What does Princeton have in common with Giverny? Its own corps of plain-air painters actively immortalizing natural scenes in and around the town. D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Evelyne V. Johnson Gallery shimmers with plein-air art just completed, on view through July 25.
Heather Barros and friends take themselves to unique nature sites, such as Grounds For Sculpture, Prospect Gardens, and the fishing bridge on Carnegie Lake to capture momentary beauty. Selected artists are Helene Mazur, Lucia Stout, Jordan Spector and Heather Barros. All Plein-Air Painters of Princeton art is for sale – a percentage supporting D&R Greenway’s preservation and stewardship mission. Gallery hours Monday-Friday 9:30 to 5 p.m. Call 609-924-4646 to be sure gallery not rented at time of visit. D&R Greenway, 1 Preservation Place, Princeton. www.drgreenway.org
For more than 25 years, Heather Barros has taught art to children and adults through her school, Art Collaborations, inspiring hundreds to find and hone their creative centers, whether through puppet theater, yoga or enjoying the natural world with her group of plein-air painters. What she likes best about teaching is what she learns from students. Indoor classes take place on the campus of Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, 1128 The Great Road, Princeton. http://artcollaborations.net/
Barros may paint from Greenway Meadows Park in Princeton, or create an imaginary path through a foggy field. “When you paint en plein air, you stand in the same place for a long time… long enough to meet people,” says Barros. “It’s fun to see mothers picnicking with their children, and teenagers meeting for a tryst.”
Sometimes Barros works from photos, sometimes from life, and sometimes from her imagination. “If you do all three, you get better at all three,” she said. “Painting from memory, you understand what’s important and it helps to simplify.”
See Princeton scenes as they might have inspired Monet, Daubigny, Sisley, Pissarro and company, in the 1900 barn that houses D&R Greenway Land Trust.