Watching television from home turned Deerfield’s Steffi Becker into an artist.
“I was watching an artist who had his own TV show,” Becker said of the day in 1986 that changed her professional life. “I saw how he painted, how he worked with color. I began experimenting. I took one class in college,” the Stanford University graduate added.
A professional for more than 15 years, Becker’s work is on display on the this month. Most of her work is not there. It hangs on the walls of people’s homes.
Becker began painting and became especially adept at creating people’s likenesses. Then she started stroking canvasses at workshops at The Art Center in Highland Park when she began to perfect her skills.
“I learned a lot from Ina (Beierle) and the other artists,” Becker said of her ability to paint portraits and learn by watching others whether in a studio or on television. Beierle ran the workshop. “They weren’t classes, it was a workshop,” Becker added.
Now Becker paints portraits on commissions. She understands the challenges of her efforts. She recognizes the precision necessary to create portraits. “If you change the shadow around the nose you change the nose,” she said.
Becker has now found a new way to create people’s portraits. Her customers take pictures of themselves on vacation and she creates a portrait with a backdrop from far away.
“I like painting them in exotic places,” Becker said. For Becker it is a challenge and for the customer it is a reminder of themselves at a special time.