Nancye Culbreath

Website | Instagram | View All Works

Painting…A Conversation
Without Words – Biography Nancye Culbreath was born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma as her father was in the Army branch of the military. She lived in Germany and Italy as a young child, then returned to the United States to live on various Army posts until settling in Alexandria, Virginia for her teenage years. Living in Alexandria, close to Washington DC, she came to love and ride horses. Her parents purchased a horse for her to care for as well as to participate in horse shows and join a hunt club. Her love for drawing was nourished by art classes and horses became the subject of her art. She would often Illustrate images from books she had read for school assignments, mainly pertaining to the history of the old west and her fascination with horses, cowboys and explorers of the past. Upon completion of high school her love for horses was at the top of her pursuits. She decided not to attend a traditional college but took an extended course of instruction at the Potomac Horse Center in Potomac, MD. She received her professional certification in Horsemanship and Dressage. She was an instructor of English Dressage at Quantico Marine Base, Quantico, VA. and Woodlawn Pony Club, Alexandria, VA. Artistic Legacy Culbreath’s artistic legacy goes back to the 1800’s. Her Great, Great Grandfather, Nicola Marschall was a portrait painter having come to the United States from Prussia to pursue a career in this new country. He painted portraits for many notable families of the southern states. After the Civil War he painted both Senior Officers, General Robert E. Lee and General Ulysses S.Grant. Many of his paintings can be seen in the museums of Kentucky and Alabama. Culbreath is fortunate to have his original palette as well as a self portrait of Nicola as a younger man. Life in Rural Colorado Culbreath left the bustle of the east coast to move to Colorado in her early 20’s. Her desire to live in a small community where open spaces were met with more open spaces, came true in southern Colorado. She was in touch with nature and the beauty of the open vistas of the west. She met her future husband and as a young couple they settled and raised a family in the rural communities of La Veta and Cuchara Colorado. Living in a resort community with golf and skiing available, the beautiful mountain towns became the second home for many families. The opportunity arose to help supplement their income, Culbreath started a business in Property Management. Along with a full time business, and raising three children, there wasn’t much time available to pursue her art or ride horses. In the period of the 30 years living in these communities, they remodeled two homes and built two more. She continued to draw and took watercolor workshops by artist Margie Bradley. When she was in her forties, with the children in college and one married, Culbreath began to explore art as never before. Continuing to draw and paint primarily with watercolors, she wanted to experiment with different mediums and found her first art mentor, artist Joan Hanley, a graduate and professional artist from the Art Institute of Chicago. Ms. Hanley taught her techniques with acrylics and inks on a substrate called Yupo. This was so intriguing that Culbreath spent several years with this style and developed many paintings using these materials. “This technique was liberating compared to watercolor,” said Culbreath. “It gave me the confidence to create and use my imagination in ways that I hadn’t tried before.” Culbreath found her passion in painting when she took oil painting instruction by Tim Diebler, an accomplished and accredited artist in her rural community of southern Colorado. This was the direction she had longed to go in her painting career. Unlike her Great, Great Grandfather she has chosen the landscape rather than the portrait. Her love of riding through the incredible landscape deepened her appreciation for the colors of the southwest! “I don’t capture the images I see as realistic, but what I see speaks to me in its vibrancy without words.” Culbreath knows the fundamentals of painting having studied the masters, particularly, Ernest Blumenschein. Her inspiration to paint her recent works is her love for color and shapes. “Canyons lend themselves to graphic shapes and extraordinary color.” She has studied the works of Maynard Dixon and Ed Mell. “I relate to the simplicity and the boldness that these master painters inspire, I can breathe in their paintings.” Two New Chapters Unable to keep horses when moving to Colorado Springs in 2007 she supplemented her artistic endeavors by becoming a certified custom framer and opened a frame shop within a gallery in Manitou Springs. This was a successful business and her art flourished in the gallery atmosphere. The introduction to artists in and around the Colorado Springs area elevated her art career. She took an online art instruction course with artist Gwen Fox as well as a three day workshop. She took regular workshops and private instruction with artist Deb Komitor. Komitor became her mentor and this instruction was ongoing for several years. My love for the southwest continued by taking vacation time on Lake Powell in Southeast Utah. She grew to love the canyons and boating on the lake. A series of oil paintings soon developed in her studio. Culbreath had her first solo show at Farebella Gallery in Manitou Springs, CO. Culbreath has received numerous awards for her artwork in art venues and juried exhibitions throughout Colorado and Utah. She has received four Best Of Show awards. Her commissions are ongoing. One in particular, the cover artwork for a book published, Charismatic Cult by Paul Grady. An earlier mixed media painting of Culbreath, titled “Freedom’s Flight” was selected for the cover of EPIC magazine, Grand Valley Edition, Mar/Apr 2020. Leaving Colorado to move to Utah was only natural as Culbreath has always loved the wide open spaces and living a rural lifestyle. Her studio within their newly built home is north of Monticello. Canyonlands, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, and Natural Bridges are practically in Culbreath’s backyard. These locations offer a wealth to paint. The driving force to move to Utah was Lake Powell. Many of her paintings reflect that area of canyon landscapes. Since moving to Utah Culbreath has been painting full time when she is not hiking the canyons and sightseeing or working on their property of 7 acres. Most recently she traveled to Logan, Utah to take a plein air workshop with artist Keith Bond. “I am looking forward to painting outdoors more”, says Culbreath. “I believe that is the truest way to see.” “We are loving the painting that you did for us. We enjoy how it changes as the light changes in the room we have chosen to hang it.” I. Larimer “I recently visited the museum of Western and Native American art in Indianapolis and I want you to know that your paintings are better than any in the museum. “ M. Mueller Culbreath is a member of Southern Utah Art Guild, St. George, UT. Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, AZ. Canyon Country Discovery Center, Monticello, UT. Grand Canyon Conservancy, Grand Canyon, AZ. Culbreath is represented by Jackalope Trading Post, Monticello, UT. San Juan Record,Monticello, UT. John Wesley Powell River History Museum, Green River, UT. High Desert Cafe, Monticello, UT. 161 S. Hideaway Cove, Monticello, UT 84535


