Anne Bernard grew up in Strafford, Pennsylvania, a town on the main line of Philadelphia. Her maternal grandmother was a pastel portrait painter who gave her an interest in art form an early age. She studied with artist Ann Balbirnie from age 14 to 18, and studied at the Philadelphia College of Art on Saturdays and during the summer of her senior year of high school. She received a degree in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Anne now lives on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountain town of Boones Mill, Virginia, with her husband and fellow artist Steve Bernard. They
both paint and show their work throughout the state. In 1998, they finished construction on a studio that features wonderful light and space for Anne's students. She has been teaching a series of weekly classes since 1984.

Painting style and philosophy

Anne Way BernardBecause I want my paintings to look like paintings, my attempt is not a photo realistic style, therefore there is a degree of painterliness to my technique. I don't blend all of my brushstrokes into a smooth finish, although the further the distance between the viewer and the paintings becomes, the more realistic the work me this is getting the best of both viewing experiences. The term for this approach could be described as painterly realism . After the painting has dried for about a week, I apply a varnish like substance to the surface of the work which evens out the surface to a slightly glossy finish, and gives the colors their maximum definition .

The test of a truly successful portrait is that it have desirable artistic qualities which make it interesting to the viewer regardless of whether one knows the subject or not. This is what I strive for in all of my work regardless of subject matter.