Featured Artist Kathryn Rutherford

Artist Kathryn Rutherford uses storytelling elements in her complex realistic paintings. Enjoy her portfolio and learn more by visiting her website.


Painting of a young boy holding a jar filled with fireflies by Kathryn Rutherford

“Fascination” Oil on Wrapped Canvas, 18” x 20”


Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, I’ve always preferred to draw and paint realistically. That ability came in handy when, at age fifteen, I began my professional fine art career by painting watercolour portraits at an amusement park on an island in the Detroit River.


painting of a transparent rainbow colored figure by Kathryn Rutherford

“Healing From The Inside” Oil on Wrapped Canvas, 20” x 40”


While studying at Arizona State, one of four universities I attended to obtain degrees and teaching certificates in art, music, special ed, art history and English, I was criticized by professors. They said that if realism was all I could do, I should buy a camera and take pictures.


painting of a woman wearing a flowing robe in a forest by Kathryn Rutherford

“Communing With Nature” Oil on Wrapped Canvas, 22” x 34”


I believed that there had to be a reason I was skilled in realism. While I concentrated on a career teaching high school and college fine art, I trained in photographic and fine art restoration, where painting realistically was absolutely essential.


painting of crystal by Kathryn Rutherford

“Midnight Crystal” Oil on Canvas, 22” x 30”


After opening the Heirloom Art Studio, I was soon shipping paintings, portraits and restorations to seventeen countries throughout the world.


painting of a ghost looking in a mirror by Kathryn Rutherford

“Mirror, Mirror On The Wall” Oil on Canvas, 20” x 24”


Funny story—the original name of the company was the Mucha Studio of Art. I married the great-nephew of the famous Art Nouveau artist, Alphonse Mucha. The marriage didn’t last, and I thought it best to change my company name when I found lasting love with my current husband. You could say that was my fifteen minutes of fame. Fortunately, there are many other accolades of which I am very proud.


Tintype restoration process of a black and white photograph by Kathryn Rutherford

Fuji Masterpiece Award Tintype Restoration, Photography, 3″ x 2″


I have a multitude of awards and degrees. I’ve received special recognition with the Masterpiece Award from the Fuji Corporation for inventing a way to bring back the image on blackened tintypes. It is my Spirit Paintings, however, that are now drawing attention.


painting of a little ballerina watching a ballerina music box with a ghost ballerina in the background by Kathryn Rutherford

“Pas de Deux – A Dance For Two” Oil on Canvas, 22” x 36”


These paintings, much like the work of the Pre-Raphaelites and French artist, Tissot (whom I studied in depth), are meant to be storytelling portraits. They capture a lost loved one, an object, folklore or a metaphysical concept in layer upon layer of glazed oil paint. These transparent, ghostly portraits, are rendered in black and white. Then they are layered to develop deep shadows, contrasting highlights and create dynamic colours.


painting of a mom and daughters cooking with female ghosts from their family looking on by Kathryn Rutherford

“The Cooking Lesson” Oil on Canvas, 36” x 22”


The goal of each painting is to create an emotional or psychological attraction between the viewer and the art. The more the viewer relates to the subject, the more the painting draws them into the story or concept. When a customer orders their own commissioned Spirit Painting, I am taking the ordinary story of their lives and turning that into masterpieces for their walls.


painting of a the ghost of a girl trapped in a sinking boat by Kathryn Rutherford

“Trapped” Oil on Canvas, 18” x 30”


I’ve taught fine art and English in high schools and colleges in Canada and the United States. My next goal is to put my knowledge online, in classes and workshops, for worldwide purchase reaching out to a wider base of students than can be taught at my studio.


painting of a young gowned woman holding a crystal ball by Kathryn Rutherford

“Release Your Inner Light” Oil on Wrapped Canvas, 20” x 40”


Imagine what began as a summer job painting portraits just to make a little money turned out to be a life-long career that can “Bring Back Memories of Another Time” and “Turn Memories into Masterpieces.”


Artist Kathryn Rutherford invites you to follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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