Artist Biography

A Lifetime in Art

Teresa Bernard art
Teresa Bernard

Texas born artist Teresa Bernard began painting in her pre-teens under the instruction of her father Royce G. Phillips. Her dad, a professional artist himself, introduced Teresa to the world of fine art and oil painting. Royce was an oil painter who also taught art classes in their nearby hometown and the surrounding communities of Ballinger, Bronte, Edith, Robert Lee and Winters, Texas. He taught Teresa the love of art by teaching her how to paint. In addition, he taught her the fundamentals of art, composition and how to work in a variety of mediums, specifically oil paint, pencil sketches and charcoal drawings. There aren’t many artists who come from a succession of artists in their family, and Teresa is one among those with this particular distinction. Sadly her father passed away in 1976 during her senior year of high school. So that she could continue her studies in the fine arts, Teresa left home after graduation to attend college.

Formal Art Education

After graduating high school, Teresa attended college in Pasadena, California, where she continued her studies in the fine arts. There she studied art history and the “Old Masters,” color theory, acrylic and oil painting, drawing in a number of mediums, 2-D and 3-D design, perspective and art composition. While attending college there, Teresa also studied commercial art, graphic design, production art, typography, photography and other design related subjects, in addition to her fine art classes. This is when Teresa decided to pursue a career in graphic art creating artwork for the print media.

Years later Teresa acquired web design skills when she took some online college courses in HTML, JavaScript, and DHTML. Since then, on-going independent studies has allowed her to acquire skills in working with ASP, cascading style sheets, shopping carts, WordPress, internet and social media marketing, and search engine optimization.

Web & Graphic Design Education

  • Tyler Junior College School of Continuing Studies, Tyler TX
  • Pasadena Community College, Pasadena CA
  • Platt College, Eagle Rock CA
  • Oregon Polytechnic Institute, Portland OR
  • University of Illinois, Online

Fine Art Instruction

  • Royce Glen Phillips, Private Instructor, Bronte and Robert Lee TX
  • Pasadena Community College, Pasadena CA
  • Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News VA
  • Charles H. Taylor Arts Center, Hampton VA

Professional Design Positions

Teresa’s commercial artist career spans over two decades. During that time she has held positions as:

  • Desktop publisher and advertising designer for a trade publication and five community newspapers
  • Graphic designer for several print shops
  • Graphic designer in the marketing department of a prestigious hospital
  • Art director of an international magazine
  • Website designer/developer and search engine optimization (SEO) specialist for several Internet development companies
  • Webmaster for an online retail store and eBay store
  • Advertising design assistant for a major retail grocery chain
  • Graphic artist for a specialty printing company

Oil Painting, Her True Passion

Although her professional career has kept Teresa very busy through the years, she still loves oil painting in her spare time. She exhibits her paintings online, at art shows and fairs, and sells them wherever she can. Teresa has made a name for herself as a fine artist and, thanks to the Internet, she has sold her paintings around the world. It is her dream to eventually retire from commercial art and make her true passion, oil painting, her career.

UPDATE: Teresa is now retired from the world of commercial art and is concentrating on her oil paintings.  Look for more to come.

Additional Reading

Artist Statement

kidney shaped artist paletteFine art has been my passion since I was young. I love to work on my paintings and I am often inspired by life and nature. I love many art styles, but realism is my favorite. As a realism artist, my approach to a subject matter is to portray it as it really appears in life; just as God created it. However, I do admire other art styles, such as impressionism and abstract art. For example, Vincent Van Gogh and Picasso are among my favorite artists whose artistic styles reflect those styles. Others who are also my favorite include American artists Georgia O’Keeffe for her flower paintings and Thomas Kinkaid for his realism in art.

I love the challenge of painting a variety of subjects (landscapes, seascapes, still life, etc.), whatever inspires me at the moment. This accounts for the various categories of paintings found in this website. However, I think my favorite would have to be landscape since I do more of those than any other genre.

Oil paint is the medium I use to create my art on canvas. Painting in oils is a traditional form of art that many of the Old Masters used when they created their masterpieces. I love the work of the Old Masters and someday I hope to be as much of an accomplished artist as they were.

I love sharing my paintings with others, so I’ve created this website to showcase a selection of my most recent oil paintings. As I finish more paintings, I will add them to my site. Take a look around and if you find something you like, feel free to post your comments or drop me an email. Be sure to check back periodically to see what’s new. Thank you for visiting my online art studio. It’s been a delight to share my paintings with you.

Teresa Bernard

Additional Reading

More About Teresa

Royce G Phillips
Royce G. Phillips

Teresa Bernard is a native Texan, born and raised in west Texas. She began painting at an early age under the instruction of her father Royce G. Phillips, a professional artist. Her dad, now deceased, painted oil paintings and also taught art classes in their hometown and the surrounding communities. He taught Teresa the love of fine art by teaching her how to draw and paint. There aren’t many artists who come from a succession of artists in their family and Teresa is one among those with this particular distinction. After graduating high school, Teresa headed off to California where she continued her studies of the fine arts and also learn graphic design.

Teresa’s professional career, which spans over three decades, has been working as a graphic artist and web designer. After retirement she plans to devote most of her time painting and promoting her artwork.

Teresa loves many art styles, but realism is her favorite. She enjoys painting landscapes, seascapes, still life, florals, spaceart and wildlife, as well as portraits. Teresa doesn’t specialize in one particular genre as she loves the challenge of painting whatever inspires her at the time. Through the years she has created a name for herself as an accomplished painter. Her paintings have won various awards in juried art shows and, thanks to the Internet, have sold all across the U.S. and around the world.

