Friday, December 25, 2009

these are a few of my [and the kids] favorite things...

dollar store army guys
new running shoes
cheese in a can
motorized hamster
bowling shoes and gutter balls...

Christmas 2009, pretty nice.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Climbing Mt Everest

My lack of writing is a direct reflection of my current inability to find time to create. Life's busyness has managed to come between me and my art. I've moved, traveled for work, road tripped for holiday, etc, etc, and still have not managed to find time to unpack. Thankfully, Heather commissioned me to make a piece for her the other night (featured above) as a gift for someone. Although it's a busy time of year, I was glad to force an opportunity to dig around the Mt Everest of boxes that reside in my garage to try and find my art supplies, which I did manage to find, as well as inspiration to unpack and organize my mountain of belongings [and I plan to, as soon as...].

The beauty in the lack of personal creation is the motivation that comes from witnessing the inventiveness of others. For instance, I had the good fortune to sit next to Kay Abude on a long turbulent flight from NY. I'm not even sure how to describe the type of artist she is; as best as I could understand from the 20 million questions I bombarded Kay with, she seems to be a contemporary installation artist/sculptor, testing spacial boundaries [I hope I explained that properly]. She is currently working on her master's degree, and told me of an installation work from the past that I think is best understood from this link.
I also found that a woman I worked with (Taj Sukhija) on an event with last year, launched a website, Seattle Namaste, which acts as an online local hub to the Seattle Indian community--a great undertaking and resource to many people.
And I also had the pleasure this past weekend to check out my friend's band, Railyard, at Soul Food Cafe, where they held a benefit gig, and from what my pal Ben told me, they gathered quite a bit of goods to be donated. Railyard's show is an acoustic trio treat of multiple instruments, witty interim banter, and sweet harmonies.

Now it's time to take the thoughts in my mind's eye and bring it on down through my hands; make something of it. And if I might be so bold in a respectful way, I challenge my pal Heather to do the same. I know she's got a lot of great ideas floating around, and I think it's due time we collaborate on another show; 2010.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

the cheese stands alone

Before leaving for New York last week, for my day job, I had the opportunity to participate in the Edmond's Artwalk, showing my paintings at The Resident Cheesemonger. It's one of my favorite venues due to it's town center location and its cheese insulated quaintness. The photo above features a piece I finished the night before, and ended up selling before I even had a chance to name it.

My little plywood pieces fit well among the international community of cheese. By the way, it's always surprising to me how passionate some people are about cheese.???

*On another note, the photo below features the impressive view I had last night. Now I'm back to the reality of my life at home.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

nice time

So I'm in Milwaukee, and I very much look forward to returning home tomorrow, and it's not just because of this creepy hallway from my hotel [shown above]. Beside becoming dizzy from the combination of the florescent lighting and funky carpet pattern, the chanting come play with us Danny runs through my mind each time I walk down this hallway.
So I had some time to myself yesterday, and decided to take the opportunity to check out the Milwaukee Museum of Art, which just opened their Warhol exhibit. As I approached the entrance, I realized they looked obviously closed [on Mondays] and turned to watch my cab drive away. And so my short journey in Milwaukee began.

This is the view from the skybridge of the museum. Forgive my phone camera, it doesn't take the most delicious of pictures, but you get the idea.

And this is the pink fountain that is outside of the museum. I would have liked to have seen it on a sunny day, but the day I experienced in downtown Milwaukee was possibly more interesting--due to the sustained 35-40 mile an hour winds that plagued the city. *By the way, oh how I wish the museum was open Monday.

This is the view of the city as I approached it from the skybridge.

I originally set out to look for food and shelter [in a "I'm pretty hungry and it's pretty windy" way] and came upon this hole in the wall bookstore, which really was misleading, because once in the doors, it seemed to go on forever. Very cool shop. Long, narrow, and stacked higher than I could reach without a stool, with any type of book a person could imagine.
In the back, up two flights of a concrete stairwell, and all the way toward the front window of the shop, resides the art section. I love used books [history, stories, stains, missing pages], but the beauty of this shop is the crates and boxes of art prints & postcards protected in sleeves and stacked to be thumbed through by a scavenger like me. I was probably there an hour, and barely scratched the surface.
I, for $3 + some odd cents, walked out with 7 articles, including: a vintage postcard, some prints [one being of my friend Vincent and his missing ear], a vintage informational pamphlet on the Church of St. Elizabeth, and a print that wasn't particularly catching but featured an excerpt from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Builders [in a nice stoic sentiment if you ask me].

