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Ginger Becker coming into her own as an artist

Will sell paintings at Art in the Park

Staff writer

Marion Elementary School second grade teacher Ginger Becker has taught at nearly every level of elementary school through her 23 years of teaching, 20 at MES.

During that time, she has encouraged individual students to express their artistic talents. While doodling might be a classroom infraction for some teachers, Becker took it upon herself to buy sketchpads for active artistic students to take home with them so they could draw whenever they received inspiration.

“I love brain research; there is a connection with brain activity and the arts,” Becker said. “It takes care of intelligences that aren’t being met.”

Becker said she has always had a creative bent, but was longing for a similar encouragement. She said she did not receive any in the traditional schooling structure of her youth in the 1950s and 60s.

It was not until 17 years had passed in her teaching career that Becker began to paint.

“I had never had any lessons,” Becker said. “It was out of sheer enjoyment … it brought me joy.”

At first painting was a release, a way to unleash the images she had captured in her mind.

“It brings me peace,” Becker said.

Becker paints abstracts exclusively. She currently has two sunflower pieces at Gallery 101; both feature petals that are outstretched and wavy, almost as if they are on fire. One of the paintings is blue and the other is red.

As she continued to paint, Becker started to hang pieces in her home. She has a large canvas in her living room. It is one of the pieces of which she is most proud. She said she uses the painting as a conduit to explain her Christian faith.

“A lot of paintings will have a theme of hope,” she said.

Soon she started giving her paintings away as gifts and received many compliments.

Then she approached 18-year colleague Jan Davis, who Becker said she admired, about her paintings. Davis encouraged her saying she could sell them. Soon, Becker had paintings in Davis’ new art gallery. Becker also showed her pieces to high school art teacher Jim Versch who also encouraged Becker to continue painting.

For the first time this past summer, Becker took art lessons from Davis. She wanted to learn how to take an object and render it realistically, a more traditional artistic medium.

“That was so hard for me,” she said. “I had to do something that I didn’t have the vision in my head about.”

Davis understood, encouraging Becker to return to her roots. Davis said the abstract paintings were technically sound in their creation, especially the placement of images.

As one of her students, Davis will sell Becker’s paintings next to her own at Art in the Park on Saturday. Included in the artwork available is a “pink” collection. She said if any of these paintings are purchased the proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Society. The contributions will possibly help her close friend Lenora, who lives in South Dakota; Lenora has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Even though Becker has received the encouragement she always wanted and has built confidence in her work, she describes herself as an insecure artist.

“I kind of feel guilty selling it,” Becker said.

Last modified Sept. 14, 2011

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