Stephen Takats began painting a few years before he retired from Temple University in 1995. He received instruction in oil painting from
Stuart Shils and also took courses at Fleisher and PAFA. Many of his cityscapes show the area near the Temple campus in North Philadelphia. He says of his work, 'My most satisfying paintings seem to combine some architectural geometry with natural disorder. When I'm out painting on the street, people sometimes come up to me and ask why I'm painting a particular scene. I don't know. I choose the scene because it has some mysterious combination of form, color and light that I like. I feel compelled to paint it. Of course, that doesn't always work, and I may repeat something many times to produce what I thought I saw. I find there are no rules that guarantee a good painting.'