Devotion / Return to Innocence
"Jill Culver's artistry is truly a gift that keeps on giving!
I am an unabashed fan and patron of Jill Culver's artworks. For the past 7.5 years, I have been reveling in the steady stream of inspiration and insight that springs eternal from my Soul Portrait. When I sat for my portrait all those years ago, I had no idea the profound impact it would have over time.
And just when I thought it couldn't get any better . . .
Recently, Jill offered to show me a new painting she was bringing to life. She was between commissions, so she took to her oils and canvas completely open to see what wanted to come through, no client, no agenda. The moment I laid eyes on her latest work I knew it was for me. And I knew, with certainty, it was another Soul Portrait. How astonishing to realize that, once again, Jill conjured poetic imagery that speaks so profoundly to my Soul's Journey as I perceive it today.
Amazingly, the imagery of 'Return to Innocence' is as much a likeness of "me" as the original . . . perhaps more so because metaphor is so powerful. It speaks to so much of who I am, what is currently unfolding for me, and who I am becoming.
Bravo, Jill . . . and THANK YOU for being willing to do the profound work of Soul, with such delight, passion, supreme talent and willingness to continuously venture beyond the 'familiar' and the 'known'. I'm sure I will continue to collect and enjoy your deliciously novel and sensational works for years to come."
Twinkle Head - Reflection on a Portrait
I'd met Jill through my wife's social events and during the casual introductory chitchat learned that she was an artist who liked to paint unusual pictures of animals and people. Some time later I saw an example of her work and was blown away by the amazing imagery. Intrigued I asked her what went on to allow her portraits to be so different.
Jill explained how the imagery simply arrives and she paints it onto the canvas without question, sometimes with doubts only to find out later that she had captured some very key aspect of the subject's life experience.
This year I approached Jill and suggested that we discuss her painting my portrait. The "discussion" was not what I'd expected! It was very pleasant in so many ways but with Jill there is a wall that cannot be climbed, a line that cannot be crossed. I longed to tell her about me so that something extremely important to me would be included in my portrait. I restore and collect antique clocks, I wanted clock dial, hands, wheels in my portrait, I wanted my face to be painted as though it was inside a clock.
Jill in a most loving and caring manner simply doesn't want to know that unique aspect of you, she has a trust that as she sits before a canvas with a freshly dipped brush that the image will appear.
So, I agreed to be painted, we met, we talked casually about life, its ups and downs, what pleased and displeased us, but I didn't talk about specifics like my love of clocks or my previous work. Jill took many photographs of my face, I grimaced and complained and finally I laughed. As I left we hugged, I looked her in those baby blue eyes and said the truest words, "this is a huge leap of faith for me...", Jill laughed and said "I know it is and I'm proud of you for taking it".
Some four weeks later Jill called me - was I ready? Yes of course! I went to her studio, she sat me in a grand chair, the picture was beneath a cover on an old-fashioned wooden easel. Jill told me to close my eyes, she would uncover the portrait and then leave the room. If and when I opened my eyes was up to me. I heard the door close behind her and I sat, eyes closed wondering, a tiny bit worried, what if I did not like it, what if it made me look older what if it was a waste of money?
As I reached the inevitable decision to open my eyes, even then I waited, would I open them just a squint or wide open? Suddenly, with no other impulse than to "just do it" I opened my eyes and simply laughed. It was such a relief. A wonderful pandering to my vanity, she'd captured all that I loved about my face, my eyes, my hair and then had the courage to finished me off with a propeller beanie cap and flannel cowboy pajamas! So perfect, no clock pieces but somehow Jill had known that I'd been a technology wonk for all of my life and yet I love and crave humor, fun and laughter. It reminds me to lighten up and play.
Jill came in, we hugged and meant it. We talked a lot, she was nervous and inquiring, I was all about my pleasure and relief.
So, now, my portrait is home, my wife loves it, my kids hoot and holler, I sense they may tangle over who gets it when the old man is gone but until then I am one happy guy who feels good about that leap of faith. Thank you Jill, you gave me and my family something we will treasure for the ages.