Slow Down and Look

I am a full-time artist working at home in Stonehaven, N.E. Scotland: selling work as a painter, writer and maker both online and through local exhibitions.

I am trained but prefer to remain UNTAMED, Unframed, Unconstrained and Unconventional. Here you will see art in progress: you can buy my finished paintings etc through the gallery link on the right ~ Bern Ross

Thursday, 15 May 2014

This week's little picture

When you visit my studio you'll see this picture - or another of my choosing - in the window as you approach the house. It has to be a small one or it'll block the light in my studio. I always put a painting in the window to define it as an artist's house! It's a place that's full of character at the back - a steep rocky terrace leading down to a beautiful stream or 'BURN' but at the front it looks the same as all the other houses! No, in fact, it looks a bit more tatty.

Whatever your views on houses, it's home, and my studio; and you're very welcome to come and look at all that I do and that's been created and stored and displayed around the house.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Recent Experiments

Here are just a few of the paintings and experiments I've been working on in the past few months...

 Glimpsing the Sky - mixed media on canvas 20" x 20"
 Morning, Shoreline - oil and mixed media on canvas 24" x 18"
 Onwards and Upwards - acrylic on deep profile canvas 20" x 8"
 Stomping with Fury and Abandon - acrylic on deep profile canvas 30" x 24"
White Gulls - mixed media on canvas 20" x 16"

Onwards and Upwards and Stomping with Fury and Abandon are for sale on along with more of her work and links to her shop(s)

'A broad and eclectic range!'

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A New Way of Publishing

Time has flown ridiculously fast since my last post here. I have not been idle.

My solo exhibition in Montrose continues to reverberate, generating online sales, offline sales, general feedback and interest. I have put the two part film onto YouTube so that you can have a guided tour of it any time you like. Here it is! 
'Fields of Them' - just one of 43 paintings on show in the two part film

As an extra treat there's a taste of the seaside on there too.
And in between various visitors staying with us for holidays I've been revisiting some of the books I've published in the past, with a view to preparing them for publication on Kindle. The first of these is now complete and published to Kindle here!

That's the UK version.
Here is the US version
There are 15 Hamersma artwork images in the Kindle book and Hamersma's writings are thought-provoking and inspirational - even for me after working on this book for such a long time. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Major Solo Exhibition Up and Running

I'm pleased to say that with a lot of hard work and with help from a friend and my dearest husband, Bern Ross: Inspired By Scotland is now on show in Montrose Library for the whole month of May 2013. I'm very happy with the way the paintings go together - complementing each other quite well - and I was ruthless in hanging: bringing home again more than 20 pieces because I didn't want it to look too busy and ragged. (The labels are neater now than appear on this photo.)

Here's a small taste of the 40+ exhibits, but do try and get to see the whole exhibition if you can. It will be worth it.

The main Seascape wall.
Elsewhere there are Life Studies, Landscapes and abstracts as well as more seascapes.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Coming Soon...

My silence on this blog is partly caused by thinking and working towards my (now) solo exhibition to be held throughout May 2013... Here's the poster:

It was originally going to be a joint effort called We 2 with Ros Callander but she had to drop out for various reasons so I'm going it alone. So far I'm pleased with the way my plans are falling together... and just hope that I can cope with transporting, hanging and generally putting on a classy, cohesive display to be proud of. (Actually I'm very excited.) I've offers of help from friends and warm wishes from all directions. It'll be grand to see my paintings in that huge light space, allowing visitors galore to wander in, admire and buy. I promise a treat for all who mount those stairs.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Bervie Art Show

I've been silent on here for far too long but that only means one thing. I've been VERY busy - with both painting and with THINKING! And getting organised because after much ado, much planning and hoping and bureaucratic hurdling, I have a major solo exhibition to set up for the whole of May 2013.

It was going to be a DUO with the inimitable Ros Callander, brilliant artist, great friend and proprietor of the best online gallery this country has produced but she has other important things on her mind at the moment and had to drop out of the plan.

So look out for Bern Ross: Inspired by Scotland - coming to Montrose Library Exhibition Room in May. More on that soon.

