Whether painting a commissioned portrait, a figurative piece, or a “portrait” of a single rose, Suzann has the unique ability to capture the essence and spirit of a subject and combine it with masterful likeness. Her inspiration and passion comes from the classical old masters, and she is particularly influenced by the Russian painters of the 19th century. Intrigued and motivated by the depth and craft of masterworks hundreds of years old, Suzann works to understand classical methods and disciplines and leverage them with contemporary practices and sensibilities to create representational realism.
Suzann Beck holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Moorhead State University, Moorhead MN, and studied portraiture with atelier-trained painter Judith Anthony, Plymouth, MN, and classical glazing technique portraiture with Jeffery Hurinenko, St. Paul, MN.
Suzann serves as the Minnesota Ambassador for the Portrait Society of America, and teaches portrait painting and drawing classes in her Northeast Minneapolis studio, White Bear Center for the Arts, Wet Paint in St. Paul, and the Paramount Center for the Visual Arts, St. Cloud, MN.
I can’t seem to escape the portrait. Whether painting a commissioned portrait, a figurative piece, or a single rose, it’s still a portrait to me. Each thing, animated or not, has life… a spirit, an essence. The thing in front of me is as essential as the brushstrokes I put on the canvas. I look for the beauty inside form and rust, the beauty inside of humanity, the beauty that resides in a person’s spirit. This beauty has nothing to do with the perfection of the object, nothing to do with having the right nose shape, or the smoothness of one’s skin.
I aspire to paint a portrait where you are certain it’s about to take a breath, or seems to be thinking or feeling something. I aspire to paint an object that you want to touch with your eyes. I invite you to enjoy the unique beauty I’ve discovered in my subjects.
As an oil portraiture instructor, I enjoy the process of helping students combine their own unique style with a principled approach to painting. I revel in their successes and in seeing them grow as artists.