Bert Boerema's Auto-Biographical Sketch
My painting activities began almost fifty years ago, but even before that I was drawing and sketching for as long as I can remember. I am a self-taught artist, but I have
studied with a number of nationally-known watercolor artists. Besides producing artwork, I am also an instructor. I currently teach several watercolor and sketching classes in Michigan and Arizona, and have held many workshops. Private instruction can also be arranged.
My home and studio
are located near Grand Rapids, Michigan.
I frequently travel to Arizona, and have also traveled extensively
throughout other areas of the United States and Canada, as well as
overseas. As a result, my paintings show scenes from Michigan, the American Southwest, and many worldwide travel locations.
A painting usually begins with sketches that I make on location. Although I may then also paint on location, most of my paintings are done in the studio, where I can control lighting and other conditions. The majority of my work is done in watercolor, but I do venture into alkyd and oil painting, as well as pen and ink sketching. This depends on which medium is best suited for a particular project. My subjects typically include landscapes and seascapes, rural buildings and
Southwest desert scenes. While the basis for my artwork is realism, I do take liberties to bring out what I, as the artist, see in a particular subject. This may involve altering or omiting certain aspects of a scene, and I frequently emphasize the more subtle colors in
a landscape or seascape. All of this allows me to establish a mood for the painting, and helps the viewer to see and feel what it was that compelled me to produce the painting
My work has been presented in various shows in Michigan, and I have had several one-man
shows in Arizona, all of which have been very successful.
I have repeatedly served as Artist in Residence at
the Franciscan Life Process Center in Lowell, Michigan, and am a
member of Grand Valley Artists, Inc. Many of my paintings and sketches are in private collections in Michigan and Arizona, as well as
various other places worldwide.