Sage Green Sea by Suzy Bernard

For the last seven years. Berkeley artist Suzy Barnard has been obsessed by the cargo ships on San Francisco Bay. Each day, as she drives over the Bay Bridge to her studio on the waterfront, she scans the water for ships bringing cargo to unload at the docks. Once she is in front of her easel staring out at the water, she finds herself captivated by the play of light.

“Although my studio is based across the bridge in the city, I’m finding that the commute from Berkeley to my studio is providing much new material for my work,” said Barnard. “I’ve been focused on painting ships and water and weather, which all started when I got a studio at Pier 70, right on the water, looking towards the East Bay.  Now, the drive over the bridge often has me ogling the vista from that vantage point, and trying to take rather hit or miss photographs while driving, for reference point for further painting prospects.”

Lilac Dusk

Barnard grew up on the south coast of England in a family that liked sailing lore, according to a program accompanying her current show. She completed her MFA in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute, and her Fine Arts undergraduate studies at Bristol Polytechnic and Southampton College of Art, England.

Barnard’s work is currently on display, through March 30th, at the Togonon Gallery at 77 Geary Street.

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...