ARTIST ALTERNATIVE URL
To view more work by Mike Bernard, click the link.
About the artist:
This is Mike’s tenth solo show at Marine House spanning almost twenty years. In this time the popularity of his work remains as strong as ever. It’s instructive to consider the reasons why his reputation has continued its upward growth.
Firstly, Mike had a thorough grounding in the skills and vision needed during his training at The Royal Academy Schools. He then became an inspirational art teacher. It was during this period that he made the transition from oil paintings to the celebrated collage style, adopting mixed media including cuttings from printed material to enhance the impact. This came about while training students, who he noticed had great difficulty making the first marks on a blank canvas. To ease this, he suggested they wander the streets and find newsprint, old packets or tickets from which to make cuttings, and then glue them in bold shapes to the canvas. These clearly released their creative energies producing imaginative and exciting
results, so much so that Mike himself became drawn to the technique.
His paintings attracted much acclaim winning numerous prizes. He was invited to become a member of the prestigious RI, the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours whose patron is Her Majesty The Queen.
With increasing recognition and demand Mike withdrew from teaching twenty years ago to become a full-time artist. His paintings carry his signature style very clearly. He excels in interpretation of his chosen subject enjoying capturing the mood of the setting without being constrained by spatial accuracy or adherence to standardised colour palettes (sky is blue etc).
Light is always key to fine art and one can easily discern location not just by the view, but by contrasting light between Devon and Menton in Provence for example. In his overseas compositions he frequently choses collage from printed material in the local language. Take a close look as you view these works.
For this exhibition Mike has revisited favourite locations recreating scenes with fresh eyes and colours. He is intrigued by the freedom more abstract interpretations of the subject can produce and this trend is evident in a number of these works such as the still life paintings with which he is particularly pleased.
Mike Bernard continues to delight and inspire. His shows are always one of the year’s highlights for the gallery team and with the gallery being twenty years old this year it’s been a privilege to have worked closely with Mike for nearly all this time.