Contemporary Realism Painting Studio of Dana Levin

Finished Portrait

This is the finished posthumous oil portrait of Dr. Jane Weeks, M.D., M. Sc.  I brought it to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute this week.  There will be an unveiling in August.
Dr. Jane Weeks, 20x36 inches, oil on polyester

Dr. Jane Weeks, 20×36 inches, oil on polyester

I find it a real honor when someone entrusts me to do a portrait, but especially a posthumous portrait.  People that knew the person tell me about them, try to relate to me how they feel about them, what the person means to them, the impression the person left them with. It is a very special experience.


Testing posting blog from my phone!

The Artist’s Magazine 32nd Annual Art Competition
I have been notified that two of my paintings (Lovers and My Guide) are finalists in the 32nd Annual Art Competition of The Artist’s Magazine. There were over 7500 entries!  Wow.

Lovers by Dana Levin, oil on linen, 20x30

Lovers by Dana Levin, original oil on linen, 20×30


My Guide by Dana Levin, original oil on polyester, 12×16

Both paintings are available at Tree’s Place Gallery.


Still Life Show Tree’s Place in May

Symmetry, oil on linen by Dana Levin

Symmetry, oil on linen by Dana Levin

I am looking forward to an exhibition at Tree’s Place gallery.  I will be included in a group show of still life paintings May 2015.

This is a testimonial from a happy client…and when the client is happy, I am happy (big smile)

Would you recommend Dana Levin, and if so, why?
“Yes, for two reasons.  First the proficiency, the aesthetic which is apparent in the artist’s portfolio.  But, beyond that, there’s something else.  I’m not sure if empathy is the right word, but Dana demonstrated a compassion to understand who Blanche was. I think she took that part of the process very seriously.  Like a biographer, if an artist doesn’t understand the spirit of a subject, then the work is lifeless, just the record, the facts or a description. This is more than that: when I look at this portrait I don’t just recognize those eyes, I know the look in those eyes.  This is Blanche.

DJ Narey- Portrait Client

Charcoal Portrait Carole and Ken

Carole & KenThis is a charcoal portrait commission recently finished of a warm, fun, and good lookin’ couple near Boston.  They will keep the original and give gifts to their children of digital reproductions that I will have made.  What a great gift idea!

Accepted into Women Painting Women Juried Exhibition at Principle Gallery, Charleston SC

D.Levin,oilonlinen,ForwardSweep,22x26I just found out that my painting Forward Sweep, 22×26 inches, has been juried into the Women Painting Women exhibition at Principle Gallery in SC.

I have been watching the Women Painting Women exhibitions since they began in 2010 and am honored to be included.  The show opens September 5th- 125 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC.



New Painting Calm Winds at Trees Place

CalmWinds,30x36inchesHi Friends, this is a painting I just finished, I hope you like it- 30×36 inches.  Available at Trees Place.  It has a beautiful floating frame from Guido’s. ;-)

What was your last creative risk?

Really, September was my last post on FB!?!  I am still alive. (even though I am not seen on social media) ;-)

I have been absorbed in a metamorphosis.  But I am breaking out of the chrysalis now.  (my kids watch a lot of Wild Kratts)

It is impossible to go through life without change.  If one does, it is out of fear or lethargy.  When an artist goes through changes and sees the world in a different way our art must change too.  Its no good to anyone to continue making paintings just because you have always made them that way- your art must reflect your life.  That is what I have been going through.

First, I realized that I saw things in a different way.  What I needed to express had changed.  Second, I had to find a new method of creating in order to bring the vision in my head to the outside world.  It is really not a simple or easy thing to do.  It’s a very organic process, which is scary because you don’t completely know where you are going and if what you are doing is going to take you there.  It requires trusting your instincts and a lot of experimentation.

Interestingly, one of the things that helped me keep my faith in the process is the work my husband does which has nothing to do with the art world.  He works very closely with engineers.  Our shared challenge is that engineers and artists both create something in the physical world that was not there before.  Seeing the investment and failures these companies experience- very much trial and error as with sincere art making- has been inspiring.  Considering my risk is much less than millions of dollars and dozens of people’s livelihood, it gives me courage.

Creativity requires risk- having the fortitude to break things down and build them back up.

I am someone who “lives in the myth”, as Joseph Campbell might have said.  I’ll explain.  Last week a pipe froze and burst in my studio.  It flooded.  We discovered this about 11 pm.  The plumber who quickly came over, assessed that he had to break through the wall of my studio to get to the pipe to fix it.  So there he was, midnight, hammering down the wall of my studio.  Symbolic for the creative process?  Tearing down walls in order to build something new?  Love it.

In the coming weeks my walls will be re-built.  Physically and Metaphorically. Con Forte!


Portrait Commission of Anne

16x20 oil on linen Portrait Painting Commission

16×20 oil on linen
Portrait Painting Commission

Here is the finished portrait painting commission of Anne Rosenfield.  Working with her and her husband Noah has been so wonderful.  “Wonderful” is a total understatement.




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