Author Archives: Vanessa Chakour

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.

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