New Painting: The Beginning of the Future


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She stands at a threshold, and holds back the curtain of time, to reveal the first untethered flight of mankind, a hot air balloon created in Paris, France by the Montgolfier brothers. Further in the distance and past the shadowy gardens, one glimpses the Empire State Building, another symbol of progress as we learn from our predecessors. Where will we go next?

This is an oil on linen-mounted panel painting that is 11″ x 14″, with accents of genuine gold leaf in the trim of the dress and earring. The model is the lovely @vintagemaedchen_by_victoria  and the vision is inspired by progress and discovery.  I also thought about the strange portraits of queens, strange in that the stylized lighting often made little sense but produced an unearthly glow and theatre-like look.

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Check out the images below to see the progress of the painting.

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The Beginning of the Future, oil on linen, 11"x14", Jessica Libor 2018

This painting is available as an original, or as a limited edition print.   For the next few hours (until Valentine’s Day at midnight), this limited edition, hand signed and numbered print on 11″x17″ archival paper is offered at $35. On midnight on Feburary 14, the price will go back to $75, the regular cost. Click the link below to snag yours!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jessica Libor

The Hunt of the Unicorn: a visit to the Met Cloisters


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Recently I was able to visit the Cloisters, a division of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  The Cloisters is located in a beautiful castle-like structure that was built by a sculptor and student of Rodin, George Barnard.  George wanted to show off his collection of beautiful Medieval art by creating a poetic interpretation of the middle ages.  The Cloisters are a gorgeous tribute to his inspiration.

Within the Cloisters are a famous group of tapestries: The Hunt of the Unicorn.  They were much larger than I had anticipated, having seen the reproductions in various places.  It was even more beautiful in person.  The collection consists of seven tapestries, created around 1500, most liked in Brussels and commissioned by Anne of Brittany to commemorate her marriage to King Louis XII of France.  The tapestries are woven with a mixture of silk, metallic thread, and wool, which gives them a rich, vibrant appearance.   The subject of the unicorn was heavy with symbolism in the Medieval world.  People actually believed that the unicorn was a real animal, and were portrayed not in a silly way, but with great reverence.  They were symbols of purity, fidelity, and rare beauty, and their horns were thought to posses healing, purifying powers.  Narwhal horns were sold to unsuspecting medieval people for huge prices under the guise that they were unicorn horns, and kings would often drink out of them as goblets so as to minimize the effects of poison.  Today, they are a beautiful idea, a symbol of a time long past, that still holds enchantment.


I came home inspired to perhaps work some unicorns into my own artwork.  To incorporate unicorns into your own world, I found an adorable necklace and art print–just click them to see the details!  What do you think of the symbolism of the unicorn? Does it change the way though think about the legends from the Medieval times? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Stay inspired, until next time,


Valentine’s Day Painting Giveaway


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Happy week of Valentine’s Day!  To celebrate the holiday of love, I’ve decided to show my appreciation to my patrons and collectors!  On Valentine’s Day at 3pm, I’ll be choosing a winning participant to receive this original framed oil painting I’ve done.  If you win, wherever you are in the world, I’ll ship it to you…free!

To enter, all you have to do is share this blog post on a form of social media, and comment below on a reason you enjoy my work.  That’s it!  This contest is also being run on my Instagram account, @jessicaliborstudio.  If you win, I’ll message you on February 14 to get your shipping details.  The painting is called “The soft sky and silky river,” and is an oil on canvas, 2.5 by 3.5 inch painting.

It reminds me of one of my favorite vacation times ever, when my family and I went canoeing for the weekend down the NJ rivers.  I saw wildlife, fish, cloud formations, forests, and had the sensation so peaceful of floating on the water just how a bird does.  So remember, just two steps: 1. share a link to this post on social media. 2. Comment below on what you enjoy about my work.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, this look was created by pairing a velvet top with a long pale pink skirt,  and a small simple velvet choker around the neck.   The pictures were taken at the magical, fairyland “fernery” at the Morris Arboredum, a beautiful gem in the suburbs of Philadelphia.   I normally have long hair, but created the bobbed look by curling with hot rollers and using a hair net to create the illusion of shorter hair.

