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, December 31, 2010

Rose in Blue Pot

"Rose in Blue Pot", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
This is the last painting of 2010. Its not the last rose painting I will ever do, but I'm thinking about new challenges. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in 2010!

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

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dried Rose

"Dried Rose", 12 x 10, Oil on Museum Board
The objects that I put in the still life are are usually not so important themselves as they are a means to an end--the representation of light, color, feeling, mood, etc. But in this case, the bottle has an interesting provenance--I got it from my Aunt's beach on a river inlet in North Carolina in 2001 after a big hurricane had unearthed a treasure trove of old glass bottles. So these are three disparate objects brought together with no particular purpose other than they contain specific memories for me: the glass bottle, the hand thrown pot from my art student days and the dried up rose from my garden that I found on the shelf stuck in another pot.

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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Two Roses

"Two Roses", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
Sometimes I get to the end of the day and I can't think of anything to say about my painting--my mind is just a big blank! So here goes--this painting was a fast one--big strokes put down and pretty much left alone, which is not always the case when I paint, as I'm a big believer in judicious scraping. Almost all the rose paintings have been done under my big white skylight with natural light, which I much prefer to light bulbs but limits the painting time to daylight hours--ending about 4 pm in the afternoon during these days.

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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Yellow Mug with Apple

"Yellow Mug with Apple", 10 x 8 In., Oil on Museum Board
I'm trying to keep it simple during the holidays and interestingly, I find that simplicity of design is good for the practice of brush strokes and paint application. In many ways this is the therapeutic part of painting--just slapping around the paint like a kid.

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

Monday, December 27, 2010

Wild Rose

"Wild Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
When I studied with Ovanes, I learned to put a lot of paint out on my palette, but for a long time that didn't necessarily translate into painting with a loaded brush. But more and more I am getting into it and sometimes, such as with this painting, I do it intentionally in order to make it more of a habit.

I've sold a second painting during this holiday week, and this time, my donation of $25 of the purchase price goes to the Orca Network in Puget Sound, as requested by the purchaser.  As with the last donation to Safeplace, I am thrilled to donate to this organization--on the link, take a look at the new baby orca, L115, born to the "L" pod, on December 6, presumably somewhere near San Juan Island.

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

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yellow Rose Glass Jar

"Yellow Rose Glass Jar", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
It is the day after Christmas. The build up of tension and excitement is over, the relatives have started their journey home and everything is suddenly different. As I look out on the stormy water of the Cove, I know that even though it is the beginning of winter, the light is returning.

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

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Emilia

"Emilia", 12 x 10, Oil on Museum Board NFS
Emilia is the daughter of one of my painting friends. She modeled for us at our painting group holiday party. Emilia represents the spirit of the holiday season--the regeneration of life, the miracle of existence and the wonder of each new day.

Thank you to everyone who has followed my work this last year and to all the new friends I've made on this painting journey.

From a painting purchased yesterday, I will contribute to a non-profit charity $100. For any additional paintings sold through January 1, 2011, I will contribute $25 each to the non-profit charity of the purchaser's choice.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

My blog: http://kathryntownsend.blogspot.com 
My website: http://kathryntownsend.com 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Rose

"Christmas Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
These are trying times for many in the world. For the first person who purchases any painting from the entire last year from my blog between now and January 1, 2011, I will donate $100 to a non-profit charity of your choice, in your name if possible. Let us count our many blessings.

The purchase has been made! The purchaser has chosen to donate to Safeplace, the only advocacy agency and confidential shelter for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Thurston County, WA. I am very happy with the choice of this organization. For any additional purchases until January 1, 2011, I will donate $25 of the purchase price to a non-profit charity of your choice!

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

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Morning Rose NFS

"Morning Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. With this off the easel, I'm heading to the kitchen to make a gingerbread house with my daughters.

