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.
Pratibha Raju, courtesy of the artist
Meet Pratibha Raju – a Plainsboro resident, fine artist, and art instructor. Pratibha likes the depth acrylics create, and she uses them to create nature-inspired landscape and still life paintings as well as more traditional Indian artwork. She’s inspired by the variety of landscapes the LHT offers, and is especially fond of our spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
LHT: Can you share a biography or Artist’s Statement?
Pratibha: I am an artist and a visual art teacher. I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in Drawing and Painting in 1998 in India.
Since then I have been practicing and teaching drawing and painting in different styles and mediums. For the past six years, I have lived in Plainsboro. I have exhibited my paintings in various art shows. I love painting landscapes, mostly acrylics. Teaching drawing and painting is also my passion, I have been teaching at the West Windsor Arts Council. Being around nature is very pleasant. There is a lot to learn from nature, capturing the zest of the atmosphere, and depicting it as I experience it. That is the journey of my paintings.
An acrylic painting of Village Park, courtesy of the artist
LHT: How long have you been creating? What inspired you to start or restart creating art?
Pratibha: I was fortunate to be born in an artist’s family. My father and grandfather were artists so drawing and painting was a childhood activity. Watching my father paint has always inspired me to follow the passion of drawing and painting. As I studied visual arts and got involved more in it, nature has always been my favorite topic. I enjoy being around nature and depicting it in my paintings.
LHT: What is your preferred medium or media?
Pratibha: I like acrylics as I feel it has more scope to showcase the atmosphere of the landscape. Acrylic gives the space to build layers of paint which add depth. I also work with watercolors and for students the watercolor medium is the best to start with.
LHT: Is all your artwork inspired by nature?
Pratibha: I do mostly nature-inspired paintings like landscape paintings and still life paintings, sometimes it is interesting to do botanical illustrations. I also work on Indian Traditional painting which has lots of details and looks elegant.
LHT: What about the LHT inspires you? What are your favorite segments?
Pratibha: I like the beauty of nature all around the LHT. The best part is the sunrise or the sunset. They look different each day – the colors of the sky and the surroundings add to the beauty, the light and shade effect creates a different atmosphere. I like both Mercer Meadows and the Princeton Pike segments.
Fall Colors, courtesy of the artist
LHT, courtesy of the artist
Car Ride Sunset, courtesy of the artist
Princeton Meadows, courtesy of the artist
LHT: How did you discover the LHT?
Pratibha: I like going on trails for morning walks and one of my friends suggested the LHT. Once I started walking the LHT, I was amazed to see the vast area it covers, and there is still a lot to explore.
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?
Pratibha: The beauty of nature in and around the LHT is simple and elegant, for an artist it’s very engaging to capture. The more we work on art, the more we create a passion for it, and we start enjoying the process of nature drawing and painting. It’s always good to start with sketches and later watercolors.
Winter Wonderland, courtesy of the artist