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
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.
style and philosophy
Because 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
becomes...to 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.