Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sparrow Painting "A Room With A View"

"A Room With A View"

I finished up my little "sparrow" oil painting last night.  Once it is dry I think I will put it in the frame above for the show.  It is only 5"x7".  I decided to call it "A Room With A View."   The show is fast approaching and I have so many to complete before the 15th of January.  This little "sparrow" painting was maybe the most fun to paint of all my new pieces.  I didn't have to make any complex decisions in this one, I just painted it.  This photograph was not taken by me, but a photographer named Robert Campbell.  I think it was a great shot and he was kind enought to allow me to use it.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Painting Birds "Sparrow" (In-Progress)

This cute little "bird" sitting in the cactus is one of my small oil paintings I am working on for my upcoming "Celebration of Fine Art" show.  It is only 5x7", but I have a beautiful custom frame for him once I get him finished. It is always crazy busy during the last few days before Christmas, but I hope to finish him up soon.  I am trying to think of a good title for him too...any ideas?   I think titles are important and I often have a lot of fun with them.  Sometimes I have a title idea before I even begin the painting.  This time I just had a wonderful reference photograph that was taken by Texas/Arizona photographer "Robert Campbell" who allowed me the use of this shot.   (See my side bar for info on "Robert Campbell's" work.)

Hope you can stop out to see the "Celebration of Fine Art" which opens on January 15th, 2011.  If not ....you can see the website at:  http://celebrateart.com/

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Peach-faced love birds....a visit to my backyard

Just outside my window
What did I see?
Four peach faced lovebirds
while drinking my coffee

They visited just for one day
They ate and then flew away

I hope they will visit again
If I keep buying the good seed...they just may.

 One morning recently as I was just pouring my coffee, I heard a terrible rukus outside.  All of my regular birds that visit my feeder were frightened off as four "peach faced lovebirds" came to feast.  I have only heard about these birds, but never had I actually seen one.  Here... just two feet in front of me were four of these beautiful birds.  I could hardly believe it.  They didn't seem to mind me rushing off to grab my camera and taking about 100 pictures of them.  They just posed and ate until it was time to go.  Where they went?  I'll never know.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bird painting "Robin"

"The Early Bird"

This oil sketch is painted on a 10x8" canvas panel.  I am painting a series of unframed little "birds" and this one is of a "robin."  "Robin's" are considered "the early birds", they have an orange breast, a cheery song and long legs.  I found this little poem about "robins" but I am sorry I do not know who the author is.


Robin sits in the apple tree
Singing sweetly down to me
She tells me of her cozy nest
In the tree she likes best.

She tells me that her robin mate
And she herself can hardly wait --
They have four blue eggs, you see,
that soon will be their family.

They'll live together in their cozy nest
In the tree that they loved best.
Happy in her apple tree,
Robin sings her news to me.

Addie's nest painting

email me
Barbara Rudolph
Price $90.00

Friday, December 3, 2010

Oil Painting "The Kingfisher"

"The Kingfisher"

Last month my brother had planned a fishing trip with his good friend that was visiting from Texas.  I had this idea about painting a "Kingfisher bird" for a while but needed the right reference material to do it.  I drove out there to take photographs of all of their fishing equipment before they left for their trip.  I selected this fishing rod to paint and placed the "kingfisher" sitting upon the handle.  "The Kingfisher" was always a favorite of my father's and I had some great reference material for my bird from all of his old carving days.  The painting is painted in oil and the canvas is only 8"x8".  I had a special frame built just for this painting by a man named "Ron Bacher".  He makes the most unique rustic frames out of old pieces of wood.  He made a few of these frames just for my "kingfisher" paintings and I hope to do a few more very soon.    

This painting will be for sale at the "Celebration of Fine Art" show that opens in January or through my website.

Barbara Rudolph

For information on Ron Bacher's frames, you can email him at:  Old Wood Creations

A special thanks to "the fisherman" as well as to my dad.  It is almost one year now since his passing, and he just loved "birds." 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Note Cards "Bird Series" (Set of 12)

Box of 12 Note Cards


New "note cards" from my "Bird Series" are now available.  Each set is packaged in a white box and includes 12 blank cards.  They are 4 1/4" x 5 1/2".  They will make a wonderful Christmas or hostess gift.  Each set is $20.00 plus 1.00 for postage in the US.  Just drop me an email and I will get them mailed out to you right away.  

