Bert Collins enjoys a very successful forty-year plus career as an artist and teacher. She began painting in oils and acrylics in 1960 and had her first solo art show in 1962. Her paintings have been featured in galleries in Newport Beach, Palm Springs, Redondo Riviera, La Cienega, and on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
Bert had never paid much attention to pastels. However, in 1984, she saw two pastel paintings of aspen trees in an art gallery which “blew her mind”, according to Bert. She ran out and bought a box of Rembrandt pastels. Shortly thereafter, Bert took 2 workshops with well-known Santa Fe artist, Albert Handell. She has also studied with Glenna Hartman, Richard Schloss, Bob Mackinroe and Richard McKinley, in-studio and en plein aire.
She paints realistic landscapes, seascapes and still lifes, being most renowned for capturing the light and beauty of the Ojai Valley in her landscapes. She works with soft pastels and recently has been excited about adding watercolor underpainting techniques to her repertoire.
An Ojai resident since 1976, Bert taught classes at the Ojai Art Center for about 9 years. She served on the Ojai Art Commission for 10 years and on the Board of Directors of the Ojai Art Center for 15 years. In 1997, she received the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award from the City of Ojai. She was instrumental in starting the very successful Ojai Studio Artist Tour in 1983 and the Ventura County Pastel Artists in 1995, in which she still is a participant.
It's well known on the studio artists tour that if you want to buy one of Bert's paintings you need to join the line that starts forming outside her studio early in the morning the first day of the tour. She usually sells out within the first few hours.
In 2002, Bert opened her home studio and gallery in Ojai, California, and continues to teach pastel classes and workshops today. There is a long waiting list to get into Bert’s classes because students rarely leave once they get in. She teaches 2 classes every week and does workshops on 3 Saturdays of each month in addition to creating and selling her own art. Bert calls her classes and workshops “the Art and Eat Club”. There is a sense of family and camaraderie among Bert's students.
A teacher and mentor to many, she is loved and admired for her positive and upbeat attitude as well as the incredible art that she creates. Students appreciate Bert’s patience, guidance and expertise, which inspires them to become better artists.
Bert’s studio is located at
1545 Cuyama Road, Ojai, CA 93023. The phone number is 805-646-6907. Please call before going to the studio to make sure it is open.