Inside the Studio with Artist Michal Barkai

The Livingston Public Library  recognizes its role in nurturing local talent and culture, and so makes its showcase available for exhibits and displays by local artists, crafts

Michal Barkai’s studio.

people, collectors and hobbyists, giving them a chance to share their talent and treasures with the rest of the community.

Michal Barkai, an award-winning painter and photographer, was scheduled to display her works in June in the Library display case.

Since the Library is not yet open, we asked Michal to display her works virtually.   Here is a video available on the Library’s YouTube channel at that gives a glimpse of artist Michal’s studio, the materials she works with, and her charming naturescapes.

Michal paints in oil and dry pastels; she enjoys painting in her home studio as well as on location in local parks and gardens. Landscapes, florals, and the changing season are recurring themes in her representational artwork.  The artist states, “whether sightseeing or exploring my own backyard, nature feeds an inner search and appreciation for serenity and peace.”

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Barkai’s favorite painting, a close up of an iris flower.

Barkai, who was born and raised in Israel, is an IT professional turned artist and views herself as a “balanced left side/right side of the brain”, crediting her former career for her analytical and organizational skills and attention to detail.

Barkai exhibits locally and her work was featured in several national juried exhibitions at the Salmagundi club in NYC, including a painting of Glacier National Park.

Barkai is a signature member of the Pastel Society of New Jersey and has been serving as the society’s President since 2014. Barkai is also a member of Studio Montclair Inc, the NJ Society of Plein Air Artists, the Livingston Arts Association, and the West Essex Art Association.

To view  more of  Barkai’s artwork, and follow her creative process, please visit the artist’s website and blog at and respectively, and follow her art page,

Meanwhile if you have always been wanting to try your hand at painting and have some time on your hands now, these 2 ebooks can inspire and guide:

How To Paint:A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Watercolors, Acrylics, and Oils by Angela Gair &  Ian Sidaway

Covering the three most popular types of painting: watercolors, acrylics and oils, this comprehensive step-by-step guide provides basic information on materials and techniques as well as an exciting series of demonstrations aimed at complete beginners.

Painting for the Rest of Us: Making Art Just for Fun by John Kirkley

This is a lavishly illustrated e-book for beginning painters, happy amateurs, and dedicated artists who are not part of the commercial art scene – they are painting just for the fun of it.  Although it does contain some tips, techniques, and discussion of various mediums, its primary emphasis is on how the act of painting creates a new relationship between the artist and the world. It is an invitation to its readers to follow the path of painting and discover how it can enrich their lives.

-Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian


Livingston, NJ 07039, USA

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