During 2018, Peter Loeber made a series called ‘Telos’, which featured the mystical city of Telos below Mt. Shasta in California. The pieces were inspired by different folklore that never had proper illustrations. During the middle of producing ‘Telos’, Peter met Valerie Browning who took interest in the series, later suggesting to Peter on the possibility of making a themed series for exhibition at her café, Water Witch Coffee.
“Originally Rip van Winkle was the idea for a fall series of folklore, but I thought to myself, what about the Water Witch?” Valerie later explained the cafe + streets of the Highlands were based on a 19th century book named ‘The Water Witch’ by James Fenimore Cooper. Val gave Pete a copy of the book. “I gave it a shot to see if it had visual potential. After 100 pages, I had to give up. As cool as it was that the Raritan Bay was the setting, the old English was unbearable to read. However, the idea of painting an actual Water Witch in the Raritan Bay seemed to be a way to express my love for our area”
The Water Witch collection is Peter Loeber’s 1st exhibition to feature a human as the focal point. “Involving a human like creature pushed my comfort level as an artist. I tend to use paintings as a vessel to create awareness of the great outdoors. I can go on about mankind’s vanity, but the point of the Water Witch to tie the beauty of Mother Nature with human nature. In terms of who she is, I always wanted to make a Christina Applegate tribute. In a way you can say this was a hybrid series. The poses for the Highlands + NYC piece were inspired by the poses of local model, Elisabeth Burnhard. The spirit of the Water Witch is based on comic book heroes such as Captain Marvel, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman.
Artist, Peter Loeber
October 12, 2019
PETER LOEBER - Bio
After growing up by the Jersey shore, I lived throughout Northern California for almost a decade. My time there was before smartphones. I didn't take many photos of the landscapes it had to offer, but the views made an everlasting impression, which have remained a major influence for many of my pieces. When I moved back to Jersey in 2016, I started learning how to paint by watching Bob Ross reruns. While practicing in the ‘mystic’ arts, my California memories started to come alive on the canvas. In the beginning, I mostly painted the separate elements, such as the snow on the mountains, or bark on a redwood- eventually, combining them into larger pieces to create the illusion of depth.
No matter where I’ve lived, nature inspires me. When humans or animals are included in the pieces, I like to balance the ideas of society with nature. The canvas is also a place where I can get my emotions out through color. Rough days you might see red. Happy days you will probably see me use green. Painting has really become an airport for my imagination, and the brush is my passport. If I want to go somewhere, I paint where I want to go. Somewhere between illusion & imagination, you too can find the wild.
– Peter Loeber, 2019
On December 27th 2018, there was a freak accident of epic proportions. A transformer explosion at an electrical plant in Astoria,
filled the sky with blue northern lights. Making the sky look like an apocalyptic version of Alaska. Locals the next day called it, ‘the Astoria Borealis.' However, a strange group of charged atomic ions were created during this catastrophe, and swam toward Raritain Bay.
Right before sunrise, the ions were swimming near Sandy Hook. They went toward the bottom of the ocean, where there laid an abandon ship. The ions found a skeleton in one of the cabins, and started to swim around it. Eventually, snaps of electricity started to spark, as the skeleton turned into female form. After completing her transformation, she blinked her eyes, and swam viciously toward the sky. Her body flew out of the ocean, and elevated in place above the sea. Here she caught her first sunrise in 200 years. The Water Witch was reborn.
After the sun set on New Years eve, the Water Witch swam near Asbury Park. She put her head above water, and curiously looked at the people walking into Convention Hall. She walked out onto the sand, and followed them into the beautiful hall. It was an interesting night in there, as it was a costume party. The Witch got to dance to wild music, and enjoy fine spirits till dawn. As the party ended around sunrise, the witch stumbled back into the ocean. Dark memories of her past started to flow throughout her mind. Mostly due to the mix of alcohol, and the ions that possessed her soul. Fear & anger started to unleash within, and stormy clouds started to appear. As her fists clenched, the ocean created waves that became higher than mountains. It was in this moment she realized that she was a force, not to be reckon with. Later that day, the Water Witch slept a while to wipe out the spirits that poisoned her soul. By the time she charged up, night had descended on the Bay. As she came up above the water, a giant figure that also had a green dress on, stood before her. It was the Statue of Liberty with her arm raised high to the sky. The Witch soaked up this experience, and starred endlessly at Liberty into the morning. Above Liberty, the moon shined majestically as it reflected on the New York City skyline. It was during this experience, the Witch realized she had finally arrived in Heaven.