Summer is going by swimmingly, and I am soaking up as much time outside as possible! That means lots of plein air painting. I am excited to share two new paintings that are available, Soft Sea and The Inn at Cape May. Soft Sea is part of the new Era Contemporary Gallery group online exhibition, Summer Love! I am thrilled to be exhibiting with such fabulous artists. Soft Sea original is available for purchase on my website here. I am also making hand signed, open edition prints of this piece, available to order here.
The other new piece available is called The Inn at Cape May, and is a portrait of a hotel of the same name. I visited Cape May with another artist friend this month and we explored the coastal town. The Inn is a dramatic, historic presence within the Victorian beach town. In the fall of 1894, William H. Church, a contractor and builder, of West Cape May, began work on a 60-room boarding house at the foot of Ocean Street opposite the Star Villas, one of the most delightful locations on the beachfront. This was the Inn at Cape May. It is full of beauty and eccentricities in its design, both interior and exterior, and captured my imagination. I am sure it has seen many things! It is available for purchase on my website here.
I have also re-opened my shop, new and improved! To celebrate this, please use the code JULY to take 15% off anything you like, code good until midnight, July 22nd.
In this episode, I chat with Philadelphia artist and educator Nancy Bea Miller about using challenges like the Strada Challenge to increase productivity, skill and efficiency within your art practice! Having completed such challenges several times Nancy gives us tips to help complete each challenge you set while using it to further your art practice. Enjoy this fun and relaxing conversation between friends.
Listen to more episodes of the Inspired Painter here.
Legend has it that gargoyles and stone chimeras were created to keep the evil spirits away from sacred places. This chimera has been perched a top the Notre Dame Cathedral for hundreds of years, as the city changed below. For those who know me, know I love anything Gothic and historical…decided to do this ink piece on one of the historical gargoyles of Paris (used as a waterspout) or if not used as a waterspout, technically called chimeras. I loved its strong silhouette and its presence.
May you think of this fearsome monster as a symbol of the strength within you, ready to do battle with whatever evil it comes across.
Ink on paper, 9” x 11”, by Jessica Libor 2020
This original piece is available. To order, click here.
Ships flat in a clear plastic sleeve within 5 days of order.
When I get overwhelmed by the amount of masterpieces in the world, from the vast repository of master works made through the centuries, to the incredible dedication and talent of people working today in the arts, it can be tempting to say “What can I do?” and “How can I ever compare?”
When I feel this way, it helps to remember two points.
First of all, the impact of art is not measured by technical perfection alone. As a realist artist, it can be tempting to say “If I just get better with my technique, learn more about color theory, or master light…then my art will be truly impactful”. And while it will certainly IMPROVE the quality of my art to learn new things, art is not about how perfectly you can copy reality.
It is also about the human impulse, the recording of your feelings and sentient thought, the capturing of the energy and imagination of the artist. This can be done sometimes by just a few lines (Think of Matisse’s ink drawings!) So sometimes it’s not about the technical brilliance–it’s about tapping into your heart and your emotions and letting that come out onto your art.
Second, I like to remind myself that art is a journey and each artist goes through different stages of development. We learn and we grow through each phase of life. And no artist was born knowing how to create a masterpiece. They all studied, practiced, failed, tried again, and again, and by doing more and more and refining their process, eventually they were able to gain the skills and confidence to produce the beautiful works we love today, like the Sistine Chapel. Do you think Michaelangelo could have executed that at 5 years old? No–he had to learn the skills to do this.
So, when you are feeling down on yourself, just remember art is a skill just like anything else that takes practice. It’s up to you to decide how much time, energy and learning you would like to put into it. I promise you the more energy you put in, the more amazing results you’ll get!
How will you further your studies this week?
For those interested, I have a course you can take here!
Dear Friends, In honor of The Queen of the Sea print release, I wanted to share with you a mini history of Aphrodite and Venus, whose legends were some of the inspiration behind my painting.
