Art on the Trail, our celebration of artwork inspired by the LHT, continues with Flora and Fauna. We are thrilled to present inspiring contributions from local artists – professional and amateur, across various media, each creator taken with different scenes along our 22 miles of trail. Currently, we are accepting new art featuring LHT Waterways. Keep creating, we can’t wait to see your work. And, be sure to check out previously featured artists in our gallery for inspiration.
Amanda Chesney by our beautiful Brearley Oak, courtesy of the artist
Meet Amanda Chesney – a Lawrenceville resident who is a scientist by day and an accomplished printmaker in her spare time. Her prints, which include etching, silkscreening, solarplate printing, and other techniques, incorporate feathers, leaves, and flowers – some of which she finds on her walks along the LHT.
LHT: Can you share a biography or Artist’s Statement?
Amanda: I am a printmaker living in Lawrenceville where I teach locally and also sell at shows and events. I’ve been making prints for 15 years, and never get tired of the moment when I get to see how a print turns out after coming through the press or being pulled from a plate.
In addition to being a professional scientist-by-day, I’ve studied a variety of printmaking techniques such as etching, drypoint, aquatint, silkscreen, monoprinting, collagraph, linocut, and solarplate. My prints are held in collections domestically and in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Brazil and France, and I have exhibited in personal and group shows for the past 12 years here and in Canada.
I print small editions only. My favorite materials currently are found objects from nature or as post-consumer waste, and botanical materials that I find locally such as on the Lawrence Hopewell Trail.
Awards include 2nd place in the New Jersey Printmaking Competition in 2012 as well as 2nd place in the Audubon Society Art Competition 2013.
LHT: How long have you been creating? What inspired you to start or restart creating art?
Amanda: I’ve been practicing printmaking for around 15 years. I was drawn to the medium as it combines creativity with a need for technical excellence – there are so many ways a print can go wrong! As a scientist by day, printmaking is a wonderful way for me to use the other side of my brain. I love that it requires so much focus and attention to detail that all other thoughts in my mind fall away.
LHT: What is your preferred medium or media?
Amanda: Printmaking is my main medium. I’m fortunate that there are so many branches of printmaking that I’m sure a lifetime of study isn’t going to allow me to try them all, and as new materials and digital technologies come along, the medium continues to evolve. There is something very rewarding about using a technique like woodcut or etching that hasn’t changed in over 500 years – there is a connection to generations of craftspeople who have come before. It’s equally exciting to use a technique like solarplate that uses modern materials to create images in new ways.
LHT: Is all your artwork inspired by nature?
Amanda: Most of my artwork is inspired by nature. I never get tired of the patterns of leaves, the way certain trees branch, or the color palettes of the changing seasons.
LHT: What about the LHT inspires you?
Amanda: I love that the LHT is very accessible, and that it has a blend of urban and wild elements on each of its segments. I see something different every time I walk or bike it. Birds, deer, salamanders, jewel-colored beetles – you never know what you’ll come across.
LHT: Do you have advice or messages for other artists (adults, kids, novices, pros) encouraging them to get outside and create art inspired by the LHT?
Amanda: Just get out there. Some of the best times I’ve had on the LHT have been those too wet, too cold or too early visits. It’s those moments when I’ve seen the most amazing light for photography and the wildlife is the most active. There is something special about feeling like you have the trail all to yourself.
Wild Oats and Barley, collagraph monoprints from feathers and foliage along the trail Sections 5 through 16 from March to September 2020. Printed from the collected objects by hand-inking and using an etching press with archival paper, courtesy of the artist
Japanese Maple Monoprint, courtesy of the artist
Delaware Hike Field Notes Collagraph Print, courtesy of the artist
Collagraph monoprints from feathers and foliage along the trail Sections 5 through 16 from March to September 2020. Printed from the collected objects by hand-inking and using an etching press with archival paper, courtesy of the artist