Sweet Water - finalist in Plein Aire Magazine

Levee's painting "Raku" has been accepted in the Hudson Valley Art Association Show at the Salmagundi Club. For further information, please click here.


Gayle Levée, a third generation artist, was formed by the expanses of the West. Born in Montana, her artistic eye was sharpened by her experiences while growing up in the high, clear air and brisk winds of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. During her studies in Painting at the University of Denver, her work found a following in galleries located in Estes Park, Taos, and Santa Fe. She has since studied with Robert Douglas Hunter and Matt Smith.

Levée's artistic style found its true voice in New England, where she began mastering the techniques of painting encompassed by a movement known as "The Boston School of Impressionism". Boston School impressionists emphasize carefully planned compositions based upon accurate drawing, bold use of color, and the delightful interplay of light and shadow to create atmosphere and depth within a painting. But there is more to what The Boston School offered and demanded of artists; it also developed artists who could teach.

The Boston School carries with it an adaptation of "French atelier" methods of instruction. The techniques, which make impressionist art stand out, are passed from one Master to the next through gentle and intense tutelage. Levée's artistic family had given her the foundations central to become an artist of The Boston School, but there was an even more rewarding place for her within the movement. Gayle flowered into not only an accomplished artist because of The Boston School, but she also fully embraced the movement's charge, later described by a mentor as, "to never know something quite as well as when you can teach it".

Gayle Levee teaching a plein aire class

Levée became a link in a chain of American impressionist artists produced by The Boston School while studying under Robert Douglas Hunter. According the the The Guild of Boston Artists, "if there were a brick and mortar educational institution called 'The Boston School', then Robert Douglas Hunter would surely be their Dean. Mr. Hunter has personally taught over forty successful, accomplished artists, many of whom have accepted the mantle of developing the next generation of American Impressionists." Levée is privileged to be included in that number.

Fine Art, as practiced by Impressionists, relies heavily upon experiences seen by the artists in real life and space. Too many paintings strive to be photographic and lose depth and meaning because of it. The Boston School of impressionism relies upon capturing that which is seen by the artist's eye, whether it be in the setting of a still-life, a plein-air landscape, a portrait, or sketch. Nothing can replace the experience captured by the artist better than "being there" and letting the shadows, colors, and form work their magic for the viewer.

Levée's work in fine art continued while she also pursued a career in commercial illustration and even as a political cartoonist. The drive to create Fine Art, and to teach it, were always grounded in her foundations learned from The Boston School. She taught at Monserrat College of Art, The Art Institute of Boston, and later at the Tennessee Art League, the Centennial Club of Nashville, Cheekwood, and Plaza of Nashville. Many of her students have developed into Fine Artists in their own right, thus adding to the lineage of American Impressionism.

Levée continues to enjoy commercial success in sales of paintings produced at her studios located in Middle Tennessee. Her work is represented and distributed through galleries across the country. Gayle also has produced a number of private commissioned pieces.

An artist's biography is a difficult thing to capture in words. Many artists will list Juried Awards they have won and exhibitions in which they have participated. Levée's listing of such accomplishments is impressive; she has been the subject of articles in American Artist magazine and has a following of students from across the globe because of her award-winning DVD instructional series entitled "Learn and Master Painting with Gayle Levée".

However, the true accomplishments of a successful artist lie in how her actions and art have influenced the world. Levée's art is enjoyed by hundreds within their homes, by people she will never meet, because the work is worth keeping in special places. For those collector's of Levée's art, she is grateful and knows those pieces will endure because it speaks to those owners in special ways. New offerings of her work appear frequently in her galleries.

Further exciting events are unfolding in the "Great Happenings" of Levée's art. In addition to her exquisite course curricula of Boston School techniques offered in her wildly popular classes, Gayle is offering innovative, significant, and personalized workshops in exciting, scenic locations in near the future. Ranging in locale from Nashville, to New England's Cape Anne, to Colorado, to Civil War Battlefields, to even Paris (a year or so down the road), the Boston School is alive under the direction of Gayle Levée Fine Art.

Fine Art isn't a "thing". Fine Art is a verb. It is experienced, it is shared, it is felt, it isn't common. It is beautiful.

Perhaps the most expressive statement about art, the sharing of it, the enjoyment of it, and the creation of it, can be summed up in Gayle's own words....

Would You Join Me?