Monday, August 30, 2010

Becky Barker Story

Becky Barker Story: "

 From The Bugle




Becky Barker enjoys

painting people,

cherished pets and

indigenous rocks



Sara Schick el


“Art is everywhere,” said Becky Barker of rural


Barker is a portrait artist whose work graces the walls

of homes throughout the United States.

Her lifelong interest in art developed into serious

study and ultimately her own business.

“After my first child was born and he got older, I

started taking home-study classes,” she said.

She and her husband Rusty have been married 38

years and have four children, three of whom are living,

and four grandchildren.

The couple resides on her husband’s family farm, less

than two miles from the home she lived in as a child.

Barker began her Rainbow Trail Studio about 10 years

ago and balances her art along with her position as a paraprofessional

for the Prairie Central School District.

Jean Ertel of Gibson City commissioned Barker to

paint seven portraits over the years.

“I had my parents done. She made [a portrait] of my

husband’s parents for a Christmas gift,” Ertel explained.

“She just does a really good job. She never knows what

I’m going to throw at her,” laughed Ertel.

Rather than arranging for special sittings with her

subjects, Barker receives pictures of the person she is

going to paint.

This system works well as many of her clients are not

from the area and may even be from other states.

She has completed work for people in California,

Indiana, Florida, Colorado and Mexico.

In addition to portraits of people, Barker creates special

projects of beloved animals.

Often times, she is asked to paint pets that have

passed away.

While some of her paintings remain true to the photographs

they come from, Barker is sometimes asked

to combine several subjects from different photos into

one portrait.

“I love doing the skin tones, hair color and eyes,”

Barker admitted.

She was commissioned to paint a portrait of a mother

with her two children.

The son passed away and the mother wanted a portrait

of the family together.

Barker was supplied

with various photographs

of the family members.

She managed to adjust

the size, lighting, and

clothing so the newly created

portrait looked as if

the family members were

posed especially for the


The process is labor

intensive and it typically

takes her around 25 hours

to complete a portrait of

one person.

She added, “Along with

portraits, I also do rocks.”

The Rock-A-Baby creations

are intricate paintings

of animal on rocks.

“We live on a farm. A

lot of the rocks are indigenous

to the area which

means they came out of the

fields,” Barker explained.

In addition to painting,

Barker enjoys cooking,

sewing and reading.

She also has an interest in


“I’m retiring in a couple

years, so [travel] is on my

list,” she said.

Egypt and Paris top the

list of places she plans to go.


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