The artist sketching in Kenya, 1975.
Doug Rugh, CM (pronounced rü) became a full-time artist using oil paint as a medium in 2000 but for over 30 years has been working in the visual arts. Rugh was awarded the distinction, "Copley Master" in 2006 by the Copley Society (America's oldest nonprofit art association) as a result of juried works and multiple major awards in each of the three areas of landscape, still-life and portraiture. Rugh attended the Maryland Institute College of Art before completing his BFA in 1994 at the Rhode Island School of Design with honors.
For several years Rugh worked as a scientific illustrator at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA where both of his grandfathers did research. This love of direct observation and the technical study of optical effects is carried over into the practice of carefully observed still life painting. The artist has done much work with hand-mulling his own pigments into paints and experimenting with various mediums and techniques. This study began at the Schuler School of Fine Arts in Baltimore, an atelier based on the French academies of the 19th century, which specializes in materials and methods of the old masters.
The artist is fortunate enough to live in a beautifuI environment and in the warmer half of the year when Rugh is not at the easel in the studio/gallery, he can be found out on location painting from the beauty of Cape Cod. Often these field studies are expanded into larger paintings in the studio.
To develop his portrait skills the artist worked regularly from live models in-between portrait commissions and the artist estimates that he has had about 2000 sittings (and counting) with live models.
Rugh's "covert" paintings are done with a small paint box disquised as a laptop using a quick "alla prima" method and relying on years of training to do small likenesses from quickly moving targets. The artist says, "I especially enjoy painting people this way. It is very artistic and it's what we as artists should strive for: to paint real people in interesting light, in candid poses and natural settings. These studies add depth to our studio paintings and commissions. The artist helps us to see the beauty that is all around us." In the same vein, Rugh has been studying interiors at Highfield Hall. These oils will be exhibited at the historic mansion in Fall 2014.
Rugh has two ebooks available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Artist's Conundrum is his oil painter's journal and includes many paintings along with observations and anecdotes from an artist's life at work and play. Eddie in My Pocket is a picture book that is unusual in that it is image based - the story was borne from the oil paintings. Earlier in his career Rugh worked as a freelance illustrator creating original works of art for such clients as: Barnes and Noble, Microsoft, Prudential, The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Newsweek and The Washington Post. Commissioned work appeared regularly in print, on book and magazine covers as well as in numerous publications. Eddie in My Pocket was a chance for the art to drive the content.
A Special Partnership
For the last 13 years Rugh has partnered with his wife, the artist Hillary Osborn, with whom he has shared a special art relationship. The artists take turns manning a studio and gallery: the Osborn and Rugh Gallery. They share an aesthetic philosophy that places major importance on direct observation from Nature as a starting point for artistic decisions made from the artist's imagination. The couple feel that landscape painters need to spend their time in the field working/studying from an ever-changing environment rather than inside copying fixed 2-dimensional snapshots. That portrait artists need to work from living people and though nowadays subjects rarely have time to sit at length an artist's training must be from direct observation. Rugh does uses photographic reference materials for portrait commissions but draws from hours of working directly from life. Paintings range in price by size from $500 to $29,000.
