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Waynesboro and P. Buckley Moss

April 23 , 2007

Written May 19

Dear Friends and Families,


After our stay in Staunton, we wanted to return to Lynchburg via Waynesboro, just a small detour. It was a nice sunny day and Spring gardens were starting to sprout. These king-size pots and watering can greeted us on the drive out of Staunton.



Our original goal was the Artisans Center of Virginia, a gallery of local handicraftsmen who's advertisements I'd often seen on my Virginia trips. Before the end of the day, we did see the Center, and it was OK enough; pottery, small wood furniture, some paintings, etc. Nice, but perhaps not exceptional. (http://www.ArtisansCenterofVirginia.org).


Our more memorable artistic event came courtesy of P. Buckley Moss, at her museum and her Barn. P. Buckley Moss is a very successful artist and illustrator and Marianne had picked up a children's book of hers at the gift shop in last night's hotel. The owner mentioned that Ms. Moss would be signing books in Waynesboro and this sounded like a fun addition to our tour.



It took some amount of looking around, but eventually we found the P. Buckley Moss Museum (http://www.pbuckleymoss.com). It is a new building, built along the lines of the old homes of the area, homes which appear in many of Ms. Moss' drawings. Outside, the setting was calm and peaceful, at least as much as possible, given that it is near a crossroads of a freeway and a major highway. Inside, the gallery of Moss paintings covers her long career, from her early struggles to deal with dyslexia up through her current success. Downstairs, the museum gift shop sells her drawings, prints, books, etc. It seemed as if there was a whole industry set up for her artwork.

After picking up a couple more children's books (for a niece and two grandsons), we got directions to "The Barn", Ms. Moss' Waynesboro home, where she was indeed signing works. The home and Barn are set in a very pleasant neighborhood of large lots and good-sized family homes. The area landscaping bore a resemblance to Ms. Moss' drawings, or vice versa I suppose.

The Barn is indeed a barn, converted into a wonderful, open space, perfect for drawing and painting, as well as for entertaining several dozen autograph seekers. Everything was all very well organized by local folks from the Moss Society. We received a number when we came in , which would allow us to wander around the Barn before joining the autograph line. We enjoyed this part, because the space was just what we dream of creating back home, although we will do it on a smaller scale! Even Ms. Moss furnishings looked like things that would fit into our Bavarian Barn, when it is fixed enough to warrant the capital "B".



When our number was due, Marianne joined the line and I took out the camera. Then, we were taken in by the charm of P. Buckley Moss. She and Marianne talked about little villages in Italy as if they were old friends, just getting back together after years of separate travels. In this discussion, it was clear that Ms. Moss enjoys her work, including chatting with strangers and making them feel special and at home in The Barn.


Before we left, we learned that we would win the award for the fans from farthest away, and our picture would appear in the weekly Moss newsletter. We left thinking how nice it was that obvious commercial success had come to such a pleasant and charming artist, one who illustrates that "learning disability" may affect how one's career starts, but not how it finishes.


So, keep your eyes open for beauty where you find it. In big iron pots, in peaceful garden settings, in homes and barns, and in people you come across.


John and Marianne.


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