NFS

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Red Cup Yellow Rose - SOLD

"Red Cup Yellow Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board - SOLD
I'm posting early today because I need to clean my house for the holidays. You know you've turned a corner when you're so obsessed with painting that cleaning the house, holiday shopping and wrapping presents feels like something you use to do in the past, but you can't exactly remember when. My neighbor showed me his faux Christmas tree last night, complete with pre-wired lights, but so far we still go out to the tree farm and get a real one, though we get a pre-cut one in the barn rather than walk a mile with a hand saw in the rain to find the perfect one.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bottle Apple Spoon

"Bottle Apple Spoon", 12 x 10, Oil on Museum Board
On this painting I did something I almost never do--paint on it after it was dry.  I painted over one object from the setup that wasn't working, but mostly just played around with variations of neutral colors.

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

Monday, December 20, 2010

White Rose White Vase

"White Rose White Vase", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
It is 4:30 pm and nearly dark. Not only do we have the darkest day of the year tomorrow but tonight a complete lunar eclipse that peaks at 12:17 pm PST. According to the US Naval Observatory, the last instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice was Dec. 21, 1638.

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

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Yellow Rose

"Yellow Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
I should go out and buy real roses and maybe I will, but I find the fake silk kind works just as well.  It reminds me of a story I read by Henry James when I was in high school called "The Real Thing."

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

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pink Rose

"Pink Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
The discipline of daily painting is certainly one way to keep my sanity during the darkest days of the year and the stresses and diversions of the holidays. Though I have painted a few paintings ahead to fill in the gaps of available time, I am cherishing my habit of retreating into my studio to clear my mind and slap a little paint around.

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

Friday, December 17, 2010

Red Rose - SOLD

"Red Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
This is the first of a series of small paintings that will hopefully get me through the holidays. The format is simple so I don't have to think too much and it gives me a chance to practice painting the essence of the rose. Maybe its an unusual subject for a holiday theme, but somehow seems to me to be fitting.

SOLD

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blue Pot

"Blue Pot", 9 x 9 In, Oil on Museum Board
When my sister cleared out her storage unit recently we found this small blue pot that I'd made years ago when I studied ceramics at the University of Washington. In those days we sold pots on the Ave during the street fairs and practiced raku firing at a pottery studio sitting in the middle of a lot with mostly dirt and ramshackle buildings down on Lake Union. Everything's changed now, of course, but it brings back good memories.

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

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yellow Roses - SOLD

"Yellow Roses", 12 x 10, Oil on Museum Board
However rough this one turned out, I like it anyway, mainly because of the colors.  Strange how that is, sometimes.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter Clouds

"Winter Clouds", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board
This is the view outside my studio window. With the changing tides and the varying winds from southwest and north, it is a continually changing drama. In the winter its often rainy and gray with not much contrast, so on a day like this one, even though I've done it so many times before, its fun to paint it one more time.

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

Monday, December 13, 2010

Yellow Roses with Apples

"Yellow Roses with Apples", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
The experiment with this painting was using mainly cadmium yellows and ivory black. I love painting with ivory black because of the beautiful blues you can make from it, but it is tricky and can overwhelm the other colors.

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

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pot with Spoon

"Pot with Spoon", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
Most of the time I paint alla prima--meaning that I do the painting at one go and I don't work on it after it dries. But this painting I continued to work on even after it was dry. Fortunately, rather than being a waste of time, it turned out to be an interesting study in grays.

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

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Oil Bottle with Herbs - SOLD

"Oil Bottle with Herbs", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board SOLD
I have a tendency to paint things over and over. I like to paint certain jars, pots and spoons. I like to paint apples. One of the objects I like is this square bottle of oil with herbs in it because of the beautiful colors and because of the size of the bottle--not too big and not too small. There is some precedent for this habit of rearranging the same props over and over found in the work of one of my favorite still life painters, Giorgio Morandi.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yellow Mug

"Yellow Mug", 8 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
I did this painting a few days ago at the end of the day after I had gotten fed up with spending so much time on another painting. Sometimes it relieves the painting soul to just slap on the paint and not worry about the result, but it is definitely easier to do this on a small size panel.

