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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Friday, October 9, 2020

Talkeetna Cafe, Alaska Landscape Oil Painting on Canvas Panel


This is an out-of-the-way spot in Alaska, a little town called Talkeetna, which sits at the base of North America's tallest peak, Denali. This cafe was rustic, beautiful, and served delicious food. 

Carmen

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Backyard Swing, 10x8 Landscape Painting on Canvas Panel



This is a cool and peaceful spot, surrounded by flowers. What is better than a swing? It brings back childhood memories of a great place to read.

Carmen

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Nag, Nag, Nag, It's Country Music's Greatest Lines Again


Here I go again, in case you forgot. Even people who don't like to read are enjoying this book because it has 81 illustrations. 

Available on www.arcadiapublishing.com, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.walmart.com.

Carmen

 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Are YOU Talking to ME? Chicken painting oil on canvas 8x8 inches

Are YOU Talking to ME? 




I love the comical look that chickens can have, and this one made me think of Robert di Niro's classic scene in Taxi Driver. Sometimes the title comes before the painting.

This is painted on gallery-wrapped canvas, no frame needed.

This was my entry for the monthly challenge on the Pieces of 8 blog. Click here to view the other very clever entries.

Carmen

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Reading Country Music's Greatest Lines


 I can't seem to stop promoting our book. Truth be told, I like reading it myself, because Bobby Braddock does such a good job telling inside stories about the songs and songwriters. Also, I have to realize that we are competing with newly published books by Dolly Parton, Bob Woodward, Mary Trump, and some of the great historians of our time. If your brain gets tired from all that reading, maybe you need a book just for entertainment, with lots and lots of illustrations.

Carmen

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Back to Basics




After six months of quarantine I started becoming very uninspired artistically, and one thing always gets me going again--a good class. I signed up on Sktchy.com for a class on drawing the head, and even though I have been doing that for years, this class is very illuminating. I'm loving it. This is one of my drawings, of a woman who is beautiful in spite of her prominent nose--kind of like Madame X.

Carmen

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

I Can't Stop Loving You by Ray Charles from Country Music's Greatest Lines



From a post by the author:

SAMPLE PAGE from Country Music's Greatest Lines by Bobby Braddock, illustrated by Carmen Beecher

THEY SAY THAT TIME 
HEALS A BROKEN HEART,
BUT TIME HAS STOOD STILL
SINCE WE'VE BEEN APART

"I Can't Stop Loving You" 
Written by Don Gibson
Recorded by Don Gibson for RCA Victor, by Kitty Wells for Decca, by Ray Charles for ABC Paramount, and by Conway Twitty for MCA

In 1957 Don Gibson checked into the York Motel in Nashville and wrote "Oh Lonesome Me" and "I Can't Stop Loving You." He soon recorded both songs for RCA Victor and had a two-sided hit, as well as a major career as a country star for the next fifteen years. Kitty Wells's version of "I Can't Stop Loving You" went to #3 in the country charts. In 1962 Ray Charles, famous for infusing rhythm & blues and rock 'n' roll with soul music from the church, decided to record an album of country songs. Although his recording contract guaranteed him artistic freedom, his record label tried hard to talk him out of it. They need not have worried. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music was America's #1 album for fourteen weeks, and "I Can't Stop Loving You" became the biggest record of Ray Charles's career. The most famous words in the recording were probably not Don Gibson's lines but "brother Ray's" nod to the vocal group: "Sing the song, children."

Published by the History Press Charleston, SC. Copyright (C) 2020 by Bobby Braddock

To order COUNTRY MUSIC'S GREATEST LINES go to the book website at BobbyBraddock.com and click "order from Amazon" or "order from the History Press"


Carmen


 

Monday, August 24, 2020

Wolf Family Illustration from Country Music's Greatest Lines by Bobby Braddock


What in the world is this about? This illustration is in a book about country music? We decided not every drawing had to have people, sometimes animals get the idea across just as well. To find out what the song is, you might want to buy the book, Country Music's Greatest Lines, which is available at arcadiapublishing.com, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and bookstores (See the cover in the righthand column). I really enjoyed drawing this illustration of a wolf family with the proud dad overlooking the scene.

