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Complex, Obsessive Abstracts by Leif Timber

An abstract painting composed primarily of blues and redsFreedom of Violence, oil on canvas

Today’s featured artist is Leif Timber. Leif is a painter who specializes in complex, obsessive abstracts.


Leif’s paintings use varied splashes of colour and texture, sometimes combining to form figures, frequently of women, and other times remaining utterly abstract. The element of obsession that runs through Leif’s body of work presents itself in a number of ways – whether through the repetition of similar nude figures of the complex layering of different paints and colours.


An oil painting of a sketchy orchid in tones of yellow and red71-63, oil and ink on paper

A screen capture of the front page of Leif Timber's websiteLeif's website front page

Leif often works from a figurative image to start with, even if the final piece is entirely abstract. I find the artist’s “Meditations,” part of his Exodus series, quite interesting.  These are some of Leif’s only works in which the artist utilizes negative space, creating images of orchids that seem to reference classical Chinese watercolour stylings while still presenting themselves in Leif’s unique style. These are formally similar to the works of our other artists who combine frenetic brush strokes with negative space. 


A large oil painting with many quick brushstrokes in white and light huesField of White, oil and acrylic on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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