Paintings by Doug Rugh are available at the following galleries:
Osborn & Rugh Gallery - A Working Studio
Studio (508) 548-2100, Queen's Buyway, 114 Palmer Ave., Falmouth, MA 02540
The Cataumet Arts Center
(508) 563-5434, 76 Scraggy Neck Road, Cataumet, MA 02534
E X H I B I T I O N S
Osborn & Rugh Gallery 2008 - present
Third September Invitational - Creative Arts Center, Chatham, MA 2015
Dolphin Gallery, Hingham Public Library, Hingham, MA 2015
Invitational exhibit in honor of Senate President Therese Murray - Senate Lobby of the Boston State House, 2014
The Cataumet Arts Center, Cataumet, MA 1996-present
Highfield Hall, Falmouth, MA 2008-2014
Stunning Still Lives - Invitational, Falmouth Arts Center, 2014
Seeing the Light - Invitational Juried, Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, Cotuit Center for the Arts, 2014
Stunning Still Lives - Invitational, Falmouth Arts Center, Falmouth, MA 2014
Annual Invitational - Invitational Juried, Creative Arts Center, Chatham, MA 2014
South Street Gallery, Hingham, MA 2002-2013
Annual Invitational - Invitational Juried, Creative Arts Center, Chatham, MA 2013
In Praise of Women: How Women are Portrayed in American Art Cahoon Museum of American Art, Cotuit, MA 2013
Priceless: Works That Artists Wouldn't Sell, Cape Cod Museum of Art, Dennis, MA 2013
Guatemala Childcare Benefit ExhibitionOld Firehouse, Woods Hole, MA 2013
Celebrating Beebe Woods Through the Arts - Invitational, Highfield Hall, Falmouth, MA 2012
Lone Figure in the Landscape - Invitational, Cahoon Museum of American Art, Cotuit, MA 2011
Glories of the Garden - Invitational, Highfield Hall, Falmouth, MA 2010
Memories - Invitational, Cahoon Museum of Fine Arts, MA 2010
Winter Art Show - Invitational, Highfield Hall, Falmouth, MA 2009
Invitational, Falmouth Arts Center, Falmouth, MA 2009
The Woods Hole Gallery, Woods Hole, MA 1995-2009
The Woods Hole Community Hall Show, Woods Hole, MA 1988, 1995-2013
Highfield Hall, Falmouth, MA 2008
Copley Masters Juried Exhibition
The Copley Society, Boston, MA 2002-2008
CoSo Artists: A to Z: Award Winner, 2008
Juried Member's Shows: Fall 2002 - Award; Spring 2002 - Award, Fall 2003 - Award; Spring 2004 - Award
Fresh Paint 2003-2006, Small Works 2002-2006;
125th Anniversary Invitational Exhibition 2004
The Walsingham Gallery, Newburyport, MA 2002-2008,
Life's Splender, 2003
St. Botolph Club, Boston, MA summer 2007
Highfield Hall, Falmouth, MA 2007
Little Treasures: Big Pleasures, 2007
Crane Collection, Wellesley, MA 2003-2007
John Pence Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2002-2007,
The Epic Still Life, 2002, Self Portraits, 2003
Tree's Place, Orleans, MA 2001-2005
Cahoon Museum of American Art,
Great Brush Off - Live Auction - Cotuit, MA 2004-2006, 2008;
Of Children and Childhood show, cahoon museum Feb/March 2007
Duxbury Art Complex & Museum,
Winter Juried Show, MA 2004
Guild of Boston Artists - Harvard Club, Boston, MA 2002
Oil Painters of America - Brazier Fine Art, Richmond, MA 2002,
Regional Juried Show
Cape Museum of Fine Arts - Live Auctions, Dennis, MA 2001-2006
Holland & Co., Nantucket, MA 2001
The Scott Bundy Gallery, Kennebunkport, MA 2003-2006
The Gallery at King's Wharfe, Kennebunkport, MA 2000-2003
Boston International Fine Arts Show, Boston, MA 2000, 2002
The Gallery at Langer Place, Manchester, MA 2000-2004
Sandpiper Gallery, Wellfleet, MA 2000
Marion Wine and Arts Festival, Marion MA 2000
Gallery 333, North Falmouth, MA 2000
Cape Gallery, Falmouth, MA 1997, 1999-2000
Woods Hole Handworks, Woods Hole, MA 1998-1999
Marion Arts Center, Marion, MA 1999
Under the Sun, Woods Hole, MA 1998
The Falmouth Artists’ Guild, Falmouth, MA 1994-1998
Library Antiques, Williamstown, MA 1996-1998
