THE final work of well-known local nature enthusiast and artist Bernard Kear is set to be released at a special exhibition in Lydney this month.
Born-and-bred Forester Bernard completed his last book ‘A Love of Nature in Paint and Print’ - a collection of paintings and personal descriptions of nature - before he sadly passed away in May this year.
Now, his family has published his final book and are hosting a celebratory exhibition of his “stunning” ceramics and paintings at Lydney Community Centre on Saturday, November 19.
Bernard, who lived in Primrose Hill, Lydney, published two other books during his lifetime - ‘Scenes of Childhood: A Forest of Dean Childhood Remembered’ Volumes 1 and 2, which gave an insight into his family life growing up as a young boy in the Forest.
His sister-in-law Averil describes his last book as a “superb” collection of his nature-inspired paintings together with personal descriptions “of each flower, bird and leaf”.
Family man Bernard was born in Oldcroft in 1936, where the forest provided him with “the most wonderful playground”.
Averil explains of his life: “He grew up with a great love for the Forest and an enormous respect for the countryside and wildlife in general.
“Bernard attended the local primary school at Viney Hill and then on to Lydney Grammar school.
“After National Service he worked for several years as an electrician he changed direction and was accepted at Teacher Training College.
“In 1972 Bernard started his first teaching job at Drybrook County Primary School.
“He understood children well stretching the more academic pupils yet understanding the difficulties and insecurities of others.
“Bernard was a family man taking his two daughters and later his grandchildren for walks in the woods, building camps, fossil hunting and pond dipping.
“His passion was the natural world.
“He could identify every bird, flower, or tree he came across and, in addition to this, had a great talent in his ability to draw or model what he saw around him.
“When work was over Bernard would often be found with paper and pencil, sketching, or in the garage modelling something out of clay.
“Close friends and family recognised how good he was and encouraged him to get his work published.”
Having completed his final work, Bernard sadly passed away at Compton Hospice Care on May 25 of this year, aged 86.
In his obituary he is desribed as the “Beloved husband of the late Pauline, Devoted Dad of Kathryn & Andrea, Cherished Grandad of Kit, Jem & Millie.”
Averil added that his final work is “a truly magical book for anyone who loves the natural world around them.”
‘A Love of Nature in Paint and Print’ will be available to purchase on Amazon as well as at the Lydney exhibition, which will run from 10am til 4pm.