Nancye Culbreath
Artist Statement I have always been an artist, as a child growing up and as a young adult. It was not until I was able to paint full time that I became passionate about painting the land around me. I often feel that life is too short, there is so much “out there” that calls my name. It is humbling to be in nature and to live in the four corners of the southwest. Landscape painting takes me to places I have been and places I long to explore. Painting canyons for several years, I love the raw and rugged beauty that they possess. This reflects “life” in a way that resonates with me. Oil painting is my primary form of expression. I achieve the vibrancy of color and texture whether I use a palette knife or brush. My process begins with the visual beauty before me. I take a multitude of photographs. Sometimes I do a small painting on location to capture the mood of the day, enhanced by my energy and anticipation. Sketching and taking notes of the scene. Sometimes deafening quiet, or hearing a canyon wren or raven squawk. I’ll listen to the wind. Painting from life is its own reward. Taking my small study back to the studio I will map out the process of establishing the perfect composition for my scene. I often use vibrant acrylic colors of crimson, gold, and turquoise to tone my canvas or panel. This is the under-painting which gives a warm glow to the oil paints I place on top. The important element of a scene for me is to invoke the feeling to the viewer that I had when I chose the location. I want the viewer to make a connection, or have a special memory of the location that I have painted. I have achieved my purpose and know that the painting is a success when the viewer recalls the location, often sharing a special story of their experiences while they were there. The same is true whether I paint a mountain landscape or the wide open plains. My biggest challenge is to be true to myself when I am painting. I need no influences. There is no view in either direction that calls louder than another. I may have my favorites, but I am seeing what millions have seen before me. Towering buttes and canyon walls, flowing rivers and the ruins of an ancient culture. I am moved by the works of artists Ed Mell and Glenn Dean. Simplicity in composition, extraordinary color and often a sense of loneliness with each painting. I feel the depth, the degree of passion in their paintings. I see my work changing over time by becoming less hindered by capturing exactness in a scene but allowing the viewer to fill in what they know to be there. I am encouraged by my collectors as well as artists that this is a natural progression for me. I will continue my journey to carve out a place for myself and aspire to new plateaus. I’ll listen to the wind.

Works by Nancye Culbreath

View All Works by Nancye Culbreath