Here is my small exhibition stand at the annual BERVIE ART SHOW (Inverbervie) which I set up yesterday and which is open daily for a week, until 8th April.  This year I decided to put in a selection of line drawings.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

New Textures

I've been very busy making finishing touches to several paintings that were frustrating me over the past few weeks and now I'm in a rush to get some new ideas started, so I'm not stopping to add photos of them all here. You can see finished work, as ever, on which is the shortcut url to my gallery on

But here's the texture I've started today and rather like it.
Close up of texture

There's a feint outline on the canvas now - just for proportions - got a long way to go yet!
          Thanks for looking x

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Another Dimension

If I had the space and materials (plus energy and time too?) I'd be a sculptor as well as a painter and writer. Not much to expect of myself, eh? This nagging urge made me buy some 'new clay': the sort that doesn't need firing in a kiln.

I enjoyed getting messy with it again but the small amount in my hands and lack of facilities I'd been able to use, both at college and when sharing it with children in playgroups, made it feel quite pathetic. As with painting, I can only do large!

But years ago I successfully created reclining figurines from my life-drawings so this is what I set out to do.

While the rest of the model fell away, the new clay not strong enough to hold small limbs together, I was rather proud of this leg, so it stands alone on a plinth.

Shake A Leg

Friday, 16 November 2012

The Joy of Painting-Buddies

On the phone she said, "Can you pop round? I'm swithering."

Yes, I was swithering too. We were each undecided about which two of our paintings to put in an exhibition: she with three abstracted landscapes behind glass and me with two framed life studies plus an abstracted sea/landscape. Thankfully my impartial view when I 'popped round' was enough to help her decide which two paintings to take; and later when I showed her my dilemma she helped me in the same way. Discussing titles made a big difference too.

I am so lucky to have several artist friends with whom I can swap ideas, share disappointments and best of all, discuss the best way forward.

These two paintings were the focus of this discussion and they are now queuing up for the Winter Exhibition at The Meffan Gallery in Forfar. They want 'new and exciting work' and compared to many conventional pictures, I think these come somewhere close - and so do the paintings of  my friend who helped.

 This first one is entitled 'The White Gate' and is a heavily textured oil painting. I leave you to look and ponder.

This painting is entitled 'A Model for Matisse' and is now framed in black with a recess, which accentuates it rather well. It's also an oil painting with some heavy texture in places.

Taking our work to The Meffan was quite a stressful event as it's a long way to drive when you're getting over the 'flu but doing it together made it fun. The exhibition opens on 23rd November and the hanging team have a big job on their hands: there are some marvelous and extraordinary pieces of artwork to go up - if last year is anything to go by - and somewhere along the line there is some judging to do for prizes.

Help with decisions and titles, quality support, a good giggle and coffee at a strategic moment. Good.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Instead of brush strokes or scraping paint onto the surface, I've been experimenting with thickened trails of the medium to get soft lines to emulate the therapeutic feel of sea water. These waves are just part of a larger painting (simple, abstracted) about 20" x 16" on standard canvas.

Detail from 'On a Clear Day'

Friday, 8 June 2012

Some new work hanging

These four paintings - seascapes - are created on mdf panels (24" x 7" approx.) and are on display at Mearns Arthouse in Stonehaven along with three other pieces of my work.

These were a new excursion into mixed media (acrylic based textures, this time) on a very firm and flat base that felt very different to working on canvas that I'm used to. 

Sorry the photos are ragged at the edges - the cropping would've taken me ages!

Monday, 30 April 2012


These two paintings are displayed at the Milton Art Gallery, Crathes nr Banchory. It's a beautiful little arts and craft village and the exhibition is a good one - the KDAF - Kincardine and Deeside Arts Forum; and I like the way it has been hung this year.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

This Morning's Life Drawings

Well if you're lucky you might find photos of them on that link but I'm fast losing the will to live regarding this blog site and photos - they don't seem to appear for me!

There should be 6 different drawings there :)

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Pastel Painting

This is just a quick pastel picture - well diptych - of the northern end of Stonehaven Bay, which I did in between waiting for some oil paintings to dry... and turning my studio upside down to make space for a plan chest. More on that to follow!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Friday, 10 February 2012

Loosening Up Two

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Loosening Up

After spending some time on the detailed work of two commissioned pieces (*very* special), I let loose on colour and whatever I could find in the studio to create these.
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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

I Wish...

I've just relaunched this beautiful little book. It's only £5 and it's for anyone who wishes they could paint, or draw, or create things like an artist or wants to nurture talent in their children or grandchildren.

And for those who wish they were more inspired, motivated and could climb out of their creative block.

See it on my gallery where you can buy it quickly too, with no delivery problems! (It is much smaller than 1MB).

Written and designed by yours truly, with sumptuous illustrations...