Discovering the Charm of Meeting Street in Charleston ~ and painting it!  

We set out on foot in downtown Charleston looking for something charming to paint. Not a difficult task! I specifically wanted a subject with dramatic lighting which would translate into a pleasing range of lights and darks, shadows, and highlights in a painting. As we walked from the Battery and turned up Meeting Street we were struck by a charming painted brick home highlighted by light streaming through a pair of blooming crepe myrtle trees. This was just what I was looking for. My next painting would be 3 Meeting Street

3 Meeting Street by William R. Beebe, 24 x 30, oil on board, $5800

3 Meeting Street by William R. Beebe, 24 x 30, oil on board, $5800

I’m a sucker for an American flag. The scene would have caught my eye anyway, but having the flag so prominently displayed off the wrought-iron balcony completed the already perfectly charming scene. 

3 Meeting Street by William R. Beebe, detail shot of flag and balcony

3 Meeting Street by William R. Beebe, detail shot of flag and balcony

I originally thought I would create a very impressionistic work, believing that it would be about the lights and darks and that the details were not all that important. I blocked it in loosely with the first few coats of paint. As I progressed I started to think what a shame it would be to leave out the details which help create the overall charm of the scene in real life. 

3 Meeting Street by William R. Beebe, detail shot of gate and lantern

3 Meeting Street by William R. Beebe, detail shot of gate and lantern

In the end, I created a more realistic painting than planned, but stopped short of adding in every little detail. 

Thank you to all of my Facebook friends and followers on my Facebook business Page for all of your nice comments regarding my painting 3 Meeting Street. It is always so uplifting to hear from you.  

We will be producing a fine art giclee print of 3 Meeting Street in the near future. It will be available either on archival fine art paper or on canvas on our website. Please feel free to contact me if it is something you might be interested in.  

Thank you as always for your interest in what I’m working on, for reading my blog, and for all of your positive feedback!  Please check back soon to see what’s next on my easel! 


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion...
— William R. Beebe
What's next? Drawing by William R. Beebe

What's next?

Drawing by William R. Beebe

Staying focused on Charleston~ building up a body of work!

When you are an artist and have a wide variety of interest in subject matter, sometimes it is hard to stay focused. Everyday I see subjects I’d love to paint, especially now that we live in beautiful, historic Charleston. I’m working on building up a body of work of Charleston scenes that show well together, that will hopefully be identifiable as a “Beebe”(consistent in style), and will help identify me as a Charleston painter. 

Colors of the Rainbow by William R. Beebe, 12 x 12, oil on board, $2400

Colors of the Rainbow by William R. Beebe, 12 x 12, oil on board, $2400

The Holy City by William R. Beebe, 10 x 12, oil on board, $2100

The Holy City by William R. Beebe, 10 x 12, oil on board, $2100

Downtown World by William R. Beebe, 40 x 30, oil on canvas, $9600

Downtown World by William R. Beebe, 40 x 30, oil on canvas, $9600

The Corner of Church and Queen by William R. Beebe, 30 x 30, oil on canvas, $7200

The Corner of Church and Queen by William R. Beebe, 30 x 30, oil on canvas, $7200

Waiting Under the Crepe Myrtle by William R. Beebe, 12 x 12, oil on board, $2200

Waiting Under the Crepe Myrtle by William R. Beebe, 12 x 12, oil on board, $2200

This is important for several reasons. Galleries, generally speaking, look to represent artists that they can count on to provide them with a consistent body of work. One of my goals is to eventually be represented by a couple of galleries in the Charleston area. 

Even though I’m new to town, I want to establish myself as a “local” painter.  A perfect example of a “local” painter would be my cousin/artist Brian Sweetland. He lived in Vermont and painted Vermont scenes. His art captured Vermont’s beautiful countryside, the working farms, cows, tractors, anything “Vermont”. Whenever I see a photograph of anything Vermont I think of my cousin Brian and his art.  

He didn’t restrict himself to just Vermont scenes, for he was also an excellent portrait and still life painter. He could paint anything and do it masterfully, but a retrospective of his work was overwhelmingly about Vermont.  

Brian spent his entire professional career building up a large body of work with a consistency of style and subject matter, becoming one of the best at what he painted.  

When we moved to Maine I had the same goal. I wanted to, and did, paint everything Maine.  Lighthouses, lobsterboats, schooners, sailboats, and working harbors were all inspiring subjects to paint. Even though we only lived in Maine for 12 years, I eventually was recognized as one of the “local” artists and was represented by a couple of galleries in town.  

Fortunately Charleston (and its surrounding areas) provides a wide range of subject matter to paint. I feel I have so much to choose from while still building up a consistent body of work. For instance, I’m starting my Charleston series of paintings by painting historic churches, colorful Rainbow Row, and charming historic homes with window boxes. 

I’m currently finishing up a painting of an historic white home along Meeting Street with overflowing window boxes, wrought iron balconies, and an American Flag. The home is heavily shaded but strong sunlight is filtering through the blooming crepe myrtles.  An arched iron gate and a moss covered brick wall create a little mystery as to what life is like on the other side.  

Meeting Street home (untitled and unfinished) by William R. Beebe, 24 x 30, oil on canvas

Meeting Street home (untitled and unfinished) by William R. Beebe, 24 x 30, oil on canvas

Paintings of window boxes, arched gates, secret gardens, horse drawn carriages, marshlands with wading birds, and shrimp boats are all possible paintings in the pipeline that would show well together. I have images of each in mind that I can’t wait to paint.

I am also excited about having added to the Charleston collection two new giclée reproduction prints. 

Thank you for following my art and my journal. I hope you’ll check back soon to see what’s on the easel. I hope y’all had a Happy Thanksgiving and have a very Merry Christmas!!!


