On hot summer days, my mom used to take my siblings and I on a hike to Cuttalossa Road from our house in Lumberville. We would pack up our lunch, a jug of water, books (my sketchbook!) and spend the day wading in the creek, turning rocks to look for salamanders and cooling off in the shade of the wooded canopy.
Yesterday, I returned to "our spot" along Cuttalossa Road and painted the grassy meadow with the old sheep shed. The babbling creek beneath the bridge and the occasional breeze rustling the leaves were familiar and comforting sounds. I remember sitting on the bridge, dangling my legs over the edge, sketching while my mom sat nearby reading her book. She was with me yesterday, in spirit. Forever, in my heart.
Two weeks ago, I was in Chestertown, MD participating in a plein air event. I think I am still drying out! Four days of non-stop rain, damp and chilly temperatures made the event a challenge. There was the physical aspect of staying dry (and warm!). But as a painter who is attracted to the play of light and shadow, it became a new challenge to look for other inspiration. I really didn't have to search too hard... the spring colors were astounding with lush greens and vibrant hues of the marsh grasses. There was a softness to the scenes and, on a positive note, the light barely changed during a painting session!
These challenges also bring out a plein air artist's "MacGyver" mode. My artist friend Elissa Gore and I backed our cars up to each other and taped a poncho as a makeshift tent. It worked pretty sweet until, unbeknownst to us, the hood had filled with water and it released it's contents right onto Elissa's head -- the ultimate "ice bucket challenge"!
A lot of laughter, some towels and a trip into the closest town for some coffee and soup (and changing into dryer clothes) and we were back at it! Here's some paintings from the trip.
Tavern Creek, plein air watercolor, available for purchase
Quaker Neck Landing, plein air watercolor, available for purchase
Vanishing Landscape, plein air watercolor, available for purchase
Seasons' End, plein air watercolor, available for purchse
Is there anything more glorious than Springtime in Bucks County. The cool nights and warmer days have brought on a bounty of blossoms and lush greens. I love the observations that plein air painting affords. The subtle hues and soft tones of the trees as they begin to bud and fill out. The flurry of birds and their return to their springtime habitat as they make nests and forage on seeds and grasses.
This is a scene on Meadow Lane (appropriately named, don't you think!)... I love this little country road near my house. With only two farms on the road, there is little traffic. This day was particularly spectacular with a slight breeze in the air and the warmth of sunshine. The hawks and birds flying in and out of the meadow were my steady companion. Behind me was the melodic sounds of a babbling brook. Perfect. Spring. Bucks County!
I grew up along the Delaware River in Bucks County, PA. My earliest memories are of drawing outside with my sketchbook and it evolved into plein air painting with watercolors. I love capturing scenes that inspire me - many I find along my everyday travels in and around Bucks County.