PEOPLE OF INTEREST
Jane Baldridge, an accomplished artist whose work has been exhibited worldwide, portrays her passion for the sea.
THE MARITIME ARTIST
BY DONNA CRARY
Talk to Jane Baldridge and you quickly learn that her
life has revolved around her love for the sea. From
the days growing up along the coast near Galveston,
Texas, she spent much of her life sailing and racing sailboats,
working at her family-owned boat store, and later in
life, becoming a licensed boat captain.
“I’m a sea level girl,” she says. “I want to be on the water,
in the water and looking at the water.”
It comes as no surprise then that her artwork reflects her
passion for the sea. Looking back over a career that spans
almost 50 years, she points out that moving water is the
theme in most of her work.
In her Sea Stories paintings, Baldridge portrays rich
visual abstract seascapes that are translated through acrylics
“My joke about the blue is if you’re sailing for three
weeks and all you see is blue sky and blue water, what
do you think you’re going to paint when you get home?”
she notes. “In my sea stories, there were all of these pretty
days — those tranquil, perfect days for snorkeling the
reefs. But, I have plenty of storm stories, as well. I have
tapped deeper and deeper into some of the darker sea
stories — some of the storms that I have endured.”
Baldridge’s journey with water started as an infant when
her mother placed her in a bassinet underneath the seat of
her sailboat. Her mother was keeping a watchful eye on her
older brother, whom she had to chase from time to time.
Coming from a long line of sailing adventurers, Baldridge
says she was always happy while on board. She
sailed offshore for the first time at 12, feeling completely
liberated with no land in sight. At 13, she was part of a
group that sailed to Veracruz, Mexico. That trip ended up
as quite an adventure that included being surrounded by
Mexican gunboats, sailing into a hurricane, losing engine
power and being reported lost at sea.
Additionally, she became a competitive sailor in her teen
years and in 1976 won the gold medal for the Adams Cup
for the U.S. Women’s Sailing Championship.