|Delaware Water Gap, by Carol L. Douglas. This is almost the only paintable vista left since US 80 was built.|
Rumor has it that I’m going to New Jersey on Friday. I love New Jersey, but I’ve seen an awful lot of it this month. All this travel is cutting into my painting time. However, I will drive through the Delaware Water Gap, which is a favorite place and always a great mystery to me.
|US 80 owns the Delaware Water Gap now.|
A water gap is an Appalachian phenomenon, where a river is so old that it predates the lifting and folding of the landscape, and therefore it cuts across a mountain range. Water being so malleable and rock being so hard, it’s difficult to see how this happens, but the evidence is there on those folded, rocky scarps. Water gaps are particularly common in the eastern part of Pennsylvania.
The Delaware Water Gap, 1861, George Inness
US Interstate 80 runs through the Delaware Water Gap now, making it difficult to find a good painting vantage point. I’ve painted several times from along the river’s edge itself. That doesn’t give you the panorama that you would have if you stood right on the pavement (which would make for a very short painting career). There is an overlook on the New Jersey side that might make for a good long-distance painting, but I’ve never hit the right combination of lighting and sufficient time. It isn’t going to happen in the chilling weather we have this week.
On the Delaware River, 1861-1863, George Inness
George Inness is particularly associated with the Delaware Water Gap. His paintings are a bucolic reminder of a time when tractor trailers didn’t own this particular American treasure.
The Delaware Water Gap, 1857, George Inness
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