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


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Liz in Yellow

"Liz in Yellow", 12 x 9 In, Oil on Panel NFS
This is from the series I am doing of my daughters. I am not trying to make these paintings perfect, but rather catch the feeling. I'm not sure it portrays how she was feeling or how I am feeling! When they pose for me for photographs they do lots of different angles in the light and then run off to whatever else they are doing.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Two Roses

"Two Roses", 12 x 10, Oil on Museum Board
I started "Two Roses" before Christmas with all the other flower paintings I did at the time, but there was always something about it both unfinished and unexciting, so I never posted it. This week I worked on it in a way that I almost never do--adding fresh paint over dried paint. I don't like the surface quality of this way of painting, preferring the fresh strokes of alla prima, but it was interesting just to keep on with this painting, not even using the setup, just trying to find some harmonies of value and color.

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

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dreaming

"Dreaming", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
There is nothing more emotional for me than to paint my daughters. I just need to remember more often when they are home to grab the camera.

For many months now I have been posting every day with the exception of some trips where I did not have access to the internet and before I discovered that I could schedule postings ahead. At times I painted several days ahead in order to have enough material to continue to post every day while I was away. However, this coming month I have some family things and I will not be able to post every day. Thank you to everyone who has been kind enough to leave comments of support. I really appreciate it and I'm very happy to be part of this community.

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

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bottles and Apples

"Bottles and Apples", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Linen Panel
This is another painting from last week when I was experimenting with looking down on the bottles and other objects. It was a good exercise.

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

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Girl with Green Scarf

"Girl with Green Scarf", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Linen Panel
I am really drawn to portraits these days and I am in the mood to experiment. This one started out in a more experimental mode than it ended, but still I am thinking about different brushes, different surfaces and different thickness of paint.

Purchase this unframed painting for $165.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Waiting on the Road

"Waiting on the Road", 12 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
Back from my trip driving half way across the country with my daughter, I finally got into the studio today after not painting for a week! It is strange that even as I sometimes yearn for days off, I don't feel complete if I haven't smushed paint around at least part of the day. I think its time to put together a little water color kit for these off days. So I approached this painting almost strictly as an exercise, with few and simple brushstrokes.

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Red Pitcher

"Red Pitcher", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
This painting was done way back when my two friends were here in February and it is one that got lost in the drying rack. Every painting offers some kind of lesson.  I keep remembering the story told in Art and Fear about the ceramic class that was split into two groups--the group that would be graded on "quality" of the one perfect pot and the group that would be graded on poundage of the quantity of pots produced.  "Come grading time a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the "quantity" group was busily churning out piles of work--and learning from their mistakes--the "quality" group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay."

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

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mongolian Woman

"Mongolian Woman", 6 x 6 In, Oil on Panel
This is another small portrait from my China photos. It seems like an excellent idea to practice small portraits because in a bigger painting, the face could be small. I'm trying to learn how to do it with just a few brushstrokes.

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

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chinese Village Girl

"Chinese Village Girl", 6 x 6 In, Oil on Panel NFS
This little girl attached herself to our small group of painters when we were taken to a nearby village from our studio out in the countryside near Jilin in 2005. It was early October and the villagers were cutting the corn. It was a very beautiful time of year in that area of China.

NFS

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Girl with Scarf

"Girl with Scarf", 6 x 6 In, Oil on Museum Board,
This is part of the 6 x 6 series I started two or three weeks ago. Some of them I'm going to enter in the "6 x 6" contest coming up, but I haven't figure out which ones. So for now, its not for sale.

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

Friday, March 18, 2011

Blue Bottle with Apples

"Blue Bottle with Apples", 12 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
I did another painting nearly like this a couple of weeks ago--guess I was in the bottle "from above" mode. It was a good exercise and I will probably do more at some point.

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

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meg - NFS

"Meg", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Panel NFS
Meg is one of my daughters, now living far away. It is very emotional for me to get out the old photographs and put them to canvas. It is one of my favorite things to do in the studio.

NFS

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Zangle Cove in March

"Zangle Cove in March", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
Zangle Cove is always there outside my big studio windows. It is continually changing--the air, wind, clouds, light, humidity, season, tides and color. I sometimes need to stop and paint this scene in order to get my bearings.

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

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ceramic Jar - SOLD

"Ceramic Jar", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
I was so enthusiastic about yesterday's exercise for the Painting Challenge, that I decided to do another one today, this one with the brush rather than the palette knife. Tomorrow I'm going on a trip with my daughter for a week and I won't be painting, so I'll be posting extra paintings that I did at one time or another during the last month.

SOLD

Monday, March 14, 2011

White Cup

"White Cup", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
This is my response to the latest Daily Painter's Challenge. I decided to do it with a palette knife, which made it fun, because for me the palette knife is so awkward that there is no way I can ever go on "auto-pilot" during the painting process.  As I was working on this, I was listening on the radio to the news coming out of Japan. One of my aunts was in the Red Cross during WWII and she is one of my most admired people. So in her memory I made a pledge to myself to write a check to the Red Cross at the end of the day. 

