Nature’s Daughters: Upcoming Solo Exhibition

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Fields of Gold Detail, oil on panel, 11x14, by Jessica Libor 2019

Fields of Gold (detail) oil on panel, by Jessica Libor 2019

I am so excited to announce my solo exhibition hosted by the Da Vinci Art Alliance on September 4th, 2019.

See my new pieces in my solo exhibition “Nature’s Daughters,” on view for one night only at the Da Vinci Art Alliance on Wednesday, September 4th from 5-8pm. Celebrate women with my art and also with networking expert Jennifer Lynn Robinson. Men are also welcome to attend!  More details below:
“I want to show the glamour of nature. Whenever I am outdoors in the wild, I feel the most free. I don’t think I am alone in this experience. What I wanted to do was show this feeling visually. I want people to be swept away in a gorgeous fantasy of the absolute magic that nature weaves sometimes. I painted women because it felt like a natural expression of nature—like the earth, the feminine can have many sides to it, can bring forth new life, and often express their beauty by decorating themselves…something I am interested in drawing a correlation with.” -Jessica
Jessica Libor graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2014 and has been painting, curating and writing since. Find out more at www.jessicalibor.com.
At 7 PM, Jessica will say a few words about the artwork, and Jennifer Lynn Robinson, Esquire of Purposeful Networking will provide her 5 best tips for women to network more strategically. You will also be able to ask Jennifer your networking questions one on one. Find out more at https://www.purposefulnetworking.com/.

There will be light bites and drinks provided. This event is free for all and open to the public! Registration is encouraged by clicking here.

 

Astonish yourself: an interview with artist Alessandra Maria

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Alessandra Maria

I met Alessandra a few years ago in New York City at an opening at Arcadia Gallery, before they relocated to California. I remember connecting about art and the passion needed to be an artist, and talking about the process of making work.  When she showed me her work I was struck by her clear vision and stunning imagery.  There is something very mystical and monumental about her work.  It takes me to another time and place, feels like another dimension not of this world: like a curtain pulled back to reveal a complex, many-layered, precious representation of a moment or story.

Alessandra is currently working on large scale pieces to be on display at Gallery Fledermaus in January 2019.  Graduating from Pratt in 2012, she now works in Boston and describes her work as an exploration of personal iconography.  I hope you enjoy the interview below and gain insight into Alessandra’s practice, inspiration, and words of advice for artists everywhere.

 

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Alessandra Maria

 

What are you excited about in your practice right now?

It’s a secret!  Wish I could tell you, but suffice to say I’m working on some larger scale projects.

 

When did  you become interested in becoming a practicing artist?

When I was in college I majored in graphic design, and later realized that  I hated it.  After switching to Illustration, I further realized that I wanted to be 100% self-directed in terms of what I make and why.  It was at that time that I realized I wanted to be an artist.

 

Describe an experience of other artist’s work you have seen that has influenced your artistic path.

When I was in college, I encountered Klimt for the first time in person at the Neue.  It completely changed by life and gave me a fervent desire to make something that gave me the same feeling.  It’s hard to describe, but I felt like a new world had been opened up to me.

 

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Alessandra Maria

 

How did you develop your unique style of work?  Was there an experimenting phase before you made the kind of work we see you making now?

It was simple, but not easy.  I had an image in my head that  I needed to make, and had to learn how to use my media properly in order to create it.  I always fall a little bit short, but with each piece I manage to get closer and closer.

 

How do you organize your daily studio time?  Around how many hours per week do you work on your art?

I used to just work as much as possible, and it was incredibly disorganized and less effective than it could have been.  My email inbox was always a mess, my studio was in disarray, and I would often work for 14 hours straight and just collapse at home in a heap of exhaustion.  There was always something more to do.  I’ve always been into self-help books and organization strategies, so in recent months I’ve been troube shooting and researching to streamline my process; in particular, I’ve modeled my work habits off a book called Deep Work.

My current schedule involves 4 to 5 “blocks” of 1.5 hours of work a day.  I leave my cell phone in my car, I don’t have internet in my studio, and I work in complete silence – this ensures I am completely focused on what’s at hand.  It’s mentally exhausting, so between each block, I will take a small walk for about 20 minutes.  ON Mondays (today, when I am writing this), I answer all my emails and get to inbox 0, and organize my projects for the week.

