Krista Townsend

  • Selected Works




    Pines, 2017. Oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches

    Last Snow, 2017.  Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

    Wildflowers Up Close, 2017. Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

    Mount Helena, 2017. Oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches

    Mountain Skyline, 2017. Oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches

    Into the Woods, 2017. Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches

    Blue Ridge Farms, 2017. Oil on canvas, 36 x 24 inches

  • Past Exhibitions

    Moss On Trees, 2017
    Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

    Lichen on Rocks, 2017
    Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches


    Blue Ridge Farms, 2017
    Oil on canvas, 36 x 24 inches

    Mount Helena, 2017
    Oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches

    Country Club of Virginia, 2017
    Oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches

     More Light: Karen Blair, Ana Rendich, Krista Townsend
    23 June – 13 August 2017

  • Biography

    For Krista Townsend, painting is much more than the time spent at the canvas. Painting the places that she knows well gives authenticity to her work, often of overlooked and unlikely subjects. The physicality of the process shows in her paintings. Rarely does she experience the places she paints by observation alone; she absorbs them through daily hikes near her central Virginia home and often moves through a place many times before finding the painting. The act of painting then replicates the motion of experience through gesture and brush strokes, stepping away for contemplation, and turning back to the palette and canvas.

    Townsend has shown her work in Virginia and DC for over 10 years, entering many private and public collections including the University of Virginia Medical Center, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System, Martha Jefferson Hospital, The Country Club of Virginia, and more.  She studied Old Master techniques at the Schuler School of Fine Arts in Baltimore, MD and has a Master of Arts from the Johns Hopkins University. She completed a yearlong apprenticeship with portrait and landscape painter, Edward Reed, in Alexandria, VA and has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.



    Through paint I investigate and appreciate the world around me, more specifically in recent years, the sublime natural world. And as I do so, I am creating something wholly new. My work is about exploring, deconstructing, simplifying, abstracting and reconstructing.

    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 beneath flowers in a meadow, the warmth of the soil or the cool quiet and weight of an overcast sky. I bring these observations back to the canvas and begin the process of making marks. Each brush stroke, scratch, or space of bare canvas is part of the process. I move back and forth from a series of marks to the composition they create and the moment they represent. Through that push and pull, I try to express the energy and mood of the place and how it made me feel.  


  • Curriculum Vitae


    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

    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

    University of Virginia Medical Center

    Martha Jefferson Hospital

    Country Club of Virginia

    Towne Bank

    Dominion Power

    Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System


  • Articles & Reviews

    Derby, Elizabeth, “Lightness of Being,” Cville, 7/26/17, p. 33. 

    “Two Painters who are on Fire Close the Year out at Glave Kocen!“, Glave Kocen Gallery. 

    Sargent, Sarah, “Warm Welcome  Group show at McGuffey Invites Colorful Observations”, C=ville Weekly, May 22, 2013.