Turning stories and photographs of ordinary lives into extraordinary Fine Art

Spirit Paintings are Kathryn Rutherford's own style of artistic, creative and one of a kind original freehand oil or digital artistry paintings that evoke emotions and memories and tell unique stories.

Commissioned as lasting heirlooms, these works of fine art display ancestors and lost loved ones or bring to mind another place, other people, a forgotten time or remembrances of another moment.

These inventive storytelling paintings and portraits are for all those looking for something unique in original fine art. Painted with oil on canvas or digitally on the computer, these freehand, original masterpiece paintings begin with your images and stories of ordinary lives and become extraordinary and lasting archival heirloom fine art.

22"x 36"
Oil on Canvas
A portrait of the Artist and her Great Grandparents, Edward Francis Ives and Anna Barbara Schmid. Frank Ives was one of the last tall ship Captains on Lake Erie where Kathryn grew up on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes. Kathryn drinks from her Great Grandmother's tea cup, ponders the view and envisions one of Frank's ships, the Maple Leaf, sailing into view.
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If an oil painted Storytelling Portrait or Spirit Painting isn't in the budget
22" x 36"
Oil on Canvas
The scene is the kitchen of the John R. Park Homestead Museum in Ontario, Canada where the artist's cousin, Kristen Ives, is Assistant Curator.
Until this painting was presented Kristen had never seen an image of her Great Grandmother who oversees preparations in the kitchen with Kathryn's Great and Great Great Grandmothers.
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20" x 24"
Oil on Canvas

The purchase of an hour glass at an antique store inspired this "timeless" classic painting of a woman aging throughout time.

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20" x 24"
"20" x 30"
Oil on Canvas

Kermit Caughron, raised bees and farmed historic property in Cades Cove, Tennessee.

The Caughron's were one of several families who sold their land to the government when The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established June 15, 1934. Allowed to live on the land until his death, in 1997, Kermit and his wife, Lois, were the last remaining residents of the Cove. Upon his death, the Caughron homestead reverted to Government land.

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Their original log home and barn remain for tourists to experience, but their newer home, bee boxes and all other remnants of their lives were removed from the Park and now remain only a memory and work of fine art.

Often family members return to Cades Cove to pay homage to their family homestead and the memory of a loving husband and father.

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Wears Valley, Tennessee"

18" x 24"
Oil on Panel Board

The Headrick Chapel, built in 1901, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. The original congregation of the Chapel have long since passed away, but, their descendants live in Wears Valley, Tennessee, to this day.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Headrick Chapel project and purchase prints that deliver Headrick ancestors to living descendants.


16" X 20"
Oil on Canvas

The Little Greenbrier School is located inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee.
The building still stands the test of time but, long gone are all of the teachers, students and Park Guides depicted in this painting.
The remembrances of childhood and love, however, are forever captured in this heirloom Spirit Painting.

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"The World of the Wizard"

20" x 24"
Oil on Canvas

The Wizard lives in an enchanted world surrounded by fairies, griffins, dragons, and visions from crystal balls.

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"A Midsummer Night Dream"

16" X 20"
Oil on Canvas

Transparent Sprites and Fairies hover in the trees
and ride on a mouse on a moonlit night of mid-summer.
Is it a dream or is everything real
in the darkness of the ivy grove?
(Including the frog.)

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"The Family Tree"
22"x 28" Oil on Canvas

"A Converstion With Myself"
17"x 22" Oil on Canvas

1980-2012 All Rights Reserved. No Image may be reproduced from this website in any form
without written permission from the Heirloom Art Studio or the individual owner of each image.