Mike Bernard RI


Mike Bernard is a celebrated artist known for his vibrant and dynamic mixed media works. His creative process begins with on-the-spot sketches of diverse subjects, ranging from harbour coastal scenes to bustling street markets and the occasional still life. Bernard's approach is selective in detail, aiming to capture the essence of his subjects rather than an exhaustive representation.

In his studio, Bernard's process starts with layering paper collage materials—newspapers, tissue, leaflets, and magazines—onto surfaces like paper, board, or canvas using acrylic medium. He creates shapes that relate to the abstract structure of the subject. Once the collage layers are dry, he applies acrylic ink in bold, random strokes, encouraging colourful and textural 'happy accidents.' From this initial chaos, Bernard defines the subject using various drawing techniques, bringing the piece to a finished stage where recognisable elements coexist with a semi-abstract, impressionistic feel that engages the viewer's imagination. 

Bernard paints almost exclusively in mixed media, combining collage, acrylics, and pastel. He revels in how textures, shapes, colours, and serendipitous occurrences guide the direction of his paintings. His favourite subjects continue to be harbour scenes, market scenes, and street scenes both in Britain and abroad.

Bernard's work is characterised by its ability to blend abstraction with recognisable imagery, creating pieces that are both engaging and evocative. His unique method and artistic vision make him a distinctive figure in contemporary art.