quixote - SOLD

2/8/10 "Callejon de Quixote", 10" x 12", Oil SOLD
Since I am rushing out to the family gathering, I'm posting this plein air sketch from my trip to San Miguel in February.  The house we stayed in was behind the yellow wall on the right.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

More Roses and Apples - NFS

4/3/10 "More Roses and Apples", 12" x 12", Oil  NFS
I liked this set up so much I thought I try it again with variation. You can probably see that I love to work with juicy paint and I'm trying to go even more in that direction just to really establish a feel for it. I got these apples at the store the other day and the deep golden yellow color of these apples is amazing--a fully saturated yellow. I hope I've managed to convey that.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Roses and Apples

4/2/10 "Roses and Apples", 12" x 12", Oil  NFS
When I'm setting up a still life, I often pile up the rejected objects on the side of the table.  This still life is from that side of the table.  I liked it and I couldn't have arranged it purposefully.  My goal with this painting was to just make it kind of loose--with merging edges and colors.  One benefit of doing daily paintings is that after a while, I get so tired I stop worrying so much how the paintings are turning out!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Convalescence

4/1/10 "Convalescence", 14" x 11", Oil
This is a portrait of my other daughter from a photo taken a couple of years ago.