It’s crazy.  I am working less actual hours, but the quality of those hours is so much greater that  I don’t need to do more.  Because I have to concentrate so hard during the 6 to 7.5 hours a day, I often am incapable of doing meaningful work beyond that.

 

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Alessandra Maria

 

Do you have a favorite space/studio you like to work in?

My studio right now is my favorite I’ve ever had.  It has more space than I know what to do with, and tall ceilings with plenty of light.  I love being there everyday.

 

What would be some advice you would give artists who are not yet full-time professional artists, but would like to be?  What are some of the most important steps they can take?

To me, there’s three components that are crucial to success: quality, production, and mindset.

Regarding quality, a quote from one of my teachers in college, Chang Park, hits the nail on the head.  “Never compromise your aesthetic.”

For production, this is going to sound a bit harsh, but it’s crucial, and maybe the most important of all three: stop *** procrastinating.  I’m often amazed by how many students fail to make their work because they haven’t “had time” to go to the art store and just buy the tool they need (sometimes for weeks, which often turns into months and then years), how many put off learning to work with a media but will get to it “someday”.  I’m not saying this in a judgmental way, I struggled with it too.  But it was so massively instrumental to my own success to learn to quash that urge to put things off.

I don’t believe discipline is something someone just “has or doesn’t have”; learning to be action-focused and never procrastinate is a skill, I think, and one that has to be practiced and fostered.  For anyone who wants more information, read the book “Willpower.”

Lastly, for mindset: be humble.  Don’t get caught up in the “tortured artist” stereotype; self-aggrandizement just serves to make you less capable of seeing your work objectively, which means you can’t improve it in a meaningful way.  A sense of humility with your own work is massively important.

 

What do you think the role of artists are in society?

To tell the truth.  It’s broad, but that to me is the most encompassing definition that covers the myriad forms of practice and expression out there.

 

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Alessandra Maria

 

What is one mindset artists can adopt that will help them succeed?

Imagine with me for a moment that you walk into a gallery, and in front of you is the most astonishing, amazing, jaw-dropping work you’ve ever seen.  The sort of work that makes you want to sit in the gallery for hours and just be with it.  Really try to imagine this – I do this exercise frequently.

Now, go make that work.  Make work that’s 100% for yourself.

 

Learn more about Alessandra Maria and see her work at www.alessandramaria.com.

5 Keys to Presenting Your Art

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Hello readers, it’s Jessica here.  Through serendipity, I recently came in contact with Elevate Growth Consulting Group.  Elevate is a branding and marketing company that helps businesses grow.  I thought it would be helpful for artists to hear from a professional marketing company how exactly to present their art as a brand and business.  Therefore, we decided to write a guest post for each other’s blogs–you can check out my post for Elevate by clicking here.  Keep reading below to hear Elevate’s co-founder Siera Smith’s keys for presenting your art:

“Art is a vital part of marketing. Creative work drives visual communication of the messages businesses want to portray. They bring a marketing campaign to life, across websites, flyers, social media ads, emails, and more.

Just like art is a vital part of marketing, marketing should also be a vital part to how you display your art.

You’re awesome at what you do. Let your creativity shine. Let us show you 5 keys to presenting your art.

1. Create a Personal Brand

People don’t just buy products and use the services, they buy into a company — its vision, mission, purpose. Make your brand personal to you, because, well, your company is you. Don’t make it like other companies or artists; find something unique about your brand and exploit it. Let people fall in love with you and what you stand for.

2. Tell a Story Behind Your Work

People relate to stories. Storytelling often comes easy to artists, but it takes more than just a picture or paint on a canvas. Dig deep and bring emotion. Art is supposed to evoke reactions and in creating a story, that becomes possible. Stories make your art more than just a product, they make it into a feeling, a memory, a relationship. Your work should evoke emotions that move people. If you can evoke a feeling in people while they are looking at your work, they are going to remember it.

