Friday, December 27, 2013

The Sunflower Sparrow - oil painting with sunflower and sparrow

"The Sunflower Sparrow"

oil on canvas

I just finished this small oil painting with a "sparrow" sitting on a "sunflower."  The colors are bright and cheerful, and it measures 8 x 10".  I will have it framed this week and it will be available at the upcoming "Celebration of Fine Art Show" which opens on January 11th.

Barbara Rudolph


Sunflower seeds are a favorite for attracting birds:

Sunflower (Helianthus annuus):
Attracting Birds
Black-oiled Sunflower Seeds
The black-oiled-sunflower seeds are grown commercially for their oils which are pressed from the seeds. Margarine is one of the main products produced from the oils, unlike the white-striped sunflower seeds that produce lower amounts of oil and are grown for human consumption.
Sunflower seeds are without a doubt, the most popular birdseed among the largest group of bird species. Sunflower seeds come in two types, the smaller variety called the black-oil sunflower seed and the larger variety called the (gray or white)striped sunflower seed.

The smaller black-oiled sunflower seed is the overall favorite because of a weaker outer shell casing, which smaller birds have an easier time removing. The white-striped sunflower seeds were the earlier variety and the most popular seed before the black-oiled sunflower seeds took over. The black-oiled sunflower seed has a higher ratio of meat per seed than the white-striped sunflower seed variety. Attracting birds such as Black-capped Chickadees, Nuthatches, Juncos, Sparrows, Goldfinches, all other finches in general, Grosbeaks, Doves, Cardinals, Woodpeckers and Red-winged Blackbirds, making it the most popular choice of birdseed to offer.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Dog portrait in oil - "Ashley"


Oil Painting on canvas

I have been away from blogging for some time now since I lost the hard drive on my old computer.  I am finally getting back to work and have quite a few new paintings to post.  Taking a little break from my usual "bird" oil paintings, I painted this little "dog" above as a Christmas gift for a friend.

This is "Ashley."  She is a beautiful rescue "puppy" that my friend adopted.  She was actually adopted the same day I also rescued a small dog.  My little dog, unfortunately had been infected by the Parvo virus and became terribly ill and passed away within the week I had adopted her.  

Ashley, on the other hand is doing quite well and is a mixed breed, perhaps with some Australian Shepard in the mix.  Her hair is soft and has beautiful shades of reds, blond and brown.  I decided she would make a great subject to paint.

Here is an in-progress photo of her on my easel.  I had taken some earlier images of the in-progress painting, however they seem to have gotten lost when my computer crashed.

Now......I've got to get back to the "birds"   My next show is opening very soon.

The "Celebration of Fine Art" opens on January 11th, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Barbara Rudolph

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hidden In The Hills Studio Tour opens this Friday....visit Studio #23

This Friday will be the first day of the "Hidden In The Hills" studio tour and sale.  I will be at studio #23 which is the studio of artist "Jossy Lownes."  Another well known landscape painter, "Becky Joy" will also be at this location.  The three of us also participate in the "Celebration of Fine Art" show which opens in January.  We are all very excited about the opportunity to meet with you and to share a sneak peak at many of our new paintings.  If you are in the area this weekend or next .... be sure and stop by for look.  We are located just off of Scottsdale Rd and Jomax.  There will be signs out to help you find us.  There are several other studio tours on Jomax as well, so be sure and visit a few of them on your way out to Carefree.

The map of all the participating artists can be found here:
Hidden In the Hills

Also see:
My Website: Barbara Rudolph

Becky Joy's website

Jossy Lownes website

email me

"The Quails"

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"The Playoffs" - Baltimore Orioles Baseball painting

"The Playoffs"

This new oil painting "The Playoffs" features a "Baltimore Oriole" sitting on a couple of baseball gloves.  It measures 11 x 14" and is available for purchase at the "Celebration of Fine Art" show in Scottsdale, which opens in January.  

Barbara Rudolph

Sunday, November 10, 2013

"The Playoffs" - Baltimore Oriole Baseball painting in progress

"The Playoffs"  -  In-progress

Since my last post, I decided to paint in a "Baltimore Oriole" into my oil painting in progress.  I had already been thinking that would be the "bird" I wanted to paint since the "Orioles" were still in the "playoffs" at the time.  Now I know the "Red Sox" won, so I will have to come up with something fun to paint with a "Red Sox" theme.  But for now......tune in tomorrow to see the finished painting I call "The Playoffs."  