Carmen

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Beach Sunrise, Oil Painting on Canvas Panel, 10x8 Seascape

 


We may be trapped inside for months, but there is always the beach, as long as it isn't crowded. Early morning people tend to be true beach lovers, with a true appreciation for being in a beautiful place.

Carmen

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Purple and Yellow Iris, 8x10 Oil on Canvas Panel Flower Painting




When we were staying in the beautiful neighborhood of Lake Junaluska in North Carolina, I was fascinated by the flowers that we don't grow here in Florida, like these irises and the spectacular rhododendrons.

Carmen

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Turkey Creek, 8x10 Oil on Canvas Panel Landscape


In spite of being fairly quarantined, a lot has happened in the past few weeks that kept me away from the easel. I decided to do a Florida scene as a departure from all the faces I've been drawing. 

Did you think I could do a post without mentioning our book Country Music's Greatest Lines? Of course not! That would be a dereliction of my promotional duty.

Carmen

Monday, July 27, 2020

Announcements!

"The silence of a falling star/lights up a purple sky"

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry by Hank Williams
Our book website is up! Click here.

Bobby Braddock and I were interviewed about the book by Paul Leslie on The Paul Leslie Hour podcast. Bobby's episode is first, then mine. Click here.

Also, my interview with Ken Scott on WLOC, a worldwide radio station, will be aired Thursday, July 30 from 11-12  EST. Bobby's songs will be featured (That will be a treat!). Download the TuneIn app on your mobile device to get WLOC.

The book is selling well! It keeps selling out on Amazon.com, but is replenished quickly.

Since we couldn't have the book signings we had planned--one at the Country Music Hall of Fame--I can only say, thank goodness for the internet!

Carmen






Monday, July 20, 2020

Country Music's Greatest Lines: Lyrics, Stories & Sketches from American Classics



Here it comes again...the book we're so proud of, Country Music's Greatest Lines, written by Bobby Braddock and illustrated by little ole me. 











Yes, I know I've told you about it before,but this is a reminder. It is sold in bookstores and online at arcadiapublishing.com,amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and booksamillion.com. Anyone who likes country music will LOVE this book! It's a peek inside the creation of some of your favorite songs, plus 81 illustrations by, as I said, little ole me.


Carmen


Saturday, July 18, 2020

John Lewis, American Hero


I am old enough to vividly remember the Civil Rights struggle, and to see the brave, nonviolent activists stand up against vicious racism. Notable among them was a young John Lewis. I drew this portrait of him a few years ago, feeling that his history, courage and determination are written upon his face. He fought the good fight. May he rest in peace.

Carmen

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Grand Tetons, 10x8 Oil Painting on Canvas, Western Landscape



With everything going on with our new book Country Music's Greatest Lines, I am having to paint when I get a chance. I finally finished this one, a scene from our driving trip around the West. It was a beautiful view of the Grand Tetons (translation is "Big Breasts").

Now back to shameless self-promotion of the book I illustrated, written by Bobby Braddock, with 81 illustrations by me. Sold out a couple of times on Amazon, but it is available today. Also, check your local bookstore.

Carmen

Sunday, July 12, 2020

What a Week!

Taylor Swift in "Love Story" video

This is a sneak peek at an illustration I did in collaboration with Bobby Braddock in our new book Country Music's Greatest Lines. Just this week we have had interviews and articles in Nashville Scene and Rolling Stone, plus an article in Billboard about Bobby's song He Stopped Loving Her Today, recognized as the most honored country song of all time. 

Amazon has sold out a couple of times, but books are available there again, also at arcadiapublishing.com, barnesandnoble.com, and your local bookstore.

