One of the beautiful aspects of venturing over into Pennsylvania is getting to witness the many historical landmarks and architecture. Sometimes it feel like I’ve stepped back in time.
Last week I met some friends in Stockton, NJ and we walked across the bridge into Pennsylvania to the “unincorporated community of Centre Bridge which rests right along the Delaware River. During the 18th century this area was known as Reading’s Ferry. Development in Reading’s Ferry flourished at this time due its location along a water thoroughfare connecting New York and Philadelphia. Canal travel was faster and more efficient than other means at this point in time, and the canal boats could transport materials with some ease. Mules were used to pull the boats along to the intended destination.
Villages emerged in the area and a toll bridge known as the Centre Bridge was build when competition among ferry operators started to increase. Post offices, taverns and other small places of business were established. One of the indications of that at this spot is the Centre Bridge Inn which is a restaurant and Inn with all the old world charm you can imagine. (It’s hinted at in the painting by the yellow facade with windows.)
The boats provided a wonderful point of interest as they rested quietly in the water. And although they appeared to be abandoned they became the defining components to this painting and it’s historical reference. The details, lines and angles were intense and as a result heavily edited down. This was a bit daunting at first, but sometimes I just need to dive into those places and see what happens! Such was the case on this day of plein-air painting along the Delaware.