My Mother’s Artwork, II

In 2020 I posted some of my mother’s enamel works. This time I’ll show you a few of the many paintings she made in her life. Her name was Bernice Barsel and she lived from 1922 to 2014. Her styles varied from fanciful to realistic and the paintings here are done in both watercolour and oils. She was skilled in working in several media.

She didn’t date her work. However, I recall that the watercolour of a plantation ruin among trees in the Virgin Islands was from the 1970s. I believe this was one she painted on site, something she used to do when she first moved to the Caribbean.

Watercolour by Bernice Barsel.
Watercolour by Bernice Barsel

The next two paintings are either oil paintings or acrylics. I believe it’s more likely they are oil paintings, a medium she loved, but am not certain. She created them in the 2000s or late 1900s, when she made a number of expressive, fanciful works.

Oil Painting by Bernice Barsel
Oil Painting by Bernice Barsel
Oil painting by Bernice Barsel
Oil Painting by Bernice Barsel

This next work she made with a palette knife, something I recall her also doing when I was a child in the 1950s.

Palette knife oil painting by Bernice Barsel.
Paleete Knife Oil Painting by Bernice Barsel

This painting of a tree near her home that she’d taken a photo of is quite impressive seen in person. It’s from either the early 2000s or late 1900s.

Oil Painting by Bernice Barsel.
Oil Painting by Bernice Barsel

My mother continued painting until the last few years of her life. She stopped after my father died. Over the years, she experimented with many media. In addition to the examples of her work in this post, she also made many richly coloured ink paintings. I believe her creativity helped her navigate her life which had a strong vein of suffering in it. Her artwork seemed to be a way for her to join with beauty and to allow some outlet for her unconscious feelings and thoughts.

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