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Monday, December 28, 2015

Repose, 20x24 Oil on Canvas, after John Singer Sargent


Not For Sale

There are few paintings of mine that I won't sell, but this is one. I always loved this piece by John Singer Sargent, and I copied it in worshipful awe of his skills. 

Christmas was eventful and I was sick. I didn't realize I was allergic to our tree. When it dawned on me that might be a possibility I looked it up and the Christmas Tree Association has warnings, saying you should wash your tree before bringing it inside. We tossed it after everyone went home, then left the next day for Anna Maria Island, and I had a quick recovery--so much so that I was playing baseball by late afternoon! 


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Italian Girl With Flowers, 11x14 Oil on Canvas, after Sorolla


Sold

I've had no time for painting this week, so I am posting a throwback to 2008, when our painting group, Pieces of Eight, decided to copy Impressionist masters as a learning exercise. I love Sorolla, so I copied one of my favorites, with the above result. Below is the original by Sorolla.


I also copied John Singer Sargent, the master portrait artist. The best thing I've ever done is team up with seven women with the same passion for painting that I have. It has been such an enriching experience in so many ways, and I have learned so much. 

This is the time of year for reflection and for determining where I want to go with my art. My big immediate goal is to paint for my show in Middleburg, Virginia in the Spring, and I look forward to painting some larger paintings for a change. 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year,


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Fancy Feathers, 5x7 Pen and Ink Drawing

This is one of my most popular pins on Pinterest. It has been repinned a lot, although not as much as my husband's handmade guitar wine holder, below. I have decided that zentangles just don't look right in my Etsy shop. My shop is varied enough by having oil paintings and collage art, and when I look at an overview, the zentangles stick out like a sore thumb. It just doesn't look consistent.

Every January I get the urge to simplify my life, and during the course of the year I manage to complicate it more. After reading Marie Kondo's book about tidying up my house, I realize I need to do the same to my online house, because it is not, as Ms Kondo says, "sparking joy."

I created a shop just for zentangles on Etsy, set it up for digital downloads; then I said to myself, there I go again. Yet another online thing to tend to. I've become a cyberhoarder! So today I am taking the shop down. I'll post a zentangle on this blog now and then and that's that. Simple.

My main thrust for the year will be painting some larger paintings for a show in April in Virginia. Details will be forthcoming.




Carmen

Friday, December 18, 2015

Sunshiny Day, 10x8 Oil on Canvas Panel, Original Landscape Art



This was the kind of day that just lifts your mood, and I hope I got that in my painting. It was sunny and bright, with nice fluffy clouds in a bright blue sky. It's hard to feel like a curmudgeon when you get to live in an environment like this. Makes me feel like going kayaking, which is on my bucket list. After all, the water is all around us here, what am I waiting for? It's got to be a lot easier than that whitewater rafting adventure that threw four of us women out on the rocks in North Carolina. My friend Donna said at the time that we bonded over a near-death experience--and I think she was right!

Carmen

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Little Bunch of Grapes, 5x7 Watercolor on Paper in 8x10 Mat



It's a lot easier to paint a watercolor with your foot propped up than painting an oil in that position, so this was my result. My broken toe is making little progress but I have graduated from wearing a sock to a flip flop. Thank goodness I didn't do this to myself before I finished my mural! 

My most re-pinned pin on Pinterest is a watercolor by Igor Sava, and if you haven't seen his work, check it out. I'm a big fan. /https://www.pinterest.com/artymaryd/art-of-igor-sava/


Carmen

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Beach Blues, 6x6 Oil on Canvas, Seascape


The white in this seascape looks whiter than this in the original. It's very textured as well. The surf has been very rough lately, as it always is this time of year, and the beach is eroding as usual. I do love to see the big surf, though; it is just spectacular.

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If you like this and other paintings, please “heart” me as a favorite. My art has been featured in International Artist magazine and I have illustrated several books. My most recent award was First Place in the Contemporary Fine Artists International Competition. I recently published a memoir, CRACKERS AND ORANGES, fully illustrated with my art, available on Amazon.com. It is about growing up in “Old Florida.”

