Maureen Bean, North Hatley Watercolorist
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unframed watercolor of a misty summer stream by Maureen Bean