Verna wrote and painted from a deeply contemplative space where visual and verbal symbols and language communicates to her inner soul and that of the viewer in deeply archetypal, intimate levels. For her words on her journey through her soul in the language of art, please scroll down to the collection of writings and photographs below, as well as visiting the other pages of this site.
Below is an example of a prayer she wrote that was found inside her Bible the night of her passing.
Thank you, Lord –
For keeping me open to the Creative Spirit Within
put there by You,
For enabling me to tap this inner Source of ideas,
For constantly expanding my vision and insight so
that I am better able to express visually
whatever You intend that I should,
For guiding me to Your purpose.
Thank you, Lord –
For all the good in my life and for whatever good I
have done in my life.
Help me always to strive to do more.
Guide me always along the path You would have me
go—let Thy will, not mine, be done … in
my life, with my Art.
Statements by the Artist...
Verna Brady was, in addition to her passion for painting her internal life, also very greatly interested in educating people about abstract art. Verna was also skilled at writing and had a way of verbalizing her interior world in words as well as images. This provides a unique opportunity to convey an understanding of abstact art and the artist to the public, who often has difficulty grasping these concepts.
It was for this purpose that Verna wrote her book "My Search For The Real, A Visual Odyssey." This unique book shares her internal odyssey while educating the reader to abstract art and some of its techinques. Please see descriptions and excepts of the book on this site. This book may also be ordered on the book pages.
Please also visit her lecture pages for both adult lectures and lecture workshops for kids.
About my work
I think a work of Art pulls you into a deep, special place where you are somehow changed, made better, more aware. I work from that place. Each of us has that someplace special.
There are many definitions of the word "Art" as well as many non-definitions. . . claims of what Art is not and claims that Art is undefinable. Every artist, every curator, every critic has his/her own personal opinion of what Art is as well as what is Art.
For me, Art has always been a search for meaning by "feeling into" the world around me, into the expressive qualities of my medium and deep within my own Being. An inner necessity compels me to visualize my deepest feelings, emotions and responses in my quest for answers to the how and why of Creation and of Life itself. The intensive involvement required only makes sense in its promise of ultimate reward: a crescendo of emotion as the work nears completion culminating in a sense of joy, fullfillment and "Oneness" with my Maker and Universe. A work of Art records and communicates this emotional and spiritual journey into the unknown for a momentary glimpse of "the Real."
Another prayer found in her Bible:
Teach me to pray knowing all depends on You, Lord,
and to work as though all depended on me.
Help me to do my work quietly and humbly without
concern for personal gain or public recognition.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every
purpose under the heaven—” Remind me
that only the honesty and integrity of my
work matters … That when it is Your time
my work will become known.
Help me, Lord, in my “search for the real,” for the
answers You wish me to find and reveal.
Help my work to have meaning in Your
In the name of Christ Jesus hear me, Dear God.
About my paintings
My statement evolves out of my painting methods--layers of paint and, often, collage changing constantly until at rest in a dynamic equilibrium. This process, to me, reflects the drama of Life and the tension inherent in all living matter and the Universe. Without movement, change and tension, Life ceases and the Universe would crumble.
I begin by tapping my subconscious for forms of deep, intuitive significance...
Because the subconscious has access to archetypal meanings of which the conscious is unaware, these structures emerge primarily as abstract shapes. I do not "invent" these symbols nor calculate the end result of my painting. I am searching for forms not yet known. As these abstract shapes emerge, my conscious mind weighs their significance. This shift back and forth from my conscious to my subconscious continues as the work progresses. Frequently I incorporate collage materials (pieces of canvas, paper, cheesecloth, sand) to produce an "actual" as well as virtual depth, a tactile sensuousness which I feel is important and also a philosphical statement regarding the "growth process." Because the collage is added at various stages, the sense of growth and change is stronger and more evident. And Life is made evident by growth and change--whether in Man or in Nature. Withour movement, tension and change, Life ceases and the Universe would crumble. Painting as a reflection and expression of Life must do the same.
