Barbi Leifert. Photo by Inese Westcott

Barbi Leifert. Photo by Inese Westcott

I always loved dance and art and continued this pattern  of study through college and into my twenties living  in Manhattan as a performance artist studying dance with many of the major modern and jazz choreographers and teachers.  When I was 25, I became an author,  writing and designing the Manhattan Dance School Directory (Marcel Decker, NY Amazon.com)  and afterwards  became a dance reviewer and feature writer for Gannett Newspapers in New York City. 

In the Dancer’s Palette series, I have married dance and painting.  Movement and color have always been close friends.  They both have energy and vibration. What inspires me about painting dance is capturing   extreme movement and “the line” made by the body relentlessly trained  beyond  normal human limits.  I paint many layers initially arranging a composition of figures on the canvas.   Many layers of paint are applied, beginning with a strong solid color followed by many colors arranged to support the composition.    Using large palette knives,   I work very quickly wet into wet in some of the pieces.  Dragging the paint allows me the create the feeling of movement which is key to my work.  I also will use acrylic media to create a glaze of color which is layered on top after the paint is dry.  More compositional elements are then arranged  and more layers of paint applied .    I interested in capturing moments of choreography.     It can be an entire dance layer out on a mural size canvas, or it’s energized movement  which crescendos and the dancers are flying and soaring and jumping passed each other.   Other times I create a painting that is a quiet moment of dance where a group of dancers are connecting with each other .  My goal is to have my paintings vibrate transmitting energy  to the viewer and for the viewer to put themselves in the painting and fly!!!