Barbara Rudolph

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bluebird and Bass Painting "The Blues Band"

"The Blues Band" 
Oil on canvas

This is one of my brand new oil paintings for my next "Celebration of Fine Art" show.  It is called "The Blues Band" and is painted on gallery wrapped canvas.  My inspiration came from a recent trip to "MIM" (The Musical Instrument Museum).   I photographed a lot of the instruments and decided to paint a new series of work incorporating some close ups of the beautiful instruments with my "birds".  This one is of an "upright bass", also called "the double bass" or the "strings bass".   It is the largest low-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra.     Some of the legendary bassist that come to mind are the greats like Ray Brown and Charlie Mingus, (who was one of the most important figures in the 20th century.) 

I decided to paint the "bluebird" on the top of the bass, (which really is an "Indigo Bunting").   I thought "The Blues Band" would make the perfect title.   I have started a whole jazz theme with my new work, but they are soooo time consuming that I can only post them as I complete them.  This painting is for the opening of the next CFA show.  It opens on January 15th, and I hope to see you all there.  

I used this painting for my new "mini business cards."  They came out fantastic!!!  I want to tell you about a company called "MOO"  (You can see moo.com on my side bar )   This is the third time I have used "MOO" and each time the cards are perfect.  Check out their website to see some ideas of what you can do for your art or business.  Here is a picture of my new mini cards from "MOO".

If you would like more information about my new painting called "The Blues Band"  please contact me at: 

also see:

The MOO website: just click on Moo on my side bar to see their wonderful products 
also see:
Barbara Rudolph

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bluebirds "Eastern Bluebird" Oil Sketch

"Eastern Bluebird"

The "Bluebird" has been widely celebrated in songs and literature, often associated with beauty, family values and hope.  I just finished this little "oil sketch" to go with the "Mountain Bluebird" on my previous post.  It also is 12x6" on a canvas panel.   The photograph is just a little light in the background color, it is actually more of a cream color.  

I just love painting "Bluebirds" and I still have one of my favorite "Bluebird" oil paintings available in a Santa Fe Gallery.    (He needs a good home)

"Hey Guys...I'm Over Here"
Please contact me for information about either of these paintings and I would love to hear your comments. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bluebirds "Bluebird of Happiness" Oil Sketch


"Bluebird of Happiness"

People see "bluebirds" as symbols of hope.  They are among the loveliest of birds.

"A flying piece of sky, a living poem, a crystal note, an emblem of nature's moral conscience."
-Stanwyn G. Shetler 

"Bluebirds" are so beautiful and wonderful to paint.  I have decided to start another little series of oil paintings that I am calling "oil sketches".   I just finished this one of the "Mountain Bluebird" that I call "Bluebird of Happiness".   Each canvas panel is 12x6" tall.  I have been searching all over town for more of these panels.  They even seem to be back ordered at several of the online art supply stores, but I think they will make a nice little gift size purchase for collectors at my next show (Celebration of Fine Art) as well as for the holidays.    I will post more as they are completed.      

No other bird in America is so wonderfully and intensely blue.  While most "songbirds" are either beautiful or lovely to hear, the "bluebird" is both.

I would love to hear your comments:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bluebird Oil Sketches in progress

"Mountain Bluebird" -  Oil sketch in progress

I started a few little "bluebird oil sketches" on canvas panels yesterday.  I love the size of these panels which are 12x6".  I prepainted the cream color backgrounds in oil and let them dry a few weeks back.  Yesterday I re-discovered them and was in the mood to paint some more "bluebirds" but didn't have a lot of time.  I did the first layer of paint and am going to let it set up a bit.  I will hopefully get back into the studio tomorrow to finish them up since I cant get any painting time in today.  (Darn!)

"Eastern Bluebird" in progress

"Mountain Bluebird" in progress
I think they will make a fine pair!

Check back in soon to see the finished paintings.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Landscape In Oil "John's Painting"

"John's Painting"

This landscape in oil I titled "John's Painting."  It was a gift I painted for my brother-in-law.  I love the fall season and all of the colors as the leaves are changing.  It is 12x16" canvas.  Sometimes I enjoy "painting landscapes" to take a break from my detailed work with the birds.   I was looking through my files of old and recent paintings and came across this picture.  I didn't have the painting long after it was dry, so it was fun to have found this photo.  It was painted almost a year ago now.    It was inspired by some photographs I took up in Flagstaff while staying near the lake.  Even though I do not have any formal training in "painting landscapes", I really enjoy doing them every once in a while especially during the fall season.

