Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Bronze Process by Ken Newman.wmv

Here is a wonderful video of the Bronze process by museum artist (and friend) "Ken Newman."  His masterful creations in wood and bronze are truly incredible.  He and Debbie are on the road now heading to their next show now in "Sioux Falls, South Dakota" for the Sculpture Walk.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Bird Blog - Most Beautiful Birding Blog ever: "iwings" (A Must See)

"Robin Singing" 
Photograph taken by  Henny Netjes ( iwings ) from the Netherlands

I have to tell you about the most beautiful "birding blog" I have ever seen.  It is by "Henny Negjes" from the "Netherlands."  The name of her blog is "iwings".   

Her bird photography is outstanding and absolutely delightful!  She also includes wonderful small sketches and short poems on her blog too.  I came across her blog "iwings" a while back and just wanted to share it.  Although her photography is copyrighted, you can view the most spectacular images of birds from her region of the world.  

photograph by Henny Netjes  -  "iwings"

I haven't been to the "Netherlands" since 1985.  I hope to go again some day.  When I think back about my trip to "Holland"  I remember how beautiful it was.  Huge fields of tulips and the most colorful gardens, with windmills spread out across the lush landscape.   

I wish I had been interested in "birds" back then so I could have appreciated all of the gorgeous "birds" there. They say that "Holland" is best explored by bicycle.  I remember spending a day biking through the countryside so many years ago.  When the flower bulbs are blooming, this is one of the most colorful regions in the world.  For a relatively small country, the Netherlands boasts a rich variety of nature.

Take a visit to a garden in the Netherlands through "Henny Netjes" blog called "iwings"....and you can see some gorgeous "photography on birds," flowers and nature.

she calls it "iwings"  =  "Give My Eyes Wings"

Click on her site here:
Henny Netjes Blog: iwings

You can follow her blog too...or leave her a comment


Barbara Rudolph Fine Art
email me
my website

Friday, April 25, 2014

Botanical Garden Photos for painting reference

Images taken at the Desert Botanical Garden

(except for the lesser goldfinch....which was taken in my backyard)

I am beginning a few more of my commissioned paintings today, so my post is just a little photography of mine from the "Desert Botanical Gardens."  Not an actual painting post today but I will be posting some of the new "in-progress" paintings soon.


This is another cute picture from my backyard with the daddy quail that has been caring for his 13 babies all by himself this week.  He is definitely a "stay at home dad" because I haven't seen the mama quail at all.  It was late afternoon when I took this picture, so there are a lot of shadows...but still a pretty cute photo of the proud father.

 (click on the image to see a better close up of the baby quail)

"Who Goes There?"

Barbara Rudolph

Thursday, April 24, 2014

State Bird of Florida painting - Mockingbird

The State Bird of Florida

I just finished up another oil painting of my "State Bird" series of paintings.  The "State Bird of Florida" will be the last one that I post for a while.  I have to move on to some new things now. The "State Bird" series is painted over vintage maps and includes the actual "State Bird Postage Stamp."  The "bird" is then painted in oil over the map.  

Each canvas measures 12x5x1" on the originals.  I will be offering this series in a giclee edition on paper through my website.  The latest ones will be added in May and will be available for purchase.

Barbara Rudolph

Detail of State Bird of Florida
(click on to view larger)

The following information was taken from the Florida Department of State Historical Resource:

The State Bird:Mockingbird

The common mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is a superb songbird and mimic. Its own song has a pleasant lilting sound and is, at times, both varied and repetitive. Often, the mockingbird sings all night long, especially under bright springtime moonlight.
Mockingbirds are usually about ten inches in length, with a fifteen-inch wingspan, grayish upper portions, white undersides, and white patches on the tail and wings. The female has slightly less whiteness in its feathers than the male.
The mockingbird is helpful to humans because it usually feeds on insects and weed seeds. In the summer and fall, it also eats ripe berries.
The nest, a joint project of the male and female mockingbird, is a bulky, open cup of grass, twigs, and rootlets carelessly arranged in a dense tree or bush. The three to six eggs per nest are a pale blue-green with brown spots. This year-round Florida resident is known for its fierce defense of the family nest.

Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 3 of the 1927 legislative session designated the mockingbird as the state bird. Not only a Florida favorite, it is also the state bird of Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

State Bird of California - 'California Quail' by Barbara Rudolph

"The California Quail"

This is the next completed painting from my "State Bird" series of oil paintings.  It is painted on 12x5x1"canvas. This commissioned painting is sold, however I will be offering it in a giclee edition on paper very soon.  You can visit my website in early May to see the latest editions to my "State Bird" paintings.  It is painted in oil over a section of a vintage California state map.  The "California quail" is really a beautiful bird but I have to say....that since I live in Arizona, and we have the "Gambel's quail" here, and I find it hard to tell the difference between them.  

Here is a little information about the "Quail" from the "Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

California Quail

The California Quail is a handsome, round soccer ball of a bird with a rich gray breast, intricately scaled underparts, and a curious, forward-drooping head plume. Its stiffly accented Chi-ca-go call is a common sound of the chaparral and other brushy areas of California and the Northwest. Often seen scratching at the ground in large groups or dashing forward on blurred legs, California Quail are common but unobtrusive. They flush to cover if scared, so approach them gently.

Gambel's Quail

A bird of the Desert Southwest, Gambel's Quail is common in much of the Southwest, particularly southern Arizona and New Mexico. Here they look and act very much like the more widespread California Quail, but the two species' ranges do not overlap. Look for these tubby birds running between cover in suburbs and open desert or posting a lookout on low shrubs.
Detail shot of the "California Quail" painting with the "State Bird" postage stamp

Barbara Rudolph

Here are some photos I took yesterday of the "Gambel's quail" in my backyard.  The father "quail" has been keeping watch over his 13 babies.  I haven't seen the female quail at all, so I fear something must have happened to her.  He is taking excellent care of his family though.  I really have to do some tricks to get photos of them through my window.   (It's no wonder why my back hurts) 

Uh-Oh....he sees me through the window here.
Look closely...he has gathered all but the two babies on the right side
...under his belly.  It is really amazing to watch.  He plumps up to gather
all of the babies underneath for protection. 

He caught me......He calls his little ones....RUN!  


Thanks for stopping by

Friday, April 18, 2014

What's Happening In the Studio Today?

I just finished up several more of my "State Bird" oil paintings....and also a request for a "cardinal" oil painting.  I actually have painted this image of the cardinal fact it is also available in note cards.  It was a commissioned request, so I decided to paint it once again.  It is in the same size as the "State Bird" oil paintings are.  

I will be posting the next couple of "State Bird" paintings in the next few days.  Today...I am not painting because I pulled my back out.  Not fun...but it does make for more time for posting some of the new images onto my blog.  

Here is a snapshot of a corner of my studio today with several more of the State Bird paintings

Each canvas measures 12 x 5 x 1"  and is painted around the edge of the canvas.  The "State Birds" will be available soon in giclee editions through my website.

This is a photo of the finished cardinal.  They are so beautiful.  I love the way the red really pops on a dark painted background.

I start with a black gesso and then let that dry.  I then paint the background in oil with a mix of burnt umber, French ultramarine blue and a small touch of ivory black.

The male Northern Cardinal is perhaps responsible for getting more people to open up a field guide than any other bird. They’re a perfect combination of familiarity, conspicuousness, and style: a shade of red you can’t take your eyes off. Even the brown females sport a sharp crest and warm red accents. Cardinals don’t migrate and they don’t molt into a dull plumage, so they’re still breathtaking in winter’s snowy backyards. In summer, their sweet whistles are one of the first sounds of the morning.

