Fabulous Friends- marian lefeld

Marian Lefeld is an extremely talented artist and the subject for this edition of our Fabulous Friends Series where we feature talented, interesting, and successful friends from the community.  Marian has been formalizing her love of art for the last ten years and is now completing her Master of Fine Arts in Painting at Southern Methodist University to which she received a full scholarship.  She has received many prestigious awards including the New York City Colloquium SMU Award in 2009, 2012, and 2013, the Bobby Zelle Memorial Award in 2009, and the Meadows Exploration Award in 2008 among many others.  Her work has been exhibited in various galleries in Texas as well as in The Netherlands, Venezuela, and Argentina.  But enough with the credentials (you can see her full resume and artist statement in her website here), I just wanted you all to see how hard working and objectively talented she is.

Marian's work is powerful, meaningful, and beautiful to look at.  She is fascinated by grids, as evidenced by her exploration of it in her work. She is also one of the most fun, refreshing, and charming people I know.  Seriously, laugh out loud funny. 

Here are some of her paintings.  I will also take you on a tour of her studio and of her home. 

What inspires you?  I attain tremendous inspiration from reading books, essays, art books and newspapers (I'm a news junkie). Another source of insight is an evening out with my husband Max, a good and relaxed conversation with friends and visiting museums and galleries. José Saramago describes some of the reasons for seeing artworks in person are to know where artworks reside, to look, to learn to see them, and above all, to understand why these actions should be taken.

What are you proudest of?  I'm proudest of the three people closest to me: my husband Max, and my daughters Bettina and Tatiana. With Max I have learned to laugh. He gives me an antidote to my melancholic self. My daughters who are beautiful people (inside and out) teach me how to be a better individual each day (plus they teach me all the slang I need to know).

What can you not live without? I can't live without my morning cappuccino with a touch of powered cocoa as it is drank in Amsterdam. If I was in Venezuela I would have my marrón grande con espumita and a touch of cinnamon.

What is your favorite place in the world?  This is a complicated question for me. My favorite place is wherever my family is. I also hold dear to my heart my homeland, Venezuela, its chaotic capital city, Caracas, and Lecheria, the eastern coastal town where I spent my childhood. In Dallas, I have the chance to see my country from a distance, to take in all its dimension, including its myths and stereotypes which cannot be separated from its social reality. One cannot understand Latin America without physically leaving, as Vargas Llosa once wrote.  At the same time, the question of exile is constant in my mind; no one can better describe how I feel than Roberto Bolaño when he writes that an art practice and exile are two sides of the same coin. Many places, so little time!

How would you describe your style?  My way of painting is one of intensity. Impetuously I apply a heavy impasto with thick brushes and palette knives. I often scratch or sand back the surface. However, recently I've been painting with a more translucent approach, applying thin washes and carefully drawing structures or grids that have greatly slowed down my painting process. I believe my approach to art making is becoming more prolonged as a response to the relentless passing of time. The hours move somewhat slowly but the years pass by quickly. I paint a place I hardly recognize anymore. It is the fate of growing older.

Marian's studio tour at SMU:

Marian's husband, Max, finds cans beautiful and loves using them as pots.  You will see this same idea in her home tour.

A tour of Marian's beautiful home
I love the "Shed Happens" sticker.   Yes, shed does happen.  You can absolutely tell this is the home of creative people. 

See more of Marian's work here.  I'm the proud owner of one of her engravings but am dying for one of her paintings from her current series.  I love the vibrant fuchsias and oranges.  Aren't you in love with her work? and her aesthetic?  What do you think?

[all images except her paintings are by AMC for Mimosa lane, that's me]