A mythical goddess of love and born of the ocean, Aphrodite of Greece and later called Venus by the Romans. Depictions of the birth of Aphrodite are among the oldest European mythological paintings of which we have records. Apelles of Kos, one of the most renowned of the great painters of ancient Greece, probably painted Aphrodite Anadyomene (above), in which the goddess Aphrodite rises from the sea.
The Birth of Venus by Botticelli (above) is probably the most famous depiction of Venus. Standing in an over-sized clamshell, Aphrodite has been born as a fully-grown adult, her long tresses blowing in the breeze.
I actually was able to see this painting in person, as it is in the Uffizi museum in Florence, Italy. While I studied painting there at the Florence Academy of Art, I was able to see it in person, and it is quite beautiful! Pictures don’t do it justice.
Blowing Aphrodite to the shore are Zephyros, the west wind, harbinger of Spring, and Aura the personification of lighter breeze. At the right, welcoming Aphrodite to land with clothing is one of the Horai representing the season Spring, and there are Spring flowers blowing across the painting. They are probably on the shore of the island of Cyprus, with a wood inland. There have been countless interpretations of Venus and Aphrodite since then, and it still serves and an inspiration today!
Alexandre Cabanel’s painting The Birth of Venus brought him great success, at the Salon of 1863. An unashamedly romantic-academic interpretation, this painting stole the Salon of 1863, and was bought by Napoleon III for his personal collection.
It is worth mentioning too that Venus is one of our planets within our solar system, and can be seen as a bright star on clear nights! In fact, last winter I did a guided moon walk (where you walk in a park by the light of the moon) and was able to see Venus sparkling high above us!
My own preparatory sketch and then painting, The Queen of the Sea, was inspired by a dream. I awoke one morning with the very clear image of a woman with reddish-blonde curls rising from the waves, covered in the shimmering costume of blue waves and foam, with a spirit of royalty. I painted directly from my imagination after only doing a preparatory sketch in colored pencil first. I was a bit nervous having no reference photos or model for the piece, but decided to go with it and was happy I did, as I think painting directly really captured the emotion of the moment.
Above is the preparatory sketch, still available. Once finished, the large painting measured 30″ x 40″ as an original oil on canvas, and quickly sold. I do, however, have limited edition prints of this piece! The print is an edition of 100, and is hand signed and numbered by me individually. The print is on 11″ x 15″ paper and is acid free, archival and velvety pure color texture. To order a print for yourself or for a gift, click the image below!
I hope this gave you a bit of inspiration, and historical background to the changing names of the original Queen of the Sea!
In other news, I’m developing the holiday line for my art, so stay tuned! I will let you know when everything is ready!
Have a beautiful week, and sending you love, light, and creativity!
In this virtual event, attendees will get a first look at the newest collection of art by Jessica Libor, inspired by the ocean and its stories and fairy tale lore.
This ticket is your reservation to attend the LIVE, VIRTUAL event held over Zoom, and using 3D technology to bring you the experience of actually being in a gallery room with the new artwork! All work will be inspired by the ocean, incorporating both the natural power of the ocean, and also gem-like pieces filled with silver leaf and cool tones evoking the mythical tales of mermaids and sirens.
10% of the sale of all tickets will be donated to Ocean Conservancy, a wonderful nonprofit that works to create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.
Attendees will receive a hand-signed by the artist postcard of the show image, as well as a generous discount on the artwork featured.
Wear your mermaid or beach inspired outfit and join us for this live interactive event in the arts!
I’m excited to share that two pieces from my recent pastel collection from my show “Enchanted Portals” has been featured on The Art Blog, on their series “Artists in the Time of Coronavirus”.
Several pieces from this collection are still available through my shop here.
