|Bernie Rosage Jr., artist|
Photo by John Althouse
May 29, 2011
Article by ANIESA HOLMES, Jacksonville Daily News
With each stroke of a brush, Bernie Rosage, Jr. learns that his painting is evolving, both in technique and in purpose.
That purpose is to help make a difference in the lives of others.
With more than 600 pieces of art in his working portfolio, Rosage will present 40 for public viewing during “Life, Light and Pigment,” his second solo art exhibit hosted by The Council for the Arts through June and July.
The exhibit officially opens with a reception on June 5 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. with the opportunity to meet Rosage and purchase paintings until July 29. Proceeds from each sale will benefit the support other local artists through the Council for the Arts and benefit local families affected by the April 16 tornado through Operation B-4.
The Onslow County native often finds country roads, marshlands, barns and water — from Onslow County to Ireland — the subject of his work, attracted to their hues and shapes.
“Bernie is doing new paintings new subject matter and going different,” said Connie Wenner, executive director for the Council for the Arts. “As an artist you want your art to be out there. It’s not an inexpensive deal being an artist to give up 50 percent of his painting price ... I think it’s a wonderful thing he's doing for a worthy cause.”
“Life, Light and Pigment” is a collection of oil and acrylic paintings from the past two years. Most of the paintings in the exhibit were painted from life, either in the studio or on location en plein air. Rosage believes in bringing everyday objects to life in fresh and artistic ways by capturing light, mood and atmosphere.
“Most came from painting direct observations from life — still object or landscapes — and I love the way light plays on things and I like pigments naturally because they are paintings,” Rosage said. “Painting is my passion … as my paintings evolve in style I try to go beyond just what something looks like from observing it to something deeper, maybe sublime or divine.”
Rosage has dedicated several years to promoting art in the community through participating in local art shows and interacting with other artists to create a network of resources for those who are interested in finding their own passion for art. His first amateur exhibit featured scribbles of crayon on the walls of his bedroom as a young boy. It was a skill that was passed down from his father, but Rosage didn’t fully embrace painting until he became a teenager. He describes his training in art as being “self motivated to be taught.”
“My actual first public display was in 1979 in the Council for Arts for the high school student show … It was a painting of a sunset,” Rosage said. “I mostly do landscapes because there's something that draws me to them, there's peace, there's beauty.”
Since 2004, Rosage has split time between full time painting and working in his family’s business, Audio Plus in Jacksonville. In 2007, Rosage helped to create the Onslow Outdoor Painting Society, or OOPS. The group allows artists to gather once a month and set up easels outside to paint their own renditions of local sceneries.
“We’re in our fourth year now and that has brought some great friendships into my life and my art has grown since then from being around artists and talking to them about where my art has gone,” he said.
He and fellow artists Stephen Greer, Mitchell Morton and Dean Remington have formed a unique bond through painting in OOPS and every other Monday night to paint still paintings of objects. Rosage has found a deeper connections and stronger motivations for painting after the tornado that devastated communities in Jacksonville on April 16. After learning of the Operation B-4, a group of Onslow County Residents who teamed up to raise money for families affected by the tornado, he wondered how he could become a part of their efforts.
“That tornado was one mile from hitting my house, so one mile difference means that I would be depending on someone helping me,” Rosage said. “What I like is that they're keeping the money here to help the people in our hometown and I hope they raise a lot of money.”
Rosage said that it was a recent church sermon that inspired him to turn his art show into a charity event to help his neighbors rebuild after the storm.
“When I'm out painting landscapes I'm savoring God's creation firsthand,” Rosage said. “They have been doing a series at my church called ‘Dare to be Great’ and the idea of giving profits away to a worthy cause didn't enter my mind because this is how I make my living. But I felt inspired to do something for the tornado victims and the B-4 project appealed to me.”
Rosage has also set his sights on a new way to give back to his community through education. He just finished his first year teaching certification at Coastal Carolina Community College and currently taking online courses to earn his bachelor’s degree in education at East Carolina University.
“I just started college at age 49 to become an art teacher because teaching and art are both my passions. I like to encourage young artists to stick to it because art is so valuable to our society and to individuals,” Rosage said.
After decades of growing, exploring and discovering new paths in his artistic career, Rosage said that mastering the skill of painting cannot be achieved by a certain age, but continues throughout the life of an artist.
“My goal by the time I was 50 was to become a master painter. I'll be 50 in August,” Rosage said. “Now that has switched to being a painter for the Master. I don't know if I'll ever master painting, but I can make differences through my work if I'm doing it for the right reasons.”
Read the whole Daily News article HERE...
WANT TO GO? The “Life, Light and Pigment,” art exhibit featuring Bernie Rosage, Jr. will be hosted by The Council for the Arts in June and July. The exhibit will officially open with a reception on June 5 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 910-455-9840.
Click HERE to go to First Baptist Church's website... from there click the JAXCAST link at top and look for the "Dare to be Great" podcast sermons by Pastor Jason Brinker. You can download them as a mp3 podcast or video for FREE!