GUEST ARTIST: “Painting My World” by Judith Haynes Levins

Wine Country Watercolor Painting by Judith Haynes Levins

I live for those “stop the car!” moments in life. You know those moments when something in our world is so beautiful you need to pull over to drink in the wonder of the landscape. If I’m lucky, I have a camera with me, if I’m really, really lucky I have my paints and paper.

Greetings readers, I’m Judy Levins and I’m an artist. My first love of mediums is watercolor. I have been known to stray occasionally, but will always come back as it’s the only medium, that for me, is pure magic.

I fell in love with watercolor at a young age when Lon Watters, a relative that was an accomplished painter, gave me my first lesson. He asked me, “what color is a tree?” Of course I answered brown, he then painted a glorious, juicy, splashy orange and purple tree. I think my brain exploded and I was instantly hooked.

Winter Travels Watercolor Painting by Judith Haynes Levins

My school days were filled with art as I participated in everything I could that involved creativity, from painting backdrops for theatre to designing logos, posters and holiday decorations. I went on to The New England School of Art and Design in Boston, Massachusetts where I majored in Illustration/Fashion Illustration. After college, I taught figure drawing and textile rendering at The New England School of Fashion Design while I freelanced my illustration work.

Sunset Bonfire Watercolor Painting by Judith Haynes Levins

I currently reside in Upstate New York and belong to and volunteer with many art organizations including a plein air group, Mountain Air Painters, that gathers weekly to paint in the glorious beauty of the Adirondacks. I’m a fast, loose, impressionistic painter which works well for the plein air world. One needs to get down as much information as one can as the light will change in a second.

Storm Clouds On Lane Watercolor Painting by Judith Haynes Levins

Recently, I was asked where do I find inspiration for my art? Like all artists, light plays a strong role as well as the natural world. I’m fortunate that my part of our world has much to offer from pastural settings to mountains, lakes and rivers; all of which inspires me. On those days when I find myself without ideas, I grab my camera and go for a drive looking for that “stop the car” scene.

After the Storm Watercolor Painting by Judith Haynes Levins

Many of my landscapes have roads and rivers in them. I like having a path or direction leading one through a scene, it lends toward the feeling of motion. I don’t want my work to be still, I like energy. Even my portrait work I prefer to paint somebody in action vs. still and posed. I try to create a mood for the viewer to experience something. Love it or hate it, I’m thrilled because something I created caused an emotion. That alone is inspiring, the feeling of connecting to others through your work.

Pink Flowers Watercolor Painting by Judith Haynes Levins

Watercolor can be a difficult medium because of its unpredictable nature. I actually find that to be one of its most appealing attributes. When we allow the medium to do what it knows to do and respect it, beautiful things can happen. One of my ways to be more confident with watercolor is to be consistent with my materials. My thinking is to get to know my tools like the back of my hand, have them become second nature.

I am a loyal Arches cold press painter, for the most part I use 140 pound cold press. I stick to one brand of paint, Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors and my brushes are a large mop brush, a one inch flat, a hake and a rigger. Rosemary & Co is a great resource for brushes. I firmly believe putting in the brush miles is the only sure path to grow as an artist. After all it’s called art work for a reason, though when you love what you do it never feels like work.

Where Peaceful Waters Flow Watercolor Painting by Judith Haynes Levins

I’m a daily painter and I tutor students in my home studio as well as teach larger workshops for groups. I think teaching is a way to connect, to help others and at the same time help your own growth. I hope that some day I can paint a purple and orange tree for a budding young artist and hook the next generation for the incredible journey that watercolor teaches as one paints their world.

Judith Haynes Levins

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
  1. Laura Kate 3 years ago

    Water color paint – an ancient “go with the flow” medium.

    • Judy 3 years ago

      Doesn’t it do the most beautiful things when we let it go with the flow xo

  2. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    Your work is beautiful, thank you for sharing. And, oh how I miss those New York landscapes.

    • Judy 3 years ago

      Thanks so much Mary, I’m very lucky to live here. It truly is inspiring.