The National Academy of Sciences, Woods Hole, MA 1998
The Schuler School of Fine Arts, Baltimore, MD 1986
S O L O E X H I B I T I O N S
Falmouth Historical Society, Falmouth, MA, 2013, Stolen Likeness: Doug Rugh's Oil Sketches From a Falmouth Coffee Shop
Osborn & Rugh Gallery (two-person), 2008-present, Current Work
Highfield Hall, Falmouth, MA (two-person) 2007, The Outdoor Experience: Doug Rugh and Hillary Osborn
Cataumet Arts Center, Cataumet, MA (two-person) 2003, From Woods Hole to Mt. Desert
Cataumet Arts Center, Cataumet, MA 2001, Recent Landscapes
Sandpiper Gallery, Wellfleet, MA (two-person) 2000
The Cape Gallery, Falmouth, MA (two-person) 1999, Shared Views
The Mazer Gallery, Falmouth, MA 1998
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI 1993
American Institute of Yemeni Studies 1985
D I S T I N C T I O N S
Gold Medal, Best Fine Art Galleries - Upper Cape Cod, Cape Cod Life Reader's Choice, 2015
Gold Medal, Best Fine Art Galleries - Upper Cape Cod, Cape Cod Life Rader's Choice, 2013
Juror (along with Hillary Osborn), Summer Juried Show, Falmouth Arts Center, 2013
Silver Medal, Best Fine Art Galleries - Upper Cape Cod, Cape Cod Life Rader's Choice, 2010
Awarded the distinction, "Copley Master" byThe Copley Society June, 2006
Winner of an award at the The Copley Society of Art CoSo Artists' A to Z., June, 2006
Finalist (over 13,000 entries) - Artist's Magazine Portrait & Figure Competition, 2004
Winner of the First Juror's Choice award at the The Copley Society Juried Spring Members Show, 2004
Winner of the First Juror's Choice award at the The Copley Society Juried Fall Members Show, 2003
Awarded the signature designation "CA" (Copley Artist) by The Copley Society, 2003.
Winner of the Richard and Mary Schroeder Portrait Award at the The Copley Society Juried Spring Members Show, 2003
Winner of the First Juror's Choice award at the The Copley Society Juried Fall Members Show, 2002
Awards Judge for Bourne-Wareham Art Association's 40th Annual Art Exhibition, 2004
Received Elaine Pare Cohen career development grant, 1998.
B R O A D C A S T
Paintings by Doug Rugh and Hillary Osborn were used in the film, "The Off Season" by John Stimpson, 2014.
"Capturing Character in the Oil Portrait Sketch", a demonstration film was broadcast on FCTV, SCTV, MVTV, LCTV, summer, 2014.
Hillary Osborn and Doug Rugh, Cape Cod Arts and Beyond, Host: John Murelle, produced by SCTV, Spring 2012.
Short Film by Kristen Alexander: "Portrait of a Master" featuring the artist, Woods Hole Film Festival, 2008.
Featured artist in documentary produced by Channel 13, July, 2004.
The artist is featured in the opening segment at work on "Shining Sea Bike Path" in a PBS documentary about Cape Cod produced by Weekend Explorer's Cape Cod (available on DVD),, May, 2004.
Featured artist on "Arts and Inspiration" documentary produced by Channel 13, March, 2004.
Featured artist on “Millennium Moments” documentary produced by FCTV, April 2000.
Featured artist for the "Eye on Art" documentary produced by Channel 13, June, 1998.
P U B L I C A T I O N S
Legendary Locals of Falmouth, Hillary Osborn and Doug Rugh,
pages 116, Falmouth Historical Society,
Arcadia Publishing, ISBN: 978-1-4671-0043-4
Still-Life in Oils, pages 106-111, by Theodora Philcox,
Ava Publications, ISBN: 2884790128, March, 2003
How Did You Paint That? 100 Ways to Paint Still Lifes and Florals vol. 2, published by International Artist Publishing, March, 2005.
Doug discusses the process of creating "Tomorrow's Designs".
How Did You Paint That? 100 Ways to Paint People and Figures vol. 2, published by International Artist Publishing, March, 2005.
Doug discusses the process of creating "Illusionist".
