An upcoming HBO series featuring Kate Winslet happens to take place in an area of Pennsylvania that has drawn plein air painter Jacalyn Beam many times.
The seven-episode series, “Mare of Easttown,” is about Mare Sheehan (played by Winslet), a local detective leading a murder investigation.
Beam’s representational plein air paintings of the area are on view at Gallery 222 (Malvern, PA) in an exhibition titled “Context, Location, and Story,” April 7 – May 1, 2021. Beam typically paints the creeks, bridges, historic homes, and farms in the Brandywine Valley and so, captured several of the venues used in the “Mare of Easttown” series in her plein air paintings.
“For years I’ve been painting the bridge and farm used in the filming because they’re in my backyard,” Beam said. “One day I learned that these same places I find appealing are also appealing to a film production crew. Viewers will have fun comparing the movie scenes to the plein air paintings.”
Beam is quick say, “Painting outdoors is the optimal way to see the incredibly rich beauty of three-dimensional objects, the subtleties of light and shadows, atmospheric perspective and ‘real‘ colors.”
Author and journalist J Chambless writes, “Her rich palette and sensitive depictions of places are a winning combination that will reward lingering to appreciate the details … Beam captures the essence of a scene and conveys it with just the right amount of detail, leaving some elements sketchy enough to make us participants in the work.”
From the exhibition organizers: Jacalyn Beam showcases plein air paintings of particular locations – places with history and story, that draw the viewer to engage and reflect upon life. Executed in “real time and place,” Jacalyn’s paintings are lived documentation integral to culture and passed to generations over time. The paintings evoke stories central to human understanding and communication.
“‘The Swarmcatcher’ (above) shows a papier-mâché pot with a twig dipped in pheromones,” Beam explains. “The pheromones serve as a lure to bring stray bees to the pot and then the beekeeper puts themes back in the hive. I found this scene particularly charming as it taught me about bees; the simplicity of the scene was quintessential Brandywine, and Andrew Wyeth often trekked this property.”
“‘Country Red’ (above) is the Anne Wyeth McCoy bank barn in Chaddsford, Pennsylvania,” Beam said. “Anne used the barn as a studio for music and art. She was a composer as well as an artist. Her husband, John McCoy was also an artist.”
Beam’s landscape paintings are also on view in “Local Favorites,” an exhibition at Peninsula Gallery (Lewes, DE), April 3 – 25, 2021. Beam is a resident artist here, and she joins seven other oil painters to portray “scenes of this spectacular little corner of the world.”
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