Printer Friendly Version

Reaching beyond: Realism in art

Shea Stanfield~ 5/13/2015

Marion Starr, the accomplished Australian watercolor artist, stated, “The challenge of the realist artist is to reach beyond just a representation and convey the essence of the scene, to capture something of the mood and sense of place.” She perfectly describes the photo-realism style of Prescott artist Bernie Lopez. Bernie masterfully renders brilliant desert sunsets, peaceful snow covered mountain meadows, and startlingly realistic lightning crackling across the summer sky, each demanding your attention to the natural world around us.

Bernie was born and grew up in Escondido, Calif. From a very young age, Bernie displayed an interest in the natural world around him. He captured his observations of nature’s moods in countless sketches, founding his passion for expression through his evolving art and observational skills. Bernie traveled the western United States in his 20s, encountering new subjects, landscapes, and the ever-changing hues of the expansive skies. During this time, he became interested in landscape and abstract painting. Working with acrylics, Bernie began painting subjects in an increasingly realistic style from the photographs he took during his travels. As he developed new ways of “seeing,” Bernie explored various painting techniques by incorporating abstractions to his natural landscapes, precise geometric elements and monochromatic colors in contrast to majestic natural forms.

Today, Bernie works in his downtown Prescott studio. He identifies his work presently as the “photo-realism style”, which has gained popularity across the country. Bernie’s work is featured throughout the United States in both private and corporate collections. His paintings are represented by Art Prescott Gallery and Jerome Artist Gallery. Bernie travels the state participating in solo shows as well as a number of art festivals. 

To see more of Bernie Lopez’s work, visit his Web site at He can also be contacted at his e-mail address:


Contact Arts columnist Shea Stanfield at