Tuesday 28 December 2010

Looking back - looking forward

This has been a momentous year for me.  Although I knew that at some stage this year I would be able to make more definite plans to move to Australia, there was no certainty in terms of time.
I seemed to spend large chunks of the year involved with paperwork of one kind or another. Bureaucracy carries the burden of consuming much in the way of the world’s resources in terms of time and paper. So often I would complete lengthy forms only to find that they were misplaced and would have to be supplied once more. Call centres became the bane of my existence. Eventually all was in order, and I could make final plans.
Keeping creative while living in a state of transition is difficult, but fortunately, during the year  I had an important group show,  ConglomerART at artSPACE Durban to work towards.

Sinister Pools triptych each 915mm x 610mm ©Carol Lee Beckx

This was the second show by a group of artists who had completed the Artists’ Professional Practice Course facilitated by KZNSA (Kwa Zulu Natal Society of Artists)The first  exhibition was Big Night Out. The theme of my paintings was landscape - particularly the Drakensberg Mountains of Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa and the cityscapes of the Drive Home series. The river in the painting above has a very interesting history. I will be writing more about this painting in a future blog.

Giving a workshop on drawing with ink and doing painting demonstrations for a couple of art groups gave me the opportunity to re-kindle my love of teaching. Teaching will certainly be part of my plan for the coming year.
Protea Cyranoides II Pen& ink 117mm X 165mm
©Carol Lee Beckx

Living without a sense of time is disconcerting so I needed to plan how to make best use of the year to prepare for my future.
The first most important step was to create my own website. I used specialist designers, but in actuality, I did most of the design work myself. By nature I have definite ideas of how I want things to look, so it was a case of telling them what I wanted.
Once the  website went live, I could take the next step and start writing a blog – Art matters. I wanted to reinforce my online presence as this is now essential for any artist.
I found that writing has given me a sense of continuity and purpose. Words have helped me work through the many different moods and emotions that a period of transition creates. I have found it fascinating that my readers hail from such different parts of the world – countries that I never expected to find anyone interested in my blog. Thank you for visiting and I hope that you will continue to do so in the New Year.
I wish you peace, happiness and a creative New Year.

Monday 13 December 2010


I have recently undertaken a long journey. Anyone who still thinks air travel is exciting and romantic is labouring under a severe misconception. I also had the rather bizarre experience of flying in the opposite direction to Dubai before flying to Brisbane. If we were living in medieval times, air travel would be used as a most effective form of torture. Then, when you reach your destination, you realize that you have lost a day.

Coming in to land - Dubai lights
Moving to another country is an exciting experience although there are many unknowns and much unfamiliar territory. At the moment, I feel more like a visitor than a resident. That will change as I get myself organized and find my way around.
Much as artists want to be free to be creative, I think at heart we do enjoy a routine to our daily life. We do better work when we set aside a specific time to our work. When there is no routine at all, it’s difficult to focus. It will take some time for me to set up a routine but for the moment I enjoy each day as it comes.

Drive Home Series
These small paintings were painted when I was still in South Africa and are a direct result of a daily routine that was suddenly changed, and an ordinary journey that took on a different aspect.
The routine of driving home from work was usually always the same. A slow drive in the traffic took me along the same road; I would see the same people selling goods at the same street corner. There’s nothing much to get excited about.

Drive Home - Red car - oil on canvas
205mm x 205mm         
©2010 Carol Lee Beckx
Then one day, I was a little later than usual and it had been raining. The streets were transformed. Wonderful reflections from the traffic lights lit up the road. Luckily I had my camera in the car and while waiting for the traffic to move I could capture the moment.  A mundane routine became an exciting inspiration for a series of paintings.
The series illustrates the drive from the centre of Durban, down Berea Road, along Essenwood Road with the large leafy trees and then down Argyle Road. One of the paintings includes the Moses Mabida soccer stadium. During the day the iconic white stadium has quite a different look, at night it’s a ribbon of lights shining against the night sky.

Drive home - Moses Mabida Stadium -oil on canvas
205mm x 205mm            
©2010 Carol Lee Beckx
The paintings showed the transition from early evening with gentle pastel colours in the clouds, gradually getting darker and darker until the lights are shining against the night sky – a dramatic contrast.
 A full portfolio of these paintings can be viewed on my website in the  Paintings section, Landscape portfolio.

