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 29, 2011

The Carpet Dealer

"The Carpet Dealer", 14 x 11, Oil on Panel
It is always difficult to take photos of the people in other countries, especially women. It helps to have a long zoom lens, and many times I took photos from our bus. But in the carpet shop, the men didn't seem to mind.

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Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Desert Girl

"Desert Girl", 10 x 8, Oil on Panel
The expanse of countryside northwest of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco along the coast is green and fertile--not what I expected. But on the other side of the mountains we stayed in a desert camp by the dunes. It was beautiful and we hiked one day to a Berber camp about two miles away. The young girl was in the tent with her mother when we crowded in to talk. She was extremely shy.

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

Monday, April 25, 2011

Morrocan Woman

"Moroccan Woman", Oil on Linen, 9 x 12"
I pulled out some old panels that I made some time ago with #66 Claessens linen on plywood. Its a really different surface because of the rough weave and I haven't painted on it for a few years. I also started to go through my photos from Morocco and for some reason this one spoke to me today.

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

Saturday, April 23, 2011

On the Road

"On the Road", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Panel
For the last two weeks I have been on a non-painting trip with my husband in Morocco. The thing I was probably most fascinated with was the dress of the Arab and Berber women. Almost all, even in the large cities, wear a cloak with a head scarf, the hijab. They are almost all unique fabrics with harmonious colors. To see groups of women walking down the road is an aesthetic experience and one very foreign to the westerner's way of thinking. It is not easy to take pictures (very rude), so I often took them from our bus. Many men also wear the cloak, but with the women, it is more universal. In Marrakesh and other towns we did see some younger women wearing pants but still with the hijab. Not many wore straight western clothing without a head cover.

I want to thank everyone who commented on my paintings while I was gone--you must have wondered why I didn't get back to you! I do appreciate all your comments!

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

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Girl in Red - NFS

"Girl In Red", 9 x 9 In, Oil on Museum Board
Another painting in my portrait series, the profile is always a challenge. But that's what its all about--challenging ourselves out of the comfort zone!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sugar and Creamer

"Sugar and Creamer", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
This strange little "sugar and creamer" set created an interesting challenge for design. People occasionally ask me about museum board.  It is a surface that William Reese used sometimes out in the field and I learned about it back when I first took workshops from him.  It is 4-ply all cotton museum board and the brand I use us Risings because it has two good sides, unlike some other museum board I have tried. I purchase 32 x 40 sheets in packs of 25. I seal the sheet on both sides with Gamblin PVA using a big 4-5 inch brush. Then I coat one side using a fine white roller with three coats of gesso letting each coat dry in between. You could also use a big painter's brush for this part, depending on the surface quality that you want.

I like the Liquitex Basic gesso because it is absorbent. The Liquitex Pro gesso and some other gessos that I have tried are glossy and just about completely non-absorbent. When it is dry I can cut the board to any size I want with my mat cutter. If you are interested, send me a note and I'll send you a somewhat more detailed instruction sheet. These are great for taking on a trip, because they are lightweight and thin, but I do need to tape the board to a piece of foam core to paint on it for stability.

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

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dark Creamer - SOLD

"Dark Creamer", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
When she was home last, my daughter went to the Good Will and came home with some interesting still life objects for me--one was a set of a sugar and creamer with squarish dimensions. So this is really looking at it for the first time.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Three Apples

"Three Apples", 10 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
It is interesting to me that at the end of a painting like this, my palette itself is far more organized by color and variation of color than it is when using a brush. Its so easy to smush paint with a brush whereas with the knife, I have to really focus on the value and temperature of the paint.

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

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Looking Down - NFS

"Looking Down", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
When I paint portraits, I sometimes like to experiment with different head positions, so this one is "looking down." There are always challenges with unusual poses, but it definitely makes the painting of it interesting.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Swan Valley Study #6 - SOLD

"Swan Valley Study #6", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
This an Idaho Swan Valley painting I did attempting to practice a particular brush technique I learned from Ovanes. This part of the valley has meandering streams and ponds just east of the Snake River. In the evening we saw a mother moose and two calves just on the other side of this pond.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fall Idaho

"Fall Idaho", 16 x 20 In, Oil on Panel
This painting is a reach back to last fall when I went to Idaho to take a workshop with Ovanes Berberian. This was done out in the field and it is just one I never posted before.

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

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dana Passage Windy Day -- SOLD

"Dana Passage Windy Day", 8 x 10 In, Oil Museum Board SOLD
This the view past Zangle Cove out toward Dana Passage, the main shipping channel into Olympia. Just like many times in the past, sometimes I just point my easel to the north and paint the amazing changes that I see every day.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Yuhu Village Woman - NFS

"Yuhu Village Woman", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
This lovely woman was one of the proprietors of the Inn we stayed at in Yuhu Village, Yunnan Province, China in 2009. She fixed us three meals a day. She would bring out the meal, sometimes a huge one-pot dish, we would look at it and think that the three of us could never eat all of that. And yet every meal, we did just that. It was amazingly delicious!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blue and Orange - NFS

"Blue and Orange", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
With this painting of Liz, I decided to use a limited palette--ultramarine blue, cadmium orange, titanium white and ivory black. Sometimes for me the idea of experimenting is more related to restricting my options than expanding them.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Meg in Violet - NFS

"Meg in Violet", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
You can tell that I got into a portrait phase and it is especially fun to paint my daughters. When they are home, sometimes in the summer, I can get them to sit out on the deck in the sunlight--its a money making deal for them.  But meantime, I just get out the photos, some from years ago, and have at it.