This was a class demonstration for my Painting I class. I focused on complimentary colors (here blue and orange, and a little green and red). Also, this painting explores color as light, rather than only adding white tints to color to develop value. The orange reeds and light blue around them create an optical sensation of light. High chromo or saturated colors appear like light is shining on them, as opposed to the dull or muted brown tones near the roots and lily pads. I also attempted to show mist or fog in various areas to give a sense of moisture in the atmosphere and a feeling of depth.
Here is one of the paintings for the Photosynthesis Project exhibit November 1st at the CNM. I have three other small images focusing on roots, water and limbs. In this, the roots resemble lungs or wings. They show the delicate and subtle side of nature against the more abstract, raw and dynamic water reflections. Both roots and water show us something of the world underneath or beyond our immediate perception--so crucial in the subtle awareness it takes to be fully connected to the environment and take meaningful steps toward guiding and protecting the natural/human ecosystem. With current issues at the forefront of many peoples awareness, we all may reflect on developing a more balanced relationship with the world around us. With deepening awareness, there is appreciation and acknowledgement that we are all sharing this Earth, and the Cosmos for that matter. Action, of course, will follow. Ownership has taken a precedence even over responsibility in some cases, and people many not realize that responsibility is a blessing, often greater that ownership. To give back and take care of the ecosystem is like the ripples or roots in the stream that keep going out from the source, while ownership is limited like pieces of changing water reflections that cannot be captured.
The Rockford Art Museum Greenwich Village Art Fair is my last art fair of the season. It is held in Illinois at the Rockford Art Museum. This is a new show for me and I am bringing my Buck Creek series along with my new book Eco-Expressionist Journey available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=eco-expressionist+journey+by+justin+bernhardt&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss My booth is 67. Looking forward to the event!
I will be back on Chicago’s North Shore this weekend in booth 527! I will be showing all water scenes at this show. Hope to see you there!
Next stop is the Glencoe Festival of Art on Chicago’s North Shore. You can find me in booth 53 Saturday July 27th and Sunday July 28th. I will be showing water scapes and cityscapes. New prints will be shown as well. I look forward to seeing you there!
Summer heat is here! This painting is inspired from the Chicago Botanic Gardens. I feel the gesture of cool meeting hot, of heavy meeting light, and of blue meeting orange. The drips help to define the relative movements in a sun drenched scene.
I am currently in an artist group focusing on photosynthesis. We will have an exhibit in November. In this painting, I explored down by the Barton Lake waterfront on our property. I was inspired by the variety of greens (chlorophyll) and the overlapping forms in a watery environment. There is a conversation here.
12 of my Michigan water microcosm paintings will be included in an exhibit at LowellArts: 223 W. Main St, Lowell, MI 49331. The opening is Sunday June 2nd 2019 from 2-4pm. There are 6 total artists in the show. It will run through August 17th 2019.
This image is a look into the future. The figure could be standing on one side of the Earth as the Sun warms the dawn of another world. She resembles a rocket ship ready to take off through her mind, which transcend all the other vehicles around her.
I’ve been working on some cityscapes again. This one captures the playful childlike spirit of a developing city. Running into the future, glowing at night, the essence of energy and speed flows through the image. I often work on night scenes as they show the vitality of the city like a living organism. I plan to show some of these works next summer at art fairs and in a local gallery.
I will be adding a city-nature section on my website to showcase the new work.
Ann Arbor had great weather and wonderful people! This couple purchased their second painting at the show. It was great being part of such a long going tradition with top notch artwork.
We all had a great time at the Evanston Art Fair last weekend! It was sunny and 75. People were friendly and interested in the nature themed artwork. Young people were collecting paintings.
The Kalamazoo Art Fair was lots of fun! Many wonderful people that I knew from the past and some that I met for a first conversation stopped by the booth. We had great weather both days. I was given a Best Painting Medium award for the event.
The KIA Art Fair is Friday June 1st from 3-8pm and Saturday June 2nd from 9-5pm.
Come enjoy the art!
My booth is F01 on the corner of Rose St. and South St. in Bronson Park--downtown Kalamazoo!
I was asked to be the visual arts juror for the Honoring H.O.M.E.S. exhibit referring to the five Great Lakes on April 20th at Westminster Presbyterian Church 1515 Helen Ave, Portage, MI 49002.
I was also invited to exhibit my new body of water microcosm paintings. Opening night is this Sunday March 11th at 6:00pm along with The Founding band at the same location.
I am looking forward to both events, and especially excited to see the artwork submitted for the 6th annual Art Festival celebrating the ecology of the Great Lakes. The events are free and open to the public.
This is a 24"x24" painting inspired from our trip to Australia's Blue Mountains. Blue and orange are commonly used complimentary colors in many art forms. They are frequently used in cinematic color compositions. In this painting, the orange reads as light and the blue as shadow. I find the color composition flips from flat-abstract to open-spacial. The branches act as both a signifier of depth and a divider of 2-D shapes. The title, Finding Light, encourages the viewer to follow the orange shapes that speckle and divide the blue. We may only realize that this is water by the blue colored shadows, rather than by only looking at the orange-lit shapes.
I have been thinking a lot about painting squares and what that means to me. I seek simplicity, I hope to make the representation of a microcosm, and I strive for something complete. The square can hold these concepts and squares work well in groups (like a grid). The square isn't an expected scene, its an investigation of the world, almost like a scientific snapshot of energy or mind. It is a sample or a piece of something bigger than itself. I think art in general functions that way. A portion gives something complete only as it relates to everything else. The echo, the resonance, the whisper of a much greater song all have interest beyond the surface.
I enjoy cropping the image to make it immediate and simultaneously increase the length of time one might spend with the painting because of its unexpected view. It is a moment that can be stretched. The image can be elastic this way even though the square edges might seem to compress and crop the picture.
The square can be an unexpected order on the turbulent energy of nature.
I also seek peace within the movement, and so intend to use larger color shapes to describe light, form, space and emptiness.
Acrylic on Canvas, 48"x36"
This is one of the paintings I am in the process of reworking. I want to tone down some of the colorful leaves and unify the water with one tone. I placed a blue green layer on top to simplify the space and make the highlights and "pinnacle" moment at the top of the composition stand out more. I will update the image when finished. With all the work in general, I am moving in the direction of simplicity and emptiness to evoke deeper calming moods.
Acrylic on Canvas, 48"60"
This is a painting from awhile back, but I find it fitting for the New Year. There is an emerging dance in the world that will bring positivity and unity. We can sense its rhythm everywhere, as old practices and habits become transformed into a fresh way of living.
Acrylic on Canvas
The foreground branches in this painting represent mental activity, the red leaves symbolize devotion, and the light is the goal. We must organize all our thoughts and direct them toward the goal. The light of the goal filters through the distant trees, beyond unforeseen obstacles.