Recently I’ve been getting into vintage styling as a creative outlet, and will also be using this blog as a place to share some favorite looks, as well!  I can’t help but feel that fashion is an extension of art, and the two fields influence each other, and certainly my work.

Good luck with the contest, and Happy Valentine’s!


Jessica Libor

Copying the Masters: Part 1


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Today I began copying a Fragonard painting.  Copying is a centuries old tradition in that it helps an artist understand composition, color, and form, especially if an artist is trying to learn certain techniques from that master.  I chose this piece to copy because I am interested in the coloring, brushwork and composition that Fragonard uses.

First, I washed the linen with a mix of ultramarine blue and green, using Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Colors, very thinly, diluted with odorless turpenoid.

Next, I began sketching out the forms using burnt umber and a small brush, also diluted with mineral spirits.

From there, I began painting from the back to the front of the painting (from the background to the foreground).

First the darks, then the lights, getting progressively more detailed.

Part 2 to come!

Jessica Libor

The process is the goal


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In my studio, photo by Jessica Libor

Recently I heard a gem of knowledge that really struck me: “The process is the goal.”

This concept can apply to any aspect of your life.  In health, fitness, career, family, relationships, friendships, social life, spiritual life, or anything else you aspire to in your life.  Think about those people you know or know of who have one or more of these aspects on point in a spectacular way.  Perhaps they have the career you’ve always dreamed of–making amazing art, and getting recognition for it.  Perhaps they travel around the world and have a life of adventure that you’d love to experience.  Maybe their fitness levels seem to be unstoppable.

Whatever it is that you admire about this person, what “The process is the goal” reminds us of is that no one is perfect.  It is impossible to be in a state of perfection in anything, because as wonderful, flawed, quirky humans living in an imperfect world, perfection is not possible.  However, showing up everyday, working at it, and sharing your gift with the world, is very possible.

The athlete with the body in wonderful condition only got there by regular, hard work, grinding out each workout even when they didn’t feel like it.  Yes, sometimes a workout will feel exhilarating and fun, but other times it will be the last thing this athlete wants to do.  However, the act of going through the actions of the workout is what will change their body.  This doesn’t happen overnight, either: it’s a constant process of small choices that add up: choosing fruit instead of ice cream, choosing to get up and go to the gym at 7:30 instead of sleeping in until 8:30.  These small choices are indeed small–and one slipup really wouldn’t matter.  However, these everyday choices add up to create a very different body to live in than if that athlete had chosen a different path.  And even when the world sees the result, the athlete knows that it is not a state of perfection she is working for, it is health and performance on a spectrum, and any success she meets has to be maintained by continual training and effort.  As soon as a goal is reached, a plateau is also reached.  While it’s fine to catch your breath, the athlete knows that she must maintain her health in order to keep her current level, and push even harder than before should she wish to go further.  In this way, the process is the goal.

The same is true in an artist’s life.  We live in an instant-gratification world today.  Companies cater to our desires to have everything we want, and now.  It is a consumer mindset to think that we can buy success, health, skills, meaning, or love.  These things must be cultivated, understood and approached with a process-oriented mindset.  The goal can be switched from “having a sold out international art show” to “create one new piece per week in the studio that I am proud of”.  Can you see how one goal is externally focused on what one can get, and the other is more internally focused on what you can do and give?  This kind of process oriented thinking also puts the power back in your hands.  You are no longer seeking the approval of a gallery (outside source) but instead have the power to create a quality gift to the world.  Which, as anyone instinctively knows, is the key to success: adding value to the world.  If you create one piece of quality work per week, then, you will eventually be in a position to choose who to work with and what opportunities to take, because you are secure in your contribution.  You will have something you know is truly valuable.  There is no short cut here–to be a sought after artist with quality, enthusiastic buyers, you must become the kind of artist who puts in the work to create something of value–and people will notice.  It is not a pinnacle achievement, where one day you wake up and think “I have made it!”  Although great moments will come when you realize that your dreams are becoming a reality, that will be because of the process that you’ve followed to get there.