I post all new work on my blog at http://carmenbeecher.blogspot.com. I would love to have you visit me there.

Be aware that some colors may look a bit different due to differences in my camera, my monitor, and your monitor.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cypress Gardens, 8x10 Oil on Canvas Panel, Daily Painting



I grew up near Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, Florida, and I loved the beautiful gardens, the ski show, and the girls sitting in the gardens in their big Southern-Belle dresses. Now it's part of Legoland and the gardens are still there, but the Belles are gone except for one made of Legos. The gardens are still beautiful. This is a typical scene; in fact, you see this all over Winter Haven. There are so many lakes that no road goes straight, and you see many scenes like this one. 

This is not a very good photo of my painting. It has so much dark color that it glares in a photo, and overcoming the glare didn't help the rest of the picture. However, I broke my pinky toe, and I just don't want to hobble around trying to get another shot. My patience is gone, and all I want is elevation and ice. My diminutive digit is derailing my drive.

Carmen

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Golf Ball Hunt, 11x14 Watercolor


This is just a small portion of a bigger painting, a commission for a gift showing family memories.


I did this in the style of the journal I keep in which I sketch my various events and travels. I learned from the brilliant Diana Gessler, and the enjoyment I've gotten from filling my journals is worth a hundred times what that class cost. Who knew it would lead to a commission?

Carmen

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Silver Sandals, 20x24, Oil on Canvas


NFS

I painted this a few years ago, when my daughter was getting ready for my sister's wedding. Painting a mural and having Thanksgiving has made my painting time negligible, so I went to the past for this one. What a jolly good time we had at the wedding, which was in beautiful Middleburg, Virginia.

Speaking of Middleburg, they have a wonderful annual Shakespeare festival, "Shakespeare in the Burg," and next year's date is April 2-3. Click here for details:

http://shakespeareintheburg.com/

Carmen

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Oil Painting, "Down the Garden Path," 6x6, Oil on Canvas, Small Daily Painting



I wanted an Impressionistic look, so I painted this small painting with a very large brush. I restrained myself from putting in a lot of details, which is not easy for me. I painted this once before, but with detail, and I wanted to do a loosey-goosey one for a change.

I love paths in paintings--I always wonder where they lead. Guess what's at the end of this shady path? More shady paths. 

Carmen

Thursday, November 26, 2015

By the Jetty, 8x10 Oil Painting Seascape on Canvas Panel



I do many ocean vistas, but sometimes a closeup is fun. These waves were not crashing against the rocks, but they were caressing them, you might say. This was at Port Canaveral's Jetty Park, on one of those sunny, exhilarating days that just naturally fuel enthusiasm. 

Carmen

Monday, November 23, 2015

Wall Mural, River of Dreams, 12x9 feet


This was a pretty exhausting project, but at least I had a peaceful place to rest. I was still in my working clothes, so not exactly a fashion plate, but very happy with my completed mural.


The mural is in the soon-to-be-cafe in River Run Christian Church on Croton Road in Melbourne. "River of Dreams" is appropriate, because our Church dreams big and accomplishes wonderful things, like Thanksgiving dinners for the needy, our backpack program that sends food home on weekends for children in need, an active Food Pantry, and much more. River Run Christian Church rocks, and I'm not just talking about the music!

Carmen

Friday, November 20, 2015

Apple Collection, 8x10 Oil on Canvas, Mounted and Framed to 11x14





I painted five different varieties of apples for this one, then mounted them on board textured with acrylic paint and liquid medium. The artwork is 8x10 mounted in a 12x14 frame. On the back I attached a key showing the name of each apple variety. This is a perfect gift item for a kitchen.

Carmen


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Beach Scene, 20x7.5 Oil Painting Seascape on Panel, Framed



Here we are in the last throes of summer, never mind that it's November, and it's still hot. I am ready for Florida's perfect Winter to begin. I like this scene because people are looking so relaxed, and when on the beach people are always gazing at the ocean. You just can't help it. It keeps changing all the time, and you never know when you'll see something exciting--like a dolphin, or even a whale. I never understand those who say they don't like the beach or the sand. What's a little sand when you can be part of a view like this?

