These are examples of some of my paintings. They are realistic studies of people or objects that either fascinate me or make me think of the person for whom I was painting. I put so much of myself into these canvases and it is with love and my constant strive to find my creativity that I created each one. The paintings were all a process I learned from, an experimentation with light and shadow, depth, color and realism. There was not a single one that did not challenge me to a battle of what works and what needs to be developed. I am learning all the time.

"For Zach" 2012
20 x 24" acrylic on canvas

"For Sam" 2012
20 x 24" acrylic on canvas

"For Kate" 2013
20 x 24" acrylic on canvas

"Dave the Dog" 2013
20 x 24" acrylic on canvas
"Tennis" 2014
20 x 24" acrylic on canvas
"For Andrea" (left side) 2011
24 x 30" acrylic on canvas
"For Andrea" (right side) 2011
24 x 30" acrylic on canvas
"Dr. Sykoff" 2012
24 x 36 acrylic on canvas
"For Marilyn" 2013
24 x 36" acrylic on canvas

"Norm and Babs" 2008
24 x 36" acrylic on canvas

"Michael Baron" 2012
12 x 36" acrylic on canvas

"Zeyde" 1975
Oil on canvas
Exhibited: Queens Museum
(My mom carried the
newspaper clipping about
this exhibit for years!)
"Zeyde" sketch

I was required to paint with oils back in High School and although I enjoyed the fluidity of the medium and the longer drying time, I could not handle the smell of turpentine. Running out into the hallway for fresh air was not an enjoyable activity and it certainly cut back on my creative spirit! I only paint these days with acrylics. They suit my needs, my ability, and my creative whims. Just as I'd rather draw with a pencil that can be erased, acrylics dry quickly and I like how I can paint over areas that just don't make the cut!

I did not paint for many years after graduating with my degree in Fine Arts. I became a graphic artist, following in the footsteps of my dad who was a brilliant art director in a toy company. I started off in art and design studios in the city and then worked for Knickerbocker Toy Company, also doing package design. Once I had children of my own, Apple introduced the first home computers and my dad bought me one so that I could do freelance work from my house. The World Wide Web was not something I knew about or could even access on this early computer, but I did learn how to draw with a mouse, using one of the very first versions of Adobe Illustrator.

"Adventure Center" 2002
5' x 5' acrylic on wood
"Seena" 2003
5' x 5' acrylic on wood
Our family started to work at a sleep-a-way camp when the kids were little. Norman was a teacher and had the summers free and since we only had an apartment in Brooklyn, it became our way to get our children outside in the country for the summer. At Camp Lakota, Norman was the athletic director and I agreed to paint the sets for the weekly camp shows. I forgot how much I enjoyed painting... and painting BIG! The entire back wall of the stage was my canvas. Three years at Camp
"Joel" 2008
5' x 5' acrylic on wood
Lakota, followed by 19 years at Camp Kinder Ring gave me many opportunities to paint again. I met Sue Smith at Kinder Ring. We both worked in the arts and crafts building at the camp, but our favorite thing to do was to design and paint the sets for the camp productions each summer. We loved researching scenes to paint, planning out the design of the stage, and working late into the night creating magnificent backdrops. I was in love with painting again, and so grateful to Sue for inspiring me and making it fun again. I took on a couple of other assignments at Kinder Ring, painting large wooden panels for special occasions and it was because of these panels that I really brought my painting abilities to life again.

"Paris" 2010
30 x 40" acrylic on canvas
Detail on my canvas

For my 51st birthday, my family bought me a large wooden easel. My art studio in the house was my dining room (it still is!) and the day my son put the easel together, I began to paint for "ME". It doesn't matter how old you are, new interests can happen at any age. Norman and I went to Paris for our 25th wedding anniversary and I had tons of photos of famous artwork to refer to. Imagine going to Paris with an art teacher? He was such a good sport during that trip, following me around one museum after another and I had the photographs to prove it. So Paris was my first theme for a painting. I had practiced my craft with this canvas, painting in the style of Picasso, van Gogh, Renior, Degas and all my other favorite artists. Degas' sculpture of a fourteen year old dancer was the first thing on the canvas. I'll never forget Zach coming down the stairs and staring at my painting. He cocked his head and asked why I was painting Serena Williams. "It is not a picture of a tennis player," I exclaimed. "It's a painting of a bronze ballerina!" It took me four months to complete this large canvas. I don't think that my kids ever questioned my intentions again.

"Fruit" 2011
24x26 Acrylic on Canvas
I have completed many new canvases in the last 5 years, painting big and realistic objects because that is my favorite thing to do. Each of my kids now own a Barbara Levine painting and some of my friends and family members do as well. I try to exhibit my work regularly in shows in New Jersey but I always mark my submissions as "Not for Sale." How do you sell something that took you months to conceive? Each canvas is like a child to me. I couldn't wait to get each one back in my house once the exhibit closed! For example, my fruit painting was in an exhibit in Kean University, a faculty exhibit at Ranney School, a gallery show in Red Bank, and became the image for the cover of a self-published cookbook that I wrote. Many people have seen the canvas and many more own my cookbook, but the actual painting hangs proudly in my living room and there it will stay.

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