Barbara Rudolph

Friday, November 8, 2013

"The Playoffs" in-progress - baseball oil painting

"The Playoffs"

I enjoy painting "baseball" themed art.  I think its fun to try and capture the detail in the old leather and to tell a little story with each one I paint.  My work is really about "painting birds" and the last few years I have been incorporating the "birds" into still life arrangements, and also "sports themed" paintings.

This is an in-progress oil painting of 2 baseball gloves.  I started it during the 2013 "playoffs" baseball season.  You will have to tune in again to see which "bird" I chose to paint into my oil painting I call "The Playoffs."   It is 11 x 14" and this photo shows the early stage of the painting.  

Barbara Rudolph

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Boston Red Sox win the World Series - paintings

The "Boston Red Sox" beat the "St. Louis Cardinals" in Wednesday nights game 6 of the "World Series."

Since I love to paint "baseball" themed paintings, I am re posting a few favorite paintings that relate to the "Boston Red Sox" and the "St. Louis Cardinals"

"Did I Hear You Say Golf?  
With the Boston Red Sox hat and marked golf ball.

Available in giclee print on canvas

"The Best Game In The World"

Available in giclee print on canvas  12 x 16"

"Spring Training"

(This one is a personal favorite of mine)  It is available in giclee prints on canvas 11 x 14"
The Chickadee is also the state bird of Massachusetts

"The Boston Tea Party"

This is a brand new painting with the State
Bird of Massachusetts

Available in giclee prints 7 x 7"


Any of these would make a great gift too.
I hope your favorite team won!

Contact me for pricing and availability.

my website

More new baseball paintings are in the works now....stay tuned to see them or visit my website.
Barbara Rudolph

This image came from USA Today Sports - Greg M . Cooper

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Bluebird" - Oil Painting & "How to mix those beautiful blues for your painting"


This new little oil painting of a "Bluebird" is one I just finished up for my upcoming show.  It measures 5 7" and was painted on an "Ampersand Panel" - with a smooth finish.  I find that I prefer those panels now instead of stretched canvas because I can get twice the detail in half the amount of drying time.

Here are some of my secrets to achieve a nice "blue" color for your bluebird

My first secret is that I always start by priming my canvas or panel with black gesso.  By doing this simple step first, you can achieve much better depth and color brilliance.  If you put it to the test by painting on a pure white canvas, and then paint the same thing on a black canvas, you will find that painting over the dark one allows you skip many subsequent layers of color.  It takes a lot more painting layers and drying time to achieve a brilliant color over a white canvas as it does over the black one. 

Hint:  Take a day and prime a whole bunch of them at once with the black gesso, then when you are ready to paint, you will have them all ready to go.  I prefer "Liquitex Gesso."  I have tried other brands and they do not have the coverage Liquitex provides and also just don't go on as nice.  (in my opinion)

For mixing those beautiful "bluebird" blues: 
Try using ultramarine blue and phthalo blue.  Add white to the highlighted areas of your "bluebird."  
It's best to glaze on your colors (thin layers), that way they dry quicker and you can apply more coats and build up to the beautiful blue color in your bird.  I don't always like to follow rules in my paintings, so if I have a little "cerulean blue" on my palette, I may ad a tiny bit to lighten my blue mixture.  

A blue color can be made paler by adding a small amount of white without losing the quality of the blue color.  For the dark areas it's best to mix a little cadmium red to your blue instead of using "black."  I often will cheat and use a touch of black around the eye area.   

(Giclee prints of this painting are available)

Why is a bluebird blue?
(Taken from Young Naturalists publication)

The male bluebird has more success in attracting a mate, finding a place to nest, and producing a family of healthy young bluebirds.

Cool Color Facts 
-Bluebirds aren't really blue. They are gray. A bluebird’s feathers refract, or bend, light, 
so they look blue to us. When light enters a bluebird’s feather, it bounces off tiny air 
pockets and cells in such a way that only the blue wavelengths return to our eyes.
-Because a bluebird’s color depends on bouncing light, it can look different from a 
distance. From far away, a bluebird might look more like a plain grayish-brownish bird. 
But as you get closer, you’ll see that it looks brilliant blue.

Barbara Rudolph

Credit - I would like to give credit to the man who took the beautiful photograph of this lovely "bluebird" at the Grand Canyon.  His name is Ken Morgan, and he was kind enough  to allow me to paint it.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mini "Sparrow" oil painting - for Sonoran Arts League

"Little Sparrow"

The annual "Hidden In The Hills" - Studio tours will be coming soon.  It takes place during the weekends before and after Thanksgiving.  You have an opportunity to meet more than 160 "Sonoran Arts League" artists, demonstrating, exhibiting and selling their work at studios throughout the north valley.

