FCSA logo

Home ProgrammeExhibition Gallery Contacts & Outside Events

Mike Bernard Mixed Media Demonstrations

21 June 2002 - 11 April 2003 -

Back to History Page

See more examples of Mike's work at www.manorhousegallery.co.uk/bernard.htm
or discuss purchases, demonstrations etc. in person on 01730 231270

Mike Bernard's demonstration, acrylic & collage on board, 11/4/2003
"Cadgwith, Cornwall"

Cadgwith reference sketch
reference sketch

Joining the FCSA almost a year ago I was somewhat bedazzled by a visit by Mike in June 2002. So would 'a year on' be 'better', although it has to be said, better than 'really really good'.

Following an introduction worthy of an artist who has exhibited at many national and international exhibitions and won awards and prizes too numerous to mention, club members welcomed Mike Bernard, a speaker well known to the club but always surprising.

Mike gave the outline of the night's project. A pencil sketch, most of us would have been proud of as the finished picture, of a harbour scene provided the 'plan'. As for materials, the list is best described as varied and interesting, old newspapers, tissue paper, cut outs from magazines, bits of cardboard, paint; acrylic and acrylic ink, oil pastel, glue, for tools; paint roller, cardboard, glue brushes, paint brushes only for occasional use, Mike finds brushes can cause the style to become stiff and finds a palette knife or piece of cardboard better suited to the technique.
Cadgwith, collage
applying collage

Starting with a seemly random arrangement of paper, newspaper cut outs, bits of magazines forming a collage stuck on to a background board with PVA glue. Mike prefers a board as the size may be ''adjusted" later, not so easy to do using a canvas! And now paint, a limited palette to begin with - black acrylic ink. Diluted to a series of greys, mainly to cover the stark white of the background, but were the apparently random strokes something else? are those runs and streaks of thin grey ink really what they appear to be, or will they later become some important element of the picture, a person, a boat, part of the scene?

Now the real Mike Bernard escapes, why use a brush when you have a 'paint roller', paint applied almost in a 'dry brush' manner to produce areas of mottled white, yes, black and white paint so far, {art teachers need not read on}! But now parchment, a gentle creamy off white, building up on the uneven background into a series of shapes and lines. What's more extraordinary is a constant stream of stories and 'this is what I am thinking now' from Mike as he works.
 Cadgwith Stage 2
applying paint

Now to add some structures, lines to form shapes, but why use a brush when a cardboard edge produces such wonderful sharp lines with a particular angular quality which by a deft sweep becomes another shape, or maybe a negative shape. Back now to collage, adding more paper shapes building up gradually, referring to the sketch to follow the plot. (by this time the audience were trying to see 'where it's going'). Approaching the interval, oil pastels to add those all important small areas of colour, red, yellow and orange/gold, also acting as a 'resist' for later painting.

Following the break, the time is coming where we may see the picture suddenly develops from the apparently random shapes and lines in front of us, adding more colours, limited but just enough to add that something.

Cadgwith (stage3)
finishing touches

Now it's 10 past 9 and I see it, that negative shape made by cardboard scraping paint on to the rolled parchment area; a boat, those first runs of grey ink; a person, those random pattern of lines; a lobster pot. But hey, it's finished, the 9:30 deadline. A must-finish-by time, sure puts pressure on demonstrators!

Well, Mike has done it again, deftly crafting a picture, creating a vivid inspirational piece of work from what, bits of old newspaper, cardboard but don't forget, many the years of hard work and creative talent.

Liz then had the very pleasant task of giving thanks to Mike for a most interesting evening, before the 42 club members left thinking can I do that? or more hopefully I can do that!

Keith Winfield.
and the finished painting of Cadgwith
Cadgwith, Cornwall


Mike Bernard's mixed media demonstration "Positano", 21/6/2002
Mike Bernard   Mike Bernard Positrano

Back to History Page


Top of Page - Home - Programme of Events - Gallery - Contacts - FCSA Site Map