Embracing the Mystery of Uncertainty

This painting was completed just before my solo exhibit this Spring, but sits in my studio and is one of the first things I see daily . It emits a lot of energy, but the more I look at it, it seems to be telling a story.

I see the trees that speak of wilderness experience and growth, I see bright edges of possibility,

but I also see the figures at the bottom trying to figure something out. They seem to be on a journey, and at this most critical moment they seem to be faced with a decision. Do we keep going? And what lies on the other side? How to move forward when we can’t see what lies ahead?

How do you move forward when you can’t see what lies ahead?

The only thing I’m certain of is that uncertainty happens to all of us, at some point or another. I’m not sure that it’s an enjoyable process, or all that tolerable for most of us. Because of my faith, I’m taught to trust that even in the mystery of uncertainty, I can trust that things are working for my good, whether it feels good or not.

Every time I begin a painting, there is an element of uncertainty. I don’t know what the finished product will look like, I could hate every part of it, I could mess it all up. But I keep moving through, adding layers and layers of paint until something in my soul is satisfied.

This is a season of lunar eclipses, retrogrades and yesterday’s full moon. The tides are high. Which leads me to believe that many of us are in a season of transition. Unsettling in nature, transitions can bring about expansion and force us to break through our own internal barriers. Mindsets that hold us back. Stretch us outside our comfort zones. It’s just growth. Never easy, always necessary.

It is my prayer that no matter who you are, or where you are, that you continue to push, stretch, expand in growth and trust it’s all working for your good.

Come paint with me at my Upcoming Workshop!!
Creativity As Soulwork

Hey beauties,

I'm facilitating an expressive arts workshop at Chicago Mindful Psychotherapy next month, and I'd love for you to come join us! It will be in the same space where my March Solo Exhibit was held, so if you missed that, here's another opportunity! 

In this workshop we will read and discuss poetry, work with writing prompts and creating small works of visual art.

This is a safe space for those looking to nurture their own creativity while fostering self-compassion and opening to avenues of self-expression. All workshop materials provided.


Register Now

Grab your pals and let's create together!!!

The Birth of Soul Revival: How Painting Saved Me From Losing It
"Of Hands & Hustle", acrylic on canvas 30x40 available in the shop

"Of Hands & Hustle", acrylic on canvas 30x40 available in the shop

It all started in...


summer 2014. I’d gotten to a point of dreading my job, and went back to school to trade that career in for one in Massage Therapy. I was dying to return to a place of zen, to resist overwhelm, and though I still had a desire to help people, I needed help. 

It was the first time my now husband and I attempted to “blend” our kids together for a whole summer. It brought us great stress, stirred up so much conflict and discomfort. Until this point, our relationship had been one blissful ride. 

Then a miracle happened. A last minute spot opened up at The Creative Cafe, a collective of seasoned Artists at Willow Creek Community Church. The curator said I could display visual art or poetry. Everyone knew I was a Poet, but I had never publicly shared my love for visual art, my closeted attempts at painting over the years, or the desire to have an art show of my own, which  I’d repressed for 38 years. 

 

I can’t lie, I painted some ugly stuff. I bought cheap canvas and craft paints, retreated to my bedroom for 72 hours, staying up until the wee hours of the morning to paint. I put a lot of effort into trying to create things that I thought would tell my story. To my surprise, people loved it!! But the one painting (pictured below) I put the least amount of effort into was the one that got the most buzz--including an offer for me to name my price and they would buy it. (to which I promptly and stupidly turned down because this was my heart and soul and why would you wanna buy that? Didn’t they know I wasn’t a real Artist?) 

Three years later my work has evolved and so have I. Art has given me permission to be my full, Authentic self. And in turn, I’ve given myself permission to be a full-time working Artist with a thriving business. I lost folks along the way, because they don’t recognize this bolder, more empowered version of me. There are some who won’t take me seriously as an Artist because I was not “formally trained” in Art school and because I have no desire to emulate the dead white men who dominate Art History. What I DO have is a soul-connection to creativity, a spiritual depth that informs everything I create, followers/supporters who buy my work because they are moved by it, a calendar booked with exhibits and shows, and constant invitations for more..  

I realized the leap I took to save my soul is what WAY more significant than I ever understood. I’m not just creating Art. This is literally a SOUL REVIVAL, the ART is HEALING. And I feel both blessed and honored to be here. 
 

Featured in Library As Incubator Project
http://www.libraryasincubatorproject.org

http://www.libraryasincubatorproject.org

Featuring: VersAnnette Blackman-Bosia, Poet and Painter

by LAURA DAMON-MOORE on Feb 23, 2017 • 6:54 amNo Comments

Today we feature VersAnnette Blackman, a visual artist, poet, and facilitator from the Chicago, IL area, who talks with us about her work, her own relationship to libraries, and what it means to show her work in a public library today. Her response to our question, “What does your ideal library look like” is worth a deep reading. ~Laura

 

Library as Incubator Project (LAIP): Tell us about yourself and your work.

