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Go where there is no path and leave a trail

green plain with road coming in from bottom right. Low brown purple mountains in the distance. Blue sky.
Go where there is no path and leave a trail. Michel Liebhaber. 40 x 30 in, Oil on canvas, 2022.

My path paintings are about journeys, not destinations. The title is from a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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Meeting the Oracle

The Oracle (Oil on canvas, 4x3 feet, 2017, Michael Liebhaber)
The Oracle (Oil on canvas, 48×36 inches, 2017, Michael Liebhaber)

What would it be like to travel to Delphi and meet the Oracle? Why did men seek her counsel? Why her? I used experiences from my travels and incorporated colors and symbols from earlier renditions of Oracles and Sibyls to create a plausible reality about being in the presence of the Oracle.

Please contact me for more information about this painting

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Behind the scenes – What I look at in a museum

What do I look at? When in Phoenix … I visit the Phoenix Art Museum (PAM). I saw some old favorites and new things, too. The Heard Museum is great, too, just up the road, but it was a PAM sort of day today. Here is a bit of what I spent my time looking at.

PAM sign 400

The highlight was the traveling exhibition of Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads: Gold by Ai Weiwei. It was very worth the trip. It’s a conceptual exhibit, so one has to read about it as well. Ok, one does not have to, but it helps. Another place for info is Ai Weiwei’s site (

I spent a lot of time studying the painting by Edouard Vuillard. I looked his brushwork, the layers of his colors, how he placed colors to create the illusion of shapes, and more. I also visited a bronze by my favorite sculptor Barbara Hepworth. It was class Hepworth, a powerful piece. I did not like where it was placed, on a shelf across a staircase, too far away to get its full impact. I also noticed a dreamy image by Agnes Pelton. It was almost a bit too surreal for me, but it was well done and its imagery pulled me in. My photo doesn’t do justice to her painting. If you cannot make it to the museum, take a look online at Oh yes, then there was Rodin.

Ai WeiWei and me200horse-snake-200


Hepworth200Rodin 200



List of images

· Ai Weiwei Exhibit (
· Madame Lucy Hessel Working at a Dressmaker’s Table by Edouard Vuillard, oil, 1908
· Aloe by Barbara Hepworth, bronze, 1969
· Kiss by Rodin, bronze, 1880
· Day by Agnes Pelton, oil, 1935


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Golden Roof – Innsbruck

The Golden Roof was built by Emperor Maximilian I the 16th century at his residence in Innsbruck, Austria. The roof tiles are gilded in solid gold. Re-gilding is done every few years (with real gold leaf) to keep the roof sparkling in the sun.

Maximilian's Gold Roof, watercolor & ink, 6x4 inches, 2012, M. Liebhaber


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Project Update: A tribute to Phoenix mountains.

I’m running behind. I finished Superstition Mountain then 80 million things happened. Ok. Ok. Not 80 million, only 30 million. I will not post the paintings until all four are finished. Do you want to see  Superstition Mountain? Then join me at Village Coffee Roastery this Saturday about 9:ooam. ( 8120 Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, Arizona). Until Saturday, enjoy this sunset scene from Ironwood National Monument in Northwest of Tucson. This trip was with some artist friends from Jerome in 2004. I have been coming here since 1971 and have spent one-hundred or more days and nights in this area. This trip was memorable for the number of young desert tortoises. I counted about six. That is six more than I’ve seen here, ever. Wonderful news. I also met one rather upset diamondback rattlesnake. I inquired as to the reason for his or her problem, but an answer was not forthcoming.

Sunset over Ironwood National Monument (oil, 7x5in, 2010)