Nothing useless is, or low;
Each thing in its place is best;
And what seems but idle show
Strengthens and supports the rest.

These are some of the crates from the bookshop.
The rest of the story is...I didn't blow away, and now I'm going home; I have some treasures and a nice time in Milwaukee. Yes I said it--nice time in Milwaukee.

That's that.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

dead ted & rita bonita

dead ted 2009 6"x 6" mixed media

Today was a terrifically gloomy grey day of drizzle in the Northwest. Very inspiring to stay home and paint all day--well that and clean, do laundry, cook [macaroni and cheese for the kids, because I really didn't feel like stopping painting, and by the way, I'm probably the last mom on earth to admit that publicly], prepare plywood for future projects, and make [yes real home-made] snickerdoodles. day was today.
The grey day also inspired some autumn theme (Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos) bits, like dead ted and rita bonita.

Story goes like this...Ted loved Rita from afar for days [long time for Ted], and on a grey gloomy Tuesday, much like today, he walked across the street from his barber shop (funny because clearly Ted has no hair) to Rita's bikini latte stand. Unfortunately Ted stepped in front of the 11am city sightseeing tour bus, which usually slows down as it passes by Rita's bikini stand, but on that day barrelled through with the fury of a red sports car. Rita kicked off her high heels to run barefoot to the scene of Ted's demise. It was then that she noticed, crumpled in Ted's hand, a photo of her--somewhat creepy, because it seemed to be a surveillance still shot, but the picture persisted to soften Rita's heart. Tragically still, Rita grew ill from pneumonia and died on Friday [too many rainy days of chill, and not enough clothing]. But on a happy note, Ted and Rita reunited in the afterlife, where they formally met and fell in love.

The end.
[They currently follow Riana, but that's a side story].

rita bonita 2009 6"x 6" mixed media

*oh, and thanks to Bill for cutting my plywood on this rainy day--snickerdoodles are for you.


Monday, September 14, 2009

you can commission a fire?

simple as that 2009 24"x 24" mixed media

Thanks to those who came out to Tacoma City Ballet to enjoy the festivities of Saturday evening. Between the bits of modern and ballet dance, the music, the dessert, the champagne and the art, it was a great [possibly last] nice summer Saturday night.

It was so nice to see my aunt and two cousins who came to the event. The surprise of the night (other than my one cousin's new baby bump) was talking to my attorney cousin who is running for fire commissioner. She wanted to give me one of her signs, which I am thrilled about and told her I would hang it as a work of art in my home, and I noticed that as she dug through the trunk of her car, she seemed to be looking for "the best" sign to give me [sweet].



Saturday, August 29, 2009

it's a bird! it's a plane! it's a...balloon?

So my kids and I were hanging out, when we began to hear a loud noise outside our house that has become quite familiar--the sound of hot air balloon fire. Tonight however, it was louder than usual, so I hopped up from my seat and ran with my kids outside to find strangers parked in our driveway and a hot air balloon landing in my neighbor's yard. The people parked in our driveway must have been (what I assume) balloon chasing, which is something I've been known to do on occasion. We live in a community where hot air balloons float above the tree line most summer evenings, and if we happen to be driving and see one descending, my kids will make a plea to chase it, but until tonight, they've always landed somewhere hidden.
We invited the family who parked in the driveway to join us as we witnessed the balloon gently land in my neighbor's field.




*and this is the point when I decided to ignore the niceties of politeness and stand at my neighbor's gate smiling until he let me and my kids in [thanks neighbors!].
In the words of my 9 year old son, "those were about the best 17 minutes of my life." (he's very literal by the way--it probably was 17 minutes, in fact I'm sure it was; he noted it)


Monday, August 24, 2009

3...such a nice number

So tonight we placed some art at Mode Organic Salon (on Roosevelt) in Seattle, and it went efficiently well thanks to my friends Heather and Angela. [3 is such a nice number]
Mode is a cozy organic establishment, and when I first visited to scope it out, I was inspired to create something specific for its environment.
Images that came to mind during inspiration:
muted colors
...and I think judging by these photos, my original idea came to life, which is fairly remarkable considering that doesn't happen too often [inspiration translating into something tangible without losing original integrity or evolving into something completely different]. I imagine I'm not alone in that?
Anyway, it's another one of those moments that when I step back and feel as if it came together on its own accord with me as the mere conduit.

This work will hang at Mode for about 2 months, so feel free to pop in and check it.
6317 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Something old + Something new

I've waited to post anything, because I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to see the video Renan created of Heather's brother and sister-in-law's wedding reception. Intoxicating to watch--in a good way--and if you haven't seen it, check it.

