Thursday, 28 May 2015

Acadian Spring

Acadian Spring, 36" x 48", oil on canvas,sold
"The estuarine environment is characterised by having a constantly changing mixture of salt and freshwater, and by being dominated by fine sedimentary material carried into the estuary from the sea and from the rivers, which accumulates to form mudflats... estuaries have been claimed to be amongst the most productive natural habitats in the world... [they] are transition zones between rivers and the sea..."

Donald S. Mclusky, from the Estuarine Ecosystem

This painting will be exhibited at the Harvest Gallery on June 13th, 2015 with the theme pertaining to Realism. Please contact Harvest Gallery, Wolfville - 902.542.7093

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Looking at the Masters Workshop

‘Looking at the Masters’     
Acadia University Art Gallery

Oil Painting Class with Steven Rhude
June 2nd to July 21st (Tuesdays, 7- 9pm)

                                                                Buoys and Girl with Pearl Earing, o/c

This eight week workshop examines Western Master works through the lens of psychology and techniques inherent in the tradition of representational painting. Using photographic sources, our purpose is to develop the ability to see, perceive, inscribe, and translate experience as it relates to  a master work of the student’s choice. By selecting a work to copy, the student will learn to build a stretcher frame from scratch, stretch and prime canvas, and engage in the time honoured exercise of copying a master work, thus enhancing their knowledge of the representational legacy. The workshop will be taught by Steven Rhude

Note: Open to all skill levels. Materials not included. Participants will be provided with a
materials list for the workshop.

For more information and to register contact:
Acadia University Art Gallery 902. 585.1373
Email: / web:
Cost: price for 8 week workshop: $180 (non-members)/ $170 (gallery members).

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Ram Island Ledge Light

Ram Island Ledge Light, o/c, 36" x 60, private collection

Study for Ram Island Ledge Light, graphite, 16" x 24", p/c

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Young Woman

Study of a Young Woman, conte, 20" x 15", Steven Rhude

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Monday, 18 May 2015


Study of a Gypsy, chalk, 18" x 24", Steven Rhude

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Young Girl

Study of a Young Girl, conte, 24" x 18", Steven Rhude

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Rachel's gift

Rachael's Gift, o/c, 30" x 60", Steven Rhude, private collection

Van Gogh proffered his severed ear to a prostitute called "Rachel" in a maison de tolerance (a semi legal bordello) on Christmas eve, Eighteen Eighty Eight. It was a gift Rachel was not likely to forget, nor was she amused. Sketchy records tell us she fainted after viewing the now historic offering. There is evidence Gauguin gave a report to the police  believing the artist must have cut his own ear off. He then paged Van Gogh's brother Theo and told him to "get here pronto". Gauguin, pursuing the primitive instinct with passion, then purchased a ticket for the fastest train out of Dodge. On July 3rd, 1895, he left France. Never to return, he opted for a Tahitian paradise only to encounter legal trouble and eventually Syphilis, a disease of which he eventually died from.

Gauguin's Utopian Trap, o/c, 30" x 60", Steven Rhude

Of course, Van Gogh's next stop was an insane asylum in Saint-Remy; his dream of a modern artists colony was crushed by Gauguin's departure. Who really knows what the two artists were really fighting about on that fateful night. Perhaps it could have been over Rachel or just the unbearable circumstances in the "Yellow House". But ears do not really haunt the ages without reasons; especially this one. The Van Gogh "ear incident" has not readily gone away. It continues to be part of the mythology of the avante garde.

"Did he really cut his own ear off?", I heard a person say next to me while I was visiting the Van Gogh Museum years ago. The seeming innocence of the question caught me off guard. Is there a parable of modern art here in this grotesque story? Revisionist biographies challenge history in our unchecked age of tales; some seem always in play.

The value of Van Gogh's ear today is a reminder of modernism's madness at the edge of art in a state of convulsion. At times it seemed like a Utopian modernism was reduced to meaness and then courage, suspicion and then estrangement, as many of it's progeny met with tragic ends. This grisly tale is a discourse central to the modernist tradition. Another reminder of the fine line between art and emotion gone awry.

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS