Brent Townsend is an artist who lets his paintings speak for him. He would rather be out exploring, studying, sketching, photographing, and painting than discussing art history or technique. He was born in 1962 and grew up in a suburban Toronto home with a yard bordered by a ravine and a creek. That location fostered a fascination for the wealth of nature that exists just outside the back door. As a child, Towsend studied the rocks, water, and plant life along the creek. As he grew older, his area of interest widened, and he now specialized in landscapes and studies of North American wildlife.
Although he studied commercial art at the Wexford Collegiate Institute, Townsend is essentially a self-taught painter who has been selling his work since the seventh grade. He is inspired by Carl Rungius, Andrew Wyeth, and other artists who, in his words, "paint what they like, and you can like it or not." His independence and lack of restrictions show in his paintings, which have already garnered a loyal audience in his home country. He has successfully participated in the World Wildlife Fund "Spirit of the Wild" art auction and the Endangered Species Art Show at the Kortright Conservation Centre.
Today Townsend's art can be found throughout North America, following his U.S. debut as the 1989 Minneapolis Wildlife and Western Art Exhibition's "Artist of the Year." He was both the first Canadian and the youngest artist ever to be so honored. Townsend now lives in Ontario, and he still explores with energy and enthusiasm. "I like to be out gathering ideas," he admits, "and I paint what interests me."
Brent Townsend is a Canadian nature artist who in 1996 designed the portrait of a polar bear in early summer on an ice floe that appears on the current Canadian 2 dollar coin. Born in Toronto, Townsend lives in Campbellford, Ontario.