‘Grand Home’ in Colusa highlighted in new book

A painting of the John Langdon House at 411 Ninth Street in Colusa, created by artist J.P. Lane and featured in his new book “Painting the grand homes of California’s Central Valley.” 

A Sacramento-based painter has published a book featuring several painting of local articulately unique homes in the Yuba-Sutter-Colusa region as part of his efforts to capture the history, beauty and complexity of California’s Central Valley, 

“As a painter, I wanted to do a series, but it had to be something that viewers and readers were passionate about,” said artist and author J.P. Lane. “I was driving with my son and he pointed out a cool old Victorian home and the idea just took off from there. I’ve always felt that the Central Valley has never received the respect that it deserves. When I started my research I found books on architecture from L.A., the Bay Area, and Napa, but nothing on the Central Valley.”

In his attempt to capture the lengthy history and diversity of the 450-mile stretch of the valley from Redding to Bakersfield, Lane’s book captures his two-year journey to research and paint homes from 31 towns, 20 architectural styles, regional crops and livestock as well as numerous painting tips.

“Through 69 oil and watercolor paintings, Lane tells the story of 52 Grand Homes, including the triumphs, tragedies, and humor of the families who built them,” it is stated on the back cover of the book. 

Locally, the book includes four homes from the Yuba-Sutter-Colusa region, including the Mary Aaron Museum, located at 704 D Street, Marysville, the Yamamoto Boarding House, which now houses some businesses at 320 First Street in Marysville, the Judge Craddock House at 370 Second Street in Yuba City and the John Langdon House at 411 Ninth Street in Colusa. 

The book also includes Magnolia Manor, located at 2690 S. Villa in Palermo, which was purchased and restored by a young couple that lost their home in the Camp Fire in 2018. 

Lane said he felt it was important to tell the stories of the different ethic groups in the Central Valley region and looked for opportunities to insert those into the narrative of the book. 

“I met so many interesting and funny people along the way that it really restored my faith in the people of this region, especially during a tough time for all of us,” said Lane. “I wanted to reflect that spirit and humor in the book. If you think your family has drama, just read this book and you’ll feel better.” 

Lane said he personally visited all of the homes across the region that were considered for the book and narrowed them down from 100 to 52, based on the criteria that the home had to be in good condition and the owners had to be nice. 

“There are homes and families who didn’t make the cut for the simple reason that if they were mean to me, they’ll probably be mean to you when you visit,” said Lane. “I’m looking at you, sassy Turlock Craftsman with porch idiots and Raiders blankets for drapes.”

He also said when searching for grand homes, palm trees were a plus because they “usually lead to luxury.” 

“Think about it - if you were living on food stamps and you finally scraped together a few hundred dollars, would you go buy a palm tree?,” said Lane. 

Lane said he has been painting all of his life, first with watercolors and then with oils, at the encouragement of his mother. 

According to Lane, the book begins by describing 14 art mentors who helped him throughout his life, including his grandfather who was also a Disney artist, an Irish nun who was great at drawing, his skilled and patient high school art teacher and his Chilean host father, who produced immense movie advertisements that were four stories tall. 

“It felt great to honor their contributions to this book,” said Lane. 

“Painting the grand homes of California’s Central Valley” is available online at https://tinyurl.com/7uvup9em. Lane said autographed copies are also available by emailing him at jplhome@gmail.com

For more information, visit the “Art of JP Lane” Facebook page.

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