by Katherine O. Rizzo (first published in the November 2023 Equiery)
Alana Beall’s love of fine art began at an early age as she dabbled in drawing and took photos starting at the age of seven. Growing up in Baldwin, Maryland, Beall’s parents encouraged her interest in the arts at every turn and even enrolled her and her sister in art classes at a small art school in Bel Air.
In high school, Beall studied photography at John Carroll High School with her first film camera. Beall went on to study Visual Communications at Villa Julie College from which she graduated in 2004. That year she also took advanced design courses at the Maryland Institute of Art. Soon after graduating, Beall created Vanity’s Edge as a portrait business primarily focusing on photography and acrylic/mix-media pet portraits, but also graphic design and murals for various local and national businesses.
“I took a break from painting when my kids were born,” she said, adding, “It can sometimes be hard to keep little ones out of your paint!”
Two years ago, Beall felt the urge to get back into painting and merged her fine art and photography passions into one business through Vanity’s Edge. Most of her artwork is in acrylic but her real passion is in mixed media. “I love combining different textures and have done works with plaster, sabillo pencils and applied fibers and then going back in over it all with acrylic,” she explained.
Beall also enjoys working on a large scale as seen by her winning artwork “Marquis,” which is painted on a 48’’ x 48’’ canvas. “I love big canvases, but the galleries don’t always like to display such big works so I’m trying to scale back in size,” she said with a laugh.
Beall, who now lives in Monkton, is a member of the Harford Artist Association, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of art in Harford County. The group was formed in 1967 and incorporated in 1970. Beall’s work has been displayed at the association’s main gallery in Bel Air as well as at three of its four satellite locations throughout the county.
Beall’s winning piece, featured on this month’s cover, received top votes from all but one on the selection committee! Judges were attracted to the image’s bright colors, flowing lines and motion. In addition, the composition of the piece and high-resolution digital file submitted made the image very suitable for an Equiery cover.
Beall started riding horses in her early teens and still owns two horses. “I primarily rode English and was always a pleasure rider,” she stated, adding that horses are a big influence in her artwork. “My biggest inspiration for my work is da Vinci’s horse sketches,” she said. “His work is my absolute favorite and I draw a lot of inspiration from him as one of the great masters in art.”