"Something in your work which I can not identify not only speaks to me but encourages me. I am drawn into the tension in your landscapes but even the storms make me feel at peace." environmental author Barry Lopez ("Arctic Dreams")
|Eagle's Nest Peak, Anza 2010
The Wall Street Journal Greater New York Gallery Column 7/24/2010
Jane Culp: Wilderness Work 2010
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The rugged mountains, desert and wild lands of Southern California are mirrored in Jane Culp's paint handling, and even in her approach to paper and canvas. "When working outside in the desert, with its overpowering winds and relentless sun," the landscape painter writes, "I strap my easel to my legs.... When I work a watercolor, it is [held to] the ground with either my knees or my feet."
Yet despite her struggle with the elements, Ms. Culp arrives in these expressive oils, charcoals and watercolors at a place of structural clarity and composure—while making palpable the rush she feels interacting with nature. Her pictures' restless skies and stepped, sharply carved mountain peaks retain the vastness, monumentality and naturalism of their subjects. Yet ultimately she is painting not the landscape but the thrill of engagement. In "Eagle's Nest Peak, Anza" (2008), Ms. Culp transforms desert mauves and pinks into rising swells resembling human flesh.
|Snowy Peaks above Tioga Pass,
In "Snowy Peaks above Tioga Pass, Yosemite" (2009), she turns mountain and sky into ocean storm. We sense in these landscapes not a painter stationed before her subject but a traveler lashed to the mast amid high seas.
—Mr. Esplund writes about art for the Journal.