Mike Bernard RI
I now paint almost exclusively in mixed media, combining collage, acrylics and pastel. I enjoy the way textures, shapes, colour and ‘happy accidents’ steer the direction of my paintings.
My favourite subjects continue to be harbour scenes, market and street scenes both in Britain and abroad.
My initial starting point is to collect on the spot sketches; subjects will vary from harbour coastal scenes to street and market scenes and occasional still lives. I am selective when describing detail, I want to portray only the essence of the subject.
Back in the studio I start my paintings (surfaces can include, paper, board and canvas), with layers of paper collage, newspapers, tissue, leaflets, magazines etc., gluing with acrylic medium.
I create shapes which relate to the abstract structure of the subject. When the glue is dry, I apply acrylic ink in bold, random strokes, which encourages wonderful colour and textural ‘happy accidents’. From this state of chaos I endeavour to define the subject through various drawing techniques, to a finished stage where the subject has recognisable passages, but at the same time retain a semi-abstract, impressionistic feel, engaging the viewers imagination.
1957 Born in Dover, Kent
1974-75 Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, Medway College of Art and Design
1975-78 BA (Hons) Fine Art, West Surrey College of Art and Design
1978-81 MA Painting, Royal Academy Schools, London
1997 Elected as a Member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours
1980-99 Teaching post at Farnham Adult Education Institute
1980-1984 Teaching post at South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell
1981 Teaching post at West Surrey College of Art and Design
1981 Teaching post at Treloar College, Alton
1981-96 Teaching post at Southampton Institute of Higher Education
1983-2000 Organised and ran private painting courses
‘Elizabeth Greenshields Fellowship’, Royal Academy of Arts, 1981/87
‘David Murray Studentship’, Royal Academy of Arts, 1978/80/81
First Prize, ‘Stowells Trophy’, Royal Academy of Arts, 1981
‘British Institute Prize’, Royal Academy of Arts
‘Lanseer Prize’, Royal Academy of Arts‘
Highly Commended Award’, Silver Longboat Exhibition, Portsmouth City Art Gallery, 1990
‘Landscape Painting Award’, Laing, 1993
‘Kingsmead Gallery Award’, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, 1999
‘Stuart Defries Award’, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, 2003
‘Lincoln Joyce Gallery Award’, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, 2007
2008 Oakham Gallery, St James, London
2007 Rowley Contemporary Art, Winchetser
2007 Linda Blackstone Gallery, Pinner
2006 Walker Gallery, Harrogate.
2003-07 Broadway Modern, Broadway
2004-08 Marine House at Beer, Devon
2002/04 David Curzon Gallery, Wimbledon
Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London
Articles in ‘The Artist’, ‘International Artist’ and ‘Leisure Painter’