Show Preview | Kathy Beekman

Santa Fe, NM
Canyon Road Contemporary, July 28-August 6

Kathy Beekman, The Sky in the East, pastel, 22 x 30.

Kathy Beekman, The Sky in the East, pastel, 22 x 30.

This story was featured in the July 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  July 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Pastel painter Kathy Beekman gets lost in the vastness of the landscape. Her paintings, despite their digestible size, convey the overwhelming sense of human insignificance through sprawling fields and infinite skies. In a solo show at Canyon Road Contemporary, Beekman presents a new body of work to celebrate 11 years of representation. The show, titled Landscape’s Edge, opens Friday, July 28, with an artist’s reception from 5 to 7 p.m. On Saturday, July 29, Beekman returns for a painting demonstration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Beekman was initially drawn to pastel when her art supplies had dwindled to a few sheets of black paper while she was traveling in Mexico. “I applied the pastel to it, and it caused the color to pop,” she says. From then on, in her frequent road trips between New Mexico and Indiana, Beekman began studying and photographing the tranquil landscapes dominant in her portfolio. “I take a little from each photo and add a sprinkle of my own imagination,” the artist says. “The vast landscape has this powerful sense of wonder and intimacy and peacefulness that I try to transfer to my paintings.”

While the show won’t include many of her tall, narrow paintings, attendees can expect to see other unexpected sizes and shapes that Beekman is known for. “I’m impatient and always looking for the exciting aspect of things, and with standard dimensions I feel confined,” she says. Before beginning a painting, the artist tears each sheet of paper down to a size she enjoys, without measuring. She says this impatience is also what drew her to pastels, which she applies and blends with her fingers. “And the color is unbelievable because it is pure pigment. I don’t think I could get the same colors if I used acrylics or oils,” Beekman says.

The vibrancy of her medium shines through in a new painting titled GLOW, in which a grand sunset nearly overwhelms a field and a tiny structure at the bottom. Beekman says the sun’s light falling on the clouds provides a dramatic contrast to the dark ground beneath. “There’s that drama that just lends itself to creating wide open spaces for me to paint,” she says. —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
505.983.0433
www.canyoncontemporary.com

This story was featured in the July 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  July 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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