  3. Walks in Watercolor 3 years ago

    Beautiful landscapes, looks like you and watercolor are in sync. Thanks for sharing!

    • Judy 3 years ago

      Thank you and thank you for reading and commenting, much appreciated 🙂 -Judy

  4. Jim 3 years ago

    Very proud of my sister. She has always had so much artistic talent. I’m very happy she has been able to maintain, grow and share her gift.

    • Judy 3 years ago

      An unbiased opinion 😉 thank you my brother xo

  5. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    Your work is beautiful and I share your belief that watercolor is magical! Thanks so much for sharing your story and your works Judith!

    • Judy 3 years ago

      Thank you Karen, glad you liked it!

  6. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 years ago

    Greetings Judith so wonderful to read your story. Your art is so beautiful!!!! I live for those same stop the car moments or on walks those stop and smell the flowers moments. 🙂

    • Judy 3 years ago

      A kindred spirit 🙂 thank you Lisa!

  7. Laura Hale 3 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your art and journey with us.

    • Judy 3 years ago

      Hi Laura, it was my pleasure and thank You for reading 🙂

  8. Sharon Nolfi 3 years ago

    Beautiful work! I especially like your skies and clouds. Thanks for sharing.

    • Judy 3 years ago

      Hi Sharon, when I moved to NY from VA I took in the scenery at my new home and said out loud, it’s all about the sky here. A few of the paintings posted are of my back yard, so to have you say you like the skies means I did the scene justice, thank you for that 🙂

  9. LoriCtoo 3 years ago

    Beautiful work! Thank you for sharing your story. I took away several tidbits from it. Here are a few I loved: Trees aren’t brown. So true! Nor are a lot of other things the colors we think they are. I will tuck this in my little brain for future reference. The other is your statement ” I am thrilled something I created caused an emotion.” Good advice when sketching/painting on a trip. Sometimes we get so involved in making it perfect, than enjoying that moment. Thank you!!!

    • Judy 3 years ago

      Hi Lori, thank you for reading and absorbing, I love your take away. Somebody once told me perfection is the nemesis of creativity..I try to remember that as I lay paint to paper. Have fun 🙂

  10. Robert J. Coleman 3 years ago

    Judy, thanks for visiting Doodlewash to share your wonderful watercolors. Your loose and expressive techniques fit the landscapes perfectly. New England and New York are so full of inspiration in all seasons, but especially in autumn, coming up so fast. My favorite source is the Hudson River Valley and the Taconic Parkway.

    • Judy 3 years ago

      Thanks so much and yes it certainly is a most beautiful time of year here. It’s great to have definition of trees with color…green can get…well,,too green sometimes. Hudson Valley area is spectacular I agree! Thanks for reading and commenting

  11. valerie mafrica 3 years ago

    You are one of my favorite artist Judy… your work is always charming my mind… thanks for share it especially on IG where I follow you with so much pleasure ! 🌻😘

    • Judy 3 years ago

      Hi Valerie! I am humbled, Thank you for those kind words. I’m so happy my work charms you, I appreciate you xo

  12. Janneke Booister 3 years ago

    I love your art, it is really great! 🙂

    • Judy 3 years ago

      Thank you Janneke I’m glad you like it 🙂

  13. Sandra Strait 3 years ago

    Your loose and lovely style is amazing, Judy. In each one, you’ve captured that ‘stop the car’ quality so well.

    • Judy 3 years ago

      Thanks so much Sandra! I’m happy you enjoyed the article and my work 🙂

  14. Claudette Collin 3 years ago

    Judy, so glad your mom shared this article with us. We always knew you were a great artist. These are just beautiful. Miss seeing you.❤️

    • Judy 3 years ago

      Hi Claudette! I miss you all too! I hope all is well. Thank you for reading the feature, you’ve always been so supportive of my endeavors xo – Judy

  15. Nursen Gungor 3 years ago

    watercolor difficult art work. Very successful. Terrific. Thank you.

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