An Occasional Post about Art that Thrills Me
If you become paralyzed with awe when you see monumental rocks, vast stone cliffs, or boulders that only a god could make, split, and balance—then the bold paintings and charcoal sketches of Jane Culp should take your breath away. (See several jpgs below.)
Jane is old-school: she was classically trained (at Yale), steeped in the New York art culture (her husband was a well-known artist, too, and art critic and teacher), and has spent her entire life painting and doing art. In the last decades, she’s turned away from the East Coast milieu and devoted her later life to capturing the vast California desert wilderness in vibrant and permanent color.
I love her work. I’ve known Jane for over a decade. I’ve spent the night in her isolated, off-grid, handmade straw-bale house. (See photos below.) I’ve seen the astonishing mountains in which her property is nestled, just a few ridges away from Anza-Borrego’s eerie moon-scape desert. I’ve watched her prepare special food for Kaw, a raven who often sat upon the railing of her studio. I’ve visited with her at fundraisers for Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, a non-profit artists’ residency retreat near Temecula, CA, which Jane has long supported through board membership and contributions.
Jane is in her mid-70s. She is creative, opinionated, driven; her style/vision is powerful and inspiring. She doesn’t promote herself; she does what she loves— paint. It’s high time her work became more widely recognized, I think. I recently read a lengthy and excellent piece about her work by Larry Groff: here’s the link:
Check it out, but please know that no photo can capture the energy and passion that an original Jane Culp conveys. I hope it’s not long before the Pasadena Museum of California Art or some big museum wakes up and puts on a show of her work so people get to “feel” the beauty she sees.
Jane’s straw-bale home and “guest” house
Kaw, the Beloved Raven, on the studio bannister
Wilderness painting requires invention as well as aesthetics
Who could be unmoved by such a view? (It’s my photo and Jane’s renderings below.)