Stephenson Showcase: “Flowers and Still Life” by Michael Levine

Stephenson Showcase: “Flowers and Still Life” by Michael Levine

Michael Levine, Artist

Accuracy is the name of the game for local artist Michael Levine. His May exhibit in the Stephenson Gallery showcases “Flowers and Still Life” painting and pastels in his favored Realism style. His work strives to portray tangible objects, whether it be flowers, fruits, vessels, or something else that catches the eye.

Michael Levine began creating as a child. He fondly recounts his aunt introducing him to paper mache and india ink projects. Levine’s artistic endeavors momentarily lulled while in college, but once he reached medical school he found himself pulled to drawing. He began painting in his twenties and hasn’t stopped for forty years. Painting went from a casual hobby to something more when a room at home was renovated to be his official studio space over two decades ago.

Though Michael has never had any formal art training, he has recently enjoyed practicing through classes and workshops. He notes that online learning opportunities have grown in the post-Covid world. In addition to these lessons, he also keeps up with weekly Open Studio Nights at the Hamilton County Artists’ Association’s Birdie Gallery, Gerard Studio at the Stutz, and Indianapolis Figure Guild.

Still lifes have been a longtime interest of Michael’s. He’s able to flexibly create set-ups to his liking in his home studio, where shadow boxes are used to provide dynamic lighting. He paints in stages; usually two-to-four hours for the first session, the same for the next, then he’ll put the painting away for a month. When he brings it back out again he might go and “change about 80% of it.” The most important part at this stage is to build values and mass the shadows to create a cohesive image. In his words, to ensure “all the parts are all talking to each other.”

The full “Flowers and Still Life” exhibit can be seen in the Stephenson House May 3rd through the 31st, Wednesday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visitors can meet Michael during his May First Friday reception from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the Noblesville Creates campus.

J.C. Seig

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