Thanks to a teacher in Duluth, Minnesota, who believed Raphaella already was an artist
and told her so, Raphaella painted her first work of art in Kindergarten at five years old.
(In the photo below, Raphaella is in the front row,
third from the right; the large mural behind the class is entirely her own.)
Even so, Raphaella didn't officially take up art until much later in life, in 1981. Since then, she has consistently sold her work to collectors around the world. She has been supporting herself with art since 1997 when she left Los Angeles for Southern Oregon to pursue living her dreams.
Born a Norwegian in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1984 she changed her name from Barbara Jo Bergan (a name and culture still dear to her heart) to her artist name, Raphaella Vaisseau. Always in love with everything French, she picked the surname Vaisseau to more fully express her intention to be a vessel of Light through which I may express my inner essence: heaven to earth, earth to heaven, people to people, heart to heart.Raphaella now resides in Marin County, California, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.
In her art, color is her specialty and her love. I interpret the magic of the natural world, and all things and beings in it, as if I were looking through a crystal portal from another dimension - a dimension where color exists as an end in itself and thereby is a vehicle for transformation. Raphaella believes color heals.
In 1991, Raphaella started her commercial art business. Through Heartful Art, she offers countless opportunities for people everywhere to honor, respect and love each other, and to embrace and celebrate the diversity within and among us. She offers words and images to express beauty, sincerity, and love between people and all living things. Heartful Art is about assisting people everywhere to empower themselves and others.
Raphaella's art is archived in the American Folk Art Museum in NYC and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in
Washington D.C., and her Heartful Art is available in many stores around the world.
Raphaella's original paintings are periodically on exhibit in select galleries in the U.S. and Europe.
You can shop right here in our on-line store
from wherever you live in the world. If you don't find what you're looking for, e-mail Raphaella at
Once again, thank you for supporting Heartful Art, yourselves, and each other. Peace.