August 2011 - Eventful Magazine

August 2011 - Eventful Magazine

theater & the arts

Art is a Conversation for Carmel’s

Danielle Bernard

By Rich Monetti

The world inside Danielle Bernard mind

seems to be the key factor in what makes her

such a prolific and gifted artist. She even goes

as far as happily accepting a label reserved

for the type of apprentice who’s susceptible

to a ridicule stemming from his or her outerworldly


“I used to think that it was an insult, but

space cadet is kind of funny and true, she said.

In describing a work she calls “House in

my Head” Bernard, who is a Carmel resident,

reveals how the random thoughts in her

mind inspire her. “I randomly came up with

a mouth floating in a black background,” she

said. “It’s open and there’s a tiny little house

in the back of the mouth with the lights on.

It’s glowing yellow; that was the House in my


She may sound a little too creative for her

own good, but actually the stream of consciousness

she easily displays amounts to

nothing more than the mind-set of a welladjusted


Looking back on her childhood, she remembers

never having a problem entertaining

herself. “My mom would leave me alone

in my bedroom and I would just play with

everything - building things, drawing and totally

lost in my imagination,” she recalled.

Although she effectively managed to occupy

her time alone, Bernard was actually very

social and spent a lot of time with her peers.

“I was a pretty outgoing person with plenty

of opportunity for fun and friends,” she said.

Still, she was continually drawn to artistic

endeavors. While free time in high school

usually means hanging out in the cafeteria,

Bernard had other things in mind. “I had an

awesome art teacher in high school. He let me

come do art whenever I needed

to, and sometimes during my free

periods, he’d let me jump in with

the class,” says Bernard.

Otherwise, she muddled

through things like math and

then went onto study and graduate

from the School of Visual Arts

in Manhattan. Bernard majored

in illustration, bur she admitted

her process still does not follow

any specific curriculum. “It’s

never planned out. I kind of just

sit down and start to draw something,”

she said. “Then it kind of

makes itself.”

Her work is considered dreamlike

and symbolic, but still category

truly captures its essense.

“I don’t know what I call it,” she


In turn, the ambiguity only adds to the

mystery. “I like my images to evoke some kind

of emotion,” Bernard said.

Juxtaposing life’s difficulties and approaching

from a different perspective often acts as

the spark. “Sometimes if you look at them the

right way those things can be beautiful,” she


Bernard also draws heavily on childhood

to get her point across. “Chalk Land”

is almost autobiographic of her time spent in

childhood occupying her mind. “It’s a little

girl on the sidewalk using chalk and making

this whole board game world around her,” she


The paintbrush, though, does not represent

an endpoint in terms of creativity. “I

don’t stay within one medium,” she says. “I

get bored very easily.”

The part time-waitress and chiropractor’s

assistant uses mixed media, acrylic paint and

is no stranger to sewing, among other things.

The diversity also lends itself to unlocking

ideas when she gets stuck. “There are times

when my hand does not work,” she said. “I’m

drawing terribly and I get so frustrated, but

that’s when I try a different creative form.”

If worse comes to worst, she’ll take out a

piece of paper and just start cutting. A pencil

isn’t out of the question either. “I have a children’s

book I’ve been working on for a long

time,” she says.

At 32 pages with her own illustrations, Bernard

is seeking a publisher, but the business

side of art is a challenge. Not really exhibiting

much and with a lot of her work piling

up at home, she says, “I’m trying to figure out

where I belong and do something with my

work because it’s all

that I want to do.”

Bernard’s work

will be on display

through August

at Dish Bistro and

Wine Bar, where

she works, in Mahopac

at 947 South

Lake Blvd.

Contact and view

Bernard’s work on

her website at www.

6 Eventful Magazine - August 2011

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines