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Feelings of Visual Storytelling


Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

“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 oftentimes humorous work. Barbara specializes in realistic oil paintings that often include a little bird or animal placed in an unexpected place as opposed to its natural habitat. The viewer may find a little bird perched on top of a musical instrument, a stack of books, and antiques or even vintage sports equipment. This sometimes-whimsical arrangement of objects helps to invite the viewer back into a moment in time. Her titles are fun and play an important part in her storytelling. Barbara’s painting themes are captivatingly unique, and with the goal of telling a story that will delight and bring joy into the lives of others.

Growing up in the Phoenix area, her artistic journey began when she was quite young and has been a constant focus throughout her adult life. Her late father, who carved birds for a hobby, was a large inspiration for her latest series of oil paintings that include birds.  Throughout her life many contemporary realism artists have influenced Barbara’s painting style.  She especially appreciates work that portrays high quality realism and at the same time, explores and incorporates new methods and techniques.    

 In 1990, Barbara earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University in painting and printmaking. She continued her studies in painting by enrolling in a variety of classes and workshops. Her introduction into the professional art world was in graphic design, followed by many years of painting for the fine art publishing business. 

Today, Barbara paints full time in her home studio. Each oil painting, done in a realistic style, can take a great deal of time, but Barbara enjoys immersing herself in the process of rendering exact detail. Hard work, focus, and developing her personal style in the world of realism have paid off. As her work advanced in quality and skill, Barbara was accepted into the prestigious “International Guild of Realism.” Barbara comments, “Membership has kept me striving to produce my best possible work.”

Barbara’s work has been seen in Southwest Art Magazine and the American Art Collector, as well as purchased for 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 and to create new contacts, as well. She is also a member of the Sonoran Arts League and participates in the annual Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour every November. Over the years, Barbara’s work has supported local causes, such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Child Crisis Nursery, The Art of Music (Tucson Symphony), and Art from the Heart (Free Arts for Abused Children), to name a few.

To view a selection of Barbara Rudolph’s work, keep up with her exhibition schedule, buy a piece, or commission one of your own, contact her via

Contact arts columnist Shea Stanfield at