INTERVIEW with GAYLE LEVEE
I live in Nashville, Tennessee
I am a freelance artist. I was selling art while still in school, and have worked with galleries and private/corporate clients all my adult life. I began independent teaching about 20 years ago, and that has enriched my life and my work in ways I never could have imagined.
My parents and grandparents were artists. They taught me the basics of drawing and paint mixing. I also took private lessons during high school. I studied painting at the University of Denver, and art education at the University of Northern Colorado. In Boston, I studied with Robert Douglas Hunter, a master of The Boston School.
WHAT IS A LITTLE KNOWN FACT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
I love playing Minecraft!! :)
YOU FOUND YOUR ARTISTIC VOICE IN A MOVEMENT KNOWN AS "THE BOSTON SCHOOL OF IMPRESSIONISM." WHAT IS IT, AND WHAT DREW YOU TO IT?
The Boston School is the longest continuing tradition of painters in America. In the late 1800's, American artists who studied classical painting in Europe became influenced by Impressionism. Upon returning to the States, they created paintings which incorporated classical drawing and Impressionist painting techniques. They taught this to succeeding generations of artists. Boston School painters include R. H. Gammell, Edmund Tarbell, William McGregor Paxton, Jean-Leon Gerome, Paul Delaroche. My master, Robert Douglas Hunter, was a student of R.H. Gammel. You can find more information and a tribute to him here:http://thebostonschoolofpainting.blogspot.com/
WHEN STARTING A PAINTING WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
It usually starts with a walk outside. I'll see a shadow or a color or shape and begin to imagine how that could be developed into a painting. Although my paintings are representational, I always start with abstract elements.
YOU RECENTLY CREATED AN INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO SERIES CALLED "LEARN AND MASTER PAINTINGS." YOU DISCUSS THE TECHNIQUES YOU HAVE MASTERED TO CREATE THE VISUAL EFFECTS THAT YOUR PAINTINGS ARE KNOWN FOR. WHAT ARE ONE OR TWO PAINTING TIPS YOU HAVE FOR ARTISTS?
Absolutely top-of-the list: Draw and paint from life. Yes, this is not easy. Learn how to do it. Secondly, use good supplies. If a paint tube has the word “hue” on it, don't buy it-- don't use it-- don't even give it to a homeless person! It's nothing but toxic waste.
WHAT ARE YOUR "GO TO" TOOLS AND WHY?
I love the New Wave Grand View Confidant palette! It has plenty of mixing room, and fits my body like a glove. I'm left-handed, so this one is made to be held in the right hand. The thumb hole is smooth and tapered. I've been using this palette for a couple of years, and it has developed a nice patina without losing its smooth surface. Love this palette!
To build on my reply to the previous question: good pigments, especially for your primary colors, are indispensable. You can't mix red, yellow or blue. Robert Hunter gave me a list of Rembrandt paints which I use, and pass on to my own students. For brushes, I use the Silver brand natural bristle brushes and Rosemary synthetic brushes. Silver gives me good loading and blending qualities; Rosemary synthetic bristles result in interesting edges. I have asthma, so Gamsol is the only thinner I use, as it is not as aromatic as other thinners (including so-called odorless thinners).
WHERE CAN SOMEONE LEARN MORE ABOUT UPCOMING WORKSHOPS OR DEMONSTRATIONS WITH YOU?
I will be offering a three-day workshop in The Boston School this summer. You'll find the information on my website,www.gaylelevee.com.