Featured Artist of the Month

Jacalyn Beam

    The Peninsula Gallery's Featured Artist of the Month event highlights a different artist each month. The line-up of participants includes some of the gallery resident artists, repeat exhibitors, and artists entirely new to the space. Visit the gallery each month to see the featured artist's special collection and follow our Facebook and Instagram pages to learn behind-the-scenes information about their background and creative process.

For the first featured artist of 2022, we are delighted to spotlight renowned plein air painter, Jacalyn Beam.  

Jacalyn is a nationally-known plein air oil painter, with her work being recognized across the country. She was born in Chester County, PA, and her early training in art was rooted in the history and beauty of the Brandywine Valley. She holds a B.S. in Music, M.Ed. and Ed.D. and has always held a passion for painting. The Wyeths, Sorolla, Sargent, Sotter, Schofield, and Thayer are a few of her favorite artists.


In 2021, Jacalyn was juried into the prestigious Plein Air Texas, one of the top plein air events in the nation. She was also included in the 2014 book, 100 Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters, published by Schiffer, in addition to being featured in various issues of art magazines. Jacalyn is a member of the American Impressionist Society, Oil Painters of America, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Society. She also served on the Board of Directors at the Chaddsford Historical Society for eight years and continues to chair the annual Winter Plein Air Event.


I paint outdoors because the world is rich with beauty, and it’s the optimal way to see three-dimensional objects, the subtleties of light and shadows, atmospheric perspective, and ‘real’ colors. Plein Air painting is also a lot of fun! You meet new friends  animal and human, have fleeting conversations with bicyclists and joggers, and experience the sounds and smells of the outdoors. 


I chose oil paints for their place in history and application on canvas. Specifically, I use conservation-grade oil and linen substrates that withstand the tests of time. Regarding subject matter, I typically paint that which is around me. When at home, I paint the landscapes of the Brandywine Valley. When traveling, I paint whatever captures my attention at the time.


For me, each painting is an experiment. First, I observe and then choose a scene to paint. I question myself about how to place the scene on the canvas and which colors to use that best describe what I see. Then, I paint — placing one color against another to see if what I’m viewing is being transferred to the canvas. I step back and decide if the painting is working. I report the results by framing the painting and sending it to the gallery. 


Traditional art-making dictates that some basic rules are always kept when doing representational painting, such as which colors to use to create linear perspective and how to paint light and shadow. By maintaining certain rules, one can experiment around these rules and still keep the painting ‘believable.’ And experimentation is what makes the painting process fun!"