This beautiful painting is of a sunset over Georgian Bay. Bert has a wide range of skill and talent as I think the answers to these questions will convey.
If you missed Part 1, you can find it in an earlier post on my blog. It's a 'must read'!
11. Your paintings are primarily of plant-life. Are flowers and plants your preferred subjects?
When I first started painting, I painted wine bottles and didn’t really have a particular focus for my artwork. Then, when I was in US Air Force, I painted airplanes and pilots. In the mid 90s I saw a wild iris flower on the cover of the newspaper in Muskoka Times. The shapes and colours of the iris captured my imagination and I said to myself that I needed to paint that flower. That started my journey of painting plant-life primarily flowers. The great thing about painting flowers is they offer an endless variety of colours, shapes, and forms. Plants and flowers also interact with light in a unique way, where the light can shine on the flower or shine through a flower. This offers a fun challenge to render them in a realistic manner.
12. You also create other pieces. Please give a couple of examples.
I was asked to participate in an exhibition called “Letter to Earth”. The letter would be accompanied by a creative piece, in my case a painting. I thought about what to paint for a long time and the inspiration came to me in a dream. The image I painted is a skeleton hand squeezing the earth and blood coming out dripping on another hand holding money. The painting is titled “Greed” and represents human beings' desire for money at the expense of the earth. The exhibition will be on display in 2023 in various locations. In addition, I have created several landscape paintings of Georgian Bay. Another artist and I go out like the group of seven and paint plein air. Then I transfer these images onto canvas. (See painting above).
13. What artwork are you creating now?
I am currently working on another watercolour painting of a Pale Corydalis.
The Pale Corydalis is another painting in my series of Georgian Bay watercolour paintings of wildflowers. Surprisingly a watercolour painting can take me as long to complete as a large oil painting because it involves many thin layers of pigment on the hot press paper. One of the advantages of watercolour painting is that it is very portable, you can take it on an airplane for example, whereas oils would be restricted.
14. What would your dream project be?
My dream project would be to continue working in watercolour my series of wildflowers of Georgian Bay and potentially having it published along with the taxonomy of each flower. I’m also fond of orchids either in watercolor or oil and it would be fun to produce enough orchid paintings to also have them published.
15. You are making a generous donation to a museum. Tell us about it.
I have completed almost nine paintings of wildflowers of Georgian Bay in watercolor. The series started when I was working on my diploma in botanical illustration from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. My third-year project was to paint five paintings in a series, I selected Georgian Bay wildflowers. I have continued painting the series after completing my diploma program. In addition to the paintings there is the taxonomy for each plant. So, it seemed only a logical decision to donate the series to the West Parry Sound Museum as part of their collection. The exhibition will be on display in the summer of 2023.
16. How is art important to our community?
Human beings learn from stories. Art like paintings are visual stories. Art can make political statements, record history, be whimsical or serious. Human beings have been creating art since they could put pigment on cave walls to tell their stories. What artists create today can influence and educate people about a variety of topics. Hopefully, the lessons that people learn from our art will help the world be a better place. So, art is very important to our community.
17. What’s the best thing about being an artist?
The thing I enjoy most about being an artist is creating something from nothing. I start with an idea and a blank piece of white paper or a blank canvas. Then my challenge it to have that idea manifest into something when I'm done. I have chosen to paint plants and flowers in a realistic style that will last long after I'm gone.
18. Where can people view your work?
I participate with other artist displaying my artwork in the Uxbridge Studio Tour in September. The Studio Tour is the third weekend of September. People can come and see my artwork in person then and see my studio. The Letter to Earth exhibition will be on display in 2023 in several locations. My wildflower paintings will be on display at the West Parry Sound Museum in the summer of 2023. People can also view my artwork on my website at www.bertliverance.com.
19. Where can we purchase your art?
People can purchase limited edition prints of my watercolour paintings on hot press paper as well as note cards of my Georgian Bay Wildflower series by contacting me directly or coming to the Uxbridge Studio Tour in September. Several of my floral oil paintings are also for sale. People can contact me to find out what's available. If someone has a particular flower they desire to stay in bloom, I also paint commission paintings. The nice thing about commission paintings is I can create the painting in a size that fits a person’s space from small to large. I stretch my own canvases and can go quite large as long as it fits in my studio.
A huge 'thank you' to Bert for sharing pictures as well as his insight and passion for art.
I hope you will check out his website.
Of course: paintings, as well as books, make great Christmas gifts!!!!