Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Michael F. Beard, Painter, Tells His Story







My great dilemma at East Carolina University back in 1970 was deciding whether my major would be art or biology. I chose art and have since incorporated my love of natural things into my paintings. My Dad, who was paying my tuition, was not real happy with my choice. I had to fight hard to follow my passion for art.



Emerging Life 2, 24”x18”


In the 70s and 80s it was a struggle to find time and space to paint while raising a family with five daughters. I used the attic loft in my Cape Cod style house in McLean, Va. as a studio. After my girls had grown up quite a bit, my wife and I divorced and I moved into a small colonial house in Silver Spring, MD. I used the living room as my studio. 



Emerging Life 1, 22”x28”


One of my favorite paintings occurred one evening when about 10pm I was hit with the inspiration to paint. I stayed up all night inspired by the colors of a Tiffany lamp and produced “Luminosity”.



Luminosity, 4' x 4'



For 17 yrs. I was the Executive Director of the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC. I was heavily influenced by the amazing beauty and grace of the ballet. I incorporated some of that movement in the lines of my paintings.



Red Floral Cascade, 30” x 24”


Wherever I am I see colors and shapes that I want to experiment with on canvas. So I try to have my camera with me to capture the moment. I love the brilliant colors and sensual forms of flowers and plants. Playing with them on the canvas led to my cascading flower series. 



Blue Floral Cascade, 30” x 24”


What excited me most was discovering everything going on inside of the flowers I observed. The subtle folds, the hidden crevices, the fascinating shapes. I wanted to bring them to life in a painting that moved and swirled.  Then I started seeing shapes that looked like other living things and that led to the “Birth of Everything”.



Birth of Everything, 30" x 24"



I am now semi-retired and living in Naples, Florida with my wife, Eileen. I’ve finally got more time to paint!



Secret Life of Flowers, 30" x 40"


This is Week 11 of 52 Artists in 52 Weeks. Thank you for reading and sharing Michael's story today!