Shown here are two examples of some current works, finished today, that I plan to install on Monday at Mode Organic Salon on Roosevelt. There will be some canvas floral pieces, and 13 new [vintage] postcard pieces. I've been inspired to hang them integrating organic materials, but I'm not sure how it's all going to come together (very typical, although it always does). Heather has also offered to help with the hang--thank you friend!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

married man

here's a great video of my brother's wedding in Norway. It's our last day here and we LOVE the people and new family... we will for sure be back! The video was created by Renan Ozturk (my brother's best man and one of my favorite artists/people) BIG congats to my baby bro Seth and his beautiful new wife Maren (WE LOVE YOU!!)



Friday, July 10, 2009

Bluebird, art, and Dick's

my art on Bluebird's walls

Last night was a terrific opening night for Bluebird. Bluebird is a homemade ice cream/tea room establishment, full of warmth and charm, and also housing a cool shop upstairs called Snowmonkey's: House of Monsters--selling all things monster, in a cool artistic way.
Our friend Scooter Lowrimore [] showed up to Bluebird with camera in hand, and captured a visual diary of our evening together--some of which is shown here.

some of Bluebird's game selection

cute dog that seemed to be independently enjoying the artwalk--going in between the shop across the way and Bluebird

Heather & Jen

I can't tell you what Heather is holding--this is a clean blog

cool picture [by Scooter]; me playing an interactive installation piece by Brad Biancardi--it actually creates sound

Wendy, (a friend of Scooter and Heather's [and now mine], who we coincidentally ran into and took along on our artwalk adventure) Jen, and Heather

I began to realize, after a cue from Heather, that to take a good picture, one must be prepared with Scooter, who is ever lurking around corners, ready to pop up and snap an unflattering candid shot. Ha! Scooter. Bring it. We're ready! (Notice the blurry brick wall in the right of the picture above? It's Scooter trying to be sneaky behind the corner)

and who doesn't end a night on Capitol Hill without some Dick's [drive-in]?



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

we girls and our art...

barbwire heart 2009 by jen

Quick little shout about our art.
Tomorrow night I will be at Bluebird: Homemade Ice Cream and Tea Room [].
It happens to be Bluebird's grand opening day, as well as the Capitol Hill artwalk. Check "where we at" for details.

Exactly one week after, Thursday July 16th, Heather will show her work at Salon Pena as part of the Edmond's artwalk [].

Hope to see you.


Friday, June 19, 2009

In a nutshell:

spring by jennifer culp 2009 24"x 24" mixed media

Feel like saying something, yet not sure what is relevant, so how about bullet points--thougths in a nut-shell:

  • thanks to my friend Bill I have a fresh stack of plywood waiting to be transformed into art
  • it's my kids' last day of school [boo/yay]
  • I still haven't gotten Heather's birthday gift (but don't tell her)
  • I'm anticipating an upcoming photo session with my photog-friend Kerry Morgan []
  • looking forward to a magical summer
*and on another note, below is a photo of a page from the book that Heather recently gave me. It's a vintage children's birthday book, and although I've looked through it several times, I failed to notice the last two pages that have the original owner's notes. Such a nice surprise.


Monday, June 15, 2009

To: Heather, Love: Jen

Happy Birthday Heather!

I don't have the capability to take a picture and upload the mosaic of a birthday cake I intended to make out of office supplies, so instead I give you this image--a party bird.
Have a great day; celebrate the marker of this new year in your life.
I love you my friend, let's live it up together soon.


*and as a plug for my best friend on her birthday, she has just posted a new blog, dedicated to her art--an online portfolio:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

"But what if he has a happy life turning out bad art?"

We had an exciting day in our household a couple of weeks ago. When I retrieved the mail from our box, I noticed something that looked far more fun than the myriad of bills and junk that stuffed the box...
A good friend of our family, author/cartoonist Mo Willems (well, he may not actually be aware that he's a friend of our family), sent my youngest daughter Ellie a postcard in return for a picture she had created and sent to him.
I (oops, I mean) She was so excited to see the return address of Mo Willems, and after opening it to reveal its contents to us all, my oldest daughter suggested we place the postcard in our family collage, with the hand-written note side facing out. [Ellie's mail surprise featured below]
I recently listened to an interview with Mo on NPR about the importance of getting adults to draw. It was very inspiring for several reasons and is definitely worth listening to []. The photo at the top of the post is a oil pastel family created picture my kids and I made about 4 years ago. It was initiated by my oldest daughter, and after some time, she asked us to join in and help color in the flowers, grass and trees. It's a drawing of a dogwood tree that sits in our front yard. Anyway, it ties into the Mo interview (listen to understand). Also inspiring is an idea I gleaned that will be quite nice for our next most awesome bookclub ever meeting. If any awesomers are reading this, then be prepared to create. The book this month was chosen by yours truly, and it's the biographical novel of Vincent Van Gogh, Lust for Life, by Irving Stone. Beautiful, complex, inspiring--I just feel that we should do something beside talk about the book, so by inspiration of the NPR interview we will be creating art by group effort.