This painting is for sale framed.

Carmen


Friday, November 13, 2015

Wading at Sunrise, 10x8 Oil on Canvas, Seascape on Beach



Sunrises in Florida are glorious. The blues, purples and golds are astonishing, and I tried to capture that in this painting. This bird was just ambling along, looking for breakfast and enjoying another beautiful day by the sea. Need I mention that sunsets in Florida are also glorious?

Carmen

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dawn, 6x6 Oil on Canvas, Sunrise with Palm Trees



With our gorgeous Florida skies, I barely have to move to be inspired. I can see beautiful sights right outside my window. I got a little wilder than usual with this one. 

Carmen

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Johnny, 12x16 Portrait of Cat, Oil on Canvas Pet Portrait


I was commissioned to paint this cat, and it reminds me of those corporate portraits; he is posing so seriously and looking like a CEO (Cat Executive Officer). I can just picture him at board meetings with his PowerPoint briefing on outsmarting the family dog...

Carmen

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Fall Sunrise, 20x20 Oil on Canvas Seascape, Beach Scene at Sunrise



I am so lucky to live across the street from the beach. I can leave stress, traffic, and noise, and in a few steps I am in a calming place, even when the surf is as big as this. It's like entering another dimension, and early morning makes it a very colorful one. 

Carmen

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Banyan Tree, 5x8, Pen and Ink Drawing in Cypress Gardens, Florida


My friend Kathy Garvey and I went to Legoland recently, which is on the site of the former Cypress Gardens. To our delight, Cypress Gardens is still there as a section of Legoland.

Cypress Gardens gave us an opportunity to sit, rest, and sketch in our journals. Above is the giant Banyan Tree that was planted in the 1930s. My drawing is only a small portion of the tree (see below). It's so big that paths wind through it.



There are no longer belles sitting around in big dresses, but there are some made of Legos.


When I was six years old Esther Williams made a movie at the Gardens and my mother took me there. Ms. Williams was sitting around with no makeup and no one noticed her but my mother, so I got to meet the star who inspired me to learn to swim. She was very nice, which made me love her even more.

Carmen 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

River Dock, 8x6 Oil on Canvas


This is a study for a mural that I'm going to paint when I get time. I took time out for a couple of days and went with my friend Kathy Garvey to Polk County, where I grew up. While there we visited the Dundee Depot Museum and I donated a copy of my book, Crackers and Oranges, which is a memoir about growing up in Dundee.





Carmen

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Rock City Gardens, 8x6 Oil on Canvas Panel, Landscape Art



South of Sebastian, Florida is this beautiful garden and nursery, where they welcome artists and allow us to paint to our hearts' content. Every time we go, there are more gorgeous paths and plants, plus a little lake with an island. I picked this spot because of the winding path and the dappled light. There's a bit of a mystery to paintings of pathways...what is at the end?

Carmen


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sherri and Woody, 20x20 Portrait, Oil on Canvas



I was commissioned by AARP to do a portrait of a caregiver and patient. I was to faithfully represent the people in the photo they sent, as well as the Christmas tree in the background. After the time spent with Sherri and Woody's photo I felt that I knew them. I was one of twenty-one artists chosen to do the art for an exhibit called "Portrait of Care."

The gallery event will be on Capitol Hill November 3rd for Congressional representatives and their staff. The second event will be in the AARP headquarters on November 4th. I'm honored to be part of this because caregivers are very special and giving people, whether they are professionals or relatives. They deserve a unique tribute like this.

Carmen

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Simonetta, 16x20 Collage on Canvas, after Sandro Botticelli's "Birth of Venus"



One of the members of our painting group, Pieces of Eight, has written a book about Simonetta Vespucci, the beautiful woman who inspired Botticelli's painting, "Birth of Venus." Fay Picardi's fascinating book, Simonetta, takes us to the 1470s during the Italian Renaissance in Florence. Simonetta was considered the greatest beauty of her time, and today, over 500 years later, her face is seen everywhere in Florence--even on T-shirts. Her life was short, but her beauty endures.