For more info:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bird Painting finished "Summers End"

"Summers End"
(Detail of the finished piece)

"Summers End" (Detail)

"Summers End"
48"x 36"

I finally got back into my studio to do some painting and had a lot of fun working on some of the larger pieces that I had started.  The one above "Summers End" is one of those paintings I was inspired to do with the detailed little birds on big canvas.  The mood and color of these paintings are part of what make them work.  I enjoy creating areas of just texture and color to bring about a calming and refreshing feeling.  The open space is very important and is planned to help the viewer feel transported to another place for just a moment in time.  I want you to feel the coolness of the day and express a sense of happiness in the moment.   

While I was painting the under layers of color on the canvas, I added an iridescent powder pigment to the paint to give the open blue area a soft shimmer.  It does not show up well in a photograph like it does in person.  (I think it would be a great painting for a Doctor's office waiting room) because sometimes those waiting rooms can be stressful.  I wish you could see it in person, it is a very "cheerful" painting.   I want people to get a unique sense of happiness when viewing. 

I also want to give credit to a photographer named "Robert Campbell".  This sweet little bird was a picture that he took and allowed me to use in my paintings.  He did a lot of work for Arizona Highways Magazine and has several books published with his amazing photographs.  (See my side bar for more info on "Robert Campbell" and a few of his books.)

Thank you for looking, and remember to ... always use your imagination.

For more information about this piece, please email me at: 
Barbara Rudolph

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Beginning A Painting "The First Steps"

The past few months of painting I have spent on smaller detailed oil paintings which I will post later this fall.  (I like to save them for an "opening" to a show" so they are new and fresh for the eye.)   Feeling a little stressed about not having enough time to complete all I have set out to do before upcoming shows this winter, I decided to do some larger scaled pieces with either my skys or just simply unique and colorful backgounds for my little detailed birds. 

I started a few backgrounds for my next couple of paintings with two 48"x36" canvas.  Beginning a painting backgound for me usually starts with applying black gesso.  I find that the dark background helps to make the colors that are layered in over it much more vibrant.  The colors will actually appear brighter and will have much more depth.   Years ago I would always begin on the white canvas, but once I discoverd how the dark underpaintings really made the paintings sing I was hooked.  I often will use a sienna color or a deep red underpainting for example under gold leaf.  It is fun to experiment.  For my next few paintings I have decided to take the plundge and work larger.  Since I already had a couple of 4ft x 3ft canvas in my studio I decided to start with those.   I am currently working on my detailed birds with books or musical instruments, and they are quite time consuming.  With the larger paintings I want to catch a subtle nuance of atmosphere in which to carefully place my bird.  They will be more about "color" and "emotion" and my challenge will be to create an interesting compostion with the birds on a vibrant backgound.  
Metallic gold brush strokes come next.  They are loosly applied and help to create a luminosity in the underpainting.
Next step ... I just add colorful brushstrokes randomly.  I like to have a little fun here because I know that I will be working very hard and long once I put on my jewelers glasses hanging in my studio in order to paint the fine detail in the birds.  Hours and sometimes days pass then of just sitting in one position in order to complete the birds.   This certainly must make my chiropractor happy because then I have more frequent visits.
Next I added the stripe of color and texture to one of the canvas.  The other painting is in a softer tone and is the one I am currently working on:

Next I sketch in the bird.  I like to use white stabilo pencils because they work great over acrylic or oil paint.  I then started to paint the bird.   I will add some tree branches in the final stages.

As the painting progresses I will take some more detailed photographs of it to post.  These are small and don't really show the colors well.  It was getting late and I had lost my light.  

Tune in again soon to see the finished piece.  I hope it will help you escape into the scene even if just for a moment in time.

see more works:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Art Gallery Season "Kick Off"

"Lttle Nest"  (Sold)

Even though it is still over 100 degrees here, I am so thankful our mornings and evenings are beginning to cool off.  Things seem to be picking up in the art gallery business here in Scottsdale too.  It seemed like the longest summer ever and I sure am looking forward to fall.  I have had a few sales in my Tucson gallery this week and things will be picking up here in Scottsdale again soon as well.  I also work as a Fine Art Consultant part time in our Scottsdale arts district.  There is always a big Western Art Walk that is kind of the "kick-off" to our season. (October 14th).  Also October 16th is the 45th Annual "Cowboy Artists of America" show at the "Phoenix Art Museum" too and if you love western art than it is something to see.  The CAA (Cowboy Artists of America) started in 1964 by well known artists such as George Phippen and Joe Beeler who specialize in fine art of the American West.  That event brings many art lovers to the valley and I always think of it as the "Kick Off" to the winter season.   You can find out more about that show at:  http://www.phxart.org/

