Our first phase of Art on the Trail, a celebration of Landscapes inspired by the LHT, has come to a close. Now, it’s time to celebrate those 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 Flora and Fauna. Keep creating, we can’t wait to see your work. And, be sure to check out previously featured artists in our gallery for inspiration.
Aurelle Sprout, courtesy of the artist
Meet Aurelle Sprout – a Lambertville resident, fine artist, and retired art teacher. Working across media, Aurelle favors acrylics, and is inspired by the LHT’s wildest tracts and nature at large when creating her beautiful landscape pieces.
LHT: Can you share a biography or Artist’s Statement?
Aurelle: As an art teacher now retired, I have resumed my painting career with much excitement. I retired several years ago after teaching art at public and private schools for 35 years, including 20 years at Montgomery Township Schools. Steering me back to the artist within, I am grateful for a fellowship with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation as artist-educator with a grant that enabled me to participate in numerous travel excursions and mini-grants and to discover art resources and instructors in this area. I grew up in Pittsburgh, spent time in California and Lancaster, PA, and eventually settled in the Lambertville area in 1996.
A painting of Rosedale Park Lake. Bullfrog & Swallows, Acrylic on watercolor paper, 11×14 inches, courtesy of the artist
Exhibiting now, I have been in numerous juried shows such as Phillips’ Mill, Ellarslie, D&R Greenway, New Hope Arts, and Artsbridge. I have had the honor of receiving several art awards at juried exhibitions, one at Ellarslie Open and the other at New Jersey Audubon’s Wild New Jersey. I have had two recent solo exhibits, one at the Present Day Club, Princeton and the other at the Bank of Princeton, Lambertville. A two-month duo show in Lambertville began early this spring through June.
My undergraduate degree is in art education from Pennsylvania State University, and my master’s degree is in dance from Temple. Artists Gerd Koch and Carlisle Cooper in California; Michael Madigan in New Jersey; and Tim Hawkesworth and Lala Zeitland in Pennsylvania are my most influential teachers.
LHT: How long have you been creating? What inspired you to start or restart creating art?
Aurelle: Ever since I can remember my parents and teachers have encouraged me to create. Teaching art was a challenge and gift to me because I continually added art techniques, processes, and styles to my vocabulary. After I retired five years ago, I have been able to resume artmaking much more fully.
“Spring and early summer of 2019 were so dreary that I was quite challenged to paint en plein air. When a sunny moment occurred, I hurried outside to sketch and then inside to paint this.” Between Rain, acrylic on canvas, 20×30 inches, courtesy of the artist
“This delightful surprise has been nestled ever since I first explored this trail in about 1996.” Abandoned in Curlis Lake Woods, digital photograph, 8×10 inches, courtesy of the artist
LHT: What is your preferred medium or media?
Aurelle: Although I have explored many media, I especially am drawn to acrylics and mixed media acrylics. Photography is an important means to help me remember the moment and for reference.
LHT: Is all your artwork inspired by nature?
Aurelle: Yes. Nature is the inspiration and energy of my work. It is primarily landscapes and animals which are created. Expression is a creative process. What if this? What if that? Risk-taking, reflection, development and surprise are aspects of the process that keep me highly engaged. The natural world is my guide to the magic of creativity.
LHT: What about the LHT inspires you? What are your favorite segments?
Aurelle: The LHT’s wild sections – those left most undisturbed – are what inspires me mostly. Giving the land over to nature and its glorious offspring! Mercer Meadows, including Curlis Lake Woods, and the Watershed Institute (formerly called the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association) are among my most favorite segments.
LHT: How did you discover the LHT?
Aurelle: I discovered the LHT through my friend and now husband, because both of us come from families that liked to hike. We have continued that tradition.
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?
Aurelle: I encourage all simply to get outside with a sketchbook, camera, paints and … explore! Let the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feel of nature lead the way.
“Marveling at this hedgerow of trees literally before a storm was about to descend, I began the painting en plein air. However, the wind became too great for this rather large canvas and knocked it down several times before I continued the painting under a dry studio’s roof.” Before the Storm, acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches, courtesy of the artist
“Having climbed this trail in early spring of 2019, I recall the windy, cool, sunny day in the Red Rock country with fond memories now and in my youth when I first experienced this strange land.” Sedona Spring, acrylic on canvas, 24×18 inches, courtesy of the artist
“I painted this pond scene en plein air after viewing cloud studies by John Constable. It was amazing how quickly the clouds I was observing were moving and changing. Then I had the additional challenge of synchronizing water with the sky!” Reflecting Constable, giclee print on archival paper (the original was sold), 18×24 inches, courtesy of the artist
A photo by Art on the Trail artist Janet Waronker of Art on the Trail artist Aurelle Sprout painting en plein air in Mercer Medows-Rosedale
“The original, which is in a private collection, was painted en plein air. I remember the bright morning sun on this pathway which I was inspired to paint.” Morning Haze, mixed media, giclee and watercolor, 24 x 18 inches.