Celebrating Christine Bean’s 100th Birthday!

In a recent interview Christine Bean mused, “I think I always wanted to be an artist. I remember, I was about 11 years old when I made a set of paper dolls for my little sister.” As she turns 100 today, she is still creating.

After graduating from West Virginia University, Christine began her career as a home economics teacher in a community that did not offer art classes. Upon discovering that she could teach art in Cincinnati, she packed up and moved to Ohio to further her career.

She married Wallen Bean, a Methodist minister, 75 years ago. It was his career that brought the couple to the South Coast. After settling in the area, Christine began teaching home economics and art at the Dartmouth Middle School, where she continued working until her retirement in 1977. 

With her three sons grown and her teaching career behind her, Christine was able to devote her full energy to her artwork. She began taking classes and workshops to refine her skills, and built an addition to her home to house her studio. That special place gave her the room for her easels, paints, and paintings. It leads to her backyard, where she enjoys the view of plants, flowers, birds, and trees. 

She was particularly impressed by the work of watercolor artist Louis DaSiliva, and in 1980, sought him out to study with him. Rhode Island artist, John Laughlin, was another watercolorist who inspired her love of plein air painting. Her advice to aspiring artists: “Paint, paint, paint! Go every place you can, to paint outside, with teachers and groups.”

Although now, she mostly paints from photographs of flowers and her favorite places, Christine noted, “What I like most is going out on location and painting,”. Her most popular painting, was originally suggested by her husband. It is a scene in Padanaram Harbor in Dartmouth that has been reproduced in 500 prints. She observed that most people like “boats and beach roses.”

Though she will occasionally use another medium, like pastels, she continues to favor watercolors. “Watercolors are more flowing and fun,” Bean said.

Her husband, Warren, passed away in 2012. Christine still lives in the Dartmouth home she has loved for the past 55 years.

When asked about her passion for creating, Christine says, “It sort of takes you away from everything. You’re right into it and not thinking about anything else. When you finish, it’s a wonderful, complete feeling.”

Christine has exhibited her work extensively in southern New England, such as the Cape Cod Art Association, Westport Art Group, Newport Art Association, and of course, the South Coast Artists! She has won many awards over the years. We are proud to count her among our South Coast Artists family of members.

Asked about her lifelong passion, Christine states, “To be able to do something that you really love to do and share it with other people, isn’t that a nice thing?”