Friday 3 December 2010

Visitors to my Garden

One of the most rewarding things about my garden has been that I have had such interesting visitors. I woke early one morning to hear a strange sound – not a bird – something different – I peeped out of the window and saw a mongoose sitting up surveying the garden. Then another popped his head up, and another – until there must have fifteen or so in the garden.
Although I tried not to move or make any noise, suddenly they became aware that someone was watching. Startled, they ran off into the bush on the other side of the road . The magical moment was over.
The mongoose family was too quick for my camera, but the Vervet monkeys come almost daily. They run along the wall, on to the roof and jump into the large Natal Mahogany tree. The youngsters run along the branches right to the end and jump or almost fall out of the tree. Then they do it all over again.

Most stop to drink water from a large ceramic bowl, then run along the fence before running into the bush across the road. A few days ago the troop spent a long time playing. It  seemed as though they were showing off for me. 

I wasn't really prepared to shoot them playing - I should have taken a video of them, but these photos give an idea of the fun they were having.

Later on I wanted to photograph a painting so I had gone out on to the patio where I could use natural light. I was standing taking photos when I felt something near me. I looked up and there, a couple of metres from me, was a Wooly necked stork, completely at ease and quite unconcerned by my presence. He wandered around looking for insects so I was able to get a few photos.

The weaver birds love making their nests in the Fever trees. The thorny branches make nest construction easy

But the women are so fussy – every day quite a few nests are found to be sub-standard and rejected, only to lie abandoned on the ground – the poor males just have to start again.

Then there are a few special flowers. There is the Crinum lily that made its eventual appearance after growing for a number of years without a flower.
At the moment another beauty is a wonderful purple iris. The plant itself it rather unremarkable - it has green strap-like leaves that for most of the year are quite boring. Then the plant starts to bloom and magic happens.Each bloom lasts only a day before fading.

A day or two later, one is rewarded with another few blooms. Eventually where the blooms have been leaves shoot out and that can be cut off to grow into a new plant. I received my first plant from a friend, and I have been able to give  new plants to others.

I'll be sad to leave but I have great memories. Now I look forward to new adventures in Brisbane.

Monday 29 November 2010


I have added a portrait page to my website. Commissioned portraits now have a separate page. These paintings almost always have a story attached to them. Some I have done as a memorial for loved ones, such as the portraits of Margie and also Rajesh’s Mother.

Margie - oil on canvas 505mm x 405mm
©2009  Carol Lee Beckx
Another was painted to commemorate a 21st birthday. Jordy Smith is a World Champion surfer from South Africa. Initially, I was commissioned  to do a conventional portrait.
Jordy Smith - detail - oil on canvas
©2009  Carol Lee Beckx
However, the client wanted to highlight the different stages of his career, so the painting eventually became a complex composition. In addition to the head and shoulders portrait, he is shown as a boy on a skateboard, when he won his first competition, and riding the waves.  An added challenge was that the painting was to be a surprise so I had to rely on family photographs to do the painting.

A favourite of mine is the one of my friend Zeldaa talented artist and always so elegant. I painted her seated in the studio where we painted every week.

There are more images on the Portrait page of my website.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

The artist's problems

Recurring problems for many artists are restlessness and procrastination. As my departure date gets closer the more restless I become. I battle to focus on one thing at a time – inefficient multitasking has become a way of life. Interrupted tasks have become the norm.
I have packed up my studio and I think this is the crux of the problem – I am suffering “oil paint” withdrawal symptoms. Last week I put the finishing touches to the last two commission paintings and the work was delivered.
Now I need to decide just what I need to have with me for the next couple of months. Separating the essential from the “good to have” is almost impossible. I delay deciding. The pile of goods to take with me on the plane grows as does the need to send a box on its own. Such a dilemma…..
Then there is the question of what to do for these last two and a half weeks. Oops – actually it’s only two weeks before I leave for Brisbane. I keep promising myself that I will draw but this is where the eternal procrastination steps in and I find something else to do instead.
All too often as artists we keep looking for something important to paint or draw. Instead we need to heed the advice of Michael Nobbs. His blog Sustainably Creative offers encouragement in just getting down to doing things and doing small steps at a time.
Earlier this year Michael’s free e-book Start to draw your life  was one of the motivations I had to do some drawing – every day. The important act was the drawing, not necessarily what one was drawing. Then somehow life started to get in the way, (not to mention the fact that I had to pack up my house) and like many resolutions I stopped the daily drawing.
Some of the drawings from this period show rather a shaky start – but it’s fun to draw exactly what you see next to you as you veg on the couch watching TV.

No great intellectual concept – just simple drawings for the sake of drawing.
You should try it sometime – I plan to do that right away.

Sunday 14 November 2010

The End of a Chapter

I write this post today with no small measure of emotion. Today marks the official end of my personal involvement with the retail Koi trade. I have been associated with the industry for over 15 years. First it was on the sidelines and then directly as a business owner. The shop has given me a good living and I’ve been able to support myself. My son and daughter-in-law have been essential in helping me grow the business to one that is successful in its sphere and that now provides employment to seven people.

Running a shop such as this has taught me many lessons. I have developed valuable skills in administration that are not generally included in an arts curriculum. I have had to become adept at running a business with no accounting or bookkeeping training, mostly by keeping everything as simple as possible, and by making friends with the accountants even though I still think they talk a foreign language.

The fact that I ended up having a shop was more by accident than design. One never really knows what life has in store. In an earlier post, Juggling roles, I commented on the fact that the plans you make in life seldom take the intended form. In fact, sometimes one feels it is better not to plan but rather to go where one is led.

I could feel that I my life would have been more fulfilled if I had spent the years as a painter and teacher. Now that I think about it, I’m not so sure. My life has been both varied and challenging - essentially good training for any artist.

What I have felt, rather, in common with many creative people, is a little frustration that there are not more hours in the day. I often wish that I could have had two lives running concurrently so I could do all the things I wanted to do.

So, as I left the shop today, it was with sadness at the end of an important part of my life. However, I know that the business is in very competent hands and will continue to be successful. I look forward to the future with excitement.

Sunday 7 November 2010

The Artist and the Viewer

Creative activity on the part of the visual artist is only part of the equation. The response of the viewer to the painting is the other part – even if negative – and the equation becomes complete. A dialogue has begun.
Lone Surfer with Palm Trees -  oil on canvas 310mm x 310m

©2010 Carol Lee Beckx
The knowledge that the work is understood, appreciated and valued is a further step in the creative process. Work that remains hidden is the private preserve of the artist.
Often it’s hard to part with paintings that have a history for the artist, the first of a series, a painting that somehow has simply painted itself, the kind that you look at when it’s done and you think – did I paint that?

Durban beach - Low Tide - oil on canvas 310mm x 310mm
©2010 Carol Lee Beckx
Having an exhibition such as the present one at my home – “Out from under the bed and beyond” that is part farewell exhibition, part clearance sale, part garage sale, has been an opportunity to connect closely with collectors.
White Lil,ies - oil on canvas
©2010 Carol Lee Beckx
900mm x 610mm
When one delivers work to a gallery the connection with the painting is broken. The work is often sold without one knowing where it has gone. Sometimes you will be fortunate enough to meet the buyer, and sometimes they become regular collectors.
Seeing the paintings go to good homes as is the case with the three shown above, is immensely rewarding. You know that the work has been chosen because it has made a connection with the viewer, and you know it will give pleasure in the years ahead.

Thursday 28 October 2010

A Trip down memory lane.

The process of moving involves so much more that clearing cupboards and sorting cups and saucers. It is a time for reflection. Frequently one is brought face to face with people and events from the past. Another box  brings all manner of memories to the surface.
You discover that you have a box belonging to your Mother filled with her treasures – the lace handkerchief from her wedding day, a birthday card you had made, a photograph of yourself in a mermaid costume. The costume was a work of art – made of sea-green satin with a carefully stitched tail and cellophane scales. Photographs of our home when I was a child were also tucked away in a small album. You realise that these were kept with love.

You come across a photograph of a bride bending to greet a little boy – it’s your mother and perhaps an older cousin – it’s an evocative image and you realise with surprise that you had forgotten how beautiful she was.