3. Network Your Brand

Networking is everything. It is a great way to build your brand and get your name out there. Networking with other businesses, dealers, and buyers is an effective way to get your artwork known by high-influence people. Go to other galleries and street art shows; go anywhere where you can network your brand and have people learn and remember your name. The more people who know your brand, the better chances you afford yourself.

4. Have an Online Gallery

Having an online gallery affords you the potential to expand your market footprint. People all over the country — or even the world — can look at your art and make a purchase with a few clicks. In addition, online galleries are like a sneak peek preview into your artwork. They entice people to come to your gallery. Shopify is the unofficial market-leading platform to set up a gallery and sell online. You can manage design, inventory, pricing, payments, emails, shipping, and more all from one platform.

5. Have an Instagram

Creating an Instagram for your artwork can open a world of possibilities. Instagram is known for lending itself to visuals, which naturally lends itself to showcasing art. Creating an Instagram can drive traffic to your online and offline gallery through links and location statuses. It is a great way to promote your work to an expansive audience in a time and budget efficient way.

You have amazing work, made from your mind and crafted with your hands. Use these tips to get your work in front of more people’s eyes.”

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Siera Smith is Co-Founder and Partner at Elevate Growth Consulting Group, of Bridgeport, PA, where she creates growth roadmaps and connects people to the capital needed to get there.

Daily Sketch Works

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The Brave Adventuress, ink, watercolor and 23 karat gold leaf on paper, by Jessica Libor 2019

Dear readers, during the month of May I did a creative exercise; daily sketch works!  Every day for 30 days, I created a new piece of art.  During this period I experimented with soft tones in inks, watercolors, and gilding.  Originally, I had planned to do a daily piece for 90 days.  However, I found that the time and creative juices that it took to create a daily piece was being sapped away from the creative energy I needed to create my larger pieces for my solo show coming up.  So, I capped it at 30 days–but will certainly look forward to doing this again!

Below are a few of my favorite pieces from this time.  If you are interested in any of these pieces or would like a link to the full available collection, please email me at jlibor@jessicalibor.com.

Summer Classes

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Jessica teaching picture

Everyone has creativity within them.  The creative process has two parts: the impulse of inspiration, and problem solving on the paper or canvas.  Tonight’s class at the Main Line Art Center I was able to share with students this process.  First, through a “flow” inducing exercise, students were able to experience what the inspiration and joy of creativity feels like, without worrying about the outcome.  Then, we learned more technical aspects of drawing like line, value and composition; all of the problem solving that is done within the bounds of the canvas or paper!  Here I am with some of the drawings I’ve made in ink, charcoal and graphite.  Drawing is a learnable skill; what makes the best drawings is a marriage of life within the marks and technical proficiency.  Everyone has life within them; you just need to give yourself permission for your hand to let it out on the paper.  And anything technical is just like any other skill, able to be learned!

There are still some spots open in my classes I teach this summer and fall at the Main Line Art Center.  Go to the website to register and see what is open!

I also teach semi-privately in my studio on Mondays from 2-4pm in Philadelphia.  If you’re interested in these sessions that help you privately to reach your artistic goals, please send me an email at jlibor@jessicalibor.com.

July 4th exhibition in New York City

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the reading Constitution show

I am happy to be a part of the group exhibition in NYC presented by Con Artist Collective, a month-long exhibit titled “CONstitution” (hear the play on words?)

I visited the new gallery space to drop off my piece that will be part of the show, “The Reading”, and it’s a beautiful white box space near Little Italy.

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If you’d like to attend the opening, it will be a festive affair on July 4th at 7pm, at the new gallery location at 329 Broome Street.

Constitution show

“The Reading” is oil and 23 karat gold on panel, 16″ x 20″ and available; if you are interested in the piece please contact myself or the gallery.

Happy 4th of July week!

Jessica Libor

Playing to win or playing not to lose?

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Are you playing to win or playing not to lose?

I heard these words this week and it made me think. I don’t like to view the art world as competitive— in fact, I think the only person you compete with is really yourself in this life.

But, it’s interesting to think of how the mindset of “playing not to lose” looks like rather than “playing to win.”