Fay's book launch will be on November 6th 5:30 to 7:30 at Derek Gores' art gallery in the Eau Gallie Arts District. If you live in the Melbourne, Florida area, stop by; our painting group will be exhibiting our very diverse and surprising interpretations of Simonetta. There will be a booksigning and Fay will give a short reading at 6:30.

Books and art! What could be better?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Farmland, 8x6 Oil on Canvas Panel, Landscape, Purple Hull Peas and Frog



My daughter and I were taking a walk down a beautiful road through Virginia farmland when I saw this scene. Though this is out in the country, it's not all that far from our nation's capital.

While I'm posting country things, how many of you recognize these? They are Purple Hull Peas, and they are the most delicious vegetables you will ever eat. My daughter and I both grew them this summer, and I never enjoyed pea-shelling more, knowing what the reward would be!


And finally, I took this photo in my daughter's garden. This frog actually looked green and purple. Frogs are the cuties of the reptile world.





Sunday, October 11, 2015

Pelicans in Flight, 8x10 Oil on Canvas Panel, Seascape with Birds



I feel fortunate when I catch a flock of pelicans in flight; with a digital camera at the beach and all the movement going on, it is like shooting blind. 

We are expecting a lot of wave action this weekend due to hurricane Joaquim, so I will be down there with my camera. I'm just so thankful we haven't been hit in 11 years. Makes you wonder why our insurance premiums are still outrageous (grumble grumble).

Carmen

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Saltwater Cure, 8x6 Oil on Canvas Panel, Seascape Painting of Stormy Seas



"The cure for anything is saltwater – sweat, tears, or the sea."
-  Isak Dinesen

The above quote is the inspiration for the title of this one. I love to see stormy seas; there is a lot of excitement and action going on. I'm just glad I'm not out on a ship in it. I have been to sea twice; once, there were 25-foot seas and a broken engine on the ship (that was when I was working and I was on the job); the second time I was on a cruise ship in a big storm. There aren't enough crackers in the world to fight that kind of seasickness. On those trips the cure for me was not saltwater, it was stepping onto terra firma.

Carmen

Friday, October 2, 2015

Sketch of Girl, 11x14, Oil on Canvas


This is a quicky-quick sketch of a girl that I did to practice my drawing skills. I need to do more of that. If you can draw a person you can draw anything. I don't know if there's another profession that is a lifelong learning experience like art. It seems that there is a continual striving for perfection. Maybe that's why the dreams I have while sleeping are always about trying to get somewhere and never getting there. I used to dream about flying, but I never flew outdoors. I revealed this once in a psychology class discussion about dreams of flying and the professor said, "See me after class." He just didn't get how much fun it is to hover near the ceiling.

Carmen

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Northwest Sundown, 6x6 Oil on Canvas, Farmland at Sunset



After a perfect day with my family in Washington state we were returning home and saw this lovely sunset. Here in Florida the sunrises and sunsets are magnificent, but the Northwest has some good ones too. 

And here's something we don't have in Florida--this is the view behind my sister's house of the magnificent Mt. Rainier.

Carmen

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Teacup, 6x6 Oil Painting on Stretched Canvas, Tea Party Kitchen Decor



This little teacup represents a happy memory at a tea party in a cute little teahouse in Washington state. I miss my Pacific Northwestern relatives, but it is such a long way from Florida. There is so much out there that is exciting to see: big mountains, big trees, big rocks (I happen to love rocks). The towns are adorned by big baskets of flowers hanging from poles. It's a beautiful place.


Carmen

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Beach People, 10x8 Oil on Canvas Panel, Seascape Daily Painting



As I am writing this it's pouring outside. I hardly know what is left to say about a sunny beach, I have posted so many, so I'll just say I'm glad to see the rain. I am growing Purple Hull Peas, and I know no one north of the Mason-Dixon line knows what I'm talking about. They are the most delicious vegetable one could ever put in one's mouth; they are the Ambrosia of the vegetable world. Though tedious to shell, they are worth it. What could be better than shelling Purple Hulls while watching Last Tango in Halifax? Of course this assumes that I successfully raise a crop. Flowers come easily to me, but vegetables--not so much. We'll see. 

Carmen