Author Archives: Vanessa Chakour

Art Critic


As artists, we are usually our own worst critics.

It took me an while to show my artwork to others because it was so personal. It was my way of downloading experience, calming my mind and obtaining clarity.  Later, it became my method of emptying my mind… and a practice meditative of transcendence. Most recently, I’ve been creating mandalas to help me remember and meditate upon my vivid nighttime dreams.

The past week or so, I’ve been organizing my work and have come across doodles, drawings and pieces I deemed ‘not good enough’ to show. Parts of myself hidden away.  Yet, when go to galleries or art shows, I’m most drawn to personal, raw and often, simple pieces that an artist may show. So, why are mine not good enough? Why do I insist on keeping stacks and stacks of drawings and doodles, and yet… hide them? Yes… some, have made their way into the recycling bin, but the ones that made the cut, like them or not, I intend to post. It’s my way of sharing more of my process, myself and moving beyond perfectionism. An impossible place to exist, anyway.

So, in the inspiration of this quote from Martha Graham, I’m excited (and scared) to share more of my work!

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others”  
― Martha Graham

With Love,






Seeing Sound

The Inspiration Of Hendrix and Evolution of Visual Verse

Hendrix has always represented freedom to me. I listened to his music so much growing up that his lyrics and sounds became part of my internal soundsystem. So, its only fitting that his portrait, in his lyrics would be the first I create of its kind with the style I call  Visual Verse.

The origin of Visual Verse was twofold: At the time I was writing like crazy. I carried my sketchbook and journal with me everywhere (still do) and would write, write and write because I had to. Words wanted out. I was also writing a lot of poetry at the time and after reading my journal one day, I realized all my best writing was there. It was visceral and unedited. At the same time I was practicing Zen meditation and finally understood the concept of emptiness. I wanted to empty my mind of all the unnecessary noise. I wanted to clear it all out until I could only hear and feel my authentic buzz; my genuine vibration.

I got a large piece of primed masonite board wrote non-stop in tiny, tiny unedited words with micron pens for days until I created Look (the eye image in the Visual Verse Gallery). I let it all out. I figured no one would read all of those tiny words anyway so I allowed myself to be vulnerable. My process became the art.

Next in that style was Hendrix. Growing up in a family of musicians, my head was loaded with music. Especially Hendrix. His music got me through some rough times and inspired me in others. The entire piece below was created by writing his lyrics (painstakingly accurately) with micron pens. Many of the lyrics are color coded. Purple Haze is in purple, lyrics from Axis: Bold As Love are in red, and on…

So, I’m creating a new limited edition series of this print… in celebration of the relaunch of my site, in celebration of art and music that makes us feel free.