Artist’s Statement

The act of painting for me is a process of observation, meditation, deliberation, and brushstrokes on a ground, usually canvas. First I find a subject in the physical world that speaks to me visually—through light, forms and color. There is also an emotional/psychological dimension that presents itself initially or is revealed either in the process of painting or even later, in the viewing.

As I paint, I observe the subject and the emerging composition. I prefer natural light for it is the light of the sun which sustains life. I work on a painting over a period of hours, days, weeks, months or even years. Thus a painting represents an orchestration of many observations, thoughts, associations, deliberations and choices, conveyed by means of brushstrokes and layers of paint on the canvas, paper or linen. As a painting is painted over time, so may it reveal itself to the viewer over time.

Subjects for my compositions include both natural and architectural forms and the play of light on them. Reflections surprise the eye and make me take a fresh look. Views through windows, doorways, arches, etc., raise questions: Where am I? Where am I going, or not going?

Many artists inspire me, including Edward Hopper, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Morandi, Cezanne, Bonnard, Chinese landscape paintings of the Sung and Yuan dynasties, and Japanese woodblock prints.

—Rachel Gordon Bernstein