Saturday, December 31, 2011

Painting my Orchid - step by step by Barbara Rudolph

Click on images to see them larger

Starting with my blank white canvas size 32x44", I painted black gesso over the entire canvas.  Then one of my favorite tricks that will add a nice little bit of a "shimmer" in my under painting comes next.  I paint in random strokes of metallic gold paint.  Each layer has to dry completely, especially the black gesso, which I allow to dry overnight.    When using oil paint, even more drying time is necessary.  This technique can be done in either acrylic or oils however.

The next step is to paint in swirls of colors.  I was going for a "brilliant aqua blue" background, so the colors I chose were bold and bright.  This is the fun part, but it is important not to cover up all of the black.  I often paint with a lot of dark colored backgrounds in my work in order to create drama and focus on the subject matter such as musical instruments or books.  I am getting ready for the 2012 "Celebration of Fine Art" show in two weeks.  I want to have a painting with a bright pop of color to catch the interest of  those walking past my studio in hopes they will stop in for a closer look.  Since so many of my latest paintings are darker in color, I thought this one would do the trick.  (We will see).

 Here is a close up of the swirls of colors being careful
not to cover up all of the black area

The next phase is to "blend" in my colors to create a nice soft misty background.  All the time spent on the under painting is necessary to create the various shades and values to the background.  I even added a bit of finely ground metallic powder pigment to give it a luminous effect.  I also use Liquin medium for blending.  Use in a well ventilated area if you can.

 Then I placed my beautiful live "orchid" in front of my dry painting background to photograph.  I took tons and tons of pictures.  I then went through them all and selected my favorite one for the actual "oil painting".        
The image above is an example of just one of the many images I took.

 Then I chalked in my "orchid" and began to paint it in oil here.  I used my own photograph for reference.  This is not a really tight painting, much looser than I normally paint, so it was fun.   This whole process actually started a couple of months ago with all of the drying time etc.

It wouldn't be complete however without a "bird." 

 Just a small detail here.
A "chestnut sided warbler" painted in sitting on the 
"orchid" branch.

"My messy studio"
Stand back and have a look.....Is it done?

I think so

I think I will call it "On The Wild Side."  It will be available at the "Celebration of Fine Art" show on January 14th.  Opening is right around the corner now so I better get back to painting.

I hope you can stop by the show.  For information about this show click on the link below.

Happy New Year,
Barbara Rudolph

Celebration of Fine Art
My website
email me

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

CELEBRATION OF FINE ART 2012 - is opening soon

The Celebration of Fine Art

The "Celebration of Fine Art"  is opening soon in our new location.  It is one of the premiere art events in the West.  If you are visiting Scottsdale, Arizona this winter, don't miss this wonderful show.   We have a new location on the Southwest corner of Hayden Road and the Loop 101.  It opens to the public on January 14th and runs every day until March 25th.  We will be open 10:00 - 5:00 PM daily.  

The image above is a view of my studio from last year, along with artists "Sue Averell" and Penny Benjamin Peterson's. 

For more information about this even visit the "Celebration of Fine Art" website:
Celebration of Fine Art

Barbara Rudolph

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fishing Rod with Kingfisher - "Let's Go Fishing" oil painting

"Let's Go Fishing"

This new oil painting "Let's Go Fishing" is 10 x 7".  It features a "kingfisher" sitting on an old "fishing pole".  It is painted in oil and will be custom framed for the opening of the 2012 "Celebration of Fine Art" show which opens on January 14th.  This show will have 100 artists from all over the country exhibiting their works for ten weeks in a row.  It is a wonderful show to visit and to meet the artists working in their temporary studios.   We are in a new location this year, so please visit the website for directions.

Barbara Rudolph

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hummingbird and Trumpet painting "Groovin High"

"Groovin High"

My new oil painting features a curious "hummingbird" that loves the sound of "Cool Jazz."   I call it "Groovin High" after a famous song performed by "Charlie (Yardbird) Parker"  and also performed by Dizzy Gillespie, and Al Jarreaue.  

It will be available at the "Celebration of Fine Art" show in Scottsdale, Arizona which will run from January 14th - March 25.   The trumpet belongs to "Gabriel Bey" who came to the art show last winter and performed an impromptu performance in my studio.  He also performs here locally with a band called "Spooky Kool."   You can find information about "Spooky Kool" on their Facebook page and:   Watch and participate in the growth, improvement, advancement, and success of the Artist, Gabriel Bey aka Spooky Kool...

If you would like information about this oil painting "Groovin High" please email me.  I hope you can visit this amazing art show in Scottsdale which is ..."one of the premier art evens in the West."

