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Brent Townsend - RIVERBED -  LIMITED EDITION PRINT Published by the Greenwich Workshop

by Brent Townsend


Limited Edition of: 1000
Image Size: 29"w x 19"h.
Published: July 1992

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"This landscape is off the highway that runs between Jasper and Banff, south of the Columbia ice fields. I was struck by the background and I got into the situation of asking myself, 'What do you really want to paint here?' Then I recalled seeing four bull elk north of there, wading in a shallow lake. That was what gave me the idea for 'Riverbed.'

"As a rule, I first come across a location that strikes me as interesting. Then, if I've seen an animal in a similar location or if I see tracks in the winter time in that area, that will give me the inspiration for a painting. The ideas behind one painting usually take a couple of years to come together because I am drawing from all my past experiences in exploring and researching.

"It is interesting that when you get into the national parks, a lot of the wildlife is right off the highway. Especially during this summertime in the mountains, the elk come down to the valley floors. Many areas that have been cleared out for pasture are right alongside the highway. There are elk all over the place in Jasper. They are like lawn ornaments in the town sometimes!"

Brent Townsend
Many collectors in America are proud owners of one of Brent Townsend’s supremely detailed views of the North American wilderness. But almost every Canadian has a piece of Townsend art in their possession—in their pockets, perhaps, or on a desktop. His is the polar bear image on Canada’s two dollar coin, affectionately known as the "toonie." That is only the latest acknowledgment that Townsend is one of Canada’s favorite and foremost wildlife artists. In fact, he was both the first Canadian and the youngest person ever to be named "Artist of the Year" by the 1989 Western and Wildlife Art Exhibition. Pretty impressive for a man who considers himself essentially self-taught and started selling his artwork in the seventh grade. His lifelong fascination with the details of wilderness and the wealth of wildlife that could be found just outside, started when he grew up in a house bordered by a ravine on one side and a creek on the other. Inspired by Carl Rungius, Andrew Wyeth and other independently spirited artists, he started trying to capture on paper what he discovered in the wild. "I’d rather be out exploring, studying, sketching, photographing and painting," he says, "than discussing history, technique or career." His incredibly detailed, yet clear and precise art has gained admirers across the world. Named the featured artist at the Vancouver International Wildlife Art Show and a participant of the World Wildlife Fund’s "Spirit of the Wild" Show, he was also one of just five artists asked to exhibit with the Canadian Wildlife Art Exhibition in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan.


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