Studio Tour with Durham's Beverly McIver
photograph by Eric Waters

Studio Tour with Durham's Beverly McIverBehind a curving wall of glass and beneath bright track lighting in an old tobacco warehouse, Beverly McIver paints the vivid, oversize portraits of family and friends that she’s famous for. She rolls a cart of brushes, paints, palettes, and paper towels to paintings of her elderly father in a birthday hat, of her sister Renee, and of herself; in one, inspired by the Edouard Vuillard work Au Lit, McIver is prone in Paris with a sprained ankle. Each face bears dozens of strokes of luscious oil paint in dozens of colors, from teal to white. Recently, McIver is finding that clocks are wandering across her canvases, as are two rag dolls. Why? She’s an artist: No explanation necessary.

Many of McIver’s paintings, like Cardrew III (above), feature her father, Cardrew Davis.

This story was published on

Kelly is a contributing editor at Our State. She is the author of By Accident and the novels Now You Know, The Last of Something, Even Now, and How Close We Come, winner of the Carolina Novel Award and an alternate selection of Book-of-the-Month Club. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and lives in Greensboro.