Artists I like: Barbara Bernard

Being in contact with other artists all around the world through social media I decided to present a few of them. Here is the second one to send me her answers to my interview questions:

Barbara Bernard

Please introduce yourself:

Barbara Bernard, 38 years old, from Chicago, Illinois, now living in a small town about 50 km west. Doing photography, watercolors, pastels.

What is your definition of art?
For me, art is an emotion or moment that comes through the media that I am working in or what I am observing. Art is interpretation of your life experiences.

Why have you become an artist?
I did not seek this out, it was my path. I chose to follow the path that was assigned to me… Despite its difficulties at times… it is what I do.


What is your favourite artwork of your own and why?

Altered Vision, a photograph created in 2002. It was a changing point in my life, I learned that I do not see things as others do, I see things my own way- my way is an altered vision, due to life experiences. To quote poet and philosopher Anais Nin, “We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

altered vision
altered vision

How do you work?

I document moments with my camera and search for design. I search for something unique in the mundane, seeking out subjects that are naturally balanced, yet consistently overlooked. Simple things may influence me to compose a photograph, a wire that is misplaced along a deteriorated wall, a misshapen piece of metal in an unintended environment. Contrast in texture or color and other design qualities that happen by chance and everyday moments.

enter small
enter small

I am inspired by nature as much as I am inspired by the works of humankind. The detail, complexity, and variety of shape and form are amazing in both worlds.  I use painting to allow myself to meditate; my brush strokes come with breathing and my heartbeat, the works are spontaneous and unplanned.

small watercolor
small watercolor

Who is your favourite artist?
There are many who have molded me, and to select one would be an injustice…

  • Joseph Jachna
  • Harry Callahan
  • Michael Kenna
  • Robert Adams
  • Hiroshi Sugimoto
  • Ruth Bernhard
  • Annette Messager
  • Lee Bontecou
  • Emily Carr
  • Yoshitoma Nara

This list is ever changing.

What is your favourite material to work with and why?
My preference is traditional black and white film, printed in a darkroom on fiber based paper. The darkroom is my sanctuary- though the past 4 years I have worked mainly digital for convenience.

Could you live without making art (and why/why not)?
I have never contemplated this, well truthfully, there were two paths as I entered University. I followed the path that pulled me, as I mentioned earlier, a path that I was assigned. I cannot separate myself from my art- so no, as melancholic as it may sound, I would not live without making art.

Where can others find you on the web?
My web presence is limited at the moment.

All images (c) Barbara Bernard
Thanks a lot for the interview, BB! 🙂

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