(The information above is from the Cornell Lab of

Barbara Rudolph

And........this is what's happening right now outside my window:

Lesser Goldfinch

Have a Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

State Bird of New Jersey - oil painting - American Goldfinch

The American Goldfinch
State Bird Painting

This is another of my "State Bird" oil paintings.  The "American Goldfinch" is the "State Bird" of "New Jersey."   This painting is 12 x 5" on custom  stretched canvas.  It is painted over a vintage map and includes the actual "state bird postage stamp."  The original oil painting is sold, but I will be doing a series of "giclee" paper edition prints.  They will be for sale soon through my website.

New Jersey designated the "American Goldfinch" (Carduelis tristis) as the official state bird in 1935.  It is also called a wild canary.  It is a typical North American seed-eating member of the finch family, averaging 4-1/4 inches in length.  The "goldfinch" mainly eats seeds from dandelions, sunflowers, ragweed and evening primrose.

The "goldfinch" breeds across southern Canada from British Columbia to Newfoundland and through most of the United States north of the Gulf of Mexico and the core of Southwestern States.  In the springtime, they molt all but their black wing and tail feathers and their bills turn orange.  The males are a brilliant canary yellow with a jet black cap and a beautiful song.  Their winter plumage is a duller olive brown with some yellow still showing on the head.

Check back in again see more of the "State Bird" series of paintings.
Your comments are always appreciated!

Barbara Rudolph
my website

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

State Bird of Maine oil painting "Black Capped Chickadee


Black-capped chickadee  -  The State Bird of Maine

I have just completed another one of my "State Bird" oil paintings.  Each one is painted over a vintage map of the state and includes other collage elements in the underpainting.  I always paint the "bird" in oil and finish it off with the State Bird postage stamp.  The image above is just a snapshot of the completed original.  I will have it professionally scanned for giclee (prints), and they will be crystal clear and available for purchase through my website soon.


The black-capped chickadee is a common backyard bird that inhabits the northern two thirds of the United States and Canada.  It is also the State bird of Massachusetts.  In the above painting, I was commissioned to paint the "State Bird" of Maine, and this is the finished piece.  

The Chickadees are found deep in the forests and suburban areas.  Maine designated the black-capped chickadee as the official state bird in 1927.  It is a very sociable bird that does not migrate.  (I wish we had them here in the desert Southwest.)  The "black-capped chickadee"  (Poecile atricapillus) is a member of the titmouse family. 

The chickadee has a very unique call that is one of the most complex in the animal kingdom.  They are monogamous and when they pair up they remain together for life.  The female builds the nest in abandoned woodpecker cavities or nesting boxes.  The male chickadee feeds the female during the nest building and also when she is brooding her six to eight eggs.  Both parents will share the job of feeding the babies.

The size of my "State Bird"  paintings are 12x5"

Each on is painted on custom stretched canvas. The edges are painted black.

The original oil of the State Bird of Maine, is already sold, however I will offer it in a giclee print edition very soon.

You can visit my website soon to see this and other of my State Bird oil painting series.

Barbara Rudolph

Sunday, April 13, 2014

State Birds - Painting project continued with 4 more States

Getting my supplies together here with vintage maps of the United States and the "commemorative state bird US postal stamps."

I received a commission at my recent art show to do four more of my "State Birds" oil painting series. I will be showing some of my in-progress work here on the "State Birds" of "Maine",  "New Jersey", "Florida" and of "California."

Below is a photo (example) of two of my "State Birds" that are already finished.  The State bird of "Wyoming" - the "Western Meadowlark" .... and also the "State Bird of "New York" - the "Eastern Bluebird."

Each bird is painted with oil paint on custom stretched canvas.  The image below shows an example of the "giclee" (professional quality print) that is available of each of my completed "State Bird" paintings.  The original oil painting of the "New York State Bird" has already sold, and the original painting of Wyoming's State Bird is for sale in a gallery in Wyoming.  The giclees are lovely and are also quite popular.  You can email me if you are interested in purchasing one of the "State Bird" originals or giclees.