In a small example, perhaps I’ll do a small painting rather than a large one, to minimize cost loss in case it’s not bought for a long time. In that way I’m not playing to win (or, to really actually use my vision in the size which would make it look best). Or maybe when applying for a grant I don’t spend too much time on it because if I DO spend too much time on it and I don’t get it, I would have lost that time. In that way I am playing not to lose (time) rather than playing to win (believing I have a shot and giving it my best).

I can tell when I’m playing to win because there’s a sense of leaning in and commitment. What do you guys think about this concept? Have you ever “played to win” or “played not to lose?” How does it feel for you?

Happiness and the artist

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Jessica Libor in her studio, captured by Kerasan Lamar Photography

Let’s talk about joy and happiness and how it relates to creativity and the artistic life.  Often times the artist is always portrayed as tortured, struggling, incapable of a balanced life and swinging from one extreme to the next: wild inspiration to extreme depression and bouts of blocked creativity.  Don’t fall for this image!  While artists often have a more sensitive temperament that leads to our creative expression, we can pay attention to ways to keep our own mental health positive, which will ultimately lead to better quality of life and output.  Many long term artists that I have studied lead very happy lives that included artistic fulfillment, personal happiness and comfortable living.  These artists who seem to have long and rewarding careers (artists never retire, am I right?) have a balance of life that keeps them engaged and happy.  Examples: John Singer Sargent, Beatrix Potter, Georgia O’Keefe, Elisabeth Vigee Lebrun, Cecilia Beaux and many more.  So what are some things you do to keep yourself happy and grounded on the roller coaster ride of being an artist?  For me, a run or walk outside works wonders.  Also, writing out my thoughts, and listening to uplifting audiobooks or music.  Being grateful for the blessings I currently have in my life always lifts my spirits too.  And, listening to my feelings, sleeping when I need to, seeing friends when I need to, and keeping the frame of mind that life needs to be lived.  Then we can paint about it!  Thoughts?

Stay joyfully creative!

–Jessica

Work exhibited with Pamoza International

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“Wonder,” oil on canvas, 48″ x 72″, by Jessica Libor

I’m so honored for my work to be exhibited at Pamoza International’s Gala tonight!  Pamoza International is a wonderful organization doing humanitarian work in Africa.  My piece, “Wonder,” will be on display as a limited edition print of 50 at their gala tonight, and 50% of all sales will be donated to the organization.  Any online sales made today of this print will also be part of the donation.  To purchase yours, click here.  Thank you so much for your support of this wonderful organization and also of independent artists!

Interview with Kari-Lise Alexander

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“When you bite the one you love,” oil,  12″ x 16″, 2018 by Kari-Lise Alexander

I first discovered Kari-Lise Alexander’s work this year and was immediately captivated by the sense of storytelling and surreal beauty that she captures in her paintings.  Her paintings of figures in gardens and natural surroundings, interacting with the plants, insects, animals, and sky, are magnetic in how they draw you into the scene and create a mystery.  Kari-Lise was kind enough to tell me a little more about her inspiration and process.
Thank you, Kari-Lise for sharing your thoughts!  Please enjoy our conversation below.
Jessica:  How would you describe your art?

 

Kari-Lise: My work is rooted in the exploration of identity and the natural world. I focus on capturing the fauna and flora found around my home in the Pacific Northwest. Combining that love for the natural world with a focus on the female form I strive to create realistic interwoven pieces with a surreal bent that often reflects a deep internal monolog.

 

Jessica: What was your journey like in becoming an artist?

 

Kari-Lise: About 10 years ago I decided to pick up a paintbrush after several years of not doing art. I had to start over from scratch. It’s been a long journey. Many ups and downs but I’ve worked hard and never gave up.

 

Jessica: What influences your artistic aesthetic?

 

Kari-Lise: I’m influenced by many things and I make it a point to surround myself with those things. Many, if not all of my pieces feature flowers. I’m a passionate gardener and take any moment not in the studio to be out in my garden. I’m also influenced by my friends and fellow artists. Having a good and trusted group of artists that support each other is vital help you grow artistically.

 

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“Picking the perfect poison,”oil,  12″ x 16”, by Kari-Lise Alexander

Jessica: What kind of challenges have you faced and overcome as an artist, internal or external?

