Art & Contemporary Art

Mike Bernard

My initial starting point is to collect on the spot sketches, subjects will vary from harbour coastal scenes to street and market scenes and the occasional still life.  I am selective when describing detail, I want to portray only the essence of the subject.

Back in the studio I start my paintings, (surfaces can include, paper, board and canvas), with layers of paper collage, newspapers, tissue, leaflets, magazines etc, glueing with acrylic medium.

I create shapes which relate to the abstract structure of the subject.  When the glue is dry, I apply acrylic ink in bold random strokes which encourages wonderful colour and textural ‘happy accidents’.  From this state of chaos I endeavour to define the subject through various drawing techniques, to a finished stage where the subject has recognisable passages, but at the same time retain a semi- abstract, impressionistic feel, engaging the viewers imagination.

I now paint almost exclusively in mixed media, combining collage, acrylics and pastel.  I enjoy the way textures, shapes, colour and ‘happy accidents’ steer the direction of my paintings.  My favourite subjects continue to be harbour scenes, market and street scenes both in Britain and abroad.

Mike Bernard is exhibiting 30 paintings in his new solo show Yorkshire and Beyond here at Watermark Gallery from 27 October to 11 November 2023. View the exhibition here.


Art & Contemporary Art

Robert Newton

Born 1964, Robert Newton studied Fine Art at Sunderland University and is currently living and working in Northumberland. Never afraid to use colour, his work explores both composition and expression, yet always maintains his painterly approach. Robert sees his work as ‘painting nature’ not only in context but as a vehicle to express the medium, its plasticity and how it conveys an illusion of reality.

“I describe my work as ‘painting nature’, as a direct response to my immediate surroundings; exploring colour, composition and expression yet maintaining the very traditions of British painting. Making sketches as well my own visual notes I paint intuitively and expressively with bold sweeping brushstrokes that sum up whole passages of the landscape that is before me. Painting on location and in the studio, I often rework paintings intuitively to produce a completed work.”

Robert’s work has become very collectable over the last few years and we are very pleased to include this new selection of monotype prints. These unique artworks are a great opportunity to buy affordable, original art which captures his painting style and themes.

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For information on how Robert created his monotypes read his blog, or visit Robert’s own site at

Robert Newton

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