Born in California in 1954, Vanessa Stafford is an artist I have had the privilege of getting to know as a friend and professional artist during the past two decades. She is one of the few naive artists whose work appeals to me. I collected her paintings because of their unique qualities and characteristics.
Her use of watercolor as a medium, pallet of bright colors and unique imagination initially have the appearance of illustrations for children’s books. Upon closer inspection the conceptual reality of her work is revealed.
Venessa presents her ideas in the format of a story. The story is a reflection of her personal life experiences . In her painting titled, ” The dream in the Jungle”. Vanessa bases the imagery on a vision she saw in a dream. In her dream, she was sleeping soundly on a back of an Elephant surrounded by herbivores, a Giraffe on the left and lions on the right, in the middle of a jungle. In the dream, she talked to Saint Michael and he commanded her to reveal her soul to the others. After exposing herself to the herbivores, she was attacked by flying arrows eminating from all directions. The dream respresented her subconscious acceptance of vulnerability to attack by mean spirited people after being open.