 

Kari-Lise: You’re always going to face one obstacle or another. It doesn’t matter how far you move up in the art world there is always challenges, rejection, and hurdles to overcome. The most important part is staying the course and being true to your own work. Doors will open, it’s just a matter of when and often they’re ones you weren’t expecting.

 

Jessica: What drives you to paint?

 

Kari-Lise: I ask myself this question often and I actually don’t know. It’s something that I have to do. It’s unexplainable to me. If I take a break from painting it soon happens that I start feeling the pull back to the easel. I find myself irritable, feeling a bit crazy and I just have to get back to creating.

 

Jessica: What are a few of your favorite supplies and materials to use?

 

Kari-Lise: My favorite paints are from Daniel Smith, Gamblin and Williamsburg. I love painting on panel, but have been branching out to canvas when working on large pieces. One of my favorite things I use in the studio is an oyster shell for my mediums when painting. They’re free (just ask your local seafood restaurant) and biodegradable!

 

Jessica:  Do you have other hobbies or interest that are parallel to your artistic practice?

 

Kari-Lise: All of my interest revolves around my art. My garden is an example of that, it’s where I grow the flowers I paint. I also throw extremely elaborate tea parties once a year for a group of creatives from all fields. The tea parties are surreal, and it feels like one of my pieces coming to life! I also own a business with fellow artist Redd Walitzki called Moth and Myth. This business was born out of Redd’s love for moths and I came on board with the same passion for Lepidopteras.

 

Jessica: What is your painting schedule like?  Do you have any tips for artists on creating a studio practice?

 

It varies. If I’m preparing for a big show I will paint 5-6 days a week for 10-12 hours a day. If it’s just a normal painting schedule I paint 7 hours, 5 days a week. I think the main thing for creating a studio practice is constancy. That might be the time of day your working, how long your working for or something as simple as if you light a candle every time you sit down to work. If you’re able to create constancy it’s easier to work and focus on what you’re doing.

 

Jessica: How do you know when a painting is finished?

 

Kari-Lise: When I go through it close-up and nothing sticks out as incomplete. Then I stand back and if I feel the same way from looking at it afar I know it’s done!

 

Jessica: What are some long term goals or projects you are excited about?

 

Kari-Lise: I’m actually starting a long term series call Venerate. Venerate will be a series of large-scale portraits of women working in the arts today. The focus is to highlight each of them emphasizing the role of women in shaping the future of art. A loud declaration that our work will not be minimized or ignored as our predecessors. These portraits will also work as an homage, each inspired by the past works of women artists from history. By looking at both the future and the past, Venerate will seek to encompass the value of women in the arts throughout time. The goal of this project is to celebrate the women artists working today and to educate the viewer about the amazing women whose roles in art history have been diminished, undervalued, or forgotten.

 

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Kari-Lise Alexander at a recent exhibition

Jessica:  So amazing! What are some other artist’s work that inspires you?

 

Kari-Lise: I’m really inspired by all the women artists who have come before. They faced overwhelming obstacles, such as lack of education, sexism, absence of opportunities, etc.. Many of those through the centuries beat the odds and were able to have amazing careers! Some of my favorites are (there are far too many to list) Elisabeth Vigee Lebrun, Violet Oakley, Cecilia Beaux, Leonor Fini, and some many more!

 

Jessica:   What do you hope your work says to the viewer?

 

Kari-Lise: I want the observer to come to their own conclusions about my work. Everyone has there own story and when you look at a piece of art it reflects your own experiences in some way.

 

Jessica: Tell us your most inspiring place you’ve ever been.

 

Kari-Lise: I’ve been many places in the US and internationally and I think the place that inspired me the most was seeing Georgia O’ Keeffe’s home in Abiquiu, New Mexico. I never understood O’keeffe’s work until I went to her home and saw first hand the trees she painted, her courtyard she made several pieces about and the lifestyle she cultivated for herself in a very remote place. To understand an artist’s motivations and to put yourself in their shoes is a truly remarkable thing.
You can see more of Kari-Lise Alexander’s work at https://kari-lise.com/

 

Scanned by Bellevue Fine Art Reproduction, LLC.

“Guardner,” oil, 24″ x 24″, by Kari-Lise Alexander