Barbara Rudolph

Gabriel Bey playing a song at the "Celebration of Fine Art"
The painting in the background is by
Penny Benjamin Peterson

Gabriel Bey with "Spooky Kool"

Monday, November 28, 2011

Baseball "The Best Game In The World" oil painting

"The Best Game In The World"
My latest oil painting

If you love "Baseball" than I think you will enjoy my new oil painting.

I have been working on this oil painting a while now and finally decided that it is finished.  I call it "The Best Game In The World".  It  measures 12 x 16" on canvas.   Since I always have a "bird" in my paintings, what better fit than a "cardinal."   I had a special request last winter to do a baseball painting and this is what I came up with.  I thought a book on "Babe Ruth" would have to be a part of the finished painting.   A client loaned me the baseball glove for reference to paint, (which I still need to return), and I had so much fun trying to capture all the detail in the worn leather.   

"I swing big, with everything I've got.  I hit big or I miss big.  I like to live as big as I can."  - Babe Ruth

This painting will be for sale at the upcoming "Celebration of Fine Art" show in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Which I think is the "Greatest Show" in the world)...and I feel blessed to be a part of it.  Wow - I can hardly believe that this will be my seventh year showing there. This year the show opens on January 14th and runs through March 25th.   If you are interest in a "giclee" (professional artist quality print) of "The Greatest Game In The World",  they will be for sale at the show.  Or can contact me directly.  (The original may be available too, but I promised the one who requested it "first dibs".)

I hope you like it.  Your comments are welcome, just click on the comment link here to leave one.

Barbara Rudolph
my website

The Celebration of Fine Art Show in Scottsdale

Here are a few photos of this painting while in progress:

In progress

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tea Cups with Hummingbird Painting "High Tea"

"High Tea"
Oil on canvas

This is my latest "Tea Cup" painting that I call "High Tea."  The "hummingbird" I photographed last summer on my patio tree outside.  It is a fun little painting with lots of detail and measures 12 x 6" on gallery wrapped canvas.  It will be for sale at the upcoming "Celebration of Fine Art" show in January.  I also have a limited edition of giclees on canvas available in the same size.  The "giclees" will make wonderful "Christmas gifts" too.    You can contact me for more information about the original oil or the giclees.

Barbara Rudolph
Celebration of Fine Art

In-Progress Painting

Here are some of the pretty tea cups I used for the painting.  A couple of them were on loan from
my friend.   I love the pink one.

This is one of the many photographs
I took before I began the painting
I added one plain white cup in the painting

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

International Guild of Realism show highlights:

Here are a few highlights from the "International Guild of Realism" show in Santa Fe.   It was a wonderful experience to be a part of and to see so many talented artists work.

IGOR - First Ever VIDEO of our Sixth Annual Exhibition in Santa Fe
click here to see:

Barbara Rudolph

Monday, October 24, 2011

What Time is It? There is Never Enough Time!

I haven't blogged in a while.....There is way too much to do and so little time.  I saw this "clock" somewhere???  Sorry I cannot remember where, but I LOVE IT!  Getting back to "painting birds" now....have a wonderful day.

Barbara Rudolph

Friday, October 14, 2011

Four Faces of Fall - November 11th - Jane Hamilton Fine Art Gallery

This is the invite for the "Four Faces of Fall" artist reception on November 11th at "Jane Hamilton Fine Art" gallery.  It is located in Tucson, Arizona.  My new painting "Diva" is on the invite with the three other amazing artists, Sean Wallis, Zulia Gotay de Anderson, and Deborah Leigh Hayes.   If you will be in the Tucson area in November, be sure and stop in the "Jane Hamilton Fine Art" gallery.  (see link below for more information about this show.) 

(The new paintings for this show may not be uploaded to the gallery website until closer to the opening.)  

Barbara Rudolph 

2890 E. Skyline Dr.  Ste 180
Tucson, AZ  85718

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Violin Painting with Western Tanager "Diva"


This new oil painting is of a "violin" dated from the 20th century with a "western tanager".   I decided to name it "Diva."  Yes, I know what you are thinking... a "Diva" is a celebrated glamorous "female" singer, a star, divine, and a goddess...but this is a painting of a "male" tanager.  Well..... being in the art world, you will have to trust me when I say that I have seen many "queens" & "princesses" of the opposite sex too, so I decided to go with the title "Diva" anyway because I think it fits.  

This oil painting, "Diva" is 16 x 8" and will be for sale at "Jane Hamilton Fine Art" gallery, in Tucson, Arizona.  The show reception will be held on November 11th.  If you would like more information about this oil painting or the show, please get in touch with me or the gallery.

