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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

Visual Storytelling

"It is through realism painting; I call forth universal feelings of visual storytelling."

This quote identifies the magical qualities in local artist Barbara Rudolph's sensitive, introspective, and clever work. Barbara specializes in realistic oil paintings that usually include a little bird or animal placed in an unexpected place rather than in its natural habitat. The viewer may find a little bird perched on top of a musical instrument, a stack of books, antiques, or even vintage sports equipment. The whimsical arrangement of objects helps to invite the viewer back into a moment in time. Barbara's titles are fun and play an essential part in her storytelling. Her creative painting themes are a peak into telling a story designed to bring joy into the lives of others.

Growing up in the Phoenix area, Barbara's artistic journey began when she was young and has continued to be a focus throughout her adult life. Her late father, who carved birds for a hobby, was a significant inspiration for her latest series of oil paintings where small birds are included. Many contemporary realism artists have influenced Barbara's painting style throughout her life; she's especially attracted to work that portrays high-quality realism and incorporates new methods and techniques. In 1990, Barbara earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University in painting and printmaking. She has continued her studies in painting by enrolling in various classes and workshops. Her introduction to the professional art world was through graphic design, followed by many years of painting for a fine art publishing business.

Today, Barbara paints full-time in her home studio. Each oil painting, done in a realistic style, takes a great deal of time, but Barbara enjoys immersing herself in the process of rendering exact details in each of her pieces. Over the years hard work, focus, and developing her style, in the world of realism, have paid off. As her work advanced in quality and skill, Barbara gained admission into the prestigious International Guild of Realism where the competition is stiff and the standards are high. Barbara comments, "Membership has kept me striving to produce my best possible work."

"It is through realism painting; I call forth universal feelings of visual storytelling."

Barbara's work has appeared in Southwest Art Magazine and the American Art Collector. She also enjoys the patronage of both private and public collections. Barbara exhibits her work annually with the Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale, where she loves the opportunity to meet her clients, many of which consign a painting from her during the year.

She is also a member of the Sonoran Arts League and participates in the annual Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour each November and she continues to enjoy a long-standing membership in the International Guild of Realism (IGOR). Over the years, Barbara's work has supported local causes such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Child Crises Nursery, The Art of Music (Tucson Symphony), and Art from the Heart (Free Arts for Abused Children).


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