RECENT WORK BY TIM LEFENS Jane Sandelin Gallery. You've heard about the artist, innovator and author Tim Lefens. We are excited to present his work as our featured artist for our spring show. Tim Lefens…where to start? His life, his work, his accomplishments to say nothing of his challenges make me struggle with just that – where to start! His exhibit opens on March 23, 2012 at Art Works in Richmond, Virginia. Come early at 6:30 p.m. to listen to Tim share his "stories from the art world". Here are some questions I put to Tim and his comments that will shed light on the exhibit, how it came to be and Tim's processes.

AW: How would you describe the exhibit?

TL: The paintings are "painterly abstractions". Each painting is: a single color monochrome, is rooted in a color field, is abstract expressionism and an action painting. All the paintings are on uniquely shaped stretchers that I custom built.

AW: What would people expect to see at the exhibit?

TL: A lot of different colors, different approaches to moving the acrylic (i.e. the 'drawing'). I think the paintings cover a wide range of feelings: from quiet and lyrical to all out aggression. Each painting explores a way to get to a feeling without words.

AW: What materials do you use?

TL: The paintings are acrylic on canvas. Two of the paintings have sand in them, but the rest are pure acrylic.

AW: And sizes?

TL: The little paintings that will hang on the narrow walls (in the gallery) are around a foot or so by a foot or so. Then the sizes jump up from 48"x48" to 48"x76".

AW: What about the colors?

TL: The colors range from pure gold, to iridescent patinas over gray, to plain buff color, iron oxide, graphite, opalescent and more.

AW: Tell us about your processes:

TL: I cut a sheet of luan veneer into the shape. Sometimes I cut it quickly, with a sawzall, with no preliminary drawing. Sometimes I lay out subtle curving guide sticks before cutting the shape. When the shape is satisfactory I build the stretcher frame from numerous short blocks of wood so the blocks can follow the curve of the luan. These blocks are glued and nailed. A strip of luan is glued and nailed to the side face of the now complete stretcher. I then stretch the frames with unprimed cotton duck canvas. Using the sheet of luan not only allows me to carve the shape in a way that feels like intuitive drawing, but the luan allows a ton of acrylic gel to be poured on it. The painting is on its back, looking up from the studio floor and can accept the massive amount of acrylic gel without the canvas bowing. When the thick layer of acrylic is distributed over the face of the canvas, I use homemade tools to draw over the surface. Some of these tools are pretty funky looking. One is a 7' comb made of short broken chunks of wood. One is this huge homemade brush that looks like an octopus on the end of a pole. None of the paintings so far have been painted with a normal artist's brush.

Colors are chosen when I see/feel, the feeling the painting's drawing/surface, is suggesting.. Sometimes the drawing surface works with the shape and sometimes it works independently of it.

AW: Are there unexpected surprises that come from your process?

TL: The paintings will change forever. Those who own paintings similar to these for the Art Works' show report deep satisfaction with how every change in weather or time of day subtly affects the painting. Because the surfaces are fairly deep, they cast their own little shadows and catch light in a way a flat painting does not. So, although each painting has a singular feel to it, at the same time it is always subtly changing with the light.

Tim Lefens' exhibit at Art Works is scheduled for March 23, – April 22, 2012. The public is invited to meet the artist and hear him speak about "stories from the art world" at 6:30 p.m. on March 23rd followed by a reception from 7 pm – 10 p.m.

Sunrise 2017 - Acrylic on canvas (48"x72")
Peacock 2 2015 - Acrylic and bamboo (48"x96")