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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Longest 2 Miles

"The Neshanic River, Neshanic, NJ"
8x10 oil on wood panel

It took a 55 mile trip to arrive at this spot 2 miles from my house: I had the idea of painting near water, so I headed to the Wickecheoke Creek, one of my favorite spots to paint, but the creek was bone dry and I just kept driving. I headed over to Bulls Island State Park to paint along the Delaware River, but the parking was jam packed with visitors and I couldn't even park. Same story with a couple of river access points on the way north to Frenchtown. It seems everyone was out tubing today! (Floating down the Delaware in a tire tube is a popular summer pastime around here). My next idea: stay away from water and go paint the old stone church in Locktown. No one is ever there because it's not an operating church anymore and it's only used for evening concerts and such. But, there was a wedding going on. Arrgh! I've never seen anyone there during the daytime before. So I gave up and headed home. Nearly home, I stopped to check out an area of preserved land that I've driven by hundreds of times but never stopped because there didn't seem to be anything there. I found one very overgrown trail which led to a nice spot on the Neshanic River, so I finally setup to paint. After 55 miles of driving, I ended up painting 2 miles from my house!

Sometimes one of my biggest challenges is simply finding a place to paint. There is plenty of great scenery around here, but with so much private land, and so few places to park my car legally and safely, it can be a real challenge. And I guess I should know by now which places to avoid on holiday weekends when the weather is perfect for tubing on the Delaware.

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