So I would challenge you to think of and list out the ideals you’d like to realize in your life.  Whether it is artistically related, or any other area of your life, think of where you’d like to be, and then the process that needs to happen in order for that to happen.  Then, instead of focusing on the goal so much (which can be disheartening, if it seems far away)  then focus on the process.  What would someone who is successful in that area of their life be, do, and act like?  Seek help, workshops, or other forms of training if need be, to help you realize the best process. Then, dedicate yourself to the process–not the goal.  You’ll find that the external goal will sneak up on you when you least expect it, when you’re deeply involved with the process–after it’s become a habit.

This assures as well that your goal doesn’t blind you from other opportunities.  Focusing on the process helps you to be more open to opportunities that may be even better for you than your original goal, that are along the same career path.  As Clive Gillison writes in the book Better to Speak of It, by Robert Rimm and Clive Gillison: “It’s a natural thing to be scared of uncertainty, yet liberating to know that it’s perfectly alright to feel that way.  When I was younger I wanted the same thing—certainty–and it took me a long time to realize that uncertainty can be a strength rather than weakness, because uncertainty also brings with it endless possibilities.”

It’s all about the process.  As Henry David Thoreau said,

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Thanks so much for reading!  What kind of processes would you like to implement in your life and career?  Leave a comment below to share!   Until next time, stay creative,

Jessica Libor

ps–If you’d like a step be step guide to help you discover your own voice as an artist, I’ve put together a completely free course for you!  Click here to learn more.




How to create a body of work in 3 months


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After creating 14 pieces in 3 months, I was accepted into the MFA program I wanted to get into. Photo credit: Jessica Libor

As an artist, your primary job is creating work: work that you feel proud of, that would be thought provoking or inspiring to others in some way. You are a thought leader, someone who creates cultural ripples, no matter how small. But as an artist, you also can get caught up in the hundred other activities involved with being an artist: the organizing of work, the going to shows, taking classes, reading books, and perfecting your masterpieces slowly. Or, perhaps you have fallen into making pieces for the sake of making pieces to sell: work that you know is not your highest quality that you can make.

If you are not an artist, but are in a creative profession as well such as writing, publishing, graphic design or the like, please forgive me as I write from the perspective of being a painter. However, you can use these same ideas to create a body of your own work in your own field.

I would like to propose a two step process for creating a body of work that you are proud of in 3 months or less.

The first step is deciding on a goal. For most artists, a solid body of work is 10 to 20 pieces. Decide how many pieces that you would like to make within your time frame. When I did this, I decided on 14 pieces within 3 months. This was because 14 pieces were needed for the program that I was trying to submit to by the deadline (I did it, by the way, and got into the program!  If I can do it, so can you.)

What will your goal entail? Your goal should include a) the number of pieces you want to make by a certain date and b) the external reason. For example, your reason could be, wanting to go to New York or California and take a week to show your new body of work to galleries. For a reason like that, make it real by booking the flights three months in advance, and reserving your hotel. Now, you are invested. If you don’t make your work by that date, then you will be embarrassed to show galleries an empty portfolio, and you will have wasted your money on the trip—or just have a nice vacation! Another sample goal is getting into a residency, or an MFA program. This is also a strong incentive, because you know that if you don’t make the deadline, you’ll have to wait an entire year to submit again. Another goal could be, setting up a show with a gallery you are involved in, so that you have to make the work in time for opening night. If you don’t yet have gallery representation, then perhaps going in on a space with another artist or two, and making the deposit on the space three months in advance, so that you are locked into the exhibition. Better yet, start telling family and friends, and create an invitation page online so that people can RSVP. This creates momentum in your mind—and a good kind of pressure!

Perhaps this sounds stressful to you. I’m not going to lie—it can be stressful! Stretching yourself to a higher potential than you are currently at always involves a little stress. But I have found that by imposing an external goal, it lifts your abilities, and you are able to make work faster and better than you have ever before. Your mind goes into problem solving mode. You start making more work, faster, and yet with more precision and skill, because you know that you will be showing the work publicly. It is a different energy than creating one piece a month when you have time. It is goal driven: you must get X amount of pieces done by a certain date, or you will lose money, time, or good face.

