Information on Bert Ernie

Bert Ernie is a painter who has been creating artwork since he was 27 years old. At 55 years old, he has yet to exhibit his paintings in a physical gallery, despite numerous attempts and entries into art prizes. Bert has developed an impressive collection of photorealistic and abstract paintings, which he believes are worthy of public attention. Unfortunately, he has become bitter towards the art world due to his lack of success.

Despite this, Bert has faith in his abilities as an artist and his ego matches his confidence. He has completed 40 photorealistic paintings and 60 abstract paintings, with three unfinished pieces. While he has only sold two paintings and convinced a few others to take home his artwork, often it goes unpackaged and un-hung. Bert has been commissioned to paint three times, with only one successful payment. Before pursuing painting, Bert worked in various fields including as a factory-hand, machinist, and mechanical draftsperson. Currently, Bert is unemployed and on a disability pension due to his borderline personality disorder.

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More information

Bert Ernie is a multi-disciplinary artist who primarily focuses on painting. He is known for working in two distinct styles, photorealism and total abstraction. He steers clear of using “art-speak” when discussing his work, preferring to keep his explanations simple and accessible to everyone.

Bert is self-taught and started painting at the age of twenty-seven. Over the years, he has honed his technical skills and completed a total of forty photorealist paintings and sixty abstract works. Despite his best efforts to break into the art world and make a living from his art, he has only sold two paintings out of almost one hundred. He has given away several paintings to those who would take them.

After years of trying to succeed in the art world, Bert has come to the realization that his dream of becoming a successful artist is unrealistic. He feels like an outsider who won’t conform to the art world’s rigid standards. He’s too democratic and easy to understand, almost an anti-artist. Bert has little regard for a significant portion of the art world and has grown bitter towards it.

Imagine spending twenty-seven years trying to become a successful artist, striving to improve your technical skills, compositions and make your art more interesting and accessible to a broader audience. Bert has done precisely that, only to fail repeatedly. He has taken advice from gallery owners and fellow artists who suggested that he keep working diligently and enter competitions and shows, as well as promote himself on social media. Despite following all the suggestions, he still failed to gain traction.

Bert is angry and bitter about the art world, which he believes is the most corrupt and ridiculous industry on the planet. He feels that it has little to do with great art and everything to do with making money for the wealthy. He thinks that the art world is the most vicious it has ever been in the twenty-first century, and the arbiters of taste (art critics) are only interested in picking the fashionable artists to champion and criticizing those that no longer serve their interests.

The art world works like a pyramid, with artists, gallery owners, curators, and art critics competing to climb to the top. They make it all about money, fame, and power, and very little about the art itself. Most of what they write or talk about in relation to art is nonsensical, and few dare to call it out for what it is.

Bert is determined to stand up to the art world as an anti-artist, painting something cool for his twelve-year-old self. He wants to create work that is not like anything else in the art world, but is easily understandable and relatable to everyone. Although his photorealist style has fallen afoul of many of the art world’s critics, Bert sees it as an instrument for creating anti-art themes. His abstract paintings are entirely free and dynamic, colorful and joyful, and, with his brief descriptions, understandable and enjoyable. Despite the art world’s disdain for his work, Bert remains proud of his art and will continue to paint for himself and anyone who appreciates his unique style.

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Bert Ernie

My history

Bert Ernie has been passionate about painting since he was a child. He always believed that the goal of a painter was to recreate the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface. However, he never received any formal training and relied on his own instincts to create art during his early school years. Despite receiving the typical praise for his work, he enjoyed the process of painting and the challenge of trying to paint something realistically.

Years later, Bert found himself stuck in a dead-end job, and he turned to painting to escape from the monotony. Despite having no formal training, he taught himself how to paint in a dedicated photorealistic style. He enjoyed the process of painting and began to develop his skills and confidence. He eventually switched to painting on MDF board, which presented a new challenge due to the uneven tension of the paint on one side of the board causing it to bow inward. Bert solved the problem by painting the reverse side of his photorealistic work to pull the board flat again.

During the process, he would use several ice cube trays of acrylic paint for his palette of colors. After finishing a photorealist painting, he would then use the remaining paint to create an abstract work on the reverse side. Bert did a few of these before deciding to paint the two styles separately.

Over the next twenty-two years, Bert completed about 40 photorealistic paintings and 30 abstract paintings. He tried everything to become a successful artist, but his efforts were in vain. Despite entering numerous art prizes and shows and approaching art galleries for representation, he failed to achieve anything beyond selling one commissioned photorealist painting.

In 2016, Bert’s brother Luke committed suicide, which left him shattered and unable to paint with any real conviction. He gave up all forms of creating art for some time. In 2017, a dear friend named Rebecca Parker also committed suicide, leaving Bert feeling incredibly alone and depressed despite being surrounded by the beautiful Yarra Glen in the midst of the Yarra Valley.

One beautiful spring day in 2017, Bert had an awakening – he realized he should return to creating art but with a new approach. He decided to create the most beautiful abstract paintings he could as a way of celebrating life, instead of wallowing in depression. He knew he had a talent for making visually appealing work with both styles – photorealism and abstraction. With abstract work, he believed he should focus on the real beauty of the painted surface. So Bert started painting again and hasn’t stopped since.

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Bert Ernie

Artist statement

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Curriculum vitae

The short information.

Young abstract expressionist painter Bert Ernie

painting technique

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Photorealist Painting Techniques

Painting Techniques

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Noam Chomsky & Bert Ernie


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Buying art

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Discover how Bert Ernie tries to earn a few dollars with his other ventures.