If you look closely at a collection of Kit Dalton’s landscape paintings, you’ll notice a common theme: a path leading your eye into the composition.
“For some reason, I’ve always been drawn to the idea of existing within a piece. That’s why I primarily do landscapes,” Dalton says. “I’m usually trying to capture an emotional response, a feeling or memory of being some place.”
Since she returned to painting 16 years ago, Dalton has painted picturesque scenes from all over rural Bucks County. When the weather is conducive, she’ll often venture out with a small group and paint onsite, or in plein air. The trip may result in a finished painting, though she’s just as inclined to photograph or sketch subjects she’ll later recreate in her studio.
“I love to paint outdoors, but I’m rarely satisfied with what I produce outside. I mostly finish my paintings in studio. And I do a lot of work, beginning to end, in the studio,” says Dalton, who likes to explore lighting in her paintings, and describes her style as something closer on the spectrum to contemporary impressionism than realism.
Inspiration has been hard to come by during the pandemic, she says. She’s filled canvases with secluded pastures, fields of wildflowers, and woodlands, scenes immune to the constant turbulence of the last year.
Over the years, Dalton has visited the park several times with painting on her mind. Usually she’s drawn to isolated spots along the canal or river – always in search of a path – though she’s also painted portions of the north end of the park, around Bowman’s Hill Tower.
Beyond her painting, Dalton is also the founder of buckscountyfineartgallery.com, which represents about 20 painters from throughout the region, including herself. She launched the site in 2005.
“At the time, galleries in the area weren’t doing particularly well, so I figured let’s remove the brick-and-mortar gallery from the equation and offer people interested in Bucks County art a new experience,” she says. “On the site, they can sit with the art for a while and return to it whenever they want to.”