Roseland : Three Painting Pictures : A Poem By David Peyton

Our Three Beaches story starting on page 11 of our September 2017 issue of Blue Ridge Life Magazine.
Our feature of Three Beeches begins on page 11 of the September 2017 issue of Blue Ridge Life.

Nelson County, Virginia

We were tickled to receive this submission penned by BRL reader David Peyton of Wintergreen. We love getting feedback on our stories and this time, David’s feedback came in the form of a poem, inspired by our cover story of en plein air artists gathering at Three Beeches, a recently renovated farmhouse in Roseland.



The red roof is an obbligato

as three different painters render

this decaying barn; others portray

the well-restored farmhouse,

a more worthy subject, yes?,

yet the neglected seems to entice

as much as the renewed.


The woman wears a light blue shirt

untucked, long sleeves rolled up, light pants,

and a broad-brimmed straw hat

with a great big lavender bow,

palette in her left, brush in her right,

seeking to capture the multigreen

tuftedness of the wooded hillside.


The man is poised and dressed the same

but for the lack of a bow –

a thick double band will do.

He is just starting out, with bold dark

authoritative outlines to give form –

the ridges here in the Blue Ridge,

the outlines of the barn.


Finally there is the girl,

from whose angle the sloping lawn

makes one side appear to sink down.

With no adult care to detail or form,

she renders the weathered wood siding

with vertical abandon and trees with swirls,

as if she had just seen the play about Rothko


where the artist, after an hour of talk

about history and theory,

makes a frenzied assault on a huge canvas.

She makes the building look tall and narrow,

as if an old church. The roof gets redder,

befitting her short-sleeved white dress

with big multicolored polka dots.


The adults paint in the present, their work

headed perhaps for a gallery.

The girl’s work may wind up on a ‘frig,

yet she paints for the future.

Had there been a boy,

how might he have looked,

how might he have painted?


David Peyton

Labor Day, September 4, 2017, Wintergreen, Virginia

John Logan, Red (2010 Tony Award, Best Play)



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