February 23, 2012

Do you like this?

As the sun sets on an unseasonably warm day, I am wishing I had worn more appropriate shoes for my walk through a muddy field to meet Easton resident Vanessa Vizcarrondo-Piche. She has positioned her easel for a spectacular view of the sun setting behind a row of trees. “The shadows on this field are beautiful this time of day,” she says as I approach her. Her positive energy is almost palpable; she is someone who is realizing a dream and it shows.

As a writer, I am used to seeking out stories and hope that after a bit of legwork, there is, in fact, a story that people want to read.  In Vanessa’s case, she approached me-she was staging a showing of her art and thought perhaps I might want to cover it. At first, I wasn’t sure there was a story to tell. After exchanging emails back and forth a few times, I came to see that her story is much more than an artist’s first show. She is an art teacher at St. Michaels Elementary and after an epiphany, has begun a transformative journey, determined to become a professional artist.

Before I even have a chance to ask her my first interview question, Vanessa starts telling her story with a sort of passion that is a both surprising and refreshing. “A good friend of ours is a spiritual healer in the Dominican Republic,” she begins, “and she emailed me this link. I watched it, then deleted the email and didn’t think about it again.”

The link she is referring to is a video on YouTube of a man named Kute Blackson, a life coach and guru who offers an 11-day transformational immersion seminar training called Boundless Bliss. He selects 22 leaders and visionaries from around the world and helps them resolve issues that are preventing them from being happy, blissful, and fulfilled in their lives. Vanessa, along with 21 others, will travel to Bali for, in Blackson’s words, “a journey to face [themselves] and find out who [they] truly are.”

Vanessa’s journey was anything but certain, even a few month’s ago. She found herself in a routine: go to work, pay bills, try and find time for family and friends.  Though she was in a seemingly endless cycle, she had a strong urge to change. “I took a class with an older lady and she told me she woke up one day and the next stop was the nursing home.” Those words had a profound effect on Vanessa. She found herself the last one to leave the class as she sat and mulled over what the woman had said. She had this great longing to be an artist that lay unrequited, yet she had no real notion of how to make it work.  

She found her answer in a place she least expected: her deleted email. She discovered her friend’s daughter had gone through the transformation with Blackson and decided to watch the video again. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it,” she continues. “My whole body was tingling.”  

She had to follow her instincts; she needed to go to Bali. While trying to figure out how she would pay for this life altering experience, a friend pointedly told her that if she is going to be an artist, she should be an artist and sell her art.

Thus, her transformative journey began. “I started a Facebook page,” Vanessa says, “and I have already sold some art.  People are asking if I paint portraits—sure, I’ll paint a portrait!” Now that she has begun to realize her dream, people are supporting and helping her in ways she had not expected. “I feel as though the universe is really listening and people want to take part when they see someone dedicated to something so wholly.”

The owners of Frivolous Fibers in St. Michaels are among those interested in helping Vanessa realize her dream. “When they found out what I was trying to do, they said they wanted to have the show there,” she continues. The show titled Talbot in Oil, will showcase Vanessa’s great talent as she depicts life in Talbot County in bright, bold colors.

Vanessa’s journey is an enviable one. Who among us has not let a dream fester in the back of our minds, hoping perhaps one day it may come to fruition? It is possible to change the course of your life, and even get a trip to Bali out of the process, if you have the courage to embark on paths unknown.

Vanessa’s show will take place on March 24th at Frivolous Fibers ~ 112 N. Talbot Street ~ St. Michaels ~ 4:00 PM-7:00 PM.


February 23, 2012

Comments (3)

Comment Feed

Living Imitating Art

The story pulled me right in. I too, am exploring the wish to see what happens when I get out of the way when I'm painting and drawing. Good luck, Vanessa, let us know how Bali was! Keep going Leslie, these stories are great!

Cathy Inzer more than 2 years ago

Living a Blissful Life

This article - and Vanessa's story - really spoke to me. As a former teacher, I also heard the call of the inner muse, who wanted to create instead of instruct. It is a rickety path, but hopefully one that is worth it in the end. Kudos to both Vanessa and Leslie!

Amanda Priestley-Callis more than 2 years ago

Life Imitating Art

Nice story Leslie and best of luck to Vanessa. Follow your dreams.

Jean Callis more than 2 years ago

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