Yesterday, on a hot and humid morning, I ventured out to meet up with a group of fellow plein-air artists along the Delaware-Raritan Canal in Princeton, NJ. There’s a spot there call Turning Basin Park where you can rent kayaks and canoe’s by the hour. It also a nice place to bring your easel and plein-air paint.
The basin itself is quite scenic but not a place you can access mid summer with the all the kayak rentals going on and yesterday it was quite busy. The basin feeds into the canal which has a long tow path that goes on for miles. I chose a little spot near the parking area and a small dock where folks who have their own water vessels can enter. There was a lot of full sun so I found myself under one of the shade trees scattered along the trail.
This view that I chose was facing away from the basin and although a lot of the canal can look pretty similar I liked the beautiful curve of the trail here. A lot of the monotony along the canal at this point in the summer is due to it’s vast terrain of green. This was noticed by some of my fellow painters. Green seems to be a challenge at times for us artists when there’s just so much of it and not a lot else. It crossed my mind as well, but usually I can find hints of other hues if I take my time. If not, I can always pull out my artistic license to switch things up a bit.
The day warmed up quickly and I noticed the bead of sweat forming on my brow, grateful at that point for the shade tree above. As I continued to gaze upon the scene I started to see patches of other colors and a variety of interesting shadows, including some hints of red faced leaves among the masses of green. I spotted beautiful purple hues next to deep blue greens in the distance that created a nice compliment to the more vibrant sunlit yellow greens up front. As dense and detailed as nature can be I took liberty in honing in on the beautiful flow of shapes with the space. The foreground was simplified further once I came home, to open up the pathway leading in.