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

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Meg in Green

"Meg in Green", 12 x 9 In, Oil on Panel
After "Lincoln" yesterday, the aim of this painting was to lay down the paint and leave it alone! There is such a tendency to second guess that original vision when the mind is most in the right brain. Sometimes there are critical structural things that need to be fixed, but often its just a matter of nuance and "fixing" things leads often to a deadening of the surface quality, the color and the freshness of the painting, at least for me. I didn't totally succeed in that aim with this painting, but I did pretty well. The thing is, if I really need to repaint a passage, I should remember to scrape off what is there first. That generally makes the second attempt more successful. This painting was also done from a black and white photo.

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

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lincoln - SOLD

"Lincoln", 12 x 9 In, Oil on Panel SOLD
Usually I paint fast and even when I paint a long time on a painting, its often because I'm not getting it and I end up scraping it and re-painting it in a very short time with renewed energy. But this painting, done for the Daily Painter's Challenge, was different, because I kind of obsessed about it. I've always found it difficult to paint historical figures and well-known landmarks, possibly because its not only the accuracy of the image that is at stake but the feeling of it as well. The photo of Lincoln that was the basis for the challenge is a powerful image and emanates the soul of the man. I think I'd like to do this painting again sometime and see if I can really capture at least some of that. But for what its worth, this is what I did for now and I'm posting it so I don't keep going back to it. And I may keep going back to it anyway, because it bugs me when its not quite how I want it to be, but for now I need to do some other paintings!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bottles

"Bottles", 12 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
This is another study in the series of looking at objects more or less from above--an angle I struggle with. I am in great admiration for those of you who do this so well!

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

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wine Bottle and Apples

"Wine Bottle and Apples, 12 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
This painting, like some of the others is based on a paint application that uses a brush loaded with a lot of paint. I try not to go over already applied paint too much, because that creates the risk of changing the saturation, especially the darks which should sometimes be left as the initial transparent application. I have also observed that I load the brush more at the beginning of the painting, when my energy is fresh, and that as go along I get lazy, and if I look at my palette there's a lot of paint there, but not in the middle of the palette where I'm doing the mixing. So its important to remember how I started.

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

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gray Kettle

"Gray Kettle", 14 x 14 In, Oil on Panel
Using a bigger canvas, this painting presented the opportunity for more freedom of the arm and the brush. That is sometimes a relief after working on a very small panel. But there is also a parallel psychological habit of thought--that a bigger panel represents a lot more work. In a way that's true, because I have to account for more canvas space, but sometimes it also feels a lot less restrictive.

Purchase this unframed painting for $225.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Girl Resting

"Girl Resting", 12 x 9 In, Oil on Panel
This is another painting from a group session with a beautiful young model. Because the painting time was so limited, I kept it as simple as possible.

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

Monday, March 7, 2011

Yellow Cup

"Yellow Cup", 9 x 9 In, Oil on Museum Board
I'm trying to do more still lifes with a perspective looking down on the objects, not something I ordinarily do, so it is challenging for me. I love the design possibilities for this type of perspective.

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

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lea

"Lea", 12 x 9 In, Oil on Panel
This was the second painting done at the Plein Air Washington Paint-In a week ago. The model was a beautiful woman from Rwanda. I didn't stay until the end of the session because I had to drive back to Olympia through rush hour Seattle traffic, but I so much enjoyed painting with this group of friends.

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

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Yellow Apple

"Yellow Apple", 6 x 6 In, Oil on Museum Board NFS
As strange as this small size seems to me sometimes, on this day it was just a relief, having little time because of other appointments. Sometimes its good just to deal with basically one object--well, two, but they were connected.

NFS

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mongolian Boy

"Mongolian Boy", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
When our small group went to Inner Mongolia (part of China) in 2005 with Jove Wang, we didn't go to remote areas but we did drive out into areas where there were sheep herders both on horseback and on the ground. This boy was one of them. At that time where we were in China sometimes we would be on a new super highway and the next minute find ourselves on a dirt road. I wonder what its like now nearly six years later.

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

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Girl in Hooded Cloak

"Girl in Hooded Cloak", 6 x 6 In, Oil on Museum Board NFS
This is another small format painting. I'm finding it interesting to switch between these very small paintings and larger ones.

NFS

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Yellow Tulips

"Yellow Tulips", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Panel
This was a one of the paintings from our Plein Air Washington paint-in on Sunday. I only worked on it an hour and 15 minutes at the most so its more of a sketch than anything. But despite the sketchiness, there is something I like about it, maybe the energy of the brushstrokes, because we were all painting so fast.

Purchase this unframed painting for $165.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

White Kettle with Apples

"White Kettle with Apples", 12 x 12 In, Oil on Panel
This painting was an exercise with Carol Marine's latest challenge--to paint every brush stroke with a different color. I love this exercise, partly because when I first start a painting this is frequently how I approach it anyway, though I never thought about it before. But what I discovered is that after the initial lay-in, I get lazy, and that's where the rule to load the brush with a different color makes all the difference.

Purchase this unframed painting for $165.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.