Noah Klavens is an oil portrait painter who lives in the beautiful town of Leverett, MA, located in the Connecticut River Valley region of Western Massachusetts. Growing up with a severe stutter, Noah’s verbal disability led him to pursue mastery in non-verbal forms of expression. At a young age, he took up a serious study of jazz drumming as well as an intensive course of training in drawing and painting. It was through musical and artistic development that Noah found his voice and turned his disability into a source of determination, empathy, and expression.
After exploring many mediums over the course of his artistic journey, including drawing, watercolor, and graphic novel art, Noah found his artistic home in oil portrait painting.
Noah attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City to pursue an undergraduate degree in illustration. When the pandemic hit, he decided to leave the formal art school path behind and study primarily under his professor and master oil portrait painter, Marvin Mattelson, via a traditional one-on-one mentorship/apprenticeship. Noah continues to study with Professor Mattelson.
As a rising talent, Noah is hardworking, highly driven and passionate about creating the best paintings possible. He has worked with individuals, couples, and families to create cherished works of art that can be found in homes throughout Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York.
"My intention behind every portrait is to merge my passion for a masterfully painted canvas and my fascination with the human spirit to create a beautiful and authentic representation of the sitter. I invite the viewer of my paintings into a deeper awareness in which the beauty of humanity and life as a whole is recognized. Through the lens of portraiture, I bring this vision to fruition via a close collaboration with my sitters to craft a soulful and nuanced display of all that they are. With every brushstroke I work toward representing the subject in their best light, both literally and symbolically.
I bring my subjects to life by combining superb draftsmanship, subtle lifelike color, a nuanced and authentic expression, and precise paint handling to reveal their unique character and tell their story on canvas, all within the context of a classical yet contemporary composition.
Over the course of many years of intensive training in drawing and painting, I've immersed myself in the techniques and processes of the great 19th century classical painters as well as the Golden Age American illustrators. I pursued this path of training because my highest priority in portraiture is to fully honor the subject I’m painting, and I believe that the best way to do that is by creating a technically masterful work of art.
In my practice, preparation and strategic planning are everything. Via an intensive preparatory process that involves photography, sketches, and digital compositing, I carefully work out every detail of the composition before I ever pick up my brush. This ensures that little is left to chance.
In order to achieve the nuanced skin tones that honor the sophistication and depth of a subject's character, I utilize the semi-translucent layering techniques employed to profound effect by 19th century painters such as William Adolphe Bouguereau and John Singer Sargent. Although time consuming, this process beautifully mimics the luminosity of human skin, thus further enhancing the illusion of reality that breathes life onto canvas.
Executed with deep respect and technical excellence, my portrait paintings aim to be profound visual biographies. A captivating portrait pulls the viewer into the subject’s presence and engages them in a conversation about the intricate story of who the subject is or was. My goal is to create paintings that encourage and celebrate that experience."