Below is an example of one of the steps in "State Bird" paintings in progress. I have what is called a "mixed medium" background where I adhere the pieces of the "vintage maps" onto my canvas.  I also include a few collage elements with music sheets, and in some cases architectural design elements.

I cannot show the entire state map on these because of the size restrictions of my canvas.  I chose to work on a custom size canvas of 12 x 5" each.  I want to keep that size consistent throughout all of my "State Bird" paintings.  These paintings are not really about the maps, they are about the State Birds... and the state map in the underpainting is just really for interest.  I will include the actual "State Bird" postage stamp in the final stages of my paintings.

In the image below you can see an example of the "Chickadee" - the "State Bird" of "Maine" in progress.  It is in the center showing an example of two of the finished "State Bird" pieces.  It is not finished yet...but I will be posting more images as I complete them.

Below is a photograph of the "State Bird" of "Florida" in progress.  It is the "Mockingbird."  (The mockingbird is also the "State Bird" of "Texas." (Which I have already completed...and it's available for purchase.  see my website)   Many of the States share the same "State Bird."  As I work through the United States I will always choose a different oil painting of the bird for that State, keeping it unique.  It may be years before I complete the entire US, because I am focused on other commissions currently, but I will be adding 4-6 new ones a year.  I will do them in the order that they are requested through commissions.  What is nice about that is the fact that I can make sure "your" city is not covered up by the painting of the bird.  (If you commission your "State Bird" to be painted.)

I hope you enjoy them.  Please check back soon to see the completed works of:  Maine, New Jersey, Florida, and California.

Barbara Rudolph
my website
email me

Friday, April 4, 2014

"Well Traveled" Oil painting with old trunk, sparrows and WW2 map

"Well Traveled"

This new oil painting was fun and challenging.  It was painted in oil on canvas.  I was invited to take some photographs of an old suitcase and thought that it would eventually make a nice painting.  Since I specialize in painting "birds" I wanted to some how tell a story with this old trunk.  I had the finished painting hanging at my recent art show in Scottsdale, and it was interesting to watch just who got close enough to look at it and appreciate the details in the painting.  What really made it so interesting to me was the old military map at the bottom.  (So much history there..... I found this old map and how it had a story all of it's own)

Since this painting is rather monochromatic, I had to create a little interest to bring some attention to the old WW2 map at the bottom of the painting.  The map was from England, and the soft faded blue color helped to draw the eye in for a closer look.  

Even while I painted in this old map, I found myself thinking a lot about the journey it once had and who it traveled with it so long ago.

There is definitely some history behind this old map.  Who did it once belong too?  Who wrote the notes at the bottom of the map?  How long was it carried through the war and did "he" or "they" survive the journey?  

The date on the Army service map is 1944.  

In Europe, June 6, 1944, Dwight Eisenhower, the commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in World War II gave the go-ahead for a massive invasion of Europe called "Operation Overlord --
D-Day by British, Canadian and American forces and a million Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy in northern France

The title of my painting is "Well Traveled."  It started out as just another oil painting with "birds"
but after discovering the "old maps", the painting took on a whole new life and meaning to me.  I really appreciated it when someone got up close and personal to look at the whole painting and to feel a connection to it.....and message in "the journey."   It's interesting, because most people just passed by it and never really saw it, but those who did....were really touched by it.   By the way....I just sold it!  It didn't last very long, but I am so pleased that it found a new home in Michigan.

Here are some images of the old suitcase that started the idea:

It has so much character.  I loved the dark color and the worn out texture.
It even still has the old ticket stub attached

Thanks for looking!

Barbara Rudolph

In case your interested:
I found this link on the internet that shares an article and short video about D-Day.  It is very touching and quite emotional.  It is from the History channel.