The simplest joys can be spectacular. Enjoying the rose tree in my little backyard and the warm summer sun this evening. I’d like to see a beautiful waterfall before the summer is out–any recommendations?
If all the world’s a stage, who do you play today? In this outfit I felt transported to the 1940s, playing the part of a femme fatale in a mysterious plot. The best fashion transports and transforms the wearer into a different state of mind. Delighted to collaborate with Top Vintage Boutique on this project with photographs by Jake Foden at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
I’ve been feeling quite bookish lately, perhaps it’s all the rainy weather. What is your favorite fiction novel? I’d have to say mine is The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. I read it in grad school and could not put it down. The 2002 film is also quite enjoyable, although different than the book. Tell me your favorites, I need a new book to read/listen to while painting!
Lord Byron said, “There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is music in the shore, a society which none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not man the less, but nature, more.” The dark reflecting pool is from a castle in France, Chateau Chenonceau which I had the good fortune of visiting this summer. Unlike Byron, I do not wish to be without friends or family for very long, but I do enjoy the solitude of a walk in nature and the poetry of its peace. Where is your favorite place to enjoy the enchantment of nature?
Treasure each moment in the stream of time, for once you pass this way, the water is always different, always moving ,always new, even if you dip your hand in the same place. The only constant is change. Find peace in the moving rhythm of time by soaking in each moment’s beauty and feeling its wonder or pain fully. Then your life will be really full, extraordinary in its depth of experience, even if not what the world may deep accomplished. There is an integrity and quiet happiness when you savor each moment, that you can take with you whenever you go. Doing small things with great attention. Here, a picture from the Loire Valley, France in a pink-paneled room I loved staying in earlier this month. And today in the USA, watching the lightning for a moment out my window before painting. What small things give you great joy in life?
I’m a big fan of organic food, organic farming, organic painting, and organic beauty. Since I have a beauty background I thought I would do a little review on some all-natural lipsticks I’ve been wanting to try. If you do ONE organic, natural purchase in makeup, it’s wise to make it your lipstick, because most women will ingest it during the day with normal wear. I knew RMS is completely all natural, so I headed to Blue Mercury to try out the RMS Wild With Desire line of lipsticks.
Below is me sans-lipstick!
While I was there, I decided to try the Ilia line as well, also an all-natural, organic line. The lady there was very helpful and I ended up trying three colors–two from RMS and one from Ilia. The first one I tried was called “Pretty Vacant” by RMS. You can see it below.
I liked how pigmented this pink was and how it was a soft, perfect rose without being to bright or too muted. It went on almost like a matte lipstick and felt like it would stay on for a long time.
The second lipstick I tried was also by RMS, called “Jezebel.” It was a darker cherry red, with the same matte feel and finish as the first. I felt like it might be good for the fall. You can see it below.
The third lipstick I tried was from Ilia, called “Blossom Lady.” I liked this one very much. It was more subtle than the RMS shades, and more shiny. I liked the way it looked very glowy, but felt it might wear off more quickly. You can see it on me below.
In the end, I went with my first pick “Pretty Vacant” from the RMS Wild with Desire line. I felt confident it would wear well, and I loved the color! If I were going to get a second, thought, I would go back for Ilia’s “Blossom Lady” for a more lowkey look.
I’ve found my summer shade! If you’d like to try them out I’m listing the three lipsticks below with links. Enjoy! xo, Jessica
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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!
Recently I have been thinking a lot about leadership. In my lifetime I have worked under people, managed people, been a pupil in a classroom setting, been the teacher in the classroom setting, and many variations within. In all of these settings dynamics of energy are present that make you excited to be there, or dread being there. As I thought more about it, I realized that this good or bad energy was created not by the ease or difficulty of the workload or the physical environment, but by the quality of the leaders. What strikes me is that with good leadership, you don’t even notice you are being led–because you are so excited to be on this person’s team, and their good energy is contagious. So what are some of the traits of someone who leads people with excitement, creates loyalty, and brings out the best in people?
So how do you measure up? How do I? Like most imperfect people, I can think of times where I’m proud of how I led, and other times that I wish I could relive in order to fix. Writing this list makes me want to be more conscientious of my actions…but not so conscientious that it paralyzes. I still believe that THE most important quality of leadership is the passion. As long as you have that, everything else is the icing on the cake.
As is quoted in Robert Rimm and Clive Gillison’s book Better to Speak of It, “What we’re really all involved with doing is trying to wrestle dreams into reality.”
A beautiful description of an ideal leader, exciting the people around him with his own vision until it becomes their own.
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Recently I’ve been thinking about professions, pay, and service. Why do some professions pay more than others? For instance, why does a doctor get paid more hourly than a barista? This has nothing to do with the worthwhile efforts of either of the people holding these jobs. You could be the best barista on the planet, make the best cup of coffee in the world and serve it with pleasantness, with a design in the foam of your own making. However, as long as you stay a barista, you will not be compensated for your time and expertise in the way that a doctor will. Why?
Because people need doctors. “But I need coffee!” you may exclaim. You may feel that you need coffee, and you may be addicted to coffee, but you do not need coffee to survive. However, if you had health issues that needed fixing, you would need a doctor. A doctor meets a need that the world has. Many times, a very urgent need. There is also the skill level that is necessary to become a doctor, one that takes into account years and years of intensive, difficult study and exacting practice. Enough practice that the doctor can then do what they do best, whether it is general practice or surgery, and feel confident enough that they will not mess up. You can’t just wake up tomorrow and be one. It requires decades of planning and dedication. This service they provide to mankind makes them valuable. No offense to Baristas here–I love coffee! 🙂
This got me thinking about art and the profession of an artist. Why would someone become an artist? At first glance, it seems that making art serves no direct purpose to mankind. Does it make you healthier? Safer? Smarter, calmer or wiser? Perhaps a little. Is it simply to amuse? To inspire? To send a political message? There are too many kinds of art to say that all art is for one purpose and one purpose alone. As varied as there are people on the earth, so are the many kinds of artworks and motivations of the artists that make it. But the highest paid artists are usually the ones with the strongest vision and best work–so in the same way that doctors are compensated for their service, artists are compensated for their vision. The more compelling the vision, the greater the contribution to mankind.
Proverbs 29:18a of the Bible reads, “Without a vision, the people perish.” Perhaps it is we as artists who take our profession too lightly. It’s a lot of fun to paint, to sculpt, to create things out of your head. This enjoyable aspect of creativity has given some artists guilt over making a profession out of something they enjoy so much. But have we as artists ever truly stretched ourselves to find out what the capabilities of our creativity are? Most of us are capable of far more than we imagined. It is the job of artists, and creatives, to make this vision in the culture we live in today. Because it’s vision, hope, imagination that make life worth living. If you look at it that way, an artist’s job is one of the most important jobs in society of all.
Do you feel called to be an artist? If you feel that it is a calling, then what if you thought of it also as a responsibility to the world? That you, not doing your best, would be taking away something great that mankind would otherwise have without you. Are you truly doing your best? As Lera Auerbach states in her book Excess of Being: “The gap between good and great is much larger than between good and bad.” What if you created not for the fame, accolades, fortune or respect, but out of a duty to give your best to the world? To not think of it as an indulgent thing, but in a service-minded way. Your art serves a purpose, a unique purpose only you can fulfill. It is up to you to discover what exactly that is, fulfill it, and give it to the world.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and start the conversation!
By Jessica Libor, June 2016