Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wishing you an ARTful Holiday Season!

I want to take the time to wish everyone a blessed Holiday Season... may the light of the season shine on you and warm your heart. Talk to ya'll next year!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Bernie spends two weeks plein air painting in the NC Mountains...

I had a relaxing time painting "en plein air" in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains while on vacation at Fleetwood Falls, NC. I made many new friends and spent time with some old dear ones. The highlight of my painting adventures was painting with Jeremy Sams and Scott Boyle along the New River near Todd, NC. The crowning jewel was spending the day (August 9th) with some of the best NC plein air artists at the Sweetgrass Paint Out near Blowing Rock, NC. I painted with dear friends, Jeremy Sams and Brenda Behr in a meadow with an awesome view of Grandfather Mountain. We dodged the showers as best we could but it was well worth it!

In Art,

Check out all the photos at this link.... Plein Air FUN in the Blue Ridge Mountains ~ August 2013

Monday, July 01, 2013

Onslow County at the Battle of Gettysbirg... 150 years ago TODAY!

Onslow County at the Battle of Gettysburg
by Bernie Rosage, Jr.

July 1st through 3rd of every year our country commemorates the  anniversary of the epic Battle of Gettysburg, often referred to as the turning point of America's Civil War. Thousands of people will converge on the small Pennsylvania town once again, not to do battle, but to remember. Lincoln put it best when he said, "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here".

The anniversary embodies many special events, highlighted by  reenactors clashing in battle reenactments of familiar names like; The Railroad Cut, The Wheat Field, The Peach Orchard, Devil's Den, The Bloody Angle, Little Round Top, Cemetery Hill to name a few. All done not to glorify war but to remember history and honor the men who fought and died.

This story is about the men of Onslow County, Company H of the 55th North Carolina Infantry in particular,  who where there over 150 years ago to witness the historic event first hand.

The company, known as the "Alexander Boys," was raised mainly in Alexander and Onslow counties in March - April, 1862. It was mustered into Confederate service at Camp Mangum, near Raleigh, on May 31, 1862, and assigned to the 55th Regiment N.C. Troops as Company H.

The 55th NC, commanded by Colonel John K. Connally, was assigned to General Joseph R. Davis' Brigade (the nephew of Confederate President Jefferson Davis) in the spring of 1863 where it remained until January of 1865. During the Gettysburg Campaign, Davis' Brigade consisted of the 2nd, 11th, and 42nd Mississippi regiments, along with the 55th NC and was part of Henry Heth's Division, A.P. Hill's III Corps, in Robert E. Lee's famed Army of Northern Virginia.

Heth's Division is given credit for starting the battle of Gettysburg. Heth wanted to procure some shoes for his barefoot troops and had heard there was a large supply in the town. Initially thinking Union General John Buford's cavalry was only Pennsylvania militia, he continued to push towards Gettysburg. Ironically the South entered town that day from the north and the North entered from the south. More and more troops from both sides were drawn to the sounds of fighting and on July 1, 1863 the great battle had begun.

The 55th NC formed the extreme left of Davis' Brigade, and owing to the nature of the ground was the first regiment to come into view of the enemy, and received the first fire in the battle. A volley from the 56th Pennsylvania Regiment of Cutler's Brigade. From the beginning, the fighting was fierce and as the regiment advanced, Colonel Connally seized the battle flag from a fallen soldier and rushed several paces in front of the regiment where he fell badly wounded in the arm and hip. Major Belo rushed up and asked him if he was badly wounded. Colonel Connally replied: "Yes, but pay no attention to me; take the colors and keep ahead of the Mississippians."

After driving Cutler's Brigade, Davis' units took shelter in an unfinished railroad cut to regroup. The "shelter" turned out to be a death trap because along much of its length, the walls of the cut were to deep for men to fire out of. The 6th Wisconsin and the Iron Brigade Guard, about 450 men total, took advantage of the situation and charged the cut, killing and wounding hundreds, and taking 232 of the brigade prisoner.

Onslow County was there --- John S. Meadows was killed in action; Abraham T. Autaway was wounded in the face, captured, and died in a Gettysburg hospital; Michael Rawls and Thomas Simpson, Jr. were captured and sent to Point Lookout --- to mention a few. Thomas' brother, Curtis Simpson, was furloughed home sick and missed the battle. (Curtis' son, the late Walter Caden Simpson --- 1894-2000, resided in Onslow County in the Back Swamp district. He was Camp 1302's "Real Son").

