About the Artist
I was born in Liverpool in 1946. All of my family were 2nd generation Irish and I grew up with stories of Ireland. When I was fourteen I was selected to attend the Liverpool Art High School-a school for young people with artistic talent. There I studied art for 50% of the time and also ‘O’ and ‘A’ level subjects. After that I progressed to study at the Liverpool College of Art and then trained as a Primary School Teacher, specialising in Art. I hoped the school holidays would give me time to paint. In 1976 I moved to Co. Mayo on the west coast of Ireland and have lived and worked here as a painter ever since. Artist’s Statement Mike Bernard is a landscape artist responding to the rural environment. His work is realist in nature and has been described a s having a ‘magical intensity ‘ (Irish Times) ‘Painting is what happens when words don’t do it for you; it has its own language of emotions, reactions and…. ..words fail me. All the content of a saga or a phrase; not just a decoration but a demand to be seen and then to absorb you. ‘ ‘Working in a studio surrounded by mountains, woodlands, meadows and water, the sky becomes a clock counting out the year; spring is the colour change over Black Hill moving through the neon lights of summer and back into the grim magnificence of autumn ……..; we rarely have a winter worthy of the name unless you include storms.’ ‘My studio looks out towards the end of my backyard – it’s called Achill and its thirty odd miles away. There’s enough subject matter here to paint for several lifetimes but it’s still interesting to explore exotic places like Roscommon, Sligo and Connemara. Painting a thing as it looks is good, painting a thing as it feels is better, painting both at the same time is more difficult but ultimately more satisfying.