In her life, Teresa has lived many places and each location has had a huge influence on her work. For instance, while living on the west coast, Teresa painted many coastal scenes and marine life. On the east coast she loved painting lighthouses. Now that she is back in her home state, she paints life as it is there.

Currently Teresa lives with her husband Robert on their horse ranch in a small east Texas community near Tyler.

Learn More About The Artist

Additional Reading

Artist Interview: Teresa Bernard

A few years ago I had the privilege of being interviewed by an art student who was attending college in California. His assignment was to pick an artist, interview that person and write a paper about the interview. His questions were intelligent and well thought out. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience answering Eric’s questions and was delighted to read his paper.

Artist Interview: Teresa Bernard
By Eric Pott – May 8, 2007

For my artist interview project, I was fortunate in my Internet search to find the website of Teresa Bernard, a Texas painter. Teresa is an accomplished artist with a wide variety of skills and experience; she has an interesting background and has had the opportunity to express her creative abilities within her career as well as for her personal enjoyment. Teresa is primarily an oil painter; she showcases and sells her art on her web page while at the same time pursuing web design professionally. After seeing her paintings, I decided to contact Teresa, and was delighted when she e-mailed me back to say that she would be honored to be the subject of my interview.

I was initially drawn to Teresa’s website, which I found while browsing the “Yahoo!” artist directory by category; I was interested in talking with a painter, and I found that she painted with a number of different types of subject matter, including religious paintings. I noticed that her website contained a great deal of information already, and I guessed that there was a great deal of interesting thought that she could elaborate on in terms of some of her early influences and her knowledge of art within the context of her career. I also wanted to learn her opinions of the art world and of its business aspects. I contacted her via e-mail in late April, and we communicated for about a week or so during which I submitted to her my interview questions about her art, background, career, and her opinions of the art world in general.

Teresa was very fortunate to have learned many artistic elements and principles early in life. Her father was an art teacher, who studied under the instruction of a successive line of artists; he taught classes in her town, as well as in some of the surrounding communities. In our interview she placed a tremendous amount of emphasis on the artistic fundamentals and principles of design that he taught her: “….shading, lighting, composing, design, proportion, perspective, balance….all the elements that go into good composition.” Mrs. Bernard had attended college here in California, and she described in the interview that she had not originally intended to become an art student, but instead initially studied Bible and communications courses. She attended Ambassador College (which she later mentioned was right across the street from the Norton Simon Museum) in Pasadena, until it lost its funding; she then transferred to Pasadena Community College. There she began significant studies in the school’s substantial fine arts program, where she was required (among other things) to compose and paint artworks using styles from each major period of thought. “It was during [these] classes,” she said, “that I gained my appreciation of various art techniques and styles.”

I was interested in how she applied her artistic style in her career, and she described some of her experience as a graphic designer. She found much of her work on newspaper layouts, advertisement designs, and art design for a collector car magazine to be very rewarding. “I was doing what I love to do,” she said, especially with “complex pieces,” but she did not recommend a career in graphic design unless one was very determined. Easy access to desktop software and other tools have reduced the demand for graphic artists, she explained, and it is difficult to earn a very good salary in such a field – which was one reason why she was prompted to move into the area of web design. Designing web pages is a task that suits her personal style as a realist; she feels that often web pages are, in substance, a form of advertisement or brochure meant to advertise a product that requires a very direct approach to the viewer. “Realism in art conveys the message in a straightforward manner,” she expressed, “What better way is there than to use realism in designing a web site?”

covered bridge in Lane County, OR
Covered Bridge In Lane County, Oregon
12″ w x 9″ h

This realistic approach is evident in many of her paintings. “I paint what I see in a realistic way,” is how she illustrates her personal style. Covered Bridge in Lane County, Oregon, one of her landscape paintings, is an excellent example of this. Colorful fall hues, deep shadows and well-composed single-point perspective provide depth and space to this painting, which conveys a simple and rustic virtue that is implied in the aged white bridge and natural surroundings. Strong command of perspective is important in many of her paintings; to her, this technique is largely what gives a subject depth. “Without good perspective, the entire painting can be thrown off and proportions are wrong,” she notes. She uses layered paint and careful application of color with a dry brush to achieve a sense of texture in her compositions as well. It is with these techniques that she often communicates a very Christian message within her paintings; her desire seems to be to represent God’s handiwork in nature, honoring the “beauty and majesty of all creation” through realism.

Mrs. Bernard has some experience within the art world in terms of shows and exhibitions, and she listed several types in which she has entered her paintings; judged art shows, gallery fundraisers, and online auctions. She seems to prefer displaying her work within these types of exhibits rather than in privately owned art galleries; often times these galleries show multiple artists’ work, and she feels that much of the time artists do not receive as much individual promotion because of this. “I have much more interest in promoting my work than the gallery owner does,” she observes. “Their interest is making money no matter whose work they sell.” Additionally, in her experience she has seen galleries often charge outrageous commissions, about forty to fifty percent. Teresa hopes to eventually be able to paint and show her work full time in art shows.

I enjoyed my interview with Mrs. Bernard; it was interesting and informative. As a student of art, it was intriguing for me to be able to ask real questions and receive good practical insights into the techniques that a professional artist uses, and to learn about the business end of the art world. The most important thing that I took away from the interview, however, was that to have a career in art, it is important to love what you do. “Most people work in jobs they do not like, but that has never been the case for me,” she stated. “I’ve never not loved what I do for a living.”

About The Author

At the time of the interview Eric Pott was an art student attending Cerro Coso Community College in Ridgecrest CA. Eric reported to me that he received an A on this assignment.

Additional Reading