The 55th NC including Company H, suffered dearly on the first day's battle. The battle that would swell into a terrible three-day struggle, one in which 160,000 Americans would contest for supremacy within 25 square miles of ground and carve into history the greatest battle on American soil resulting in over 50,000 casualties. Day one wasn't the end for the "Alexander Boys" --- they still had to make one more grand charge!
Onslow County at the Battle of Gettysburg
North Carolina; Farthest at Gettysburg!
by Bernie Rosage, Jr.
The Tar Heels of the Old North State, including over 1300 men from Onslow County, have earned their page in history with their deeds of valor, contributions, and dedication to the Confederate Cause of 1861 - 1865. Often North Carolina wasn't given the respect due to her for such contributions and found herself defending her soldier's good  name. Too many times other states got the glory and promotions while North Carolina did the work and was content with the simple attribute of duty. North Carolina was considered by her people as, "The valley of humility between the two pinnacles of conceit", referring to the hot-tempered South Carolinians who started the war and the illustrious lineage of the Virginians.

North Carolina boasts a motto that no other state can revel; "First at Bethel, farthest at Gettysburg and Chickamauga, and last at Appomattox." A motto worthy of respect for all Confederate Tar Heels and one that, in part, was earned by a company of infantry consisting of men from Onslow and Alexander counties.

Longstreet's Assault on July 3, 1863 at Gettysburg, or what is generally but very incorrectly known as "Pickett's Charge," has not only had its proper place in books about the war, but has furnished a subject for more speeches, historical essays, paintings and poems than any other event which ever occurred in America. Many writings have led their readers to falsely think that Pickett's Virginians were the only ones in the grand charge.

Company H, nicknamed "The Alexander Boys," of the 55th North Carolina Troops were there. As the Alexander and Onslow boys crouched in the McMillan Woods they waited for the furious two-hour bombardment by some 150 Confederate cannons to cease. Their attack would then commence, and little did they know that the turning point of the war and their cause was at hand.

Company H stepped out of the woods atop Seminary Ridge and, with forty-one other Confederate regiments, formed ranks for the assault; eighteen regiments and one battalion from Virginia, fifteen regiments from North Carolina, three from Mississippi, three more from Tennessee, and one regiment and one battalion from Alabama. Before them, clearly unveiled as a breeze blew the smoke away, lay 1,300 yards of coverless ground and the bristling Federal lines beyond.

General Lee requested his "Old War-horse," General James Longstreet, to command the assault even though Pickett's fresh division was the only one from his I Corps. The other two divisions were from A. P. Hill's III Corps.  Henry Heth's division was commanded by Johnston Pettigrew. Heth was wounded on the first day which would have been fatal if it were not for a few folded papers he stuffed in his hat. Upon the mortal wounding of Dorsey Pender, his division was now commanded by Isaac Trimble. Both divisions were heavily engaged during the first day's battle and suffered severely. The 55th NC was commanded by Captain George Gilreath upon the killing and wounding of all its' field officers on the first day's fight. Company H was commanded by Captain Edward Satterfield with many of the regiments' companies led by non-commissioned officers.

Major General George Pickett's Virginians took up position on the right of Pettigrew with Trimble in support of Pettigrew. The command to commence the assault was given to Pickett by a reluctant Longstreet and the grand charge had begun. Pettigrew dispatched Col. James Marshal, "Now Colonel, for the honor of the Old North State, Forward" and the Tar Heels stepped off.

Preceded by a line of skirmishers and "colors flying in the breeze," Pickett's and Pettigrew's men moved "in perfect order as if on dress parade" towards the Emmitsburg Road. Under severe fire from artillery and musketry the southern lines began to give way. Brockenborough's Virginia brigade was soon shattered which left Davis' brigade, which included the 55th NC, exposed on the far left where they were flanked by the Union 8th Ohio. Franklin Sawyer of the 8th Ohio Volunteers later wrote; "Changing our front, the men were ordered to fire into their left flank at will. The distinct graceful lines were at once enveloped in a dense smoke and dust. Arms, heads, blankets, guns and knapsacks were thrown and tossed in the air. A moan went up from the field, distinctly to be heard amid the storm of battle, but on they went, more like a cloud of moving smoke and dust than a column of troops."

The casualties of the charge were horrendous for every southern regiment involved. However, if the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava in which it lost thirty-five percent has rendered it famous, why should not the Charge of Davis' brigade in which it lost sixty percent render it equally famous? The casualties for the 55th NC were 74 men killed or mortally wounded (of whom 27 died in the hands of the enemy), 76 wounded, 263 captured (of whom 107 were wounded), and two missing --- a total of 415 including many men from Onslow.  The 55th as a regiment rivaled in casualties, the three brigades of Pickett's division who averaged  455 each.