As the weather cools off here, be sure and get out and visit one of the many wonderful art galleries we have here in Scottsdale.  There is something for everyone from traditional, contemporary, European, western and so much more.   The art is magnificent here!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Morning Sugar Rush and a Crazy Woodpecker

The morning started out peaceful with my cup of coffee.  The backyard hummingbirds were happy with the new hummingbird feeder that is full of fresh sugar water.  They are happy and enjoying the morning too until...

that "crazy" woodpecker shows up.  He likes to swing the new glass feeder back and forth to scare off all of the other birds.

Uh-Oh...she sees me

Well...maybe just one more sip

Monday, September 6, 2010

Contemporary Icon Painting "Golden Graces"

(Just Sold)  "Golden Graces"

Yesterday there was a local artists show that was held at Unity Church in Phoenix.  Someone recently told me about it and I decided to put a few paintings in the show.   There were a large amount of entries and quite a variety of talents from painters to sculptors and photographers.  It was fun too see all the various works as well as to meet so many nice people.   This painting "Golden Graces" was from a series of mine I painted a few years back called "Contemporary Icons."  I initially had it on display at the Herberger Theater art gallery down town for an exhibition titled "Worlds In Common." 

     I was going to send "Golden Graces" up to my gallery in Tucson but I decided to put it in the Unity show this weekend first.  I delivered it to the clients home today for a trial.  She purchased it and I think I must have actually painted it for the room it is now hanging in.  It was a perfect fit on her beautiful sage green wall.  It is always a pleasure to get to meet the people that buy my art and really fun to see where the painting will be hanging.  

Thank you to all of the people out there that appreciate original fine art.  "Golden Graces" took many hours and many layers of paint and gold to complete.  Each step was painted one section at a time after the gold leaf border had been created.    

Now I get to go back to painting my latest series that includes "birds."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"The Bee" from the La Posada Hotel Garden on Route 66

"The Bee"

Since I have been working on my more "detailed" paintings this summer, I have slowed down on my blog postings.  I am working on several oil paintings at a time creating enough new ones for the opening of the next "Celebration of Fine Art" show next January.  I have also been spending much more time than ususal on my photography for my latest body of work.  The picture above I took while visiting one of Arizona's grandest estates in Winslow, Arizona.  "The La Posada Hotel"  on route 66, also called "the last great railroad hotel," which offers a unique experience for Southwest travelers. 

This hotel was built in 1929 for the Santa Fe Railway.  It has been restored and has such charm.  It is in the Spanish hacienda style and also has a wonderful restaurant called "The Turquoise Room."   "The Turquois Room" has some of the best southwest cuisine by Chef John Sharpe.  Their garden  must be beautiful in the springtime, but there were still a lot of blooms left on the rose bushes and plants while I was there.  I captured this shot of a busy bee in the garden.  The painting inspiration was wonderful as well as the food and just exploring the hotel where so many famous people have stayed.    It was fun to see some of the rooms where people like Albert Einstein, Clark Gable, Will Rogers, John Wayne, President Franklin Roosevelt, Gene Autry and so many more have stayed.  The next time you are traveling through Winslow, Arizona on "route 66"  be sure and stop by the "La Posada Hotel."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bird Painting oil "The Breakfast Blend"

"The Breakfast Blend"

I just finished this little oil painting from my bird series of paintings.  I call it "The Breakfast Blend."  It is painted on gallery wrapped canvas size 7x7x2".   There is a little bit of glare on this photo because it is still wet.  This has been a fun series to paint and this one is now available.  If you would like more info on this painting you can email me at:  br1fineart@cox.net

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Arizona Highways sky "A beautiful drive home"

Arizona Highways
Click on images for a larger view

These pictures I took while driving home today from a little trip up in the mountains.   As the elevation dropped and the pine trees quickly disappeared from view, the drive home was still really beautiful.   There was such a pretty sky this afternoon and I got a few nice pictures of the desert.   The "Arizona highways" sure are beautiful especially during monsoon season.

I went up north to do some photographing of birds for my paintings, but came back with lot of beautiful landscape and floral reference.   I look forward to starting some new paintings.