A painting begins with an observation or an idea, way before stepping in front of the canvas. It starts in noticing the light between trees in the woods or the deep shadows between flowers in a wildflower meadow, in the patterns on the façade of a building or the quiet of an overcast sky. I am always looking at what light does to color and shape and mood.
I often take quick snapshots as a form of note taking and idea gathering. Sometimes I will revisit a place over and over again observing, photographing, and imagining what I want to paint. Sometimes, I see something or an idea will come with the image of a painting that is clear and immediate and a driving force that I just need allow.
In the studio, I work out the lines and shapes, direction of brush stroke and thickness of paint, the value and color as they work in tandem or contrast. I try to express the energy of the place and at the same time create something wholly new with its own presence.
These days, it is easy to feel a lack of control of the direction of our world and health of our planet. After all, we are each just one person. As a human, I attempt to live as gently as I can in my day-to-day. As an artist, I want my work to make a difference and have an impact in improving society and our world.
I believe there is power in the visual arts as well as performing and written arts. Artists have an important role to play in creating a space where people can find respite and refuge and solace, while at the same time offering a clear message. My intension with every painting that I create, is to show people the beauty of our world because when things are appreciated, they are cared for and sustained
Painting involves processing this dichotomy. Through bridges and buildings, vast roads and railways, we have learned to subjugate so much of the natural world and yet nature still inspires, and manages to assert itself. As I paint I contemplate the beauty and grace of the man-made while investigating the subtle ways that natural elements integrate and manipulate both the images I paint and our attempt at control over our surroundings.
In addition to painting, I own my own web site design and medical illustration company doing work mostly for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. I have a master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in medical illustration and studied fine art at The Schuler School of Fine Arts in Baltimore, MD. I received my undergraduate degree in art from The Pennsylvania State University. I have also done an apprenticeship with award winning portrait painter, Edward Reed, at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA.
I live in Charlottesville, VA with my husband, his three children, and our dog. I spend a lot of time with family and am passionate about animals. I have adopted two rescue dogs and volunteer at the local SPCA. I hike with the dogs and do yoga as often as I can. I am also exploring the words of the Buddha and find this practice is strongly reflected in my creative process. I share a studio in Crozet with the very talented artist, Karen Blair, who inspires and motivates me daily.
SOLO AND TWO PERSON EXHIBITIONS
2018 Solo Show at Glavé Kocen Gallery, Richmond, VA
2016 New Works, Glavé Kocen Gallery, Richmond, VA
2015 Bridges, New City Arts Initiative, WVTF and Radio IQ Studio Gallery
2015 Paintings: Krista Townsend and J.M. Henry, Yellow Cardinal Gallery, Charlottesville, VA
2014 Charlottesville to Richmond, Rick’s Custom Frame and Gallery, Richmond VA
2014 Urban Paintings, Martha Jefferson Hospital, Charlottesville, VA
2014 Urban Paintings, Angelo, Charlottesville, VA
2013 Figure Drawings, Derrier De Soie, Charlottesville, VA
2013 The Art Box, Crozet, VA
2012 The Local, Charlottesville, VA
2012 The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
2011 King Family Vineyard, Crozet, VA
2011 McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA
2010 Over The Moon Bookstore & Artisan Gallery, Crozet, VA
2017 More Light, Les Yuex du Monde, Charlottesville, VA
2017 Krista Townsend, Karen Blair, Priscilla Whitlock and Jesse Coles, The Art Box, Crozet, VA
2017 The Women’s Initiative, Les Yuex du Monde, Charlottesville, VA
2014 The Figure, Yellow Cardinal Art Gallery, Charlottesville, VA
2013 Krista Townsend, Karen Blair, Priscilla Whitlock, and Jesse Coles, McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA
2010 Member’s Show, McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA
2010 Northside Social, Arlington, VA
2005 Metamorphosis Art Show, Arlington, VA
HONORS AND MEMBERSHIPS
2017 Fellow, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Amherst, VA
2016 Third Place, RVA Architecture and Landscape, Juried Exhibit, Crossroads Art Center, Richmond, VA
2015 Juror, Central Virginia Watercolor Guild, Charlottesville, VA
2015 Juror, Peace Lutheran Church, Charlottesville, VA
2014 Juror, Charlottesville City School Eco Fair Artwork Content, Charlottesville, VA
2013 Piedmont Council for the Arts, Charlottesville, VA
2010 McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA
2009 Semi Finalist, National Science Foundation International Science & Engineering
Visualization Challenge, Bethesda, MD
2008 Second Place, Gold Screen awards from the National Association of Government Communicators Blue Pencil & Gold Screen, Bethesda, MD
2007 Apprenticeship with Edward J. Reed at The Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA
2007 Award of Excellence, National Association of Government Communicators Blue Pencil & Gold Screen, Bethesda, MD
MA, Medical and Biological Illustration, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine – 1998
Apprenticeship with Edward J. Reed, Alexandria, VA – 2006 - 2007
The Art League at The Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA – 2000 - 2007
The Schuler School of Fine Arts, Baltimore, MD – 1994 through 1996
BA, The School of Art and Architecture, The Pennsylvania State University – 1994
University of Virginia Medical Center
Martha Jefferson Hospital
Country Club of Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System