As many of you know my Father Edward Levitt was a Disney and Peanuts cartoonist. He taught me art. I have these two serious paintings he did. They are on the right. He did them in the sixties or early seventies. They were still life studies. He used a pallet knife and oils. He told me they were not finished. I have chosen to do my own versions of these. They are pastels on colored paper. I was paying him homage in my own way by completing them. I remember he often gave me advice. One was to strive for museum quality. The other was that all colors go with one another. He never showed his serious work. He said he didn’t want to compete with Artists that needed the money. He made a good living from his cartooning profession. He was my biggest fan. He came to as many of my openings as his health permitted.
Some of you may already know I am also a musician. You probably have seen me playing my Mountain Dulcimer at Openings or parties. What you may not know is my BA from Cal State Northridge is in Viola. I for many years played classical Viola in many Symphony Orchestras. I started playing the Mountain Dulcimer when I was a teenager. My brother Dan and I ordered a Mountain Dulcimer kit and put it together. I also can play the guitar, banjo, Irish penny whistles and the balalaika. However in the last few years I have been concentrating on my art. So it is only natural that through the years I have done music themed art. The first image features the Treble Clef and Dulcimer Tab. The second image is of my brother Dan playing the bass which I do not play. It also has a Mountain Dulcimer, a viola and a banjo. I come from a musical family. My Mother sang and my other brother Paul plays the drums. My brother Dan also is a potter and maker of musical instruments. My brother Paul is a Photographer. And of course my Father Edward Levitt was a fine Artist and Cartoonist for Disney and Peanuts.
We all love paintings of flowers and I love to paint flowers. However let’s face it, this is a subject that has been done to death. So when I paint flowers I try to give them a touch that makes them contemporary. By this I mean it has to be flowers and flowers are by definition beautiful. So what do you do to make flowers beautiful and modern and interesting. Here are a few of the flowers I have done. As you can see I simplify them and abstract them. I use vibrant colors or I tone down colors. But I make sure they are always recognized as being flowers. I paint and draw bouquets that either we have or I see from life. I bring in a flower or flowers and make it into a painting. As a last resort I use photos I take when I don’t have time to paint them. I have spent a lot of time in Hotels doing paintings and drawings of their beautiful flower arrangements. Enjoy them.
When is an art work done. With me it can be a long time. I always let my art set and visit it periodically to see what it needs further. One time I forgot I had entered a piece in a show and had changed It radically before it was accepted. Fortunately the show never materialized and I didn’t have to figure out what to do. This piece illustrates my point. After looking at it I decided it needed dancers. So dancers were added. I’m not the only artist who does this. Bonnard was often caught in museums doing touch ups to his work. When I was younger I would have an idea and get it executed and move on. Now I realize that work needs to be continually improved until you get it right. Artists are no different than writers in this respect.