  Your comments are welcome too, just click on the comment link.

Barbara Rudolph

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wildlife artist "Linda Besse" New Friend from the "IGOR" Realism show

Linda Besse oil painting

Linda Besse oil painting

I just returned last weekend from the "International Guild of Realism" show in Santa Fe.  It was a spectacular show and we had an amazing turn out.  The show was held at the beautiful "Sage Creek Gallery" in downtown Santa Fe.   If you missed the opening you can still preview all of the works on the gallery website or on the "International Guild of Realism" website.  Many of the participating members and their guests were in attendance for the festivities.  The honored guest judge John O'Hern, retired curator of the Arnot Art Museum of Elmira, NY presented the awards.  My favorite part of the entire show and experience was meeting the various artists and making new friends.

There is one wildlife artist in particular that I met named "Linda Besse."  Linda is an amazing artist that has traveled the world to photograph and experience animals in the wild.  She has traveled every state in the U.S. as well as 31 countries, and all seven continents.  Besides being incredibly talented, she is one of the nicest people I have met in a long time.  She is quite modest and genuine, and kindly offers advice if asked, and has some extraordinary stories to tell about her many adventures in the wild.

The two images posted above are oil paintings by "Linda Besse."   If you would like to see higher resolution images, please visit her website or blog.  I'll attach the links below.  She has also been juried into the "Birds In Art" exhibition at the "Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum"  numerous times which is one of my life goals these days.  Check out her work when you get a chance, it is incredible!

Barbara Rudolph
my website

See LINDA BESSE website
Linda Besse Blog

Sage Creek Gallery
International Guild of Realism

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Get Real" IGOR Section in Oct Issue of American Art Collector Magazine

This is the beautiful cover on the October issue of "American Art Collector Magazine"  that just came out.  No...the bird on the cover is not mine, but what a fantastic painting by artist Frank Gonzales.  After two weeks of not feeling well because of  a bad cold, I was so excited to receive my copy of the October issue of "American Art Collector" magazine on my doorstep today. 

Get Real - The International Guild of Realism  has a 16 page spread on the upcoming "Realism" exhibition in the October issue of American Art Collector.  The show is being hosted by the beautiful "Sage Creek Gallery"  The opening is on September 30th from 5-8pm.  It will hang through October 22nd.

It came as a complete surprise that my "All That Jazz" painting (above) was selected for a full page advertisement for the show.  I feel completely humbled by this and am truly honored to be part of this incredible group of artists that span the globe.  The exhibition will have 75 works from contemporary to classical realism bringing together the worlds leading realism artists in Santa Fe. 

 Be sure and pick up a copy of this magazine which is also featuring the "art of the nude."  If you would like any information about this painting you can contact the "Sage Creek Gallery" for information and view the entire selection of work for the "International Guild of Realism" show on their website.  Email me with questions you may have.

Show dates:  September 30th - October 22nd

Barbara Rudolph
my website
Sage Creek Gallery
International Guild of Realism 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Double Bass with Bluebird - Oil Painting "Singing the Blues"

"Singing the Blues"

This oil painting of a "double bass" has an "Indigo Bunting" sitting on the bridge.  It is 14x14" and is painted on canvas.   I photographed the antique bass at the Musical Instrument Museum and thought the little "blue bird" would be a perfect fit for this painting I call "Singing the Blues."   You can read a little about this instrument on my previous post.  It is a one of kind painting.  If you would like more information about this painting "Singing the Blues" please contact me. 
Barbara Rudolph

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Double Bass Painting "Singing The Blues" in-progress

In-Progress oil painting
"Singing the Blues"
(still needs shadows, details and of course...bird legs)

I have been searching for an old "double bass" instrument to photograph for some future paintings.  I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to take pictures of the beautiful Amati violin on my previous post, as well as the cello.  I am still looking for the "double bass" to paint a full sized piece, but in the mean time....I also am so lucky to live so close to the new "Musical Instrument Museum."  This museum called the "MIM" is the most wonderful museum and collection of musical instruments from every country in the world.   Last spring I took some pictures there, (which they let you do as long as you do not use the flash)   I photographed the beautiful old "double bass"  below.

At the MIM - "double bass"

This instrument "double bass" was labeled probably from Germany or Czech Republic dated from 1930 - 1945.  It had so much character and I wish I could know and hear it's history.  I decided to just focus in on the center (bridge) part of this instrument for my painting "Singing the Blues."   This painting in-progress measures 14 x 14".  It will be for an upcoming show in Tucson Arizona in November at the "Jane Hamilton Gallery."  I'll post more info on that next month.

