My pastel landscapes concern themselves with light, mood and atmosphere more than they describe a specific place. They often capture a moment in time and deal with the beauty as well as the powerful forces of nature. When creating triptychs or grid drawings, each image communicates a different message conscious or unconscious. The process unfolds its own story.
Donna Levinstone, a native New Yorker, began her passion for art early on. My love of art surfaced at a very young age. Spending endless hours wrapped up in art projects are some of my most vivid childhood memories. Levinstone was drawn to the sky from the very start. The beauty of the sky has always held something very special for me. From rides in our family convertible to summer vacations at the shore, my fascination with the sky was always there. It is this sky that immediately draws you into her work. You are beckoned by the intensity of the changing colors of nature. The light and atmosphere set the tone for her work.
Levinstone’s early work consists of impressionistic landscapes done in acrylic paint. Having studied at both SUNY in Stony Brook, New York and the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, she continued her artistic journey into painting photo-realistic landscapes. It is the combination of the two that is incorporated into her most recent work, creating a photo-impressionistic style. Working with handmade pastels, her landscapes convey a traditional yet contemporary feel.
Creating with black and white as well as color, Levinstone’s pieces are extremely dramatic. Her inspiration flourishes with the combination of her imagination and actual photographs. The suggestion of landscape is more obvious than an actual place in my work. The strength of my work is that it draws the viewers in to experience the landscape for themselves. I feel that sometimes spelling it all out detracts from this. Very often I will add detail to my landscape only to rub it out. For Levinstone the exploration of contrast is very important. I’ve done 2 by 2 landscapes and I’ve drawn 60 by 60 landscapes. I explore the contrast of the solid shoreline against the fluidity of water; a strong mountain against an ever changing sky.
Having attended the Art Students League, Levinstone currently enjoys membership in the Pastel Society of America. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions around the country since 1983, from New York to Chicago and San Francisco. Levinstone’s work is showcased in numerous corporate collections, such as The Disney Company, Citibank, Arthur Anderson & Co., Nabisco Brands Inc., IBM and CBS Inc. In addition she has been featured in several publication’s including The New York Times, American Artist and Artspeak. More information about her work can be found in two books: The Best of Pastel by Constance Flavell Pratt and Janet Monafo, and Painting with Passion by Carole Katchen.