* Carmen Beecher * Cindy Michaud * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi * Jean Thomas

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Well, Life on the Farm is Kinda Laid Back...

Just returned from visiting our family in upstate Pennsylvania, and I can tell you one thing: life on the farm is anything but laid back. There is so much work, especially if it involves cows! I'll be painting some pastoral scenes soon of the beautiful place. My son-in-law's cousins were visiting too, and one is a well-known restaurateur in Chicago. The master chef cooking home-grown vegetables was foodie heaven. I was surprised to learn that parsley is a root vegetable that has wonderful healthy properties. I had no idea. Here's what the root looks like, and it tastes good, too:
As for the photo of me feeding the calf, I think I should have enhanced my look through the magic of Photoshop before posting this picture!
posted by Carmen

Monday, August 29, 2011


This is the second in my series of travel cards from places that I have traveled. I created this painting from a photograph that I took in Hope Town in the Abacos which are part of the Bahama Chain. Hope Town is on Elbow Key and is one of my favorite places to vacation. We will be going for our third time in May. We love to stay in the Hope Town Villas which sit right on the entrance to Hope Town Marina. From our front porch we can watch all the boats coming into and leaving from the Marina. In Hope Town the school children ride the ferry to school each day. It is really fun to watch the ferry go by loaded with school children all dressed in their school uniforms. We usually rent a boat for the time that we are in Hope Town and boat to many of the other islands close by. The water and all of the islands are so beautiful. Each is very different from the other. Hope Town is our favorite because it is a really cute little town complete with small shops, a grocery store and bakery, post office and coffee shop. We always meet such interesting people in the coffee shope and the grocery store. Vernon who owns Vernon's grocery is a real character and a real gentelman. They have the most wonderful home made bread and pies. If you are there early enough you can get one of their famous Key Lime pies. There are also lots of great places to eat. There is nothing as wonderful as fresh coconut conch eaten overlooking Hope Town Marina. The town is also composed of beautiful little homes painted in bright Caribbean colors. The street that the little cottage in this painting sits on is really named Lover's Lane. I cannot help but steel a kiss from by hubby as we pass by.

Big Smiles!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Calling a picture done...

It takes me a long time to call a picture done. Mostly because I'm not a good enough painter yet to accomplish what I'm trying to accomplish. But, in the interest of contributing to our blog, I thought I would re-post this picture taken of a painting I started in April this year. The first photo is after three hours of painting outside with the Pieces of 8. You may recall that session, we were watching and cheering the gorgeous crews of the crew boats going by as we painted.

The second is probably after 10 more hours. (I'm slow.) I finally decided to call it finished today and put my mark on it. That's a major step for me. On my month long adventure in the Everglades I realized that I'm never going to get better at painting if I just keep falling back on digital because it's so quick and satisfying. Thank goodness for the Pieces of 8. They give me reason to keep trying.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Treasure Chest

This treasure chest is compiled by the Pieces of 8 for the Pen Women Fundraiser Saturday October 8. The speaker will be the Honorable Bruce A. Smathers, former Florida State Senator and Secretary of State of Florida. The treasure chest will be one of the pieces in the silent auction, and contains original works of art as well as other treasures. Members of Pen Women Donna Vines and Carmen Beecher assembled the treasure chest for the auction, which will raise money for a scholarship fund for a deserving student in the arts.

For more info about the event and Pen Women, visit canaveralpenwomen.org.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I went to Paris this summer, with my friend and fellow artist, Donna.  It seems the right time to post my collage .  Donna and I have gotten interested in collage work and occasionally spend a few hours surrounded in piles of paper and glue. We came home from Paris with huge sacks full of "all things French" to incorporate into our collages.  But, life got in the way and so far we have been unable to give it a try.  Here's hoping that soon we will both get in a "collage frame of mind" and continue down the road of paste and paper.

There are some interesting papers in this piece, so I encourage you to enlarge the image.

Purchase here
Carol Schiff Studio

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


This light house painting was created from a photograph that I took on a light house cruise in Bar Harbor, Maine last September. We flew into Boston for three days then traveled down to Cape Cod then back up the eastern coast line to Bar Harbor, Maine. We stopped at many beautiful little towns on our ten day driving tour. We saw wonderful light houses in most of the towns.

I am creating a series of small 5"x7" paintings of sights that we have photographed on our travels inside and outside the United States. I worked on this painting this Monday during our regular Pieces of Eight painting time. I brought it home and finished it Monday afternoon. I have several other light houses from our trip that I plan to paint and add to my series. Once I have enough painted I plan to have note cards made to give as gifts. I think that should be fun. Next week I think that I shall post a painting from Hope Town in the Abacos.


Phillis Holland

Happy Mondays

Ask any member of Pieces of 8 what their favorite day is, and I guarantee they will say "Monday." That's when we meet to paint, cajole, commiserate, encourage, applaud, and laugh a lot. It's the best. Above, Denette and I are having our usual good time.

posted by Carmen
Photos by Kathy

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Women Painters of the Southeast

I have been accepted into Women Painters of the Southeast. This is my recent painting posted on that site. Check out the Women Painters by clicking on the painting.
posted by Carmen

Monday, August 8, 2011


Pat GrandMaison from North Carolina is the winner of the Dragonfruit painting! She correctly identified the fruit, and gave the following added information:

The night blooming cereus is also called sweet-scented cactus, vanilla cactus, large-flowered cactus and reina de la noche (queen of the night) in Spanish. It blooms once a year, usually in late summer, and bears the largest flower found on St. John. The flower, which is white with yellow stamens, smells like vanilla and can reach as much as one foot in diameter. It opens up so quickly that you can literally watch it unfold right before your very eyes.

Congratulations, Pat!

posted by Carmen

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I will send you this painting absolutely FREE if you are the first person to identify this mystery fruit, meaning the big weird pink one, not the little limes  (Pieces of 8 members not eligible, which goes without saying, yet I said it anyway).

P.S. The winner: Pat GrandMaison from North Carolina. See the next post.

Carmen Beecher

Monday, August 1, 2011

Back from the Everglades

I had a great month in the Everglades staying right within the grounds between the Visitor Center and the front gate as the Artist in Residence for the month of July. The park is open 24 hours a day, so being right there you can take a walk at any time. Sunset and sunrise were particularly beautiful. Took over 3000 pictures of gators, lubbers, flowers, vistas and of course, my Liguus Tree Snails. I dropped the exploration of a relationship between the patterns on the snails and the marvelous Seminole patchwork because it became obvious it was a sensitive issue. So, I just enjoyed the snails for their wonderful patterns and how they inspired my art. I think they will inspire it for a long time to come. And I'm hoping to go back frequently.