Walking Five Mile Woods, hiking Baldpate Mountain, canoeing the Pine Barrens or combing the sands of Island Beach State Park, you are apt to find Boureau. Either with sketchbook in hand or seated at his French easel, he seizes the splendor before him.
We’ve all read the studies correlating the power of nature to soothe, not necessarily to cure, but definitely to heal. His landscapes and studies encapsulate that power. Boureau even adopts pharmaceutical lingo when referring to his favorite outdoor spots.
“Tohickon Creek above Point Pleasant,” he adds. “A good dose of nature.”
Yet even the earth’s glory can be deadly, which inspired Dangerous Blossoms, an exhibition of works at D&R Greenway Land Trust through July 19. Boureau has three pieces in the show. One is a study of deadly nightshade, also known as bella dona for its ability to dilate the pupils, making women more beautiful, and ill.
“I wouldn’t advise you try that,” Boureau jokes. “It could be deadly.”
He also painted foxglove, that tall, regal flower that gave us digitalis, a name of both the plant and heart medication derived from it.
Boureau’s porcelain vines piece in the show has sold to an anonymous buyer. The highly invasive plant has berries that birds love. Its deadly traits are limited to the native species it can choke out.
“I just can’t get rid of them,” Boureau says of the vine growing in his own yard. “But they are amazingly beautiful.”
If you get a chance to take in Deadly Blossoms, don’t forget to enjoy some time in the 17, 200 acres preserved by D&R Greenway Land Trust. Take a hike, volunteer to help build a trail, or stop by their Native Plant Nursery for indigenous flora to plant in your own garden.
Out among the beautiful old-growth forests and along many a trail you may run across an artist sketching or painting en plein air. Perhaps even Boureau.
“I take any occasion to be out in wilderness and nature.”
— Jodi Thompson