It’s impossible to simply throw these away, but it can’t all go with me. Modern technology comes to the rescue, allowing me to scan the images and take them with me in digital format. Now I think of ways the images could find their way into future drawings.
Then, in the last packet of documents and photographs, I find a leather document case belonging to my father. Inside are letters of reference written to my paternal grandfather from companies for whom he had worked – in the most beautiful copperplate handwriting – and one of the few photographs of him, striding down the road in Bournemouth – a stern figure, much as I remember him.

A few days ago, a friend who lives out of town phoned me to say she had found letter from me. She had been trying to clear out a drawer. It was jammed and when the drawer eventually opened there was the letter.

It was something we rarely see  today, a proper letter - on paper - written with a fountain pen, thanking her for her support and friendship after I had spent some time on her farm. I hadn’t dated the letter but I knew exactly when it had been written as I had some entries in an old art journal describing the time on the farm. The journal had drawings that echo current ideas, similar themes and ideas, and the ongoing struggle to be creative.  

Then I found something quite different. A slip of paper was amongst the usual debris that gathers in a bedside table drawer. It was a diary page from 2003; scrawled on it was the title and author of a book that I’d been trying to remember for years. It’s the most amazing story of Christina Dodwell’s journey across China, A Traveller in China .
Now I will be able to read the book again, knowing what to look for. You realize that the important things find you when you stop looking.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

The Countdown begins...

The next few weeks will be very busy indeed. I will be packing up my life and house here in South Africa in preparation for the move to Australia at the beginning of December. This move has been in the planning stages since May 2008 and eventually last week I decided to be pro-active and set a date to move.

Deciding to go now in spite of not having sold my house is a tremendous release . I am no longer going to be baby-sitting bricks and mortar. I am now no longer going to sit around waiting but instead moving ahead with my plan.

Leaving the country of one's birth is life-changing. Leaving part of one's family behind is indescribably difficult. Leaving the known for the unknown, the familiar for the unfamiliar, leaving for a place where one has no history is possibly the most difficult thing I have had to do. It is perhaps even harder for those that are left behind.

However, this is also one of the most exciting times of my life. The knowledge that I am starting a different kind of life, going to do the work I love gives me an optimism that life will be good.

Now if I just could find a "packing-up house fairy" then I could give her a list of things to do ( it would be a very long list) and I could go somewhere quiet to do a drawing or two.

This Crinum Lily appeared in my garden over the weekend - the first bloom ever,
Do you think it is a "Gooodbye" present?

Thursday 14 October 2010

Drawing - a thin black line

Why do we assume that we need a special talent for drawing? Often people profess to have no talent for drawing, saying – “I can’t even draw a straight line”.
When shown that they can draw – they declare that they must have a hidden talent.

We don’t make that assumption about other talents like reading. What if only those with a special talent could learn to read? The teachers would supply reading materials; not guide or instruct the class for fear of hampering creativity in reading. Then the teacher would sit back and wait to see what would happen.
The kid says, “How do I read this?” The teacher replies: “Just be free, use your imagination - reading should be fun.” Some of the class would be able to read but the rest would say: “I can’t read – I have no talent”.

We apply this strange reasoning to teaching art. We are too afraid to instruct for fear of hampering or diminishing the child’s creative spirit.
Drawing is in reality a way of learning how to see. We can learn to hone our powers of observation with the result that almost anyone can learn to draw.

In a previous post, when I was considering all the different types of media I have used over the years, I left out the two simple tools for any artist that have always been used – a lead pencil and an ink pen. I love buying new pens and pencils – I am happiest in an art supply store or even a basic stationery store. I have become addicted to finding new pens that will help me draw better.

Pier at Blankenberg
Whenever I traveled anywhere, first into the suitcase would be a sketchbook, pencils, pens and a small watercolour box and a brush or two (although I never seemed to get around to adding much colour.) 
Departing ferry, Breskens

These sketchbooks became a visual diary, capturing people and places.
Paging through them takes me back to the experience of different countries more vividly than any photograph album.

Ferry Harbour, Breskens

Pen and ink drawing can provide drama, strong contrast and fine detail. The sketch below was done in the Museum Skone Kunst, Antwerp. I came across an artist painting a copy of Fouquet's Maria and Jesus surrounded by Angels, and couldn't resist doing a sketch of her.

Sketching the copyist in Antwerp, Belgium

Recently, I have experimented with drawing on alternative surfaces such as ink on canvas or on a wooden panel, adding a new dimension to drawing.

