Verna Brady

About the Artist~early influences

About my painting

Verna Brady (1925-2008) was a contemporary artist who worked primarily in acrylics on canvas and acrylics, watercolors or mixed media on paper. Her paintings began with organic flows of color and movement, called automatism by the Abstract Expressionists—her strongest influence. Brady then continued to develop her works using line, shape, plane, texture, and/or the figure to bring Meaning to her work.


Brady, a native of Connecticut, lived in California for over fifty years. She had four children and fourteen grandchildren. Her self-designed studio in the Santa Cruz mountains has been called "every artist's dream studio," (Steve Wiltse, art critic). Her studio was opened to the public for many years in the annual Santa Cruz Open Studios.


Verna Brady earned her BA degree in fine arts/studio major from the University of California, Irvine. She also studied at UCLA; Layton School of Art and the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee; and the American School in Paris, France. The late George McNeil, well-known New York artist and teacher and protege of Hans Hofmann, was her teacher in Paris and was very influential in her maturation as a painter. He considered her work, "replete with psychological, depth meanings . . . there is also a sensuous, tactile opulence which attracts, holds and gratifies the viewer . . . an earthed art, one of tangible sensuous significance."


For over 50 years Brady had been a professional artist exhibiting in 24 solo and over 50 group shows nationwide and abroad. She was affiliated with over a dozen galleries in New York, California, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. Her works can be found in well over 100 public, private and corporate collections in sixteen states and abroad.


Brady has been featured in over three dozen articles and reviews nationwide and abroad including the national publications: The Artist's Magazine, The Print Collector's Newsletter and the international Forum. She has been interviewed on both radio and TV; has published two books on art and has given numerous slide lectures on abstract art in California, Wisconsin and Hawaii. She was a signature member of the National Acrylic Painters Association of UK and USA.


Among her many other art-related activities, Verna Brady refounded the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In her tenure as Director/Curator, she instituted the well-known "Exemplary Contempor'y" exhibition juried by top people in the art world.


Brady felt her "art is a window through which the mysteries of the World Without and the World Within pass, mingle and become One. By creating a state of dynamic equilibrium between the deliberate and the accidental; thought and passion; outer rightness and inner necessity I am also able to attain a visual equivalent to two mysterious and intriguing dichotomies:

the Conscious/Subconscious Self and the Life Force/Underlying Geometry of the Universe."

Artist's statement

Artist at work--painting

artist at work-- sculpture

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” 
― St. Francis of Assisi


Resume: Verna Brady

Contact: e mail for more information or comments. Please put "Verna Brady" in your subject line.


1974 • BA, Fine Arts/Studio major, University of California , Irvine , CA


1972-74 • University of California, Irvine, studied with Craig Kauffman,
Tony Delap, John Paul Jones, William Conlon.

1966-68 • University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

1964 • CASA (College Art Studies Abroad), Paris, France, studied with
George McNeil, Antonio Frasconi, Roger Barr, Albert Elsen.

1960-63 • University of California, Los Angeles,CA

Solo Exhibitions, 24 including:

1991 • "Verna Brady—Themes/Variations," Pacific Grove Art Center,
Pacific Grove, CA

1990 • "Verna Brady—a 25 year Retrospective Survey," The Eloise Pickard
Smith Gallery, University of California , Santa Cruz , CA

1981 • Orlando Gallery, Sherman Oaks, CA

1978 • Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, AZ


• The Ojai Art Center, Ojai, CA
• The Captain's Gallery, Lahaina, Maui, HA

Group Exhibitions, over 50 including:


• NAPA/USA, Art Concepts, Tacoma , WA , juror: M. Stephen Doherty
• NAPA juried show, Royal Birmingham Society of Arts Gallery,
Birmingham , England
• Santa Cruz Art League, juried membership show, Santa Cruz , CA


• "66th Annual Statewide," Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz , CA , juror: Richard Gadd, Director, Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, Monterey , CA

