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.
There’s something so special about the start of a new year. Mistakes erased, we get to start anew with fresh hope and a renewed vision for who we would like to be. But here’s the thing… this year will only be different for you if you step into the version of you that you’ve been holding back before!
Can you picture who that person is? Can you see the energy and excitement around this new version of you, stepping into belief that their artistic vision is possible? How does it feel when you imagine your most ideal situation?
Much of my coaching work for artists is centered around two teachings:
The first is that you and your artwork are already worthy. The second is that others take their cues from you as to where you belong in the art world. You are in charge of how much you sell your work for, how you present it, and what you create!
In this spirit of these two teachings, I recently released a podcast this weekend about the magical, powerful step of organizing your art career. When you do this, you tell the world, I am ready. I am serious. I am worthy. I am beginning as I would like to go on.
The different sectors I talk about are organizing your physical work, organizing your inventory system, your collector records, and your revenue and expenses! I challenge you to think of these not as administrative tasks, but as ways to show your beautiful, cherished, precious artwork HONOR. This sends a magical chain reaction from you to anyone you come into contact with that you believe your artwork is worth keeping track of, worth honoring, and worth taking seriously. If you want your work to end up in a museum…a beautiful way to have your work honored and cherished…let’s start by honoring your work and showing its value within your studio!
I’m excited to present this week’s interview with you! It’s a good one and very practical. Kerry Dunn is an award winning painter who currently works in Philadelphia and teaches at Studio Incamminati. In this video interview (you can also listen to the audio version only on the Inspired Painter podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts ) we talk about setting up your art practice so it is a priority in your life.
We talk about ideas for keeping overhead low, and making space energetically and time wise for your art practice to grow and thrive. I hope you enjoy this amazing interview! Share your thoughts in the artist’s Facebook group! .
I’m excited to announce that I will be teaching several classes both in person and online this winter! I am listing the links and descriptions here below, but if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any in person class will require masks for all attendees and myself. I hope to see you this new year! 🙂
“ONSITE (IN-PERSON) EXPLORING DRAWING AND MATERIALS” at the Main Line Art Center, Tuesday evenings February 23–March 23, 2021. In this class, students will explore the basics of drawing, including line, shape, proportion, and texture. We will also use different materials, such as colored pencils, inks, pastels, and charcoal, to create floral subjects and object still lifes. The goal is to get comfortable using a variety of mediums and, most importantly, have fun! To learn more and register click here.
“ONSITE (IN-PERSON) EXPLORING WATERCOLOR AND INKS” at the Main Line Art Center, Tuesday evenings January 12-February 9th 2021. In this class, students will explore water-based medias, learning to paint from delicate masterworks that exemplify brushy watercolor and ink techniques. All reference photos will be provided. Expect to come away inspired and refreshed after having fun creating beautiful and whimsical paintings. To register and learn more click here!
“ONLINE ZOOM CLASS: PASTEL PAINTING” with the Norristown Art League, Fridays 1-3pm, 2 session options 5 weeks each. Session 1: January 22, 29, February 5, 12, 19th. Session 2: March 5, 12, 19, 26 and April 2. Great for beginners!
In this class, students will learn the basics of using pastels to create a beautiful pastel artwork of a landscape (image provided). Topics covered will include composition, color usage, blending the medium, and special effects unique to pastels. Suitable for beginning to intermediate artists with no experience necessary with pastels. It is recommended you have a laptop or tablet to virtually attend the class. To register and find out more, click here!
“IN-PERSON, ONSITE: WATER MEDIAS” at the Norristown Art League. Max 8 students and masks required. Monday • 5-weeks • 2 to 4 pm. 2 Session options! Session 1: January 18, 25, Feb 1, 8, 15. Break: February 22 Session 2: March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
In this class, students explore a unique way to use watercolor and ink mediums! Using techniques from the Rococo time period in France, we will layer ink and watercolor to create lush, delicate paintings of landscapes inspired by the artists Boucher and Fragonard (reference images provided). To learn more and register click here.
“ONLINE SELF-PACED: DISCOVERING YOUR ARTISTIC VOICE” with Jessica Libor Studio and the Visionary Artist’s Salon. A guided pre-recorded video course hosted by Jessica for artists to discover their unique style, based on their preferences, personality, values and spirit. Discovering Your Artistic Voice is made up of 7 Modules with 3 lessons within each module. These include video and slideshow lectures, pdf downloadable worksheets, and surveys–all designed to help you spring forward and focus your creativity quickly! Best of all, it’s yours to replay and come back to whenever you like. To learn more or register, click 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!
The leaves are falling and turning gorgeous colors, but the cold weather has begun to settle in. The air is crisp and at night you may smell bonfires drifting on the air under the stars. We are in the heart of autumn! This has always been for me a time to turn inward, and take stock of how my creativity and artistic goals for the year are going. This year has obviously been very different and challenging, but I take comfort in the fact that we can control our own little corner of the world…for me, my home and studio.
By making my time at home and in the studio as comforting and pleasurable as I can, I create a little oasis of respite from the world. The warmth of lit candles adds a pretty glow, pretty rocks I pick up on my daily walks are arranged artfully, and incense fills the air. I listen to lilting music to put me in a good mood (current fave playlist is French Cafe on Spotify!).
I’ve been taking rambling walks near my studio and marveling at the golden leaves falling against the blue sky. So much beauty in every phase of the year! In my studio, I’ve begun working on a series of paintings for a solo show in April called Wildlove. More details to come as we get closer to the date!
I’ve also been focusing on something quite different, abstract pieces for a pre-holiday collection along with a line of wearable clothing. More details to come this month!
In other news, The Mythical Sea collection of available work on my website will be retiring soon. There are still a few pieces available, so take a look and see if you would like to snatch anything before it’s gone! Click here to shop.
Until next week, wishing you gentle and peaceful days,
I’m very excited to be curating The New Pre-Raphaelites exhibition with Era Contemporary Gallery, opening virtually on September 25. Tickets are free to attend and you can register here!
There are 40 artists in the show and over 70 artworks available. This is truly an epic exhibit with some of the leaders in the contemporary realism art scene exhibiting. I’m so honored and humbled to be working with these amazing artists and people! I also have a few artworks in the show, seen below. Please contact me at email@example.com if you are interested in any of these pieces.
But who were the original Pre-Raphaelites, and what do they have to do with the exhibition today? The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a tight knit small group of artists working in England in the mid 1800s, who had a potent effect on the art scene and paved the way for Art Nouveau. Thier style was characterized by a sincere romanticism, use of costuming and storytelling, and a reverence for beauty and nature. The upcoming contemporary show, The New Pre-Raphaelites, is a collection of art by artists living today who are inspired by these same ideals.
To listen to more of my personal inspiration in relation to the Pre-Raphaelites and a more in depth history lesson, I invite you to listen to my episode 21 on The Inspired Painter Podcast all about this unique art movement.
Who were your favorite painters of the Pre-Raphaelites? I will have to say for me it is John Millais, the artist who painted the famous Ophelia. It epitomizes everything about the Pre-Raphaelites that I love: nature, costuming, an emotional mythical story, and beautiful craftsmanship.
The New Pre-Raphaelites exhibition through Era Contemporary is up all fall; visit www.eracontemporary.com for more details.
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!