Michelle Renee Bernard
"Outsider art, fairy tales, living at the shore, boardwalks, local carnivals, circus sideshows and other oddities have been a constant source of inspiration for my work. This most recent collection of art dolls gives a whimsically modern nod to the age-old style of folk art. Each doll is hand sculpted using paper clay over top of a hand crafted armature, then decorated with layers and layers of acrylic paint for an aged, vintage look. Broken bits of jewelry, lovingly worn fabrics, and antique objects embellish each doll in traditional and even non-traditional ways. You’ll often find me scouring the flea markets for unusual items that I can cleverly repurpose into a new piece of work.
"My organic process leaves plenty of room for spontaneous ideas and each doll actually evolves as I create. I evaluate every feature and carefully choose exactly what objects get placed and where, in order to create the perfect mood for a piece. I savor the moment it evolves into an authentic visual expression of my original idea. My true desire is that each thoughtfully expressive character is able to elicit personal emotions from the viewer."
With a background in Graphic Design, Michelle Bernard spent years “making art” for everyone but herself. In her spare time, Michelle eventually found various mediums she enjoyed working with including pencils, paint, paper, fabric, clay, wood and metal. To satisfy her diverse passions, she often combined them in her art. Then a key career move landed her an Art Director position for a major craft company.
Being exposed to a vast array of innovative craft products—and using them in nontraditional ways—elevated her art to a whole new level. Michelle’s mixed media creations have appeared in nearly a dozen Magazines and books including Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion, Somerset Studio, Haute Handbags, Who’s Your Dada and Collage Decoupage & Altered Art. She spends her days making paintings, collage, assemblage, dolls and jewelry for her own creative business, Yesterday’s Trash. Michelle currently resides in the quaint Victorian town of Ocean Grove, on the NJ shore.
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