Erin Bannister Townsend
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Erin Bannister Townsend is a landscape and seascape painter. She always explores on foot before deciding exactly what and where to paint, and accomplishes as much as possible in situ.
Understanding the local geology, history and place-names all deepen the experience.
She views the firm structures of rocks and hills as an armature for the composition, often in contrast with the sweep of fields or sea. Drawing provides the structure of the painting and colour the emotional key. Working ‘en plain air’, the immediacy of changing light and weather are part of the challenge. She draws inspiration from other landscape artists whom she admires.
Upon returning to the studio, Erin considers the painting away from the scene, remembers its essence, tries to push a little further towards a resolution which may not have been possible on the spot. The point is to create a balance between the accurate portrayal, and a subjective painterly response.
She was educated at St. Paul's Girls' School, London and at the Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford, and then won a scholarship to the Royal Academy Schools. Important influences were Peter Greenham and Leonard McComb and she was awarded David Murray landscape prizes in 1976 and 1979. Erin, upon leaving the Royal Academy, showed a group of Sussex landscapes at the Thackeray Gallery, London in 1981. Since then she has exhibited widely in both mixed exhibitions in London (RA, National Portrait Gallery, New English Art Club, Burlington Fine Art) and in Oxford. She lives in Oxford with her scientist husband Alain Townsend and they have five adult children.