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:

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."