Seeds and Leaves 382mm x 760mm  Ink on canvas
It takes courage to draw in ink – there are no second chances – no way to erase the errors. Instead, one has to really look at the subject, focus on where you want the line to go, and execute it fearlessly with a clean fluid line

Protea Cyranoides 200mm x 200mm Ink on Hahnemule paper
©2010 Carol Lee Beckx
I have always enjoyed drawing, it almost becomes a meditation as you hatch the lines to create tone, or trace a fine thread of ink across the paper to show a delicate outline.

David Lloyd George said: “Anything can be achieved in small deliberate steps. But there are times you need the courage to take a great leap; you can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps”

Saturday 9 October 2010

Posting Comments 101

Ok this is for people new to the world of blogging. If you've been blogging or reading blogs & posting comments for 100 years you have my permission to click to something else.

Bloggers love to get comments - that way we know that someone is out there.
Yes, we can check the stats and see that, yay, someone in Brazil has been visiting, but a comment is just that much more real.

But when faced with the choices on ways to sign in, most take one look and run, fast.

So here are the basics:
  • Click on 'comments' at the bottom of the post: (0) comments means you will be the first to comment
  • Write your comment  - it doesn't have to be nice but nice is good
  • Choose an identity
  • If you have a google account sign in with that
  • If you don't have a google account use your name and email address
  • Or you can be anonymous
  • Or you can use name/url - if you have a website - then you also get a link to your site
  • Then you will have to prove you are a person - squiggly letters
  • Then publish your comment
  • If it doesn't appear right away it means the blogger wants to check that you have written something nice and once checked will publish the post.
Ok? So let's hear from all of you.

Friday 8 October 2010

Drawn from Clay - ancient and modern inspiration

This series of paintings was done in response to an invitation from the Ceramics Association of Kwa Zulu Natal to exhibit with their members at artSPACE Durban. I was joined by other painters for the exhibition “Drawn from Clay” to create a conversation between three dimensional ceramics and our two dimensional paintings.
 "Rose Imari Baluster Jar & cover" Watercolour
  170mm x 100mm ©2009 Carol Lee Beckx

The inspiration for the miniature paintings arose out of a fascination I have had for antique Chinese and Japanese porcelain.
The fluidity and sureness of the brushstrokes on ancient ceramics gives the work a fragility and timeless beauty.The paintings evolved as homage to the ancient masters of ceramic art.
I wanted to show the works in a miniature format, so the viewer would have to come up close to enjoy the detail. The paintings were placed in shadow box frames so that they would be displayed as precious artifacts.

The paintings were done with minimal preliminary drawing, only a soft pencil line to indicate the outline of the vase. I wanted to replicate the direct process of the brushstrokes, using watercolour in the same way the porcelain painters would decorate the original vases.

Cups & Bottles series


About 3 years ago I visited the Queensland Art Museum. I was struck by ceramics displayed on a long shelf along one wall of the Gallery. The pieces - all glazed in similar colours - were displayed in groups. The stillness and simplicity of the vessels echoed the paintings of Morandi.

I took a few photographs and intended at some time to do a series of paintings inspired by these ceramics.

When I was researching some ideas for Drawn from Clay, I found an article about an Australian ceramic artist,
Gwyn Hanssen Pigott.  She was artist-in-Residence for a time at the School of Mines & Industries, Ballarat Ltd.

I was fascinated to discover she was the same artist I had admired in Brisbane. The images shown in the article were of groupings of cups and bottles before bisque firing, so the pieces were matt – no shiny glazes – just such beautiful shapes – they had a quiet, serene presence.

I found her working methods so interesting to a “non-potter”. She would throw a series of bottles and cups and when lifting them from the wheel gently squeeze the forms, adding subtle changes and complexity.  Some were dipped after being thrown and squeezed into different shapes. The pieces in themselves were so simple – but placed in groups the interaction between the pieces made powerful compositions.
Cups I Oil on canvas 610mm x 760mm
       ©2009  Carol Lee Beckx

I began the paintings with a deep burnt sienna ground – it seemed logical to tie the paintings to the colour of clay, and then worked up the shapes leaving hints of sienna here and there.

