She’s facile in several artistic media including block printing. Given the tradition of hand colored block printing in Japan, it’s appropriate that Bernadette is donating half the proceeds of sales of her “Tortie Girls” block prints (both framed prints and t-shirt prints) to Animal Refuge Kansai to contribute to their earthquake/tsunami relief efforts. (More info here.)
Here’s how Bernadette describes her passion for block printing:
I really enjoy working in this medium and I can free myself from the traditional media and a greater realism in rendering. Linoleum block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of artists linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when its lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper.
The resulting work isnt a one-time thing, but meant to be printed multiple timesand I do, on just about anything I can think of. They all start out on paper, but theyve been printed on t-shirts and dresses and aprons and curtains, to name a few things. I will sometimes add color to them with watercolor or dyes to give them extra interest. The resulting work, even though they are all printed from the same block, is a unique print, still handmade by the artist.
Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage is not always perfect. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique work of art.