Barney Bernardo Bio

David Griessel Bio


I have been fortunate in having many exhibitions over the 25 years. Currently and since lockdown 2020 I have been working on large commissions for commercial as well as residential properties owned by Darrel Eberhardt from The Paige Group.


Artist Statement:

There is always a story behind my paintings. I did gather huge inspiration  from  travelling to fascinating places all over  the world in search of inspiring story’s and experiences that would touch my soul. These could be anything from   a brave woman taking a stand against injustice, or an ancient church in Georgia -so old that it takes your breath away as you are overcome by feelings of being watched by angels. It could also be the adrenalin rush you face when you encounter a male lion a mere10 meters away in the Zimbabwean bush. These experiences are meant to be shared with others and not to be locked up within you.

I select the colours that will best portray the feeling of my story. For the next 20 min or so I will spend the time thinking about my subject and visualizing it in my thoughts before attempting to put any paint to canvass. When I am completely relaxed and almost in a meditative state I will then start adding paint to canvas and manipulate the flow of the paint with a toothpick or a very sharp stick. I never use a paintbrush- I don’t have a paintbrush.

  1. My only lesson was at the age of 5 when my grandfather helped me dress my stickmen drawings. I was always good at art but never could be a good art student as I was determined to do it MY WAY.



I am inspired by hidden shapes and forms you find in nature- as a young child I always imagined pictures in the clouds and flames – even the silhouettes of bushes could represent something in my imagination. I was always surrounded by fantasy and amazing stories. It was not surprising that I loved history and still do; there is so much for the imagination to dwell on…

Artists who inspire me are  : Hester Versteeg, Pierneef, Jackson Pollock and Picasso.

My paintings are born out of stories. They embody lots of symbolism, in the use of colour and form. Many characters and objects are hidden in the paintings and are not visible at first glance. When studied from different angles these can be discovered creating a sensation of a living evolving work of art. I start the artwork by throwing paint onto the canvass. Then I wait until the painting starts speaking to me. I don’t plan the painting in my head. My painting evolves from the paint on the canvass.

My imagination unlocks the characters and images; like it did as a child staring at the clouds for hours. I never use a paintbrush, I paint using a toothpick.

‘Imagination is more important than knowledge…

For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world.”


-Albert Einstein