The Artwork of Timothy Beacham
"for your Arts Desire"
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, I
have drawn for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I
seemed to be better at drawing and coloring than most my age. While other
children were drawing stick figures, I was adding volume and detail to my
drawings. An early teacher told my mother I had an exceptional attention to
detail in my artwork. On the advice of this teacher, my parents investigated
putting me in an Atlanta art school. But, being conservative, they were
concerned with the way the classes operated. They thought there was too
little discipline and too much freedom. So, they decided to leave me in a
My first paintings
I completed my first painting at fourteen. A neighbor, who knew I had a talent for drawing, gave me a small oil paint set. I set up a still life scene and proceeded to paint it. Looking back on it now, it was pretty crude, but I was proud of it then. At that time, I was entering my teen years, which were full of activities that pulled me away from art, including studies, sports, and teen romance. So, very little attention was given to art.
In college, I studied business, because I didn't think anyone could earn a living as an artist. It was at this time that I was exposed to art again through a couple of older friends who were associated with the development of Underground Atlanta and were painting in a basement with a local artist, Clint Carter. They were working in acrylics rather than oil, because oils take time to dry. I now had rather work in oil, because it doesn't dry as rapidly as acrylic. This was about 1968, and I was twenty-one. I bought a set of acrylic paints and a small canvas. I painted one picture, which has since been painted over.
I soon married and painted a few pictures, still working in acrylic. After completing two years in the US Army, I have either worked in the real estate, computer software or mortgage business. Upon returning to civilian life, painting still intrigued me. I felt I had a natural talent, but wasn't happy with my work.
Early art training
Remembering my exposure to Clint Carter, and not knowing any other artists, I sought out my friends who painted with Clint earlier. I was interested in taking art lessons from him. Without any
previous formal training, the friends told me that Clint would want me to have had drawing lessons before he worked with me. They suggested I look into some of the classes given at the YMCA. The YMCA may not sound like a place for art education, but I really received some good initial instruction there.
So, drawing lessons at the YMCA were my first formal art lessons of any kind. They were taught by a young Atlanta artist, and under her direction, I did my first drawings that were not line drawings. The class was made up of me, my father (who still does cartoons and caricatures), and women who were
assignment was drawing a shoe and then a purse over the next several lessons. My shoe and purse were excellent and almost photographic. At this point, I decided that I had received all the valuable instruction I would receive from this class, and I didn't return. I did get some encouragement from the teacher, who told me "You should do something with your art." This was in 1975, but I never did pursue the painting lesson with Clint Carter.
From acrylics to oil
It was not until my children were in high school that my interest in painting surfaced again. Still using acrylics, I attempted portraits of my son and daughter from photographs. While they were good likenesses, I wasn't satisfied. In 1999 I met an artist, Greg Johnson, who was willing to take me as a student, if I worked in oil. I now work in oil.
At this time in my life, painting was something that I wanted to have as a retirement hobby, but a hobby that I would be satisfied with. While working on my painting skills, Greg encouraged me to pursue art as a paying career. While I was good for an untrained artist, I have improved greatly since I started working with Greg in 1999, and I expect to continue to improve.
In fact, I sold my first painting out of Greg's studio while still working on it. Since 1999, I have sold a number of paintings and completed several commissions. I am also working toward marketing"giclee'" reproductions of some of my work. At this point I am doing direct marketing and am not represented by a gallery or agent. I work in oil on canvas and do still life, landscapes, figurative portraits, and other. Most of the still life and landscapes are self-directed, and most of the portrait work is commission work.
I enjoy the process, from finding a subject that whispers "Paint me!" through working out the details of light, color and technique, to putting down the brushes and admiring the finished product. Itís doubly fulfilling when someone else appreciates my work. I hope you enjoy your tour through my on-line studio and come back often and let me know if you find something of interest.
Artists under which I have studied:
Greg Johnson - http://www.gregoryjohnson.biz/
Jim Schell - http://jimschellstudio.com/index.html
Marc Chatov - http://www.chatovstudio.com/marc_bio.aspx
Charles Young Walls - http://www.charlesyoungwalls.com
Organizations of which Iím a member:
Portrait Society of Atlanta (Juried Member) - http://www.portraitsocietyofatlanta.org/overview.htm
Portrait Society of America - Portrait Society of America, Inc. - Portrait Society, Portrait Artists, Portrait Art, Portrait Painting
Atlanta Fine Arts League - http://www.atlantafineartsleague.org/