, , , , ,

My magical Scotland residency: a new art collection and residency pictures!
At a glance:I have released a new collection of available works called Scottish Storybook: click here to browse! I describe my experience in my Scotland residency and share pictures from the experience. 
With the works on paper I created at the Scotland residency
Photo by Arielle of the Woods
Photo among the Abbey ruins by Kelley Smith
“Scottish Stream,” pastel on paper, by Jessica Libor 2023
Creating “Blue Sunset”
At the castle
“Scottish Castle” by Jessica Libor 2023
Dear Friends,
     I just returned from the breathtaking and mysterious Scotland, where I experienced staying in a manor house from the 1700s on the property of a castle that was built around 1000 AD.   This would be the site where the Muses Escape held their residency. The castle has a  legend that states that Joan of Arc learned her sword fighting skills there, and with its fair share of ghost tales!  

It was a crucible of stretching myself beyond my comfort zone. Being in a foreign land is always challenging, but this time I was traveling far from any civilization in Scotland, three hours from the closest city!  First flying into Glasgow, I experienced the beautiful history of the city, which was also extremely old.

I loved the Gothic architecture and the dramatic history of the land. The Glasgow Cathedral was also an incredible highlight, with the stained glass being extremely unique!

On the drive to the residency with another artist, it was nothing but sheep, birds, and mountains for miles to see. Occasionally, we would pass a cottage or a castle. It was like walking into Brigadoon and was truly breathtaking!  Once at the residency, I met with 24 other talented female artists from all over the world.

Together, we would create and collaborate and gain inspiration from each other during the course of the week.  

Every morning, I would wake up and look out the old window and see the timeless Scottish sea just footsteps from the Manor House. Mountains surrounded the area, and wild flowers had started to bloom everywhere. Scotland has a climate similar to Pennsylvania, so it was chilly but with many signs of spring. The trees caught my eye everywhere I looked. Because the location was so close to the ocean, the trees were gnarled and knotted from the sea winds, and also everything was overgrown by a bright green moss. It truly looked like a illustration from an old fairytale book. I would not be surprised to see fairies and magical creatures that you only read of in books peeking out from the forest.  You could really feel the magic!

       While there, I created fourteen pieces. These are works on paper inspired directly by the landscape and sometimes the dreams that I had while I was there. I’m calling it my Scottish Storybook collection! You can browse what is available in this collection by clicking here.  If you have already purchased one of these pieces, I am packaging it up and it should be mailed to you next week!

Click here to browse the available works in my Scottish Storybook collection!

    I realized that I would not have the time to create lots of finished oil paintings in the short time that I was there, so I focused on really absorbing the enchanting atmosphere, learning as much about the culture as I possibly could, and experiencing a magical week with these other talented women. I also got lots of amazing reference photos and I’ll be creating work based around some of the experiences and places I went to while there!  I had some time to read while there as well, and delved heavily into the history of fairy tales and folk tales, which will be reflective in my next body of oil paintings moving forward.

In this post, I am attaching some of the photos that hopefully communicate some of the indescribable experiences I had while there.  

Thank you as always for your interest in my art career.  There is lots more brewing for the Spring, so I’ll talk to you soon!

With Creativity and Magic,

Jessica Libor
Visual Artist

Creating “Scottish Stream” plein air
Portrait of me by Forest Fig
The making of “Spinning Gold”
“Moonlight on the Loch”, watercolor by Jessica Libor 2023
Magical dinner parties every night
At home among the ancient ruins
Quick, to the castle!
Glasgow University
Glasgow Cathedral
Enchanted landscapes
Teaching a drawing class while I was there
The manor house we stayed at
Dancing on the shores of the Loch
Creative mornings
Monument by the Loch
The Glasgow Botanical Gardens