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

Thursday, December 9, 2010

White Roses with Orange - SOLD

"White Roses with Orange", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Museum Board NFS
Still life paintings are an opportunity to work out design, color, values, edges and everything else. Many times I scrape the built up paint from a still life painting after working on it for awhile because I need to re-think one of these aspects and I've got too much paint on it to really make any changes.  The only thing I changed in the painting was the vase--half way through I felt the vase I was using wasn't working at all and I plopped in a glass vase to replace it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pots with Orange - ON HOLD

"Pots with Orange", 12 x 9 In, Oil on Panel
This is sort of a minimalist still life. As I work on these still lifes I'm not trying to make them pretty or beautiful or even completely accurate--I'm trying to do something else and hopefully I'll figure it out as I get into it. This one, like some of the others, is under the natural light of the skylight, and that is my favorite light to work with, though not always possible with our Northwest weather.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pot with Yellow Apples

"Pot with Yellow Apples", 12 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
When I paint still lifes I am attracted to painting certain objects over and over, and one of these, strangely, is the apple. There is always a variation in color and shape.  I especially like golden apples, so you will probably be seeing more of these in the days to come.

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

Monday, December 6, 2010

White Pitcher with Apple

"White Pitcher with Apple", 12 x 12 In, Oil on Panel

About the Picasso exhibit:
Next to Picasso's work, most contemporary painting seems innocuous, pale and pretty. But that doesn't mean I liked all of his work. There were some works I really liked, including the small portraits of Dora Maar--these were paintings I wouldn't mind having in my house. Picasso apparently painted "classical" paintings when he was around 13 years old, but it didn't take long to give that up. He lived through two world wars and had many relationships, so much of the imagery is not surprising. It would appear that there was not a bone in his body that attempted to please anybody--and maybe that is the most attractive thing about the work for an artist. There is a power in the images and the execution that you just don't see in most current art. The exhibition is definitely worth seeing.

In contrast, see Scott Burdick's YouTube video, "The Banishment of Beauty", which though it is an interesting perspective, seems to have a hint of sour grapes about it. If you've seen the Picasso exhibit, let me know what you think!

Robert Genn's article on the SAM Picasso exhibit includes many different and varied comments.

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

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Two Peonies

"Two Peonies", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Panel
This is a painting I did a couple of days ago so that I could spend the day today up in Seattle at the Picasso exhibit. We are off and I will let you know my impression of the exhibit tomorrow!

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

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wind on the Cove - ON HOLD

"Wind on the Cove", 12 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
Sometimes at the end of the day after I have put away a painting I have worked on for two or three hours, I like to just let go and paint the moment--especially of the view directly out my window of the Cove as the light is changing. It is the type of painting that is quick, in this case about 30 minutes, and is truly an impression and not "fixed up." The wind was howling all day, pushing the water into the Cove and the clouds across the sky.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pot with Yellow Apple

"Pot with Yellow Apple", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Panel
This is another still life with a simple value scheme and colors.  The test with this one was to make the pot symmetrical as I have a tendency to slant everything.  I have to always check the paintings of objects with a mirror or better yet, reverse the image in photoshop to see how its gotten off.  Since this is a very unconscious process, I've learned to be more aware at the beginning of the painting of my tendency to do this.

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

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Black and white

"Black and White", 12 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
Sometimes its a good idea to practice value composition by breaking it down into three basic values--dark, light and gray. This quick still life study utilizes a limited palette with the stark contrast of areas of pure Ivory Black and pure Titanium White.  This sort of goes against some rules I have in my head, so it was a lot of fun and very liberating.  It also utilizes the natural light coming in through the big white skylights I have in my studio, which I like a lot better than set-up lighting. 

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

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Valley Escalante

"Valley Escalante", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Panel
This is my last painting from the Utah series, at least for now. Meanwhile I'm looking around my studio at all my mugs, bowls, pitchers, bottles and fake flowers and putting myself into the still life mode. I pulled from my bookshelf one of my favorite books related to still life--the one about Giorgio Morandi. The other one I'm still looking for is a beautiful little book titled the The Last Flowers of Manet.

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