The ocean of men in butternut and gray that flowed forward that summer's afternoon 150 years ago, created the "high-water mark" to which the tide of Southern success rose, and from which, it painfully ebbed away. General Lewis Armistead, (born in New Bern, N.C.), of Pickett's division, with about 150 men crossed the Union lines at an angle in a stonewall where he was mortally wounded 40 yards therein. The portion of the Union line assaulted by the 55th NC was a stonewall 80 yards farther in distance. Captain Satterfield of  Company H, fell dead nine yards from that portion of the line. Allowing for the thickness of the wall, Captain Satterfield, company commander of Onslow County soldiers, fell 31 yards beyond Armistead and is responsible for North Carolina's motto: "Farthest at Gettysburg."
It should be noted that one Confederate soldier in every four who fell at Gettysburg was a North Carolinian.  

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Masters Study: Jacob van Ruisdael

"Wheat Fields"
Jacob van Ruisdael
circa 1670
I love to study old and new masters of art. As an art instructor, I teach their techniques and styles to my students to help them gain a better understanding of fine art and develop technical skill.  Often I will cover old masters' paintings (but usually change it up a bit) to learn something from them myself. I varied this Jacob van Ruisdael painting "Wheat Fields" as a cloud study. Jacob van Ruisdael (1628-1682) is one of my favorite Dutch landscape painters from the17th century.

I started this as an old masters painting demo for my 5th grade art classes at Carolina Forest International Elementary when I was filling in for the art teacher while she was on maternity leave. While in between spring and summer semesters at ECU... I finally got a chance to finish it yesterday. Here is my cover of van Ruisdael's "Wheat Fields."

In Art,

"Wheat Fields" by Bernie Rosage Jr. after Jacob van Ruisdael
8 3/4"x14 1/2" oil on linen

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Freedom Fountain Exhibit

Bernie and several of his art students will have paintings on exhibit at the Council for the Arts "Freedom Fountain" Exhibit from May 5 - 25, 2013. Opening Reception, Sunday, May 5th from 2:30-4:00pm. Drop by the Council and see this special show. Several students' work is shown in this video produced by G10 for the city of Jacksonville.

Freedom Fountain Art Exhibit from City of Jacksonville NC on Vimeo.

Onslow Art Expressions Artists Represented:

Bailey Stocker
Johnnie Shane

Betty Brittian
Linda Haley
Connie Wenner
Barbara Soos

Curtiss Russell
Sue Murphy
Ruth Casey
Olivia Rosage
Bernie Rosage Sr
Bernie Rosage Jr
Bernie and his Onslow Art Expression's artists, the Onslow Outdoor Painters Society (OOPS), and other local artists create artwork for the Council for the Arts. May 2013 exhibit centered around Jacksonville's newest landmark, the Freedom Fountain. Check out this video...


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Upcoming "Impressionism" Workshop by Bernie ~ May 18, 2013.

"Spend the Day with Claude Monet" Workshop

Presented by the
Council for the Arts

Instructor: Bernie Rosage Jr. of Onslow Art Expressions

Workshop Department: Studio

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2013 ~ 10am until 3pm

Media: Acrylic or Oil Paints

Level: Beginner and Intermediate

Workshop Fee: $15 per student… The CFTA is helping fund this special workshop.

Class Size: Limited to 10 adults

Location: Jean Wenner Studio, Council for the Arts, 826 New Bridge Street, Jacksonville, NC 28540.

Materials: Bring a packed lunch… we’ll have lunch in the studio. Bring materials listed below for whatever medium you plan to use (Easels will be provided).

Oil Painters List: Assorted Bristle style brushes, odorless mineral spirits, container for oms, mixing palette, rags or paper towels, two 11x14” canvases, and paints - Titanium White, Cadmium Red (or Vermillion), Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Sap Green, and Dioxazine Purple.

Acrylics Painters List: Assorted Bristle style brushes, water container, mixing palette, paper towels, two 11x14” canvases, and paints - Titanium White, Cadmium Red (or Vermillion), Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Sap Green (or Hooker’s Green), and Dioxazine Purple.

Workshop Details: This one day workshop will introduce the students to the "Father of Impressionism," Claude Monet. Artist/instructor, Bernie Rosage Jr., will dress in circa 1880 attire and give an interactive living history program as he portrays a middle aged Claude Monet. He will share art history from the Impressionist Art Movement and talk about Claude Monet's contributions and unique painting style. This workshop is more than a living history program, the main focus is painting in the style of Impressionism. Bernie (aka Monet) will teach students the impressionistic style as they paint a finished painting in the style made famous by Monet. The workshop is designed for beginning and intermediate artists using the mediums of oils and/or acrylics. Bernie’s step-by-step approach and individual attention makes this workshop perfect for beginning artists but challenging enough for intermediates. This unique workshop allows the students to witness art history through one of the art world's most important figures plus paint in the style of one of the world's most influential art movements... Impressionism!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day... check out these works by Bernie Rosage Jr.

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with prints and cards from these Ireland Paintings by artist, Bernie Rosage Jr. Safe and secure online purchasing through Bernie's store at Fine Art America. 100% guarantee... check it out by clicking any image. Happy St Patrick's Day!