One of the requirements of being a member of the "Sonoran Arts League" is to volunteer.  There is also an opportunity to paint some miniature paintings (2 x 2")  in trade for volunteering hours.  I decided to do half and half, so this little miniature "sparrow" oil painting is the first of four miniatures that I will be donating.

I will also be participating in the studio tour at "Studio #23" just east of Scottsdale Rd off Jomax Rd.
The 17th Annual Studio Tour and Sale catalogs are now out and include maps of all of the artists studios.  You can email me if you need more information, or visit the "Sonoran Arts League" website.  
Sonoran Arts League

Barbara Rudolph

Friday, October 18, 2013

International Guild of Realism (IGOR) show going on now

IGOR Show in Full Swing 

The Waiting Game 
by Ed Copley 
Oil on Linen 24 x 18 inches

This is the International Guild of Realism's annual art show, which is a combination museum exhibition and selling event. This time it is held at the Tempe Center for the Arts, Scottsdale, AZ. Of the 350 entries submitted by IGOR members, 104 paintings from 91 award winning artists from around the world were selected. The show is scheduled for October 4th - November 30th and includes works by ARC Living Master™ Vala Ola and Duffy Sheridan, and ARC Associate Living Master's Donald Clapper, James Van Fossan, Ed Copley, and Jon Boe Paulsen.

IGOR is an ARC Allied Organization.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

State Bird of Idaho - "Mountain Bluebird" - painting

"Mountain Bluebird"

The state bird of "Idaho"  -  "The Mountain Bluebird" is another painting from my "state bird series".  The "mountain bluebird" is painted in oil over a vintage state map of "Idaho".  It includes a beautiful postage stamp of the "Idaho" state bird."  

This original painting is available for sale and I also offer this in a giclee edition on paper, ready to frame. The giclees came out beautiful and are also for sale.  I will continue to post more of them as I get them photographed.

The price for the paper edition is only $95.00 and it includes a 1" white border around the image. 
Original oil painting - $550.00

Here is a detail of my State Bird of Idaho:

Barbara Rudolph

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pictures from the 8th Annual International Guild of Realism Juried Exhibition

 Last weekend was the opening for the 8th Annual "International Guild of Realism" show.  It was a three day event for the artists who traveled here for the festivities.  There are artists from 35 countries that are members of the Guild, and 30 of the artists were able to attend this wonderful event even from as far away as Norway. artist - Jon Boe Paulsen  

My daughter Emily in the center (with the red hair) came as my guest, and myself  (next to her in the black dress).  It was a spectacular night at the VIP opening party.  The show is hanging through November 30th, at the:  "Tempe Center for the Arts."

 Some of the award winners above
(link to all the artists and winners below)

One of my favorite artists has two gorgeous paintings in this exhibition
James Van Fossan

The lovely talented Painter and Poet "Mary Jane Q Cross"
I enoyed meeting her so much!
Her beautiful painting called "Gently Letting Go" is quite large and spectacular
in person.  She paints with her fingers, no brushes - AMAZING!

Artist Josh Tiessen looking at some of the paintings in the show
He is the youngest member of the Realism Guild 
and is an amazing artist

 We had a performance by one of the X-Factor finalists and 
also guitar played by James Van Fossan

At the public opening - last day of events
Show will hang through Nov. 30th
My daughter and I at the VIP opening.  Standing on the
lake in front of the gallery 

There are so many amazing artists in this exhibition, and I was just thrilled to be a part of it.   Here are just a few of the artists websites listed below...but for a complete list go to:  to see all of them.  Also there is a wonderful article in this months "American Art Collector" magazine about the "International Guild of Realism show."  You can pick up a copy of the magazine in your local bookstore or online.

Here are just a few of the artists in the show:

Ed Copley   -
Jerry Berg -
Donald Clapper  -
Karen Yee  -
Camille Engel  -
Marsha Chandler  -
Vala Ola  -
Lee Alban  -
Linda Besse  -
Karen Budan  -
Paula  Henchell  -

See everyone in the show here:
International Guild of Realism


Barbara Rudolph
my website

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mockingbird - State Bird of Texas - Painting

New Painting   
"Mockingbird" -  The State Bird of Texas 

I finished another painting in my "State Bird" series.  This one features the "Mockingbird" which is the state bird of  "Texas."  This series is painted on gallery wrapped canvas 12 x 5".  The background includes an old vintage map of the state of "Texas."  There are some miscellaneous collage elements in the background of the painting included with the old map.  The "Mockingbird" is painted in oil over the background.  I also include the actual "Texas" postage stamp in the painting.  