Verse Blackman (VB): I’m a poet, painter and facilitator. I’ve always been a creative; I wrote my first poem at the age of eleven, and was always making things. I picked up painting again in my late thirties; and was just using it as an outlet for creative expression. I was just intuitively creating things, and wasn’t sure how well they’d be received. The first show I had someone wanted to buy my work. That was nearly three years ago; and my business has been growing ever since. I’m an abstract painter, but my love for both collage and poetry shows up in my work as well. I think this makes me a Mixed media Artist, but I try to avoid labels so I can create freely. I facilitate healing arts workshops, where I invite participants to explore their own innate creativity via painting, writing and demystifying the notion that creativity is only for a certain few.

I’m convinced that Creativity is deep soul work.
— VersAnnette

 

LAIP: What’s your relationship been like with libraries?

VB: Libraries are heavenly spaces to me. I was born a book nerd, and I grew up surrounded by books. My mother was a voracious reader and my Dad was big on having me read the dictionary daily. Our house was like a library in its own right. We had everything from Encyclopedias, both World Book and Britannica, Time magazine, Disney classics and Mom’s Danielle Steele novels. I don’t really know how to exist in a space without books, so the library just naturally always felt like home.

LAIP: Have they influenced or inspired your creative work?

VB: Absolutely. My work is inspired by experiences; by words and the vibrancy of visual language. I think of painting as storytelling. Like I get to access these worlds I might not otherwise know about. But also, I notice that any creative space I’ve ever had has to have books. There’s something very comforting and satisfying to me about the aesthetic of books themselves. I am a tactile person; I need to hold a book in my hands, I enjoy seeing all the various colors and sizes in the book shelves. When I visit a library, I’m amazed by just how much the overall atmosphere affects me; the architecture, the vibes from the people, the freedom to open as many books as I want and sit on the floor with stacks until I’ve exhausted myself. I’d like to think this shows up in my work. Most recently, I discovered that I can actually check out books about art! In all my years, I’d never done this before. It’s insane now, I walk away with like 22 books at a time.

LAIP: Tell us about your upcoming show at a public library.

VB: My upcoming show, “In Praise of Spartan Women” is a collection of figurative abstracts painted intuitively on canvas. It’s actually not a collection I planned; these ladies have been showing in my work for over a year now. I decided to gather them and create an exhibit to share because I’m a women’s empowerment junkie. I love being a woman, supporting women, and connecting with women across divides. I’m fortunate in this way; my world is a melting pot and my friends come from all over. I learn a lot, I get to witness the magic in soul stories shared I just believe there’s so much power in our communities! The message is simple: Women are warriors. And we’re often thought of in a way that doesn’t highlight our strength enough. When we hear the term Spartan, there’s this image of men doing battle in movies like 300, or Troy, (or the warriors who fought for ancient Greece, obviously). But I think of the battles we face daily, like fighting to be seen and heard and equally valued in business. The way we raise and educate our children, the way we are hyper-sexualized but rarely respected for what we bring to the table. It drives me nuts. And art is the only way I know how to respond. That’s my contribution.

 

LAIP: What does it mean for you to show your work in a library?

VB: Well there’s two angles: One as an artist showing her work in a huge library is a big deal. But then, there’s being an artist of color showing her work in a predominately white space. Now that’s HUGE. And I don’t mean this as taking a dig at the library – but it is something I’ve thought about. It’s my reality; and I have to consider whether or not I’ll be accepted. I live in the NW suburbs, outside of Chicago. There’s not a heaping amount of Artists of color, (not that I’m aware of, anyway).The art scene here is different. Lots of nature photography, still life and landscape paintings. I’m excited to exhibit because I think my work offers a different vibe; and I feel honored to share what’s in my soul. My hope is that my exhibit will invite others to think of the library as a safe space for us to connect.

LAIP: As an artist what does your ideal library look like or have in it?

VB: My ideal library has an incredulous amount of diversity. There are people of all races, religions, and ages, and there are programs to honor these differences. There are opportunities for authors and artists like me, who are just hoping to be a part of the conversation and offer some fresh perspectives. There are books that reflect my story, my lineage and ancestry. There is powerful art on the walls that stops you dead in your tracks and makes you question yourself and your thought process. There is community engagement, Artist talks, and a coffee shop would be the cherry on top. But that’s wishful thinking, I know.

VersAnnette BlackmanComment