Leif Timber | LTP|ltd
Leif Timber was born in 1982 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The son of a nurse and a banker, he was raised in the suburbs and given an education in art from an early age. His parents recognized an artistic bent in their boy and encouraged his development by enrolling him in youth art classes at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Edina Center for the Arts and various other workshops around the Twin Cities to supplement the art classes he was taking in Hopkins public schools. When Leif was old enough to choose his own classes in junior high and high school, he took as many art classes as he could. At Hopkins High School in the late 90s to early 2000s, he took art classes in every semester, studying drawing and painting under Brad Nuorala (who still critiques his work.) After high school, Leif's art education and burgeoning career took a winding path.
Leif went to college at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, choosing to study liberal arts and political science instead of pursuing further intensive study of fine arts for fear of becoming a starving artist upon graduation. School in Duluth was a mixed reward for Leif. In the spring of his freshman year, he had a drug and alcohol fueled mental breakdown and ended up spending a month and a half in hospitals in Duluth and Minneapolis undergoing psychiatric evaluation and treatment for controlled substance abuse. Not to be deterred by a break with reality, Leif insisted he would return to Duluth for the fall semester and did so. Leif stayed in Duluth for 3 and a half more years attempting to complete his Bachelor's degree while suffering from deep depression and attempting to recover from his psychotic episode. During this time, he rarely went to class, and spent most of his time drawing and painting while remaining isolated from his peers. At the request of his parents in 2006, he moved back to Hopkins to live with his mother and focus on recovering his mental health while putting his education on hiatus.
Leif took the opportunity for freedom from school work to delve even deeper into creating art and refining his skill in painting. It was during this time that he became consumed with producing images of the female form in his abstract, emotional, and expressive style. For the next 4 years, Leif focused almost entirely on painting. In 2009, Leif approached his first gallery, a local framing gallery his mother had patronized. Your Art's Desire in Minnetonka showed 3 of Leif's abstract figurative nudes, and later the same year, Leif entered a piece in the Minnetonka Center for the Arts' juried Figure Exhibition. It was accepted into the show.
Leif continued to create art, but decided he was well enough to complete his bachelor's degree in 2009 and was able to do so by taking art classes at the U of M Twin-Cities campus. He studied under Toby Sisson for painting (and was reintroduced to oil paint,) Sean Connaughty for drawing (under whom he was further able to develop his style,) and Mayumi Amada for sculpture. Leif completed his degree and during this time met his future wife. During their courtship, Leif thought he needed to put his aspirations of being a successful artist on the backburner and focus on making a reliable income but Leif soon realized that he could not in any way give up his passion for creating art.
Leif's artistic style has changed and grown since his isolated time in Duluth. But the common theme throughout his work has been emotional expression. The nude figure runs through many, if not most, of his works, even in entirely abstract work, Leif typically begins with a figurative rendering. For Leif, art is not about inspiration, but an obsessively driven desire to create.