Two Main Arteries:

Appalachian Trail and Delaware River

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Two main arteries run through my life and my paintings – the Appalachian Trail and the Delaware River.  The map shows where the Appalachian Trail (red line) crosses the river from Pennsylvania, on the left, into northwestern New Jersey at the well-known Delaware Water Gap, and then follows the high ridge line of the Kittatinny Mountains.  I live just a few miles beyond the bottom of the map, and on most days I walk on the trail or on other local trails leading up to it.  Many of my paintings show places in the area of the map along the river and the trail, but the map shows only a small portion of the vast Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area that extends northeastward, covering some 67,000 acres of beautiful, wild forested valley and mountains on both sides of 40 miles of the river.  Through-hikers who have walked the entire Appalachian Trail know that the 72-mile stretch in New Jersey passes through some of the most beautiful and remote places between Georgia and Maine.  So I am blessed with an inexhaustible wilderness to explore and make paintings of.

We have lived here for nearly forty years, and for much of that time I walked the trails only for exercise, usually with a goal and a stopwatch, never thinking of the wild landscape that I loved walking through as subject matter for painting.  I had always painted figure groups in interior settings.  Over time, though, the beauty of the trails worked its magic on me, pulled me in, refused to be ignored. It has been a great pleasure to learn that the natural world near our home is the natural subject for my paintings. 

I’ve included here photos of our house and studio building, and snapshots of animals taken around the house.  We are overrun by deer, wild turkeys, and black bears.  Visitors are always surprised to discover that so much unadulterated Nature exists only an hour-and-a-half drive from New York City.  A third main artery on the map above is Route 80, which keeps us in touch with the city.

You can click here or on the map to go to the excellent website of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, where you can explore all 2,178 miles of the trail online.  Much better, though, put on some sturdy shoes, get out there, and truly explore the trail. 

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