• "Black & White III ," The Pope Gallery, Santa Cruz , CA


•"Les Femmes," The Pope Gallery, Santa Cruz , CA
• "A Room of Her Own," Primal Visions Gallery, Santa Cruz , CA


• Juror's Showcase; Monterey County Fair, Monterey , CA
• 62nd Statewide, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz , CA
Juror: Karen Tsujimoto, Curator of Oakland Museum

1986 • "Watercolors West," The Missoula Museum of the Arts, Missoula, MT

1980 • "Fourth Annual California Print and Drawing Exhibition," Chapman
College Orange, CA, Juror: John Paul Jones.


• "Monoprints Only," Alleghany College, Meadsville, PA
• "Works in, on and of Paper," Museum of North Orange County,
Fullerton, CA

Publications (by Verna Brady):

1989 • "My Search for the Real . . . a visual odyssey," 117 pgs., 28 color plates, 28 black and white illustrations.

1976 • "Inside Abstract Art," to accompany lecture series, 19 pgs., 7 color illustrations.

Awards and honors

1997 • Awarded signature membership, National Acrylic Painters Association of Great Britain and USA

1987 • Honorary Fellow of Cowell College, University of Santa Cruz,
Santa Cruz, CA

Art Management Activities, 11 posts including:

1986-89 • Director/Curator, Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, University of
California,Santa Cruz, CA: refounded gallery; inaugurated
"Exemplary Contempor'y," competition juried by top people
in the artworld and "Novas," juried competition for students.


• Board of Directors, Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton, CA
• President, Orange County Art Association, Fullerton, CA; editor of
OCCA Newsletter

Art Lectures , over 20 including:

1991 • Santa Barbara Museum of Art (exhibit, talk, demo), Santa Barbara, CA

1990 • Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, CA

1980 • Museum of North Orange County, Fullerton, CA

1979 • Santa Ana City College, (talk, demo), Santa Ana, CA


• Sedona Arts Center, Sedona,AZ
• San Bernardino Art Museum, Redlands, CA


• The Lahaina Art Association, Lahaina, Maui, HA
• University of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

The Ojai Art Center, two lectures

1975 • Mount St. Mary's College, Milwaukee, WI

Radio and TV Interviews:


• Adrien Zubrin—"Cruzin'," TV channel 5, Santa Cruz, CA
• Betsy Miller—"State of the Arts," KUSP radio, Santa Cruz, CA

1976 • Dean Leon— "Hawaii Now," KHET, TV channel 11, Honolulu, and
KMEB, TV channel 10, Maui, with artworks, in conjunction with
solo show at the Captain's Gallery, Lahaina, Maui.

1969 • "World of Art," WFMR radio, Milwaukee, WI.

Bibliography, over 3 dozen reviews and articles including :

Rick Deragon— The Monterey Herald — "Personal View in P.G.Show," July 12, 1991 .

Linda Brandt— The Artist's Magazine — "The Maestro's Touch," June 1991.

Stephen Wiltse— Santa Cruz Sentinel —"The essence of expressionism," January 19, 1990 .

Katherine Swartz— The Print Collector's Newsletter —"Monotypes: Where are they?"
Nov-Dec 1978.

Donald Key— The Milwaukee Journal —"Debut Show Features Images of Inner Space."
June 8, 19 69.

Corporate and Public Collections

The Grunwald Collection of Graphic Arts, UCLA, Los Angeles, two works

UCI Graphics Collection, UCI, Irvine, CA, two works

Museum of North Orange County, Fullerton, CA

Bank of America, LA, Newport Beach and Beverly Hills, Ca , four works

TRW Systems, Inc., Redondo Beach, CA eight works

Great Western Savings, Los Angeles, CA, five works

Mattel, Inc., Redondo Beach, CA Three works

Leasco Data, New York, NY

Southgate Imperial Bank, San Diego, CA

Private Collections ( over 100): [Not listed on internet for security reasons. Personal professional contact required.]