Welcome to my Summer Studio Tour! I'm Beverly, and I am excited you are here.
I have teamed up with four fabulous artists, Margaret Sheldon, Christina Keith, Tram Colwin, and Beth Welch, to create a virtual studio tour giving a peek behind the scenes (or should I say easel) and the opportunity to learn a bit more about each one of us and our work. So, grab your favorite drink and enjoy taking a trip to Fayetteville, AR, Baton Rouge, LA, Boston, MA, Prior Lake, MN, and Chesapeake, VA all while in the comforts of your own homes.
I was born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA, but I moved to Chesapeake, VA after marring my high school sweetheart. My happy place is in my studio, but when I'm not in the studio painting (and sipping coffee), you will find me tackling a DIY home project, digging in the garden, talking to my chickens (yes, I'm that person), snuggling my pups, cooking up something healthy, or just chilling with my crew.
Creating has always been a part of my life, but I didn't pursue art until my early 30's. I was encouraged by a friend from high school who just happens to be a talented artist, to go back to school. It was that little nudge that started my art journey.
I taught elementary art for 3 years but became a stay at home mom after my youngest daughter was born. I continued to teach part-time for a home school co-op as well as some child care. I felt like I was in a daily rut, and I wanted out. I was approaching my mid 40's and my dreams were laying stagnate. I received another nudge from a different artist friend that helped give me the courage to throw caution to the wind and jump head first into a full-time art career. Isn't it wonderful how God uses certain people in your life to help point you in the right direction? That was 2 years ago, and the beginning of this next chapter in my journey.
People ask, "What type of art do you paint?". I don't believe you have to just paint one genre like portraits/figures, animals, landscapes, etc... I love painting them all so when asked I sum it up in one word, "NATURE". Life experiences and the world around me is my muse.
Like many artists, my list of ideas is long. These ideas come to me faster than I can paint so many of my paintings are birthed long after being inspired. My camera (and iPhone) is my best friend, and one of the two goes with me everywhere. I never know when I will see something that inspires me, so I make sure I'm prepared to snap a photo or two.
Once I have an idea, I begin researching the subject (this is when Pinterest becomes a great tool) and taking photos (when necessary). I begin doing rough sketches while playing with compositions, but not always because there are times I just can't wait to dive into the painting.
My technique is always evolving, and it's how it should be because it's the product of growth and experience. My backgrounds have evolved from solid, to patterned, to layers of color and texture (like the image above). I use the palette knife to paint my backgrounds, and it has become my favorite part of my process. Most recently my color palette has also changed. I started out painting with very saturated colors, but now I love the lighter brighter tones.
Having a studio space away from the main living areas is important due to fumes from my oil paints (my preferred medium).
Just recently, I moved from the small office my husband and I shared into the large bedroom over our garage. My oldest daughter was married last year, and my middle daughter has moved into an apartment so other than housing the occasional overnight guest, this room wasn't getting much use. 95% of the time this room is a working studio, but 5% of the time it becomes a guest room. I have divided the room into three functioning areas...guest area with faux fireplace and TV (perfect for taking a break when needed), desk area (for all the beloved paperwork, taxes, and photo editing), and painting area. I chose to place my easel on the side of the room near the closet because it makes it convenient for storing all my supplies. I have a small medical cabinet with 4 drawers that fits perfectly in one side of the closet. When I'm ready to paint, I just slide the door open and everything I need is within arm's reach. It's amazing how the right set up can promote productivity.
(Dreaming of Spring... This collection is the result of the Feb. 2018 30 in 30 challenge... each painting was painted using only palette knife.)
I work in collections (8-12 paintings) that release on my website on chosen dates, but Summers are a bit different round here because of my youngest being home with me. I take that time to explore subject matter, learn new techniques, and /or work on areas of weakness. I also start to plan what my upcoming collections will be for fall and the new year.
Children of the King is my latest collection that released this past Spring. Everyday I'm hearing of suicides, depression, low self esteem. I get tired of all the negativity in our world that has become a vehicle to hurt and tear us down. My intention with this collection is to send a positive message of value and worth by depicting the innocent carefree days of youth. Children of the King is a bright and colorful reminder of how much our Father loves us.
The above photo is the painting that I'm (slowly) working on, and it is what's currently on my easel. I bought these beautiful pink and yellow roses when decorating for my daughter's baby shower, and I just love how pretty they were in my Hearth and Hand pitcher... I couldn't let them go to waste, right?
Thank you for taking time to visit with me today. I hope you enjoyed learning more about me and my work. Don't forget to click the links below to move on to the next studio tour, but before you go...
The Winner Is...
Thank you to all who took the time to visit our studios and enter the giveaway.
Click the links below to continue the tour.