2014 was a great year! It’s a blessing to be healthy, happy, and lucky enough to be doing the thing you love to do. This year saw a lot of changes, all good. Since last January 1, here are a few of the professional highlights.
Last January I was still working on my MFA. It was a great time full of challenges and pressure, and totally worth the time and effort put in. The community spirit within the school was fantastic, with people really helping each other and creativity of the artists feeding off each other.
Working on a drawing installation at PAFA
In the gang studio–PAFA students helping each other
Open studios at PAFA
I was attempting to paint the biggest painting I had ever attempted, and feeling overwhelmed. At one point I even painted a flat green over the whole tree. The next day, I panicked after seeing it in the light of day and realized how awful my experiment looked! I scrubbed the paint off, and the result was a much more cohesive, integrated look to the foliage and the leaves. Turns out mistakes can be valuable things.
Here is the sketch that got the mammoth painting started, and a few shots to completion.
First concept sketch for “Attainment”.
“Attainment” as a work in progress, 2014
Attainment, oil, 23 karat gold and silver leaf on panel, 4 ft. by 6 ft.
Much of my time from January to May was spent making paintings for the Annual Student Exhibition at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, were I graduated with my Master’s of Fine Arts, a dream I had for a long time, finally realized! I got everything I had been looking for out of the experience, the most important thing being the discovery of the beginning of a consistent voice in my work. Below, some of the work made during that time.
At the Annual Student Exhibition–so excited to be graduating!
Suspended, oil, 23 karat gold and silver leaf on panel, 16″x 20″, Jessica Libor 2014
The Reading, oil and 23 karat gold on panel, 16″x20″, Jessica Libor 2014
Picnic, oil on panel, 10″x12″, Jessica Libor 2014
Tableau, oil on panel, 8″x10″, Jessica Libor 2014
April, oil and silver leaf on panel, 8″x10″, Jessica Libor 2014
“Lovers,” mixed media, original is 20″x24″, Jessica Libor 2014
Display, mixed media, Jessica Libor 2014
The Gathering, mixed media and 23 karat gold leaf, 8″x10″, Jessica Libor 2014
Muses, mixed media and 23 karat gold leaf, 8″x10″, Jessica Libor 2014
The exhibit at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 2014
I was also able to dabble in video production with the help of a friend. The actress in the film had access to some beautiful costumes from being in theatre, which explains the stunning costuming. The result is a video piece called “The Rending,” which you can see by clicking below.
During 2014, I began a website dedicated to interviewing and learning from contemporary artists, called Eyelevel Arts. I was able to meet and interview many fascinating and wonderful artists. You can check out their interviews by following the link to www.eyelevelarts.com.
Immediately following graduation, a classmate invited me to participate in the Rittenhouse Square Art Fair in Philadelphia. With the help of family and friends, I was able to exhibit there, and had a great time meeting collectors in the beautiful Spring weather.
At the Rittenhouse Square Art Fair, 2014
At the Rittenhouse Square Art Fair, 2014
I was also able to visit Prague in the Czech Republic with several friends during the hot summer months. It was a great and eye opening trip filled with beauty, culture, history, and community service. My favorite part of the trip was hiking for the entire day along the border of Germany, through enchanted woods and fir forests, up to a natural stone formation. When you reached the top, you could see for hundreds of miles in ever direction.
Hiking the border through something that resembles the Black Forest
Prague–the towers that inspired the witch’s castle in Sleeping Beauty
During the summer after the visit to Prague, I was lucky enough to be selected to be in Bridgette Mayer Gallery’s Ballet X Exhibition. The selected artists were given a 10″x10″ panel to work with. The piece I made was oil, butterfly wings, and 23 karat gold leaf, called “Holding Court.” It was inspired by the court of Queen Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Holding Court, oil, butterfly wings, and 23 karat gold leaf on panel.
Ballet X Exhibition at the Bridgette Mayer Gallery
Ballet X Opening Night at the Bridgette Mayer Gallery
Also during the summer, I continued to paint and create, enjoying some plein air sessions with artist friends.
Painting by the river
In the fall, I moved with the help of friends and family to a beautiful new living space which doubles as my studio. I fell in love with the high ceilings and huge windows which let in lovely light.
In October, I was part of a two person exhibition (with artist Alan Soffer) at the Bazemore Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. It was such an honor to be selected for this exhibition, and so heartwarming to see the friends and family that came out for the event.
With my piece “Daydreaming” at the Bazemore Gallery, October 2014
Visiting the Met
Visiting New York City for several friend’s and colleague’s art shows was also a high note. Especially inspiring was Judith Schaecter’s show in Chelsea. It was wonderful to see the gorgeous work of one of my favorite professors from PAFA have her work on display in such a prestigious space. Also beautiful was Brad Kunkle’s December show. It was really cool to see his mix of traditional and new media as he overlaid intricate oil paintings with video installations.
At Brad Kunkle’s Show this December
I’ve also been creating during the fall and winter months. A few of the pieces I’ve been working on are below.
Narberth Park, oil on panel, 4″x6″, Jessica Libor 2014
Swoon, oil on panel, 8″x8″, Jessica Libor 2014
Holding Court, oil, butterfly wings and gold leaf on panel, 10″x10″, Jessica Libor 2014
Midmorning, oil on panel, 10″x12″, Jessica Libor 2014
Working on a new piece
I also started selling my work online to collectors, which really opens things up and makes my work more accessible. You can see my shop through my website, http://www.jessicalibor.com/shop/. There are originals, and also limited edition prints, hand signed and numbered.
I ended 2014 and started 2015 by celebrating with family and friends, making new memories with the people I love.
Trimming the tree with my sister, Lauren
Thank you to each one of you who have been a part of my year in 2014, whether a friend, professor, colleague, family member, or collector. I value each one of your investment into my life and my art. Don’t forget to sign up to receive each post by subscribing to this blog if you’d like to stay informed as to new works and shows. Thank you again for your support, and wishing each one of you a very happy, healthy and creative new year!