Bernie Moore is a figurative oil painter exhibiting in the RBSA’s Members and Associates exhibition, which opens on 23 November.
With most works of art for sale, this annual showcase of the lifeblood of the RBSA is an ideal opportunity to find that unique Christmas gift.
You’ll find a beautiful selection of landscapes, seascapes, still lifes, portraits, sculptures, abstracts, prints and more!
Bernie is looking forward to appearing in the show and recently agreed to an interview with ART BLOG…
You are a figurative painter…how do you communicate the essential aspects of being human in your work?
I’m fascinated with body language and try to capture the unguarded, unrestrained expressions of lone or grouped figures.
I see more human qualities projected by people in their unselfconscious moments, unwittingly reflecting their feelings towards everyday situations.
Of course, these traits are meaningless without including the subject’s immediate surroundings. This is where a certain amount of freedom is found to create imaginative narratives to evoke feeling, curiosity, and invite reinterpretation.
Likeness is not necessarily my objective, it’s not important. What I hope to create is a sense of something going on beyond the canvas.
I’m essentially a linear painter and like working along the boundary between representation and abstraction, where I find a strange beauty emerge from the myriad of ambiguous linear structures.
Can you tell us your main influences?
I frequently visit Brittany and see Breton dancers in their traditional costume. They become so engrossed in their performances that they become unaware of their audience.
I like capturing offstage moments: postures in conversation, adjusting dress, resting, mending, or making.
I was recently blown away by the work of Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret, 1852 – 1929, exhibited in Vannes museum, Brittany.
I love his use of limited colours, coloured greys, and sense of body language. I also enjoy studying the practice and subject matter of William Goldsmith, Euan Uglow, Solomon J Solomon, and most of the Victorian painters especially Leighton, Stanhope Forbes, and Frank Bramley.
‘Sweet Fragrance’ was in response to my sitter smelling a flower in the garden.
Getting her to do the same in the studio was difficult, but my memory served well to try and get the message across.
Why the Breton coif you may ask? As with many of my paintings, the Breton costume signifies simplicity, innocence, a form of basic dress without adornment.
Breton peasants took pride in keeping their coifs clean in spite of and in contrast to their often dirty working clothes. I see the purity of the fragrant flower as matching that of the coif.
‘Evening Rounds’ was inspired by seeing one of Dagnan-Bouveret’s works in Brittany.
I asked the model if she could stand holding the candle, in dress. I wanted to use and experiment in using a limited palette after Bouveret, but using different colours. Here, I experimented with asphaltum, ivory, black, titanium white, and yellow ochre.
‘Making the Coif’ was a response to seeing, through a doorway, a Breton dancer concentrating on and taking pride in her work.
She wears on her head what she is making. A moment of concentration, unaware of onlookers, was for me a natural human action.
What does the RBSA mean to you?
Being a member of the RBSA is a huge privilege. To belong to the present company of talented artists, in pursuit of artistic excellence, is an honour.
I’m also proud to belong to a Society that encourages the development of artistic practice and has a wider interest in arts education.
Altogether, I have found great friendship and support from staff and members, and feel I belong to a ‘family’ of artists.
Members and Associates Exhibition
23 November to 23 December
For over 200 years the diverse practices of the RBSA Members and Associates have been displayed in this annual exhibition, including the work of those newly elected this year.
Visit the RBSA Gallery and find a host of Christmas gifts away from the crowds…