In a Bermudian Mood by Bernard Poulin
Onions Gallery, BSoA Galleries – May 20 – June 8 2011
Royal Gazette Article Tuesday, October 5 2010
Bernard Aimé Poulin’s career in the visual arts officially began in 1967 with the opening of his first solo exhibition. Nonetheless, the launch of his full time professional career did not take place until 1978. During this eleven year span, the artist honed his technical skills and tested the critical waters of local, regional and national exhibiting.
From the onset of his visual art career Bernard Poulin’s sensitive yet powerful portraits have set the stage for his international reputation. The affection and respect he displays is always evident, whether his subjects are children or adults.
Though portraiture has always been his first love, Poulin is also recognized for the luminous qualities of his landscapes and the elegance of his still-life compositions. Between 1985 and 1995 traditional exhibitions of his work have been rare by choice. His commission schedule demanded his full attention and exhibitions became too time conssuming. But at the behest of past collectors he began showing again – but only works which were comissioned in advance. These show he entitled: Patron Exhibitions. The first Patron Exhibition (1996) was unveiled at a private champagne reception for his commissioning Patrons. Approximately every 2 years since, a Patron Exhibition is held – displaying work motivated by the artist’s expeditions to Paris, Jerusalem, Provence, Florence, Siena and Venice.
As his medium of choice for more than thirty years, Bernard favours the attributes of translucent alkyd-oils over the more popular acrylic and traditional oil colours.
His strong design sense and sculptor’s eye are also visible in his commissioned two and three-dimensional mural works. Several of his three dimensional murals and bronze work can be seen in institutional collections in Ottawa, Canada.
Poulin’s work graces the walls of many private and corporate collections from the United States to Europe and Australia, from Beijing to London and from Canada to Bermuda. The artist has rendered official portraits of royalty, the clergy, the judiciary and key academic as well as corporate and political figures.
A sought after lecturer, Poulin has held international workshops and conferences which have always been sold-out events. He has presented conferences in Washington DC, San Diego, Chicago, Seattle, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Bermuda. His educational television programs have been translated and distributed internationally. Bernard Poulin has also penned articles published in professional art magazines. He is the author of seven books, the last five published by North Light Books of Cincinnati, Ohio. His latest: “The Complete Colored Pencil Book”, (1992) was translated in Paris France, in 1995. This book has since sold more than 65,000+ copies. In the Spring of 2002, this same work was re-issued in soft-cover.
Bernard Poulin is a member of the Bermuda Society of the Arts, the Bermuda National Gallery and the Masterworks Foundation of Bermuda. He is listed in the Who’s Who of Canada and was the President of the Canadian Institute of Portrait Artists between 2003 and 2005. The “Bernard A. Poulin Scholarships” created in 1990 by the Hadassah-Wizo Organization of Canada are available to deserving art students.
Visual Art Education During the 1950s and 60s a general “here’s a canvas, here’s a brush, express yourself” approach to art education reigned. Formal anatomy and classic drawing classes were therefore rare. Consequently Bernard created his own study program which included a study trip to Florence, Italy in 1975. After a self-styled eleven year apprenticeship, the artist eventually embraced a full time career in the visual arts, and most especially portraiture, in 1978.
Academic Background Bernard Poulin is a graduate of the Ecole Normale de l’Université d’Ottawa. where he obtained his teaching certificate (1964). He later obtained his Specialist Certificate in Special Education (1969). From 1965 to 1978 he focused his attentions on the teaching and treatment of children suffering from emotional difficulties at the Ecoles Séparées d’Ottawa, the Ottawa Public School Board and the Royal Ottawa Psychiatric Hospital. As well, he lectured in Special Education at several colleges and Universities including Ottawa University and the Laurentian University “Département des sciences de l’éducation” in Sudbury, Ontario.
Read article here from the Bermuda Sun