Bernie White-Hatcher was raised in the Midwest living in WI, OH, MO, and IL. The Midwest landscape and what is inherent in its seasonal changes has had, and continues to have, a tremendous influence on her artwork. The sensual stimulation and deprivation of a particular season that is so apparent visually, affects olfactory, auditory, and tactile sense experiences as well. Bernie believes these sensual experiences form memories of a specific event in time and are stored and then feed her inspiration. They inform her abstract landscapes that are at the foundation of what she paints.
“I love the process of painting. It is so fulfilling, satisfying, and actually enchanting. Making art is always surprising and a challenge no matter what the media. My chosen medium is acrylic paint. For me the challenge is to communicate with paint, a memory or idea and its associated feelings onto the canvas surface, and then hope all of this is transferred to the viewer. The final product is usually never what I had envisioned; that is the enchantment of creating. I find that as I work giving form to the initial trigger, what I see developing on the canvas, often stimulates various associations. Some of these, when expressed in paint, give a new and deeper direction and dimension to the work. Yet some of these must also be discarded, ignored, or painted over. I often leave the artwork for hours in order to break that thread of evolution that occurs, because if left unchecked, and this happens often, the result in the painting can become too expansive, then disassociated and incomprehensible. It is so exciting and fulfilling to come back to the work after a recess from it, and find that I have nailed it, or if not, then at least with some alteration and/or omission, I can rework some area to bring it all back into balance. This is the process that keeps me interested, excited, surprised, stimulated and reasons I continue to make art.”
Along with her on-going pursuit of painting, Bernie worked as a draftsman and drafting supervisor for the Bell System, a graphic designer and manager of graphics and illustration at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, and as part-time adjunct faculty at Lincoln Land Community College in Arts and Education, all in Springfield, IL. Bernie has two grown children; she and her husband, both retired, live part-time in Springfield and in Placitas, New Mexico.
“The landscape of the southwest is so extreme and different from what I have grown use to in the Midwest. These New Mexico vistas are providing me with a plethora of visual and sensory memories that are wonderful challenges for me to express in paint.”