Medium: Acrylic, Watercolor, Ink, Paper
Leif Larson’s paintings often depict wild figure narratives in an immediate, eye-catching style. “When it comes to my style, I’ve always walked to the beat of my own drum,” says Larson, a Milwaukee native. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2005, Larson became increasingly involved in the Fox Valley artistic community. Many of Larson’s works have garnered critical attention at numerous galleries, causing viewers to wonder how anyone could dream up the enchanting ideas portrayed in his art.
“In a lot of ways, I’m impulsive with my art, whether it’s in the content or in the medium itself,” Larson says. “There are different levels of impulsive, but the most important part of creating art for me is listening to myself and trusting myself. As I get older, I find myself becoming more flexible with my styles and expressions in my art. Ultimately, I believe in trying to tell stories with a blend of humor and seriousness. I believe in humanity and people and I hope to make something that can give people joy and a moment of serious reflection, even if that reflection only lasts for a few seconds.”
Larson was featured as Appleton Public Library’s artist-in-residence through March and April, a position that included conducting workshops and public outreach. In the future, Larson hopes to continue that outreach, especially with aspiring artists.
“I’ve had 10 strong years of painting and I hope to continue doing that, but I’m really interested in giving back to the community as much as I can. I hope to have a positive influence on others, whether it’s through teaching, classes, giving private lessons, or lecturing; I really want to help others develop a creative attitude in life,” he says. “People might think that you need to be a genius if you want to be an artist, but it’s really all about having a positive attitude and listening to yourself. The world needs creativity now more than ever, and I want to help foster that creativity in any way I can.”
Larson’s work is currently displayed in Take Me to the River’s “Tributary” exhibition in which artists across diverse mediums examine how their personal relationships shape the community. The show runs through July 7 at Sounds Alive Music and Arts Education Center in Neenah.
For updates on Larson’s work, visit www.leiflarson.com.