Carmen Beecher featured artist for January
ART AND ANTIQUE STUDIO & GALLERY
“I’m just an artist that enjoys my job”
That’s how Carmen Beecher feels about being an artist. She likes what she does every day. This Florida descendant feels a strong emotional connection to her home state. Although she spent twenty years living in other places—even other countries—she eventually returned to Florida to live and to paint. She worked for the Air Force as an Illustrator and Graphic Artist and won awards for both her illustrations and her military newspaper comic strips. She did murals for the US Space Program and her paintings are in the Pentagon’s Air Force Art Collection. Freelance work includes book illustrations, Mastercard credit card designs, and magazine cover illustrations. Her murals adorn the walls of private residences, businesses and a church. Much of her life has been spent surrounded by water: Bermuda, the Azores, and now Satellite Beach.
To “recharge her batteries” every year, Beecher goes on an artists’ retreat in the Smoky Mountains with her painting group, Pieces of Eight. The inspiration for her “From Highland to Island” exhibit is the contrast between the beauty of our beaches and wildlife and the vistas of the Smokies. Time spent in the mountains is used for plein air painting, sightseeing, and idea-generating.
With the worldwide web has come the Daily Painting phenomenon, which populates online venues with accessible, reasonably priced small paintings. Beecher enthusiastically joined the movement with a website, blog, Etsy Shop, and presence on three Daily Painter sites. She has made the internet her marketplace by posting three or four small paintings a week and selling through Etsy.com. The pace is hectic and requires careful planning, and at a time in her life when most people are taking it easy she finds herself busier than ever
Beecher won Best of Show in the National League of American Pen Women Biennial Art Competition 2008. She felt strongly about her inclusion in the Art and Addiction 2008 Juried Art Exhibition, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her work, River of Tears, about her father’s struggles with alcohol was selected for exhibition and included in the book Addiction and Art published in 2010 by Johns Hopkins University Press. She garnered Best of Show at the Art & Antique Studio’s Art in Miniature 2009 Show and exhibited in the 2010 “Transformations” exhibit at the Brevard Museum of Art in Melbourne, Florida. International Artist Magazine published an article about Beecher’s art and her process in their February/March 2012 issue, and she appeared in Space Coast Living Magazine in October 2012.