The next step is to divide your time and energy. Let’s say you decide on 15 pieces in 3 months. That means you need to create 5 pieces per month. Weekly, that’s about 1.5 pieces per week. Woah! All of a sudden the deadline becomes less fuzzy—a large amount of pieces due at some point in the future. It becomes at least one piece per week in order to reach your goal. It becomes more urgent.

As you go through this process, you’ll notice that you begin to take yourself more seriously—and therefore others will take you more seriously, as well. So many times as creatives and artists we can get a bad rap for not being professional, or being haphazard in how we make our work, meet deadlines, and do business. When you have a tangible plan with an external goal, it forces you to be professional with your time, and manage it like you run a business—which you do! You’ll find that because you have a more structured timeline, ideas will flow more easily, and you will grow more skilled, because you’ll be painting more. And when the time comes to submit your work, take that trip to the big apple, or host an exhibition for family and friends, there isn’t a better feeling than knowing that you accomplished much more than you ever thought possible.  As Clive Gillison and Robert Rimm write in Better to Speak of It: Fostering Relationships and Results through Creativity: “. . . I always ask them what they’re passionate about, and suggest they allow that to be their guide, giving it everything they’ve got whilst keeping a completely open mind.  Then their talent and passion will lead them.”

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know your your thoughts.  What is your external goal? How many pieces would you like to make?   What is YOUR deadline?  Stay creative!  Until next time,


Jessica Libor

The artist and the day job


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For John Singer Sargent, painting WAS his day job

Where attention goes, energy flows.  I don’t remember where I heard this phrase, or if it came to me after observing life, but it’s the truth.

Wherever your attention goes, that is the part of your life that grows larger, gets bigger, and creates momentum.   For almost ten years, I’ve worked as a makeup artist in addition to working on my painting and drawing practice.  I remember graduating from art school and wondering how  I was going to make enough for rent, groceries, etc. and going through a mental list of possible jobs.  While I sold artwork right out of college, it wasn’t enough to sustain a basic comfortable lifestyle.  I had several short lived positions: receptionist, waitress, graphic designer, gallery assistant, art teacher– many of these were consuming enough that when you went home for the evening, you had to either prepare for the next day, or continue working on client projects.  I needed something I could leave at the door, that left energy for painting.  One day, I was walking by a makeup store when the idea came to me.  The hundreds of tiny shiny pots, brushes, pretty setups, aesthetic surroundings–was this so different than painting?  I had always had an interest in beauty–and mixing paints to put on a client’s face as opposed to  a canvas couldn’t be that difficult.  I remember walking into the store with no experience, completely inexperienced, and selling the manager on my color mixing skills from art school.  I got the job.  While it started as “Hey–this is something I can do!” turned into an unexpected career.  It came easily to me–and although there could be boring days and frustrating clients, for the most part I loved working with makeup–and most of all making someone feel they were beautiful, by telling them, and showing them a side of them they may not have seen.  It really did have the same creative feeling as putting on the finishing touches on a painting, sculpting the shadows and light out of the materials.   I noticed that in my paintings,  I was drawn towards painting skin.  I looked at skin all day at work, and I was drawn towards capturing it on canvas, too.  My models started to have the same glow as my clients.

Many well known artists and writers have been influenced by their day jobs. Frida Kahlo was a stenographer for a time.


Frida Kahlo in her studio

T.S. Elliot was a bank teller, Richard Serra owned a moving company (Chuck Close one of his employees) and Phillip Glass, a famed composer, worked many menial jobs during his career including a cab driver and a plumber.  Even after his work being premiered at the Met, Glass worked for 3 more years as a cab driver.  He describes one of his most serendipitous experiences:

“While working, I suddenly heard a noise and looked up to find Robert Hughes, the art critic of Time Magazine staring at me in disbelief. ‘But you’re Philip Glass! What are you doing here?’ It was obvious that I was installing his dishwasher and I told him I would soon be finished. ‘But you are an artist,’ he protested. I explained that I was an artist but that I was sometimes a plumber as well and that he should go away and let me finish.”

