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Tim Townsley Bio

Tim Townsley
1944 - 2018

Tim Townsley began his career in Los Angeles, where he was born and raised. He received his BA in art from California State University Los Angeles and holds a Masters of Fine Art from Otis College of Art and Design. Townsley taught mural painting through the UCLA Extension program and for eight years taught figure drawing, color theory, and painting at California Institute of the Arts.
Over time, Townsley gained extensive experience in the entertainment industry painting both matte paintings and backings for motion pictures. He also painted murals in several theme parks, including Disneyland, Sea World, and Six Flags. Since 2000 up to his sudden death in 2018, he continued to paint murals for retail stores and has been commissioned by UC Riverside for its C-Cert Building and by UCLA for its Friends of Jazz program.

Townsley lived and worked at his home-studio in the Cove area of Cathedral City. In 2013, his artwork was recognized by the Artists Council of the Palm Springs Art Museum and was awarded the Free Spirit Prize. After his work was featured on the cover of ArtLA, Townsley was chosen as one of the 100 Best Artists in California, and his work was exhibited on an electronic billboard on West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. Townsley’s artwork was recently selected for the Los Angeles Art Association’s “Out There” 2016 exhibition.




“I taught figure drawing, color theory and painting at Cal Arts. John Baldessari recommended me because of my figure work and how I capture the human form. David Hockney was a friend of my landlord, Jack Larson and his Hockneys shared garage space with my works.   Hockney saw my James Joyce portrait at Jack’s home and thought it was good. And yes, that was a compliment I appreciated. To be acknowledged by an artist I respect, is greatly welcomed.”

“Richter, de Kooning, Motherwell and Diebenkorn are artists I find interesting, as well as the British Moderns – particularly Bacon and Freud. There is incredible energy on the canvases that these artists create; it is this work that I find appealing. My work takes note of planned designs and lucky accidents; there is no black and white — there are a myriad of shades of gray. Like Wittgenstein, I don’t take myself too seriously.” It is certain that Tim takes his work seriously. . . . . . . . . . . . . Tim Townsley.

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