The article includes my statements on the work:
Each portrait revealed is a different woman, and these drawings are inspired by the idea of the selfie as a self portrait. The enchanted portal today is technology, and through technology we can curate the way that we are seen, in the same way that artists in other centuries flattered their subjects or imagined a different surrounding for them. I was particularly inspired to do this series because of the impact on millions of quarantined individuals. With nowhere to go socially, how wdo we as individuals still express our creative personalities through our styling? Does it still matter to get dressed up if no one will see you? How does creating a selfie with your cellphone mimic the process of creating a work of art? Many things are the same: choosing the elements, composition, lighting, colors, and subject matter. In many ways, the selfie and the self-portrait are the same thing: the artist’s version of themselves that they want to reveal to the world. Through blending fantasy and reality, they can be perceived as who they aspire to be. How does creating an idealized fantasy world surrounding you create relief psychologically? Is it escapism, or creativity?
It is my belief that the self-portrait of today is the selfie—a way for any individual with a digital device to record their own existence in whatever way feels good to them. It is a way of asserting their presence in the world and reflects the human’s timeless desire to make a mark on society and the world: it is a way to be seen.
Hello friends, I am excited to let you know that my piece “Prima Donna”, is being exhibited at the Da Vinci Art Alliance for their exhibition “Artist, Reader, Writer II.” This is a very unique exhibition that pairs the artwork of many different artists with a passage from literature of the artist’s choosing. As for “Prima Donna”, I chose a passage from The Phantom of the Opera, as it reminded me of a scene from the story.
Prima Donna, oil and gold leaf on panel, by Jessica Libor
If you are interested in collecting this piece please send me an email at email@example.com.
Artist, Reader, Writer II is a DVAA Members-only exhibition that explores the relationship between the written word and visual art through an exercise of comparison. Each artist submitted two items: an original artwork of their own creation, and a short accompanying text displayed next to their work of art that is not of their own creation. The union formed between the two objects creates a new conceptual relationship, altering the experience of viewing artwork with the addition of written language. The relationships formed through these pairings offer context, juxtapose, balance, obscure, and generate new meaning.
The opening for the exhibition is on Wednesday, January 28th from 6 to 8pm at the Da Vinci Art Alliance, at 704 Catharine Street, Philadelphia. The show is up until February 16th, so it’s a perfect art happening for Valentine’s day! To learn more about the show and gallery, visit here.
The participating artists are as follows: Alessandra Stradella, Angelo Benedetto, Annie Stone, Arlene Solomon, Barbara B. Rosin, Barbara Dirnbach, Catherine Bancroft, David Deakin, Deirdre Doyle, Don Gordon, Eddy Rhenals, Edward W Keer, Eleanor Levie, Ellen Rosenberg, Erika Kuciw, Florence Weisz, Floyd Kelley, Gary Grissom, Gillian Cavoto, Gloria Klaiman, Harriet Hill, Irving Sears, Jennifer Brinton Robkin, Jessica Libor, Jill Cucci Smith, Jim Strickler, Joellyn Ross, Juli Snyder, Kenneth Veith, Kit Donnelly, Lauren J. Sweeney, Leslie K. Brill, Linda Dubin Garfield, Linnie Greenberg, Marilyn Stubblebine, Mario Nascati, Maryanne Buschini, Nancy E Cooke, Ona Kalstein, Patricia Mancini, Penelope Tsaltas Lisk, Phyllis Anderson, Polly Kooperman, Rachael Switalski, Reyna Howkins, Robert Zurer, Rosalind Bloom, Sally K. Eisenberg, Sam Koren, Sandi Neiman Lovitz, Sarah R. Bloom, Selene Nunez Cruz, Susan Cantor-Uccelletti, Susan M. Gordon, Ted Warchal, Tony Anthony, Vicente Ortiz Cortez, Willard Johnson, and William Timmins.
I’m very excited to announce the launch of a podcast, “The Inspired Painter with Jessica Libor”.
If you’re an artist who wants to create an amazing and fulfilling career and life, this podcast is for you! I’ll be sharing inspiration that has worked for me and art-world insights and tips. My goal for this podcast is to help you feel in control of your art career and empowered to be the best artist you can be.
The podcast will be available on Podbean, Apple and Spotify. I hope it brings you value!