I, too, have had my share of interactions with collectors of my paintings who were surprised to see me working at a makeup counter.  I learned to laugh and embrace it, however–people like the ideal of the artiste creating in the garret, with no need for money–but I had other needs besides fulfilling that image for other people.  A few years in I realized, however, that the energy that you use during a day is finite.  I would try to stay up later, get up earlier, to finish more paintings and create more work.  I got sick a few times after pushing a little too hard, and learned that balance is key.  But to balance, something had to go–and temporarily, it was painting, because no was makes you do that, but you.   Where your attention goes, energy flows.  I started getting opportunities at work, and the thought of painting became dreamy, and intimidating.  Time is money, but time is also finite, and there comes a point in every artist’s life where they decide if art is going to be a hobby, or a career.

I started formulating a plan to be able to paint more full-time.  I knew it would only be then, if I set myself up to create without fear of survival, with the time to create freely, that I could go further.

Today I am on my way to implementing that plan.  The key, I believe, for any artist, is giving themselves permission to fail.  It every artwork must be a masterpiece, or else you are a failure, then it becomes difficult to pick up a paintbrush.  What if you use your energy as an artist, to fail forward, create fearlessly, and see what happens out of that offering?  Fail again, and again, and more and more beautifully.  Let your true essence of your personality shine through in your work, no matter how strange, wacky, or silly it may seem.  The more visceral it is, the more alive you feel as your create, the more powerful a work becomes, because the viewer will feel it as they look at the work.  As Lera Auerbach writes in her book Excess of Being, “A coward is a servant of his fears.  A hero enslaves his fears.”

All you need is faith, and the belief in yourself that your artwork is worth something.  Not just monetarily (although that, too) but as a cultural offering of service to the world.  To artists who are working a day job, my only advice would be that it be a job that allows you energy to create outside of work–not a job that is all-encompassing, if you are serious about making art.  You are a sliver, a mirror reflecting the world, in your own unique way that no one else has.  You are the only person who can create your masterpieces.  Don’t waste it.  The world is waiting.



How Environment Shapes Creative Work


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Art by Christian Birmingham

Once upon a time, in a far away land, there was a castle. In that castle was a king and queen who had one daughter, Aurora…

What kind of story do you expect to hear when the story begins, “Once upon a time…?” It might include royalty, knights, dragons, a princess and some magic.


Art by Christian Birmingham

But what about the author of this story? What was his life like that inspired him to write such a tale?

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Art by Christian Birmingham

The original origin of this fairy tale was written by a man named Charles Perrault, and called “The Beauty Sleeping in the Wood.” Mr. Perrault lived from 1628 to 1703 and was an author and influential literary figure in Paris at the time. He was instrumental in the construction of the Louvre, designed a guidebook for the gardens of Versailles, and served as a secretary of state. In his upbringing , he attended the best schools, and was born into a wealthy family. One can only imagine that his surroundings: rubbing shoulders with kings, queens, princesses and the explosion of creativity that was alive in Paris at the time inspired him to write such a classic, enduring tale.


Charles Perrault, author of the first version of Sleeping Beauty

I want to introduce the idea of place and environment, and what our environment has to do with what we create as artists, writers, and creators. The author of Sleeping Beauty was influenced by gardens perhaps because of his heavy involvement with designing the gardens of Versailles—if you recall, the palace in Sleeping Beauty is overgrown by a garden overrun—of the happenings of royalty because of his familiarity with queens and kings—and with a romantic tale because of the extreme romanticism prevalent in the art and literature of the time. He let his life’s experiences seep into his writings, and created a new genre in literature derived from oral folktales, the fairy tale.

Ernest Hemmingway is famous for his blunt, bold and strong writing style, something that was developed from his years working as a newspaper writer—and the topics he wrote about: wars, violence, desolation– from his time serving in World War 1. These were all parts of Hemmingway’s environment and life that became part of his stories and legacy.


