Archive for category Author: Mike Bernard
Mike Bernard’s approach to mixed media is well known by now and involves quite a lot of collage. It’s probably therefore fair to say that this is a book that will have instant appeal to his many followers, although it is by no means a closed shop and there is plenty of explanation of materials and techniques that will instruct those new to the form.
There is always a danger with mixed media that it becomes an end in itself, ignoring the basic tenets of creativity. Here, though, the starting point is always the subject – how it appears, what it tells the artist and what they can then say about it to the viewer. The opening sections, for example, are Motivation, Inspiration, Location and Focal Point. The next chapter covers the palette, which is where the choice of materials comes in, but also includes a section on “releasing the inner child” (basically, looking and seeing anew). This is followed by a chapter on Creative Techniques, so we’re quickly back with ideas rather than methods.
Mike’s way of working is largely instinctive. This is probably true of any artist who has extensive experience, but he has a broad range of materials and techniques available to him that encourage a keen analytical eye, which this book will help you to develop too.
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Mike Bernard’s style is unique and in this, his first book, he shows how he builds up images, starting with a paper collage and then working up the shapes and textures using acrylic paint, inks and other materials. The results are a stunning meeting of the abstract and the representational, with recognisable scenes that are nevertheless constructed from geometric shapes and strong colours that add an artist’s commentary to the finished work.
It’s important to look at the title of the book in full, because this is by no means something about collage itself as the technique is only part of the final result and both the book, and Mike’s style, are about using a number of different tools and techniques in painting.
There’s no doubt that this is a style of working that’s so individual that you’d never want to emulate it completely, but Mike offers many valuable insights into the way he works that you can use to stimulate your own creativity and provide jumping-off points to get yourself started in a wealth of new directions.
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