As the work nears completion my conscious and subconscious forces somehow come together, and from that point on, an even deeper probing--of the Soul-- begins,
and I know where the painting is going and will know when it is done. To me, there is no way I could penetrate more deeply the depths of my own Soul. . .or touch yours. . .than by letting the painting evolve out of the essense of my Being. Consciously adding recognizable naturalistic images would seem extraneous.
After all, what does the Soul look like?
About my Suites...
Multiple-canvas works allow me to involve the space between and beyond the canvas. I can thus probe the different dimensions and infinite expansions of the Space as well as the forces attracting and repelling objects in that Space inherent to the dynamic equilibrium of the Universe. These works are often responses to specific pieces of music--symphonies--and are developed as the Sonata form itself is constructed: 3-5 movements related yet individually able to stand alone.
section about suites
About my Monotypes
The Monotype offers me many of the same qualities I seek in painting, other qualities unique to the print and yet others possible only in the monotype. I personally respond to the sensuous surface of homemade paper and the crispness of the printed image, but the singularity of the monotype statement is more appealing to my nature than the production of an edition. Process is important: the work is developed through many runs on the press until I achieve a richness of textural detail and a sensation of transparency, space and movement.
To read about and see more Monoprints: click here
About my Mixed-media Graphics
Intuitive explorations into the combinations of the monotype, collage, collagraph, embossment and handmade paper.
About the Kleos Series: By combining the monotype, collage, collagraph, and embossing I was able to express the "Kleos" concept in a meaningful abstract statement. "Kleos" is a Greek word for the reward of Immortality earned by the hero of an Epic poem. The achievement of "Kleos" usually entailed a journey--an Odyssey. The message being passed down to us is that whoever among us would achieve Immortality must have the courage to emerge from the crowd and stand alone. An imprint lasting beyond Life rewards only the lonely traveler.
Kleos #23, 1977
In my "Kleos Series," the "hero" (collagraph form) emerges from the "world" (monotype) and stands alone. The "after-image" of Immortality is expressed very powerfully by the inkless embossing of the "hero" collagraph.
Whoever among us would achieve immortality must have the courage to emerge from the crowd and stand alone. An imprint lasting beyond life usually entails a lonely journey-- a vision-- a mission (an Odessey).
My visual concept: the placement of the "world" rectangle with overprinting of the "Being" symbol emerging, then that same "Being" printed separate and alone (the solitary journey) and finally embossed without color to symboliize Immortality (a lasting imprint even when "gone"), I feel, embodies the qualities inherrent in "KLEOS."
The Kleos series requires at least four runs through the press. On the first, the organic "painting" symbolic of the masses is printed. Next, the collage symbol of a singular person is inked, placed emerging from the "crowd" and printed. The symbol is again inked and positioned to create a sense of tension and aloneness. After this run, the collage is covered with plastic and located "beyond" the printed image. The pressure on the press is greatly increased in order to create the final deep embossing... the after image of Immortality.
Handmade paper works:
Because monotypes are relatively hazardous means of expression--you get "allof nothing at all"!-- I decided recycling unsatisfactory prints into handmade paper would keep me from being inhibited by my "waste" of expensive rag paper. Thus my desire to constantly experiment and find ever new means of expression is nurtured and my monotypes are much freer and more expressive. I have found working with newly-formed paper an exquisitely sensuous experience from which profound statements can also evolve.
About my Encounter Series: The confrontation aspect of any encounter creates a tension. . . a push/pull: a push to avoid conflict/ a pull toward the excitement involved; a push toward the challenge/ a pull to withdraw inward lest one be hurt. The closer the encounter, the more fragile--almost intangible--the equilibrium. Yet there is a toughness involved in daring to expose human emotions to an encounter situation.
Fragile, handmade paper has been shaped with an inward pull, "toughened: with Rhoplex and then placed in a close-encounter tension with another shape on the "intangible" outside surface of plexiglas. Light and reflections cause the plexi to seemingly dissolve and leave the shapes in enounter vulnerable and unprotected from the elements.
One of the elements to which Encounter #13 was exposed was fire. The burn is basically internal--starting from point of contact and surfacing only occasionally. When an encounter situation results in one of the parties being deeply hurt, very often these feelings are buried deep within and only rarely surface.