Born in Ottawa, Ontario on July 23, 1898, Harold Beament was the son of Herman Joseph and Lillian (Perkins) Beament. He was a student at Model School in Ottawa, 1905-09 followed by the Ottawa Collegiate Institute, 1910-15 and then became enrolled at Osgoode Hall in Toronto in the following year.
On account of WWI, Beament interrupted his studies to join the The Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR). He served first as an ordinary seaman, followed by a promotion to warrant officer. After the end of the war Beament returned to Osgoode Hall and completed his studies to became Barrister-at-law in 1922. The same year he commenced his art career by attended evening life classes under J.W. Beatty at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. Beament continued serving with the peacetime Naval Reserve, was promoted to the rank of officer in 1924 and finally, Lieutenant Commander, Montreal RCNVR Division, in 1930.
As a painter, Beament developed a style of decorative realism. He did graphic art, easel and mural painting and exhibited regularly at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art Spring Shows and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA) Annual Shows. In 1935, Beament won the Jessie Dow Prize at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art Spring Show for his painting Covered Bridge.
Beament taught art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art School in 1936 and privately thereafter from 1936-57. He was known for his landscapes and figure painting in landscape. One of his paintings, Sponge Trimmers, Nassau, 1933, exceptional in composition, was acquired by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Beament held his first important solo show at the Watson Gallery in Montreal and continued to exhibit with this gallery until 1939. Beament became a good friend of gallery owner William R. Watson, as both men had served in the Navy.
At the outbreak of WWII, for three years Beament entered full-time service with the RCNVR, as a ship commander on North Atlantic patrols. He rose in rank to Commander in 1943, then as official Canadian war artist. Beament painted scenes at sea in the Mediterranean, on convoy in the North Atlantic, in Newfoundland and made a visual record of assault landings and minesweeper duties in the English Channel. The Canadian War Museum has some 76 paintings by Beament including South Side, St. John’s reproduced in Leslie F. Hannon’sbook, Canada At War, 1968. Beament’s Burial at Sea, a remarkable drawing done in pastel and pencil on green paper, appeared in Heather Robertson’s book, A Terrible Beauty, 1977. Beament was awarded the Auxiliary Forces Officer's Decoration, 1943.
Following his retirement from the Naval Reserve in 1947, Beament resumed his full-time career as a professional painter. He held two solo shows at Laing Gallery, Toronto in 1948 and 1949. Beament painted a wide variety of subjects while travelling extensively in Britain, the West Indies, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Panama and the Southern United States. He also travelled throughout Canada, including the Canadian North where he painted scenes of the Inuit. One Inuit figure by Beament can be seen on a 1955 ten cent stamp that he designed for the Canadian Postal Service (now Canada Post).
Beament is represented in the following collections: National Gallery of Canada, Archives of Canada, London Public Library and Art Museum, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Queen’s University Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, McGill University Library, Seagram College, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Canada Club, He was active member of the Royal Canadian Academy (ARCA 1936, RCA 1947, Pres. 1964-67) and a member of the Canadian Society of Graphic Art, 1926-28, the Arts Club, Montreal, Pen & Pencil Club, Montreal. He was also an Honorary Member of the Chelsea Arts Club in London, England. Beament died in Montreal, in 1984. He is the father of artist, Tib Beament.