Trawling for Treasures: Downtown Falmouth's Art Scene Inspires & Excites by Theresa Pease, Simply Falmouth Magazine, Summer 2014
Painting on Location, Cape Cod Outdoors Magazine, July 2013
Stolen Likenesses, by Liisa Silander, Our Risd, RISD blog, January, 2014
Arts, Culture & Living, Front Page, Image of "Studio", January, 2014
Painting on Location, Cape Cod Outdoors, July, 2013
Doug Rugh Opens Oil Sketch Exhibit, Enterprise Newspapers, June 25, 2013.
Profiles in Art: Hillary Osborn & Doug Rugh by Amanda Wastrom, 2013 Annual Cape Cod Art, June 2013.
Art Lovers Guide to Collecting Fine Art in Cape Cod & the Islands, Osborn & Rugh Gallery, pg. 74, May 2013
Two by Two by Mark Chester, The Bulletin Newspaper, June 2011.
Local Galleries Offer Art, Ambiance, Accessibility, and More, In Season Magazine Summer 2010.
Village of Big Science, Big Water, Small Pleasures The Boston Globe, Patricia Borns, May 31, 2009
Work in Progress - Open Studios, "Sea Air, Nobska Beach", New England Home's Cape & Islands, Summer 2009.
"Woods Hole, Tenish", page 28, Celebrate Cape Cod Magazine, Enterprise Newspapers, Summer 2009.
Opening Party for Osborn & Rugh Gallery, Falmouth Enterprise, Nov. 21, 2008.
Woods Hole Film Festival has Local Connections,
Interview with Kristen Alexander about her film "Portrait of a Master" featuring the artist, Falmouth Enterprise, July 25, 2008.
Cape Cod Magazine, Ideal Spot"Sunset Over Scraggy Neck" image is used, July 2008.
Cape Cod Magazine, Artist Profiles: Collection of Self Portraits, April 2008.
Holiday Gift Guide, Enterprise Newspapers, Homegrown: Gift Ideas from Local Artisans, Nov., 2007.
Home Gallery Magazine, feature, Keep it Interesting, Cataumet Artist Doug Rugh, Vol. 4 Issue 6, 2007.
Cape Cod Magazine, feature, En Plein Air Artist..., September, 2007.
Pocasset Artist Doug Rugh Has Been Named Copley Master,
Falmouth, Bourne and Mashpee Enterprise, by Joanne Briana-Gartner, Friday, Sept. 29, 2006.
Cataumet Arts Center,
Interview with Doug Rugh and Hillary Osborn, Cape Arts Review, June, 2005.
Artist Achieves Realism with Hand-mulled Paint, Years of Honed Skill,
Falmouth Enterprise, by Ellen Lennon, February, 2004.
Doug Rugh - Painter, Artist of the Month, NewHampshire.com,
by Lisa Martineau, May, 2002.
An Artist for All Seasons, by Deborah J. Carr,
Upper Cape Codder, November 7th, 2001.
Cape Cod Life publications Cape Cod Arts guide, 2000-2001.
Various gallery reviews and feature articles, The Falmouth Enterprise, 1995-2007
Small Works - Holiday Exhibition Tree's Place Gallery exhibition catalog - Fall, 2004
Allegories, John Pence Gallery exhibition catalog - Spring, 2004.
Small Works - Holiday Exhibition Tree's Place Gallery exhibition catalog - Fall, 2003
Self Portraits, John Pence Gallery exhibition catalog - Fall, 2003.
Still Lifes - Florals - Interiors, John Pence Gallery exhibition catalog - Fall, 2002.
Cape Cod Magazine
Arts & Antiques
Putney Post Annual Report, "Days Harvest", Cover Image - Fall, 2001.
T E A C H I N G
Workshops, courses and atelier-style tutoring in the methods of the "old masters" at the Cape Museum of Fine Arts, Cataumet Arts Center, Falmouth Artist's Guild and the Cape Cod Art Association, 1997 - 2004.
Guest artist (demo and workshop) at the Rhode Island School of Design, 1998.
A F F I L I A T I O N S
"Copley Master", "Copley Artist", Juried/Signature member - The Copley Society
Portrait Registry member - The Copley Society
S T A T U S
Work in progress.
Images and all content copyright 2016 Doug Rugh.