This original painting is available for sale and I also offer this in a giclee edition on paper, ready to frame. The giclees came out beautiful and I think my "Texas" state bird is one of my favorites so far.  I will continue to post more of them as I get them photographed.

The price for the paper edition is only $95.00 and it includes a 1" white border around the image. 
Original oil painting - $550.00

Here is a detail of my State Bird of Texas:

Please email me if you would like to order one.  (Makes a great gift)

Barbara Rudolph

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"The Yellow Box" Bird Painting by Barbara Rudolph

"The Yellow Box"
6 x 12"  oil on canvas

"The Yellow Box" is a brand new oil painting of a "Blackburnian Warbler."  I think "warblers" are all beautiful, however this painting was inspired by an old wood carving of my late father's and a little "yellow box" that I have had laying around for many years.  The colors in the "bird" fit in nicely with the color of the little box from Mexico.  

I sometimes like to set up my still life arrangements a bit off centered.  I actually prefer them this way because I feel like it helps create a certain "mood" to the painting.  I paint in a cast shadow coming from the main objects in my painting to create the illusion of space.

I also take lots of pictures of my arrangements first then have a look at which one will work the best for the composition.  "The Yellow Box" is as simple of an arrangement as you can get, but I really love the finished look of a simple arrangement as much as my more complex paintings.

This is a photo of the actual wood carving and the yellow box used in this painting

Here is a picture of the framed painting:

I have a few shows coming up this fall and winter, so it will be available for purchase.  I may do some prints of it too.

Barbara Rudolph

Celebration of Fine Art


Here is some information about "Blackburnian Warblers" too.  It was taken from the "All about Birds" webpage.  You can visit their link below and then even here the lovely sound this bird makes.

Blackburnian Warbler

A bird of the coniferous forests of the Northeast, the Blackburnian Warbler is breathtaking in its brilliant orange-and-black breeding plumage.

Adult Description

  • Small songbird.
  • Brilliant orange throat.
  • Orange yellow eyebrow.
  • Small black face mask.
  • Broad white wingbars.

Male Description

Breeding (Alternate) Plumage: Throat and upper breast deep orange. Sides of neck, eyestripe, line on forecrown, and eye arc yellow-orange. Face patch, crown, and back black. Lower breast yellowish with black streaks on sides. Belly white or yellowish. Wings black with broad white wingbars that run together into a white patch. Back black with two creamy white lines. Tail black with large white patches in outer tail feathers. 
Nonbreeding (Basic) Plumage: Similar to breeding, but oranges less intense and more yellow. Olive edges to black back feathers. Wingbars more distinct and less of a continuous white patch.

Friday, August 16, 2013

"The Goldfinch Sonata" - oil painting of goldfinch on violin

 "The Goldfinch Sonata"

 This is a brand new "oil painting" of two little "goldfinch" sitting on a "violin."  I love to paint "birds" in still-life settings, and often with "musical instruments." I have these pretty little birds all over my backyard now because I have been feeding them for a couple of years.  I manage to get quite a few wonderful photographs of them right through my window.  I frequently use dark backgrounds in my "oil paintings" and these little yellow birds show up quite nice in my compositions.

I took this photo of one of my little goldfinch friends about a week ago.  We actually had a little rain that day which was a nice treat since it's been well over 100 degrees here.

This new oil painting, "The Goldfinch Sonata" measures 8 x 10".  I also am doing "limited edition giclees on canvas" of them. They look wonderful unframed on an easel too.  I just got them back from my printer and they look fabulous. (The photos here read a little dark - I just took them this morning rather quickly.)  The original oil painting is also for sale, and I am planning on showing it at the next "Celebration of Fine Art" show in January.  

"The Goldfinch Sonata" original painting is custom framed in the most beautiful "Italian moulding."  It is a little sneak preview of the upcoming "Celebration of Fine Art show".  It takes me all summer and fall to produce enough new paintings for this amazing show...and I always save my favorite pieces for it. - so you wont find it on my website quite yet. 

If you are interested in one of the limited editions, please contact me for more information.

Barbara Rudolph
my website
Celebration of Fine Art

Backyard Tips

Lesser Goldfinches readily come to feeders along with other finches such as American Goldfinches and Pine Siskins. These small finches eat many kinds of seeds from the sunflower family, including the thin-hulled seeds of nyjer thistle.

Find This Bird

Look for Lesser Goldfinches among large flocks of birds at feeder stations, and near the tops of taller trees in scrubby habitats. The all-black cap on the Lesser is a good clue to distinguishing among mixed goldfinch groups. Also keep an eye out for bright yellow birds in weedy fields clinging to the top of thistle plants that have gone to seed.