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Artist Inspired by Children and Families

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Diane Becker is a Brooksville artist who has committed the beautiful artistic images of children and families to canvas. At the Hernando County Fine Arts Council-hosted 2024 Art in the Park event, Diane Becker was named the Nature Coast Art League Best of Show winner. Her winning oil portrait, “Peek-A-Boo,” depicts an adorable child engaged in a time-honored children’s game.

“Any award is exciting and an honor,” said Becker. “This subject, like many of my portraits, was brought in by my students wanting to follow me through them step by step. Using a photo helps them paint their family from photos. How to see color, value, and proportion.”

The subject’s vivid, expressive eyes distinguished this piece—and in the ‘eyes’ of many. “That one was a favorite due to the eyes,” she said. “Most of them I had no information on. I have a portrait class every year. Personally, I love the challenge of doing any head, trying to connect with the spirit of the person. Each person has different skin tones and diverse proportions, using a keen eye.”

Becker is a mother of two, grandmother to three, and great-grandmother to three and her work often expresses her maternal side. “Even before I was a mother, I always knew as a young artist that I wanted to paint my children. I have painted my kids and also my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
“I’m always honored when people ask me to paint their families,” she said. “When you paint them, you immortalize them.”

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Through the years, Becker has won many awards and much acclaim for her exquisite brand of portraiture.
“Most of my awards have been from Art in the Park and the Inverness Art Show,” she said. “I have shown in Art in the Park for 38 years since it started in Masaryktown. I also show yearly at the Silverthorn Show in November.”

Yet beyond her role as an award-winning artist, Diane Becker is a dedicated teacher of the arts, placing her students’ nurturing and tutelage above her own artistic endeavors.

“I have limited my shows to local because I have taught so many classes weekly for 40 years that it limits my painting for shows,” she said. “Currently, I am teaching at my home studio all year. I love sharing my techniques with beginners and intermediates.”

Becker herself built her creative career on an extensive base of arts education. “I am from St. Louis, where I graduated from the Fine Art School at Washington University after taking whatever I could in school, all the way back to Jon Gnagy, the first drawing teacher on black and white TV in the 50s,” she said. “But teaching all these years has been so fulfilling and been the best learning experience for me, solving the students’ problems.”

Becker is an active and seasoned member of the Nature Coast Art League, whose mission is to promote the visual arts and support artists in Hernando County and surrounding areas.

“I served as a vice president for four years before becoming president of the NCAL,” she recalled. “I have been the program chairman for eight years, finding artists to inspire the Art League monthly.”

Diane Becker is also a featured artist at the Brooksville Art Gallery at 201; in stands among the first four artists to be honored as a part of the gallery’s Featured Artists Exhibit. Her work was also showcased in Gallery 201 exhibits, including Precious Things and I-Identity.

And when it comes to Diane Becker, it’s all about the art. “I belong to a group of professional artists that meet monthly to challenge each of us to a different technique, style, or subject we haven’t done before,” she said. “I also enjoy doing commissions on any subject. It all keeps me busy, but it’s my life, and I’m lucky to have it.”

Diane Becker’s Oil Painting “Peek-a-Boo“ won the Nature Coast Art League’s Best of Show award. [Photo Credit: Hanna Maglio]
Diane Becker’s Oil Painting “Peek-a-Boo“ won the Nature Coast Art League’s Best of Show award. [Photo Credit: Hanna Maglio]
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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