Jamie Townsend Art

Vermont painter, illustrator, sculptor

About


With a few strokes, using a much too large paint brush, Jamie captures the style, movement, gesture, and mood of his subject.”

Martin Jori (art collector, New York, Switzerland)

Influences

Jamie Townsend at his Vermont farmEarning my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design, I was exposed to the important abstract expressionists of American and Eastern European who influenced me greatly. Prior to this, I had been doing a lot of monochromatic painting in blue and gray.

After seeing the European abstract expressionist art from the 1940s-1960s, color just exploded in my work–what I call the subconscious color we see around us throughout our lives–like the Vermont foliage– I suddenly could see the bright colors that those artists saw and that freed me–and their gestural abstraction drawing style was similar to what I had been doing.

These abstract expressionists and the cubist masters not only opened a world of color but a world of artistic possibility for me in stretching the viewer’s eye and imagination. I still employ the rich, complementary colors of the Eastern European artists who influenced me early in my career. Studying black and white photography in art school also gave me an appreciation of negative space, which is still vitally important to the work I do today.

Because I was so enchanted by the Eastern European style, I spent many years traveling back and forth to Europe, obtaining an English teaching certificate so I could spend as much time there as possible. I just loved how in much of Europe art was appreciated and supported, even in the smallest towns.

My Work

Jamie Townsend YouTube Video

Click to watch the short film, "Jamie Townsend: A Life in Art"

I’ve always been a great admirer of architects / artists such as Gaudi, and Hundertwasser who drew from nature in their work. I like to work in organic patterns connecting with geometric spaces like those seen in nature, such as wind and water, with intersecting fluid patterns that seem to reproduce each other. I often blend these with contrasting “windows” in a nod to my love of cubism — representing the abruptness of our society. I like my work to be full and active, imitating the variety and action in our world, with the goal of bringing it together harmoniously.

I bring the fluid chaos and variety of our everyday world into focus gradually allowing the viewer to search for a source and make connections. I tend to use childlike characters and colors as well as line work and shapes challenging positive and negative space. With this style I am bridging the gap between the playful (imagery and colors) and the systematic (layering drawing/patterns).

As a natural outgrowth of this, I enjoy the childlike drawings and opinions of children’s books as well and have developed my own version that blends my love of writing poetry and creating abstract art. I was heavily influenced by Ralph Steadman and Henrik Drescher.

As I paint, I react to what is there, bringing the viewer from chaos to peace. I want to get the viewer in a playful mood with colors and imagery then systematically break into their visual perception of the world, challenging them to see the layering I’ve developed.jamie townsend studio in silhouette

With my new work in three-dimensional carvings as well as my large format paintings and murals, I am hoping to force the viewer to back up as well as come forward to see the paintings in their fullest possible sense, gained by experiencing it from different perspectives and different levels of focus.