verna working on painting

About My Painting

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 my 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 statemenmt 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. Without movement, tension and change, Life seases 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?

verna working in art class
painting outdoors in Hawaii

Dear Lord,
The mountain I must move and cast out is within me.
I have been trying to scale a higher mountain … to
climb above AE* … to gain a new and better vision.
But the pathway has been difficult for me alone.
Help me to believe and know that by faith and Your
guidance I can either scale the mountain or see it
dissolve before me.
Help me back to my Art, dear Lord. Help me to
work hard confidently—to conquer myself.


1-26-84—I am back doing watercolors!
* Abstract

verna in studio

Epilogue to one of her small books which sums up her spiritual experience with art:

As an artist becomes more adept at relinguishing the tenacious hold of the Conscious Mind to allow the Subconscious to bring forth images never before seen nor imagined, the depth of Meaning in the visual work becomes increasingly profound. This experience is so exhilarating and moving that the artist has a deep desire to share it with others and communicate a sense of Knowing that, for a moment, s/he has had a glimpse of "the Real."

And the joy of that moment brings one back again and again to make further attempts, no matter how difficult the journey, to reach that clarity of inner vision which seems a climax of the coming together of the right brain, the left brain and the Soul. And, in that instant, one feels at One with the Universe in a state of pure joy and disbelief, almost, that such ecstacy could exist.

There are no words to describe the wonder of truly connecting with the Soul, with the pulse of all Existence--with GOD! But when an artist does accomplish this seemingly unattainable goal, his works have the power to touch the Souls of others. This communication---on a much deeper level than words---is the "impossible dream" and ULTIMATE success of the work of art.

Verna Brady 1996

verna painting on deck in huntington harbour