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

CFTAs "Soup in a Bowl" Fundraiser... HUGE Success!

Tami, Olivia, and I had a great time at the Council for the Arts "Soup in a Bowl" fundraiser... check out the video..


Friday, March 08, 2013

Math and Art... huh???

Here's what an artist does to make a connection to "examples of real world math" for a college math assignment... Hope you enjoy it...

Art since the early Renaissance times has included mathematics, especially geometry, in creating the most pleasing compositions for drawings, paintings, and architecture. As an artist, I still use these methods today to create interesting compositions that hold a viewer’s interest and put emphasis on the focal point of the work. Two main examples are the use of the “Rule of Thirds” and the “Golden Mean.”

The “Rule of Thirds” simply divides the canvas into thirds with a “Tic, Tac, Toe” type grid. The four points where the lines intersect naturally create the points of the most interest on the canvas. The artist situates his or her focal point on or near one of these points to create a pleasing composition.


Example from one of my paintings…


The “Golden Mean” or “Golden Ratio” is another mathematical way artists use to set up engaging compositions. The “Golden Mean” is based on the mathematical sequence discovered by mathematician, Leonardo Pisano Bogollo, who lived between 1170 and 1250 in Italy. "Fibonacci" was his nickname, which roughly means "Son of Bonacci".

As well as being famous for the Fibonacci Sequence, he helped spread through Europe the use of Hindu-Arabic Numeral (like our present number system 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) to replace Roman Numerals (I, II, III, IV, V, etc).

By definition, the first two numbers in the Fibonacci sequence are 0 and 1, and each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two. In mathematical terms, the sequence Fn of Fibonacci numbers is defined by the recurrence relation and can be written as a rule mathematically:

xn = xn-1 + xn-2

Fn = Fn-1 + Fn-2

The “Golden Mean” highlights a spot very close to the “Rule of Thirds” method determined to be the point of interest.

Examples of the “Golden Mean” in art and architecture…

The Fibonacci sequence is a consistent and infinite sequence that is found in nature. Here is a surprise. If you take any two successive (one after the other) Fibonacci Numbers, their ratio is very close to the Golden Ratio "
φ" which is approximately 1.618034...

Recent studies have linked the Fibonacci sequence follows the patterns in nature, uniting math, science, and nature design. For example, sunflowers often have precisely 55, 89, or 144 petals, numbers that figure in the famous Fibonacci sequence. Nature, it seems, has certain mathematical underpinnings.

Researchers have even dubbed the sequence as the fingerprint of God. Read more on this at .


This all proves that math can be COOL!

Thanks for dropping by...
In Art (and Math),

Sources and resources:




Sunday, March 03, 2013

Bernie's art students exhibit in special art show...

Congrats to Onslow Art Expression's middle school artists; Dailey Rae, Shayla, Isabella, Erin, Starling, and Olivia for having works selected for the Council for the Arts 35th Annual Student Art Show and Competition. These photos are from the Opening/Awards Ceremony on Sunday, March 3, 2013. This special art show will be on exhibit through March 22nd at the CFTA.... Make plans to attend.
Click image to see all the photos...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Onslow County... All County Arts

Artists... Bernie Rosage Jr., Stephen Greer, Mitchell Morton and Janet Nickle had the honor of working with over 40 of the best high school artists in Onslow County. We gave a "painting from life" workshop in four different 1 hour 45 minute "break out" sessions. The event is called "All County Arts" and brings together the best artists from each high school in the county for a weekend of collaboration and workshops to celebrate these young artists and promote the arts in our community. The event is headed up by Janae Copeland, Education Coordinator for Arts in the Onslow County Schools, and all the Onslow County high school art teachers. They did a GREAT job in organizing this event which is in its fourth year.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Irish Thatched Roof Cottages by Bernie Rosage Jr.

Prints and Cards available from this painting by Bernie Rosage Jr. at Fine Art America... Click image twice for details and prices.

Friday, February 22, 2013

"Thy Word" by Bernie Rosage Jr.

"Thy Word" by Bernie Rosage Jr. inspired by Psalm 119:105... "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Workshop... HUGE success!

"Van Gogh" Workshop for Kids... January 22, 2013. A huge success... nobody ate paint or cut their ear off... and everyone created a "Starry Night" Masterpiece!

What a JOY it was teaching these young artists today at the "Van Gogh" Workshop. They were superb artists and students! Thank you kids for a GREAT day! A special thanks to the parents for allowing their children to go on this "Van Gogh" adventure with me!

In Art,

Saturday, January 05, 2013

A great way to end the year!

I spent the last day of the year painting with a dear artist friend, Clayton Proctor, in his studio gallery in West Jefferson, North Carolina. Had a GREAT time... Thanks Clayton! Check out his work on his webpage... HERE...


Clayton and Olivia