Here are some blurbs about our book:

“One of country music’s greatest songwriters has given us his own private tour of the collective genius of his profession.  I read his book, then I realized how much wonderful music I’ve missed.”
-Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author and host of the Revisionist History podcast


“This is the best book about songs and songwriters I’ve ever read.  Bobby Braddock lived the history he writes about, which is really what makes this so compelling.”
-Bart Herbison, Executive Director, Nashville Songwriters Association International


“Braddock and Beecher evoke the mythology of country without sentimentalizing the music or its creators.  It’s a remarkable achievement...It also sent me to a dozen records I wanted to hear immediately.”
Edd Hurt, Nashville Scene

“A firsthand witness to some of Nashville’s most iconic songwriting moments.”
-Rolling Stone

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Country Music's Greatest Lines


In further shameless self-promotion, this is the back cover of Country Music's Greatest Lines: Lyrics, Stories & Sketches from American Classics, which I illustrated in collaboration with the author, Bobby Braddock. The blurb endorsing the book is by the awesome author, Malcolm Gladwell.

Carmen

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Big News!

Announcing the publication of a new book, Country Music's Greatest Lines: Lyrics, Stories & Sketches from American Classics, written by Bobby Braddock, with over 80 illustrations by yours truly. We are so excited to have our hard work come to fruition!

Bobby Braddock is a longtime friend, and a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Country Music hall of Fame, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York, with many notable hits, such as “Time Marches On,” “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “Wanna Talk About Me,” and “People Are Crazy.” Braddock is the only living person to have #1 songs in five consecutive decades. Also notable, he discovered Blake Shelton and produced several #1 one hits with him. Naturally, when he presented his idea for the book I jumped at the chance to illustrate it.  

Available July 6 on amazon.com and arcadiapublishing.com, the book gives an insider's view of classics from Hank Williams, Roger Miller, Kris Kristofferson, Taylor Swift, Eric Church and more, and spans decades from the 1940s to present. 

To quote Bobby: “ By featuring songs and song lyrics that span the early days of country radio to present-day downloading and live-streaming on the Internet, hopefully there's a little something here for everyone: an illustrated brief history of the words of country music, and the songwriters who created those words and made them sing.” 

Book signings at the Country Music Hall of Fame and elsewhere had to be canceled because of the pandemic, but thankfully, we have the internet.

Here is a sample illustration. Can you guess the song? Hint: It's by Marty Robbins.


Carmen

Thursday, June 18, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 30!


This is my last drawing, number 30, and for some reason, it was the hardest one. I thought I'd finish with the iconic Bob Dylan, whose timeless song, Blowing in the Wind, is so meaningful today, even though it was written 58 years ago.


Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, and how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?

Yes, and how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind.





30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 29


If you are a fan of home improvement shows, you will know who this is. 

Carmen

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 28


This is a little Navajo toddler. The Navajo Nation is in great danger from COVID-19, having more cases per capita than New York or New Jersey. Extreme poverty is a factor, with only 40% of residents having electricity and up to 30% lacking access to clean running water. 

South Korea has sent 10,000 masks and other PPE to the Navajo, honoring their service as "code talkers" during the Korean War. Native American soldiers cleverly used their native language as code for radio transmissions for the American military.

Carmen



Tuesday, June 16, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 27


This is Michael Crawford as Phantom of the Opera, the very first Phantom. One thing I'll never understand is the makeup going to such great detail that he has one blue eye and one brown eye; how could a theater audience see that? I've seen the show three times. I'm one of those people they call a "Phan."

Carmen

Sunday, June 14, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 25

Time for me to lighten up, and Mr. Bean is always good for a laugh. I managed to spill water on my drawing before I got to the shading and the paper got wavy, but I like it.

Carmen

Saturday, June 13, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 24

This young Kurdish woman was a soldier who lost her life fighting ISIS after the U.S. pulled out our military support for the Kurds. She was 19.

Carmen

Friday, June 12, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 23

This is getting harder all the time, I think because life is starting to interfere. My to-do list is sneaking up on me. Anyway, here's Georgia O'Keefe.

Carmen

Thursday, June 11, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 22


This is exactly how this man looks; I exaggerated nothing. What strikes me about him is his resemblance to Henry the Eighth. Henry also had tiny eyes, a tiny mouth, and chubby cheeks.

Carmen

Sunday, June 7, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 18

This little girl is so cute and so innocent. I hope you can tell that she is sticking her tongue out a little. It was so hard to draw that. Sometimes it's very difficult to figure out how to render what seems to be very simple.