As I painted, the forms seemed to come to life and begin to move. I had the sense that the cups were about to jive off the canvas.

 After Gwyn had seen some photographs of the paintings, she said that she had been originally inspired by the still life paintings of Morandi. It was interesting that her ceramics were now in turn, inspiring new paintings.

A complete portfolio of all the paintings on this exhibition can be seen on my Facebook page Carol Lee Beckx Artist.

Monday 4 October 2010

Juggling roles – life, motherhood, art and the hiatus that wasn’t.

The joy of a personal blog is that you can do as you please – change your mind or go off at a tangent. A comment to ‘Different times, different media’ caused me to stop and reflect. I realised that I had left out quite a bit. So, instead of the topic I had in mind, I’d like to expand on the hiatus that, in fact, was hardly a hiatus at all.
Sure, I didn’t do much painting but it’s not as though I stopped. During the years the children were growing up I did a short spell of high school relief teaching - English and History. Then, surprisingly, a year of teaching Grade 2 children. Today the thought of teaching thirty children aged between seven and eight fills me with quiet horror.
Over a period of about twelve years, also on my list were illustrations for a series of Children’s school readers. For a year I gave private art classes. I made mosaic designs for swimming pools and school badges. Somehow this segued into the design and construction of garden water features and a garden landscaping business. In fact, on remembering all these activities, I feel quite exhausted. I’m surprised I found time to bring up the children – fortunately they seem to have turned out just fine.
Life has a way of happening rather than one being able to follow a specific plan. In fact, often plans have to be abandoned, when something else takes you down a new pathway. All these things I have done make for a very interesting life – I can’t say I have ever had time to be bored.
Eventually I decided that I’d had enough of other stuff and was going to paint full time.
But, oops, I landed up instead buying a retail business. I have learnt such a lot about business, developed unexpected skills, and met such interesting people. It’s twelve years later and once again the new/old plan is being revived. Finally, perhaps, I am now ready to be a painter and to teach, something I trained for years ago.

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Different times, different media

Years ago Marshall Mc Luhan said: ‘The Medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium - that is, of any extension of ourselves - result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.
The different periods of my life have influenced the choice of medium in my painting.
At Epworth School– it was watercolour. “Mizz” Owen taught us well. In addtion to the fundamentals of drawing and painting, she made us pay particular attention to the care of our precious brushes. During my recent de-cluttering I found my old metal paint box and some of the brushes as well.
My old Winsor & Newton watercolour box

At Art School it was oil paint of course, with here and there a splash of acrylics. Unconventional surfaces were a favourite, I recall incorporating a wooden window frame – sans glass - to accompany an abstract painting. I don’t have any photos, because we didn’t take ourselves seriously enough to warrant documenting any of the works - pity.
There was a hiatus of some years while my children were growing up, but I then went back to watercolour. I was very involved with the Watercolour Society of South Africa  and was able to combine painting with raising a family. The introduction of collage gave the paintings an added dimension.
It was also during this time that I became fascinated by miniature art and after a talk by the founder Charmian Keneally I joined the Miniature Art Society of South Africa.

Blue porcelain & Tomatoes Watercolour on paper 57mm x 70mm
©2000 Carol Lee Beckx
Arch series – Abdaye Brialmont Watercolour on paper 90mm x 60mm
©1998 Carol Lee Beckx

Arch series – Limbourgh Watercolour on paper 90mm x 60mm
©1998 Carol Lee Beckx
 The attention to detail and importance of every part of the composition can become addictive. It also calls for a very steady hand – no sneezing, please!

Arch series – Maastricht Watercolour on paper 90mm x 60mm

©1998 Carol Lee Beckx

Eventually the detail of miniatures became too confining. I began to struggle both with the watercolour medium as well as my subject matter. I just wasn’t able to express myself fully. Many paintings were abandoned, to later be recycled as collage elements or greeting cards.
A few years ago, with more life changes, I became restless and needed something different.

So, after a break of many years, I resumed painting in oils. At first it was really hard – it was as though I had never used a brush. Gradually the medium stopped fighting me and it grew a little easier.
I began to enjoy the freedom of exploring the paint as though it were completely new to me. I felt as though I had come home.

Blue bowl with Apples Oil on canvas 500mm x 500mm
©2004 Carol Lee Beckx