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion...
— William R. Beebe
What's next? Drawing by William R. Beebe

What's next?

Drawing by William R. Beebe

Waiting Under the Crepe Myrtle ~ painting the French Quarter!

One of the best things about being an artist and living in Charleston is that there is so much to choose from as far as subject matter. In my latest painting, Waiting Under the Crepe Myrtle, I was drawn to these Church Street homes because of the way the light was filtering through the trees, casting shadows across the road and against the facades. 

Waiting Under the Crepe Myrtle by William R. Beebe, 12x12, Oil on board, $2200

Waiting Under the Crepe Myrtle by William R. Beebe, 12x12, Oil on board, $2200

I was also drawn to the charming architectural elements. The closed gate with the cast shadow across it caught my eye. The wrought iron balconies add charm and dimension to the historic homes. The facades have patina similar to many of the homes in Europe, adding texture and interest. The flower boxes and potted plants, which are common on and in front of Charleston homes, add splashes of color and greenery.  

Detail shot of Waiting Under the Crepe Myrtle by William R. Beebe

Detail shot of Waiting Under the Crepe Myrtle by William R. Beebe

The docile dog was enjoying the sunlight, waiting patiently under the crepe myrtle tree for his owner to take him for a walk. He appeared quite content.

Detail shot of Waiting Under the Crepe Myrtle by William R. Beebe

Detail shot of Waiting Under the Crepe Myrtle by William R. Beebe

When I see dappled light I think Impressionism.  I decided to paint this scene with slightly looser brushwork than some of my more realistic paintings.  I broke down hard edges, softened edges, eliminated some detail, and show more brushwork. These techniques work well with capturing the effect of light on objects and helps give a Realistic painting an Impressionistic feel. 

Waiting Under the Crepe Myrtle is oil on board, 12” by 12”, framed in a gold Larson-Juhl frame, and now available on our website.  

I hope you like my latest painting. Thank you for following my art and for reading my journal! I appreciate it very much. Please check back soon to see what’s next on the easel!  


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion...
— William R. Beebe
What's next? Drawing by William R. Beebe

What's next?

Drawing by William R. Beebe

The Corner of Church and Queen ~ Historic, charming Charleston!

It didn’t take two STOP signs and STOP painted on the road for me to stop and take in the view down Church Street. It was an immediate response. We had walked all around the French Quarter photographing charming scenes for potential paintings, and from many locations in the city I kept seeing the St. Philip’s steeple rise above the roof and treetops. When we arrived at this location I immediately was taken with the scene. When the horse and carriage pulled up and stopped to let its passengers take it all in I knew this would be my next painting!  

The Corner of Church and Queen, by William R. Beebe, 30 x 30, oil on canvas, $7200

The Corner of Church and Queen, by William R. Beebe, 30 x 30, oil on canvas, $7200

I chose to paint it from this vantage point because it features two historic churches, St. Philip’s and the French Huguenot Church, on the aptly named Church Street. It was late in the day and the two churches were highlighted by the sun and framed by a beautiful blue sky.  

The horse and carriage, although in the shadows, is situated prominently in the lower center of the painting and draws your eye back away from the strong perspective of the highlighted buildings and leads you down Church Street and into the painting.  

As the passengers of the carriage listened intently to the driver speak about the historical significance of each building and of the location, I found myself wishing I could hear what he was saying. As I photographed the scene many other bystanders were also photographing it and admiring it. 

The location is one of the most photographed locations in Charleston. Many artists have chosen to paint it. Some artists avoid painting it and think it too cliché, but I was drawn to it because to me it is a scene that is identifiably Charleston. It represents so much of what Charleston is about.

Charleston is known as “the Holy City”. Charleston originally welcomed all Christian Protestant denominations (with the exception of Roman Catholicism) and as a result a large number of church steeples and spires are visible throughout the city.  

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church was originally established in 1681 where the current day St. Michael’s church is located.  When it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1710 it was relocated to its current location.  The current church building is a National Historic Landmark, built in 1836.  

The Corner of Church and Queen, by William R. Beebe, detail shot of St. Philip's Church,

The Corner of Church and Queen, by William R. Beebe, detail shot of St. Philip's Church,

The French Huguenot Church was originally built in 1687, was destroyed in 1796 due to a fire, and the current Gothic Revival edifice was rebuilt in 1845.  It too is a National Historic Landmark.  

The horse and carriage rides are everyday sights in Charleston. Tourists travel from all around the world to experience Charleston and to absorb its unique history and culture.  The carriage drivers share their wealth of knowledge and historical facts every day with the many tourists who decide to take the tour.  The corner of Church and Queen Street is a frequent stop for the carriage drivers due to its historic significance and the magnificent view down Church Street.  

The Corner of Church and Queen, by William R. Beebe, detail shot

The Corner of Church and Queen, by William R. Beebe, detail shot

Mix in palmetto trees and crepe myrtles and one knows they are in the South  (the palmetto tree being the state tree of South Carolina).  The pastel colors of the Huguenot Church and the light, Naples yellow building are also colors more commonly found in the South.   

This being my first Charleston painting painted as a resident of the area, I wanted to create a significant piece, one that captured some of the history, charm, and culture of Charleston.  It is a rather large painting, 30” by 30” on canvas and framed in a beautiful silver/gold Larson-Juhl frame.  It is now available on our website under our new Charleston category under Paintings.  

We will also be producing a limited-edition giclee print of this image in the very near future. If interested in purchasing a giclee print for your collection please contact us through our website.

Thank you as always for your interest in my artwork.  I would love to hear from you if you would like to comment below.  Please check back soon to see what’s on the easel next! 


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion...
— William R. Beebe
What's next? Drawing by William R. Beebe

What's next?

Drawing by William R. Beebe