Last year I did a painting called "The Blues Band" (see below) where I painted the neck and the scroll of the "double bass."  That painting was a big hit and although the original oil has sold, I have a limited edition series of giclees on canvas that came out spectacular.  (see my website for more information on "The Blues Band.")

Check back in again soon to see the progress on the new painting "Singing the Blues."

You can also click on the comment link to leave a comment or message.  Thank you.

Barbara Rudolph

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

INTERNATIONAL GUILD OF REALSIM show at Sage Creek Gallery in Santa Fe

This is one of the pages in the October issue of  "American Art Collector"
magazine that will be out soon. 

The "Sage Creek Gallery" in Santa Fe is hosting the 6th Annual "IGOR" show on September 30th.  I am so pleased to be a part of this wonderful event.  My "All That Jazz" oil painting was the piece that was selected by the jury.  The "International Guild of Realism" currently represents around 260 artists hailing from 33 countries around the world.  The Guild seeks high quality artwork, ranging from the ultra-contemporary to timeless traditional realism.   There will be 70 artists works on display for this wonderful show.  John O'Hern, retired curator of the Elmira Museum of Art in Elmira, NY will be an honored guest judge.  He was the curator for one of the best realism museum exhibitions during the years called "Realism Today," with several of the most famous living realists of the world exhibiting in it year after year.

Here is a little IGOR Promotional Preview Video for the upcoming show:

Barbara Rudolph

Click on the comment link to leave a comment

Monday, August 29, 2011

Amati Violin Painting "Pizzicato" (All Finished)


The "Amati violin" is finished now.  This little tiny bird a "Verdin" frequents my backyard.  He likes to sip from my hummingbird feeder or feeds from the bottle brush tree nearby when it is in bloom.  This "bird" is so small and sweet.  The "Verdin", I named "Vernin" is almost as fast as a hummingbird.  It used to be quite shy, but now lets me get rather close through the kitchen window to photograph.  I decided he would be the perfect "bird" to sit upon the strings of my "Amati violin" oil painting." 

I am calling it "Pizzicato"  (A note or passage played by plucking the strings instead of bowing)

This oil painting measures 16x12" and I will have it professionally framed for my show later this winter at the "Celebration of Fine Art"  in Scottsdale, Arizona.  If you have any questions about this painting or would like me to paint "your own instrument" please contact me.  You can also scroll down a few posts to read about this amazing instrument and the "Wyatt Violin Shop" as well as the beautiful and talented girl that played it.

I would love to hear your comments.  Just click on the comment link to leave one.

Barbara Rudolph

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Painting the Amati Violin - Next Step

Continuing on with the next phase of the "Amati Violin" oil painting.   It is coming along nicely here....but hmmmm....what little "bird" should I use?   Since that is now my signature ( to put a bird into each of my paintings) I have to select just the perfect little "bird" for my painting that I will call "Pizzicato."

Tune in tomorrow to see the finished  piece.

To leave a comment, just click on the comment link.

Barbara Rudolph

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Painting the Amati Violin - Blocking in the color

This is the next stage of my "oil painting" where I am blocking in the color of the "Amati Violin."  I want to try and keep the highlighted areas of the old wood soft and light.  I have to allow the oil painting under layers to dry completely before I can apply the next layer.  I will always have about five or more  paintings going at a time so that no time is wasted while waiting for these areas to dry.  I can just switch back and forth between the different paintings.

Read more about this "Amati Violin" on the previous post. 
Your comments are always welcome too, just click on the comment link 

Barbara Rudolph

Friday, August 26, 2011

Painting the Amati Violin - A Musical and Visual Journey Combined

"The Amati Violin"
Chalked in drawing and just beginning the painting

In an era when the finest "violins" are fetching millions of dollars, you might wonder if such objects  ever reach the hands of violinists who are not millionaires. 
The 1620 Amati Violin owned by Bruce Babbitt
 I was so pleased to have experienced the pleasure of hearing my relative "Kristen Tourville's" Master's "violin" recital at Northern Arizona University last April.    Their friend and music patron Bruce Babbitt, generously loaned this beautiful instrument for her to play for her Master's recital.  Her own "violin" had been damaged and was not repaired in time for her recital.  This loan was made possible by the efforts of the "Wyatt Violin Shop" in Kansas City, Missouri.  (see link below)

I was able to snap a few quick photographs of the "Amati Violin" after the performance for painting reference.  It seemed the perfect inspiration I needed for my "musical themed paintings"  I am working on for my next "Celebration of Fine Art" show.  I could hardly wait to return home to my studio to begin a series of paintings.  The top image is just the beginning stage of the piece.  I had already painted my background of my canvas in oil and allowed it to dry.  My next step was to lay out the sketch for the beginning stages of the paintings.  I will post more of the "in-progress" images over the next few days.

