Very recently, my work has changed. The work that I’m doing now is more gestural rather than shape-oriented. The line and brushwork are visible. I’m starting out with a grid that I draw freehand. I do layers, lots of layers; it’s like weaving. The brushwork is open. You can see color coming through the previous layers. It’s still mixed media: watercolor, watercolor crayon, gouache and acrylics.

Untitled (mixed media, 22 x 22)

The transformation in my own work is in the amount of control. At first I had a considerable amount of control. Now, I’m stepping back. I let the process take more control. I’m more an observer, watching what’s happening on the page. People who aren’t artists might think that it’s mindless scribbling. But the experience I’ve had—over 20 years—allows me to step into the process when the painting needs it. All those years of experience painting in a controlling way now allow me to edit when I have to.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, David A. Leffel studied art at Parsons School of Design and the Art Students League, both in New York City. He taught weekly classes at the League from 1972 to 1992, and now returns there to teach three one-week classes each year. The author of Oil Painting Secrets From a Master (Watson-Guptill), Leffel has won numerous awards for his work and has had one-man exhibitions in cities across the United States. In addition, his paintings can be found in a number of corporate, public and private collections. Now living in Taos, New Mexico, Leffel is represented in that state by Total Arts Gallery (Taos) and Matteucci Galleries (Santa Fe), as well as by Overland Gallery of Fine Art (Scottsdale, Arizona), Cantor-Roughen Galleries (Dallas, New York and Los Angeles) and Whistle Pik Galleries (Fredericksburg, Texas).

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