Ernest Hemmingway

Paul Gaugin was an artist originally from Paris but because of family ties in Peru, spent much of his childhood there. He returned to France for his young adult life, but grew disheartened by the “conventional and artificial” life there. He desired something more free, more natural, so he ended up moving to Tahiti towards the end of his career to create his vision of the life he wanted. Because of his bravery and experimentation with color, his work laid the foundation for the Primitive movement in art and a return to the pastoral. However, if Gaugin had not spent his formative years in exotic Peru, would he have had the same hunger, and made the same decisions?


Paul Gaugin

Edgar Allen Poe grew up as the child of two stage actors and struggled with tragedy in his early life, his father abandoning the family and mother dying the year after. He was taken in by a kindly family in Virginia, and had a brief career in the military before devoting his life to writing and literature. His wife died of tuberculosis shortly after he married her, and he seemingly never recovered. Truly, it was a life filled with tragedy, but Poe turned that tragedy into art, creating haunting pieces of literature that laid the foundation for the developing genres of mystery, horror and science fiction.

But the elements that made him who he was—the artistic temperament of both of his parents, the tragedy and pain he felt, the Southern Gothic atmosphere of Richmond, Virginia…they all were part of his environment that helped create the person he became and the work he made.

There are many more countless examples, but pretty much any artist or creator that you can think of has been strongly influenced by their environment, whether they like to admit it or not. Our experiences help form who we are, as much as the choices that we make amidst those experiences. In graduate school, I began dissecting the kinds of paintings and imagery that I used again and again in my work. I returned again and again to imaged of people lying under trees—picnicking, sleeping, climbing the trees. I realized that some of my best memories from childhood were playing underneath the trees in our pear and apple orchard in the backyard, reading books, picnicking, making forts, playing, These experiences had embedded themselves in my mind so vividly that they kept coming to the surface in my art.  Do you have imagery, sounds or themes that keep coming up in your own creative work?  They may be worth examining to see where they may be coming from, even if you cannot pinppoint the origin of influence.  As Lera Auerbach states in her book Excess of Being, “Explainable doesn’t mean imaginary.”

5 The Reading, oil and gold leaf on board, 16"x20", Jessica Libor 2013

The Reading, by Jessica Libor, oil and gold leaf on panel

Some of us have memories and have experienced environments that we would rather not dwell on. To that I say, art is some of the most cathartic ways of dealing with bad past experiences, and who knows but your creation may help someone who has been through the same thing? It may be the catalyst someone needs to change.

Another thing to consider is, that if environment truly does shape who we are, then we have the power to choose our environment. What kind of art do you want to make? What kind of book do you want to write? What kind of music do you want to play?

Then, put yourself in an environment that supports that idea. Like the painter Paul Gaugin moved to the islands, you can move to somewhere more inspiring, even if it is temporary. I have a friend who lived in Philadelphia for a long time, and worked as a graphic designer. She made artwork here and there. This year, she bought a cabin in the mountains and moved there, still supporting herself part time with graphic design work, but has made an explosion of paintings that stem from the environment that she now lives in: the deep woods, the stars, the pathways and forest animals.

But what you digest in you mind also becomes part of your environment. So in addition to thinking about where inspires you, think of what. What kind of paintings leave you in awe? What kind of books? And music? Listen only to the best, learn from the best, surround yourself by what you truly admire, and your own skill will slowly but surely (yet sometimes quickly!) rise to the level you have set for it.

In my own life, I noticed that as I move into a new house and set up my studio, kitchen, bedroom, and living room, a new environment produces new ideas. A more organized studio begets a more organized mind. A beautiful place makes me want to create something that lives up to its surroundings.

May your art be true and a singing expression of your soul, wherever that place may be.


Article by Jessica Libor

Painting your Dreams


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I woke up for a moment, then immediately went back to sleep because I had to see what happened in my dream.