About this very special violin:

This "violin" was made in 1620 and bears the original "Antonio and Hieronymus Amati" label.  It has four certificates including one by Daniel Draley putting it as the work, almost entirely, as that of Nicolo Amati.  It is an important instrument of historical significance.  Andreas Amati was the earliest maker of violins whose instruments still survive today.  He is credited for giving the modern violin family instruments their definitive profile.  His two sons Antonio and Girolamo (aka Hieronymus) "The Brothers Amati", as they were known, implemented far-reaching innovations in design.  Nicolo Amati entered the shop around 1620 at the age of only 14.  He was most likely doing the bulk of the work by the 1620's but the label on the violins from that period still reads "The Brothers Amati."  Famine and plague swept through Cremona in the 1630's.  In this city of violin makers, Nicolo was the only violin maker who survived.  This historic twist is that not only was he the only one to survive, but he is considered to be the best craftsman of all the violin makers in this family.  This shop flourished for its violin production but it also produced some of the most promising violin apprentices of all time, including Andrea Guarneri, Francesco Ruggieri, and a young Antonio Stradivari.

The backside of the Amati

After the performance.
The Beautiful Kristen Tourville (on the right) and her lovely sister Emily. 
 My cousin Katie (their proud mother is hiding behind)  

A little bit about Kristen Tourville
She received her Bachelor of Music from Vanderbilt University in 2005 as a student of Dr. Carolyn Huebl.  While pursuing her classical studies as well as traditional fiddling techniques, she was a member of both the Vanderbilt symphony and various quartets as well as the founder of Vanderbillies, a bluegrass fiddling trio.  She performed for various functions on the Nashville music scene including playing on the Grand Ole Opry with Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel.   Kristen's dream is to impart some of the beautiful teaching moments upon the next generation of musicians.

Please check back in soon to see this painting of the "Amati Violin" in progress

If you would like to leave a comment, just click on the comment link...thank you. 

Barbara Rudolph

Monday, August 22, 2011

Saturday Afternoon - Paint Chip Project

Needing a break from my many paintings in progress and an extremely busy schedule lately, I had a sudden impulse on Saturday to make something new.  I recently read a "DIY" (Do It Yourself) decorating blog where they had made something out of all of those extra "paint sample chips" that had been accumulating over the years.  I have an old rod iron table that I left out in the sun and rain for a long time next to my BBQ.  It had a good frame on it, but was black and getting ugly and worn.  The wood on the two shelves were getting cracked and even a bit warped, but I decided it be the victim for my Saturday afternoon makeover project.  (Which actually ran into Sunday and Monday morning a little too.)  

I am sorry to say that I got so into the project that I completely forgot to take photos of it before, but trust was "ugly."
This is one of the old wood shelves as I started the project.  I began by cleaning it off and then painting both sides of each shelf blue.  I just used acrylic paint because that is what I had on hand.  I also collected up all of my paint chips that I had that were in the light blue, green, violets and soft yellows.   I measured my "paint chips" into 2" x 3" pieces and cropped each one with an Xacto knife.

Then I went outside and spray painted the rod iron frame of my table with gloss enamel from Home Depot.
The frame of the table - finished
Shelf painted in blue to match iron frame

Then I laid out all of my supplies and decided where each square of color would be placed on the top shelf of my table.  I spray glued each square "paint chip" one by one and positioned it on my table top.  I left just a small space between each "paint chip" to give it a little bit of a mosaic look.
Supplies I used
"Really Easy"

The gel medium applied here, but will dry clear 

Once dry, I coated the top with 2 coats of Liquitex acrylic matte medium, then two coats of Golden Extra Heavy Gel Gloss.  These are the supplies I had on hand, so I used them.  The idea I saw on the "Addicted to Decorating" blog post used something called Modge Podge, which I didn't have.  So I just used what I already had in my art studio, but be sure and let each layer dry completely in between layers.

I then stained the top 
I hand rubbed in a wash of "raw umber" acrylic over the top of my table to create a little distressed and antique look.  Once dry, I varnished it with a satin varnish.  Then I placed my shelves into the table frame and now it is "Finished!"

I would love to hear your comments too.  Just click on the comment link to leave your message.

My inspiration for this project came from:

And her post idea came from "Hope Studios"

Barbara Rudolph