Carmen

Saturday, June 6, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 17


I still have the radio I first heard "Heartbreak Hotel" on. I was dressing for school, standing on the floor furnace in my grandmother's house, which was always freezing cold in the mornings (this was in Central Florida, before global warming). Most singers back then were not all that good-looking, so you can imagine the surprise for us teenage girls when we first got a gander at Elvis.

Carmen

Friday, June 5, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 16

Audrey Hepburn, like Anne Frank, was in the Netherlands during the Nazi occupation. Her father deserted the family, and Audrey spent her teen years near starvation. Though both parents were Nazi sympathizers, she was a courier for the Dutch Resistance, delivering messages at great risk to herself.  She was a rebellious teenager doing the right thing.

Carmen

Thursday, June 4, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 15

Anne Frank is a symbol of the nightmare of living in a fascist state. She and her family hid in an attic for 25 months, until the Nazis found them. Makes our quarantine seem pretty insignificant, doesn't it? Anne died of typhus in a concentration camp just before the war ended. This brilliant girl had just turned 15 when she wrote these words:

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.”  

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 14

I'm taking a break from the sadness of social commentary and putting out a happy face today. Willie Nelson is 87 years old and still touring! When he sang, "On the road again" he meant every word!

Carmen

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 13


Yesterday I had a medical procedure and one of the nurses had the most astonishingly beautiful eyes. Of course, I was wondering if the bottom half of her face was just as beautiful. I'd like to think so, although if it was a Saturday Night Live skit, she'd remove her mask and have teeth sticking straight out and no chin.

This is not that nurse, but I wanted to salute the dedicated health care professionals who are doing heroic deeds these days. For those of us who like to whine about wearing masks, just think of your whole workday--sometimes very long hours--wearing a mask. It can't be easy.

Carmen

Monday, June 1, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 12


This is quite a departure. It's a drawing of a painting. It's called "La Bella Principessa" and it is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, which is a way of saying it's debated about. The evidence does point to Leonardo and I'd like to think he painted it. What I don't like is that the owner has it locked in a vault. To me, this is more beautiful than the Mona Lisa and the world should be able to see it. 

Carmen

Sunday, May 31, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 11

"I Can't Breathe"

It was hard for me to do this because the sadness was a bit overwhelming. I don't think any of us will have an easy time forgetting the horror of seeing this man murdered right before our eyes while three other policemen watched. 

Carmen


Saturday, May 30, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 10


I can't look at this Vietnamese woman without smiling. Is she cute or what? She lived through a terrible, long, drawn-out war, but she's still cheerful.

Carmen

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 9

We have now reached over 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus, an astonishing number representing 100,000 grieving families and friends. To mark this tragic milestone, I drew Philip Kahn, 100 years of age, who succumbed to the virus this year. Incredibly, his twin brother died 100 years ago in the Spanish flu pandemic.

Carmen

Friday, May 29, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days, Day 8


I find it very hard to simplify like this. To capture the elements that make up a person's face in so few lines and no gradations of values is very challenging for me.

Carmen

Thursday, May 28, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 7

This is a young African girl, and you can tell she will grow into a very regal woman. I spent most of the day on this, and enjoyed every minute.

Carmen

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days, Day 6


This Native American woman has lived a long time and she probably has some good stories to tell. I'll bet she has some sad ones too, and they are written on her face.

Carmen

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 5, "Grief"

This was the hardest one yet. As we near 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus, we hear words like "statistics" and "data," but the reality is, people are experiencing heart-rending grief, horror, and despair. This young woman has a baby and a toddler and lost her husband to the virus. I can't even imagine the pain she is experiencing. 

I have never before tried to picture grief written on someone's face, and it was not easy. I just wanted to put a human face on tragedy. This is the first drawing I've given a title.

Carmen

Monday, May 25, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 4


If there's anything harder than drawing a perfect woman, it's drawing a baby. Babies are so new, so flawless, and so soft. She's probably thinking, "I wish someone would take this ridiculous bow off my head."

Carmen

Sunday, May 24, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 3


Here I tried something different. Instead of pencil, I used a brush pen, which forced me to simplify. It was a challenge within a challenge, but I like the way it turned out.

Carmen