Park County Creative Alliance’s Artist of the Month for April is Faith Lefever, a multi-talented artist in Alma. Lefever was born in California in 1986. At age four, her family moved back to Colorado where her family had originated.
Lefever grew up in Wheat Ridge. At age eight, she started playing piano and fell in love with music. While attending Prospect Valley Elementary School, she learned to play the cello and flute. She was hooked on music and wanted to learn more.
By the time she was in high school, she had taught herself how to play every woodwind instrument. Music was her main artistic expression at that time, but she was also learning the art of stained glass.
During her junior year of high school, she took a stained-glass workshop along with her mother, who invested in all of the tools and continued to do projects at home. “It all really opened my mind to the idea that I have the ability to learn different mediums, and music wasn’t the only way for me to express myself,” said Lefever.
Lefever graduated Wheat Ridge High School in 2004, and had earned some musical scholarships. She attended Colorado State University for a year, majoring in Music Therapy with a minor in percussion. After leaving CSU, she took a stained-glass course at Red Rocks Community College, which she was unable to finish due to an unexpected illness, which caused her to drop out.
Although she knew Cody Lefever in high school, they didn’t start dating until afterwards and then married in 2005 in Golden. Cody joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served nine years. They lived in Washington, North Carolina and ended up in California.
Although she loved music, Lefever found that this was not the path for her. After leaving CSU she explored the ins and outs of photography. She worked with film and fell in love with the dark room, and learned digital photography and taught herself Photoshop.
Before moving to Washington, she took courses in film photography at Red Rocks, and while in Washington, she continued teaching herself digital photography. She was not actively taking portraits for people or even showcasing her work, because she was working in retail and customer service.
While in Washington, the Lefevers welcomed their only daughter, Anastasia, in 2007. In North Carolina, Lefever taught herself how to make clothes and made a little money selling custom made aprons and dresses here and there on Etsy and in consignment shops.
Cody was deployed four different times; three of them were nine months long, during which Lefever and Anastasia would return to Colorado and stay with family.
During their time in California, she began to take photography seriously. She invested in Pentax K-9 and Canon 5D Mark ii cameras and a variety of lens. She started sharing her work, created a portfolio, offered portraits and polished her photoshop skills.
“It took off pretty fast so I put all my energy into photography and retouching,” she said.
She worked with fashion companies and did photography work for San Diego Fashion Week. She had the opportunity to work with different brands, models and up-and-coming actors. She enjoyed portraiture, landscape and macro photography. Her ability to work with skin and retouching was sought out and she was able to put together complicated composites.
A year after Cody left the Marines, the couple came to the conclusion that California living wasn’t for them. In 2016, they moved back to Colorado. They stayed with her parents in Wheat Ridge while they searched for a place to live. Her parents have a cabin in Bailey and they would visit and stay at the cabin. They loved it and knew they wanted something similar. “We really wanted to escape the concrete jungle, and, on a whim, found this cute cabin tucked back from the main road and although we had never been in Alma before, once we saw it, we knew it was perfect for us,” she explained.
Lefever was burnt out from photography. She lost a job in California with a studio and was feeling pretty down-hearted. It was about this time when she, having never painted before, taught herself oil painting. She posted her work on social media and was immediately selling original pieces and custom work.
She loves to paint everything: fruits, still life, landscapes and replicating, in miniature, 16th, 17th and 18th century artworks. Some of her favorite miniature replicas come from artists Claude Monet, Fredic Edwin Church, Juan Sánchez Cotán and Eugene Boudin.
Her miniature paintings earned her an invitation to a Miniatures Art Show in Las Vegas in 2017. The show was hosted by the Cottage Industries Miniature Trade Association, which deals with miniature doll houses.
Oil has become her favorite medium, and she has the ability to paint in different styles, and sizes.
She is consistently painting and always open for commissions. “I think painting re-sparked some life back into me. With painting I really wowed myself, and it felt like magic. Photography, music and other mediums I have worked with were fun, and I enjoyed them but there was always something missing. I don’t feel that with painting,” she explained.
She will still occasionally take photos or play music, and she has thought about getting back into stained glass. “They were mediums that helped shape me and taught me how to see and feel the world around me. I think painting is the medium that really stole my heart. I look forward to painting every day,” she said.
Lefever also learned the art of taxidermy working with Eric Bear in Fairplay for about six months. And she has also authored and illustrated her first children’s book, Super Special.
It’s a whimsical and fun story about a little girl who lives in a world where everyone has a super power. The message she hopes to spread with the story is that even though you might not feel like you fit in, inside you are full of greatness.
Her latest endeavor is teaching herself both stop-motion and traditional hand drawn animation.
Lefever’s paintings can be found on Instagram @faithklefever, or her website faithklefever.com. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her book, Super Special, is available on Amazon.
Park County Creative Alliance is an organization uniting Park County through the arts while helping to support and promote local artists from all genres such as writers, musicians, painters, photographers and so much more. Learn more about PCCA by visiting the website parkcreates.org. Be sure and pick up an Art in Adventuring Map found in various locations throughout Park County and a little beyond. PCCA can also be found on Facebook.