Art on the Trail, our celebration of artwork inspired by the LHT continues! 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 Still Lives inspired by the trail. Keep creating, we can’t wait to see your work. And, be sure to check out previously featured artists in our gallery for inspiration.
Leslie Pell, courtesy of the artist
Meet Leslie Pell – an area resident who works in advertising but has always had a creative streak. While her background is in block-printing – including a line of tee shirts – Leslie’s current creative outlet is photography with a painterly touch.
LHT: Can you share a biography or Artist’s Statement?
Leslie: I grew up in London, but the Princeton area has been the place I call home for over 40 years. A graduate of PDS and Hamilton College, I settled back in the area to raise my children and be close to family and friends. While my career has been firmly planted in the world of advertising, I’ve always had a creative outlet. The first of these was Pell Prints, a hand-blocked clothing company that popped up for many years at the Princeton Hospital Fete and Pennington Day. These days I enjoy snapping photos of small moments that catch my eye that are used to print greeting cards and small works in plexi. The Lawrence Hopewell Trail has been such a gift during COVID and offered up a space to capture beauty throughout the seasons and a place to walk, run, and ride with people I love.
Sunset through grass – Kerr’s farm stand, courtesy of the artist
LHT: How long have you been creating? What inspired you to start or restart creating art?
Leslie: I’ve always been a bit of a creative soul. In recent years I’ve really enjoyed taking photos to capture the spirit of our family’s travels and local adventures.
LHT: What is your preferred medium or media?
Leslie: In my 20s I would have said hand-block painting with potato prints! I ran a small cottage industry business called Pell Prints making tee shirts and such for many years. These days photography is my creative passion.
LHT: Is all your artwork inspired by nature?
Leslie: Often, yes. Mercer Meadows and Rosedale Park have been a true gift. Walks on the LHT at all times of day have often offered up surprising views of wildlife and stunning views.
LHT: What about the LHT inspires you? What are your favorite segments?
Leslie: Rosedale Lake in the early morning or late afternoon is always beautiful with mist on the water, or gorgeous reflections at dusk. My favorite walk is from Rosedale Lake up through Mercer Meadows in a big circle. Every turn offers up a fresh view and a new type of path from bridges to wooded trails, bird stands to historic farmhouses. I’ve discovered something new on every walk.
LHT: How did you discover the LHT?
Leslie: My husband gave me a bike for my birthday, and we went on a long bike ride together from our house, past Kerr’s and through Rosedale Park and Mercer Meadows. Exploring on a bike was a terrific introduction as we immediately saw how vast and varied the trail is. One of the best times though was the LHT Full Moon Ride. It was an event I’ll always remember.
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?
Leslie: Keep your eyes wide open as you explore the LHT and take in your surroundings. You’ll be amazed at what you see if you pay attention. Beauty can be found in the dried grasses of winter as much as the flowers of summer.
Past the bloom – Mercer Meadows, courtesy of the artist
Flying Away – Rosedale Park pond, courtesy of the artist
Reflections 1 – Rosedale Lake, courtesy of the artist