Maureen Bean, North Hat­ley Wa­ter­col­orist

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Jan Draper, Spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion

“Na­ture in­spires me to paint.” says Maureen Bean, “I love na­ture’s col­ors and the feel­ing of calm.” Bean has drawn and painted all of her life; it was only when she trav­elled to the salmon fish­ing rivers of the Gaspe with her late hus­band, Paul Bean, that she felt the call of wa­ter­col­ors. Paul Bean was a de­voted fly fish­er­man and fly tyer and he and Maureen vis­ited the Gaspe to fish. The grey mists, the green of the trees and the chang­ing tones of the river cap­ti­vated Bean and she gave up her oil paints know­ing that wa­ter col­ors would bet­ter suit her sub­ject.

When she paints, Bean pre­pares her pa­per, sits and thinks; slowly the image forms in her mind and un­der her brush. Some­times the image will change sub­tly to re­flect her mood. Many paint­ings are the misty wa­ter­scapes she be­gan with but oth­ers are land­scapes of the North Hat­ley area and flow­ers. Skies are another of her pre­oc­cu­pa­tions. She paints sub­tly colored skies that bal­ance the gen­tle col­ors of the rest of the paint­ing. Hu­mans rarely fig­ure in her work but re­cently she has been ex­per­i­ment­ing with adding a per­son here and there.

Bean paints fast and likes the fact that wa­ter col­ors dry quickly un­like oils which she says, “take for­ever.”

Luck­ily for her fans, North Hat­ley of­fers many views sim­i­lar to those in the Gaspe so Bean has kept on paint­ing the misty wa­ter­scapes of streams and lakes. Other land­scapes of the Town­ships also find their way into her work: white birches in win­ter snow ap­pear as well as au­tumn leaves, flow­ers and the oc­ca­sional still life with leaves and berries. Again, it is the nat­u­ral col­ors and shapes that ap­peal to her.

Bean’s ap­proach is sim­ple. Her paint­ings are not la­bored with too much de­tail and so catch view­ers’ at­ten­tion right away re­mind­ing them of a scene or of a feel­ing ex­pe­ri­enced.

Maureen Bean was born in UK but her par­ents moved

here when she was a child. Bean stud­ied art and art his­tory at Bish­ops and wa­ter col­ors with Joyce Cochrane Schweitzer and De­nis Palmer. She has trav­elled to Europe to visit gal­leries there.

Bean has had ex­hi­bi­tions in the area at var­i­ous li­braries and banks. Cur­rently, some of her paint­ings are in the Christ­mas Sale at the North Hat­ley Li­brary. In June of next year she will have an ex­hi­bi­tion at the Pig­gery Theatre. Watch the Jour­nal for an an­nounce­ment dur­ing warmer, sunny days.

Bean’s paint­ings are rea­son­ably priced and very com­fort­able to have hang­ing on one’s walls. The col­ors are soft and the sub­jects fa­mil­iar. They make great presents be­cause it is hard not to like them. If na­ture is your big pre­oc­cu­pa­tion, Bean’s paint­ings will be a calm­ing pres­ence in your home and al­ways a source of plea­sure.

If you would like to see more of Bean’s work, you can visit the Christ­mas Sale at the North Hat­ley Li­brary (TuesFri:10:00-12:30; Sat: 10:00-3:00; Sun: 12:30-3:00) or email her at mau­reen­bean2@gmail.com.

Un­framed wa­ter­color of a misty sum­mer stream by Maureen Bean

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