*on a bluer note, I feel a bit like her (below), but the trials of life add to the richness, and the law of opposition promises good, so I go on knowing life is glorious.
detail to girl on a string by jennifer culp 2009 mixed media

*title quote taken from Lust for Life, by Irving Stone

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Under the big top of life.

under the big top 2009 6"x 6" mixed media

I spent the weekend with Heather, and she so sweetly surprised me with 3 vintage children's books, which immediately inspired me and I couldn't wait to get home to begin incorporating some of the pages from the books into pieces of art. I featured the piece above as tribute to mi mejor amiga, because she is a little obsessed with the circus theme. *If you follow our blog or know us at all, this may not be a surprising bit of trivia.
Beside the new books, and Heather's grandmother's artwork (as mentioned in the last blog post), was an equally inspiring trip to the Folklife Festival this weekend. Heather's family and mine spent an afternoon enjoying sunshine, good food, music, people, and the Seattle Center International Fountain. We also discovered some cool art/artists, two of which being Sean Wilkinson ( and Don De Leva ( We met them (and their supportive wives) in the booth they shared--they and their art seem to be good friends, reminding me a little of my art friend that I show with periodically [Heather]. I bought myself two little pieces, a mini canvas magnet by Sean Wilkinson, and a print by Don De Leva entitled Loco. Heather was particularly taken by a small painting by Don De Leva entitled Blue Skull, that can be seen on his website.
After our weekend of dinners, the beach, the park, Folklife, painting, and lots of laughter, we came together again today to visit Heather's grandmother at her retirement community in support of the opening day of her art show. I wish I had brought my camera, because after visiting Kathleen today, I have a new favorite by her, featuring two swans. *If you missed it, a few of her pieces are shown in our last blog post.

I think that's that for today. I just wanted to make note of a couple of cool links (the art friends) before I lost the thought, and to give appreciation to my friend Heather for picking up the vintage books for me, and also to pay a little tribute to Kathleen for showing her art, when it couldn't have been easy to gather it all up and put it out there for everyone to see--inspiring.


*The piece below is a paper pillow created from vintage paper and hand stitched together, featuring a bird fashioned out of paper from one of my new vintage books. It's meant as a little 3D art piece, paying tribute to pillows (i love naps) and art.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It runs in the family.

by Kathleen Johnson 1945

So I'm hanging with Heather this weekend, and she showed me some art created by her grandmother that she is helping to frame for her. I had the opportunity to talk art with Kathleen (Heather's grandma) at out February art show, and she shared with me that she too is an artist that had created some "bird" art in the past. I've seen some of Kathleen's work over the years and admired it without even realizing she was the creator--one of my favorites being a still life featuring colorful fruit.
I just found out that Kathleen is going to have a show, beginning Tuesday, and I look forward to seeing more of her work in person. I snapped a few shots of some of the pieces that Heather is helping to frame, and as you can see, her work is very cool and relevant today, although most was created long ago.

*On a personal note, Heather bought me some cool children's vintage books to incorporate into my art [thanks Heather].

And now we are off to take our kids to the Folklife Festival.

by Kathleen Johnson 1944

by Kathleen Johnson 1984

by Kathleen Johnson 1987

Monday, May 11, 2009

Where it's at--love.

My kids and I went on a walk Saturday morning. The sun was shining (rare), and I knew I would be busy painting, so I thought I should take the opportunity to go on a walk before I became too wrapped up in my work. My kids--with their keen eyes always looking for treasures--found this little heart. Not to be a cornball, but it seems like this little bit of nature is a reminder that love is everywhere. We were so lucky to find this treasure, and even more particularly special to our family is the fact that this heart is made out of "parties". Later in the season, my kids and I like to pull these very treasures off the trees once they've dried out and crush them between our fingers over each other's heads. They crumble into a shimmer and fall like confetti--hence the name "parties".
Nice little story. Hard to believe it was a yell fest in our house about 5 minutes ago (that's love for you).