I was in an elevator riding downward, having just realized that I had left my suitcase back up at one of the floors above. I had to reach it before the time portal closed. I pushed the buttons to bring me back up, and reached the floor where I had left my suitcase. It was there, but a different color. I grabbed it anyway and stepped back into the elevator, which was now full of people. I tried to look inconspicuous. The men had pinstripe suits on, and the women had 1940’s style hats in all different colors. As I reached the ground level, I stepped outside onto the street and walked into another time, this present time.

Around my neck was a camera that I had used to take pictures while I was back in time. I walked into a camera shop to get the shots developed, and somehow recognized that the elderly man behind the desk knew my secret. I asked him earnestly, “Is it possible, to go back and forth? Do I have to choose one or the other? Can I have a life back there, and in this present time?”

He wouldn’t answer me, but silently took my film.

I woke up. There was more to the dream, but that was what I could remember of it.

What did it mean? Does this dream have any insight into my life? Perhaps. Maybe it’s a reflection of my appreciation of other time periods, and an expression that I want to bring the charm of the past into the present. Does it have unexpected, unusual imagery present that I normally would not have imagined? Absolutely. Imagine an elevator full of women all with brightly colored hats. Imagine suitcases that changed color. The artistic possibilities are rich, all mined from your subconscious mind creating images that you would never have thought of before.

I have several paintings that have stemmed from dreams, and they always come out a little more interesting and unfathomable than works dreamt up by my daytime brain.  Artist throughout the ages have also taken inspiration from their dreams.  Take the ones below:


A Carnival Evening, by Henri Rousseau


Max Ernst


Everyone Here Speaks Latin, by Max Ernst


The Furniture of Time, by Yves Tanguy


Woman With an Umbrella in an Exotic Forest, by Henri Rousseau

Attainment (smaller), oil, gold and silver leaf on panel, 48"x72"

Attainment, by Jessica Libor


What practices that have helped me harness the imagery in my dreams into an artistic practice are:

  1. Keeping a dream journal– using writing or sketching, capture the images in your dream as soon as you wake up.
  2. Before you go to bed, only allow yourself to think positively, and go to sleep with the expectancy that your mind will show you something wonderful.
  3. Go through your dream sketchbook periodically and work out more fully the sketches that look interesting to you. Give them color and life, and see which ones might make fully-fledged artworks.

I hope this inspires you to pay more attention to your own dream imagery and helps you add another dimension to your art practice. I would encourage you to even pay attention to the negative, scary or unsettling aspects of your dreams, as they are usually your mind attempting to work out conflicts in your life, and can help to resolve decisions and choices. Often we avoid our problems or get very pragmatic while looking at them in our waking hours—but our intuition really comes out in our dreams and shows us how we really feel, whether we like it or not. I’ve heard that they are the minds way of trying on different choices and scenarios in life as a rehearsal—to show what it would be like, or show us the way. As Lera Auerbach muses wisely in her book, Excess of Being: “A coward is a servant of his fears. A hero enslaves his fears.” May you face your fears and hopes fearlessly in your dreams, and harness them to create more powerful art.

“Ebullience” Art Exhibition


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Dear friends and readers, I would like to invite you to a special event on First Friday on June 2nd, it is an art exhibition I am in!  It is in Old City in Philadelphia at a lovely gallery.  Please see below for details, and I hope to see you there!

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“Ebullience: the quality of lively or enthusiastic expression of thoughts or feelings.”
Welcome to the painting and photography exhibit presented by BlinkArt Gallery featuring the work of Tor Chaykin (painter), Michael Kauffman (photographer) and Jessica Libor (painter).
Please join us on June 2nd for a First Friday opening exhibition for our three person show. Light refreshments and drinks will be provided, as well as mellow live music. There is paid parking across the street, and the gallery space is on the 4th floor. We look forward to seeing you for this lovely evening in this airy, lofty gallery space!
Registration is encouraged by RSVPing at:

Questions? Gallery website is and phone number is 215-588-4445.

You may view and presell some of the artwork in the show by visiting Jessica Libor’s selections for Ebullience at

Thank you and hope to see you there!