Sunday, March 28, 2010

"The Golden Road"

8" x 10"
Oil on Canvas

This is a farm scene from Bumpass, VA. The only reason anyone would go to Bumpass, VA is because of the town's proximity to Lake Anna, an increasingly popular vacation destination that is about 85 miles southwest of Washington, DC, 50 miles north of Richmond, VA and 50 miles west of Charlottesville, VA. In other words, the middle of nowhere. Lake Anna's popularity and growing permanent population has attracted the attention of wireless telecommunications providers looking to fill the coverage gap in this remote area. Hence the reason I found myself in Bumpass, VA about a week ago.

I've been on the lookout for barns to paint for months now and I almost drove past these two without taking a picture. As I mentioned, I was in Bumpass on telecommunications business and I was on the verge of being late to a meeting. I drove half a mile beyond the barns before I determined that I could not live with myself if I didn't snap a photo. So, I turned around, snapped some photos out of the car window and made it to my meeting with a minute to spare.

As you can see, I rearranged things a bit. I switched the rooftop colors and added a dominant mass of cedars behind the barn on the left. There were some cows on the farm, but I added the imaginary pasture in the top right and the dairy cows eating hay. "The Golden Road" refers to the path of hay that the cows are munching on. All of this I did to create two points of focus: The red barn on the left and the cows out to pasture in the top right. The posts in the foreground are in the original photo, but I angled them a little to point your eye in the right directions. Sneaky, huh?

There are still plenty of farms like this one near Lake Anna and much of the area around the lake remains undeveloped. Still, I have visited this area only a few times in my life and each time I visit, the fingerprints of the cities that triangulate the region seem to grow more distinct. I guess one could view my purpose in visiting the area this week as part of the problem, or, depending on your mindset, part of the future. I'm just afraid that our country is becoming one giant Wal-Mart Supercenter.


  1. This summer will mark the beginning of my 19th year living at Lake Anna. The changes have been very subtle and there's no fear that we are in store for massive construction. We will be getting our first supermarket here soon. That has been a long time coming. Life here is great with or without any additional amenities. I have a number of barn pictures. I enjoy taking photos of old buildings. As a REALTOR I'm on the road quite a bit and keep my camera in the car...lost without it.

  2. Kate, Thanks for the comment. Good to hear that things haven't changed, or don't seem to be changing as much as I had feared. Your knowledge of the area is obviously much greater than mine. I'd love to see your photos and maybe use them for painting.