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.
Mary Waltham, courtesy of the artist
Meet Mary Waltham – a Princeton resident who straddles two worlds – fine art and science. After a career in science and science publishing, Mary has recently completed a degree in fine arts. Her nature-inspired multimedia works not only celebrate nature but draw attention to the environment and climate crisis.
LHT: Can you share a biography or Artist’s Statement?
Mary: Artistic expression about nature can be far more than an escape from human-centred reality. It can make a pressing commentary on the state of our planet, the politics and policies that shape public debate about our environment, and the questions we need to confront.
My intention is to contribute to this rise in interest and to spark new conversations, by bringing the landscape to life through my work.
After a career in science and science publishing, and as a biologist, I bring a distinctly different perspective to “nature” for inspiration.
I am now a working artist living in Princeton, New Jersey.
I work in a broad variety of 2D and 3D media chosen to express the particular character of the environments I choose. I often incorporate materials directly from the landscape such as bark and mud, in pursuing my intention to integrate “landscape” with “environment.
Fox Leaping. A characteristic pounce for a small mammal in grass. Acrylic on paper, 18×24”, courtesy of the artist
LHT: How long have you been creating? What inspired you to start or restart creating art?
Mary: Since I was at school, but at 16, in the United Kingdom, I had to choose between science and art. So, there was a very long gap, and most recently I have completed a degree in fine art.
May Apple (Podophyllum peltatum). Watercolor, 10×14”. The intention is not to mimic botanical illustrations but rather to capture the small miracles emerging each week, courtesy of the artist
LHT: What is your preferred medium or media?
Mary: I work across a range of drawing and painting media, and installation works and video. I like all of them and enjoy the shifts in scale and method.
LHT: Is all your artwork inspired by nature?
Mary: My primary concern is with the environment, I am an eco-artist, and so I have a strong focus on “nature” – and what we humans do to it!
LHT: What about the LHT inspires you? What are your favorite segments?
Mary: It’s a wonderful initiative, close at hand and fun to explore in all seasons by bike and on foot. The Mount Rose segment and the Mercer Meadows segments are personal favorites.
LHT: How did you discover the LHT?
Mary: Articles in the local papers got me started and then the signs at trail crossings popped up!
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?
Mary: If you have any interest in making art to celebrate nature, it’s important to just try, and enjoy the process as much as the product.
Shad. Watercolor on mylar layers acetate layers, courtesy of the artist
Dragonfly: 14×19″ Watercolor on Mylar layers, courtesy of the artist
Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum). Watercolor 14×10”, Medicinal uses that have been made of this plant are a reminder of the current global search for therapeutics, courtesy of the artist
Nature Bark. Part of a mural on Springdale Road, Princeton, all in bark, 60×42”, courtesy of the artist
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) 14″ x 10″ (35cm x 25cm) water based media on hot pressed paper, courtesy of the artist