I went out to the James River with a painter friend the other day, to Rockett's Landing, to be exact. We were hoping to catch a peek at the marina and maybe do some painting around there alongside the water. Rockett's Landing is a fancy new urban condo development in Richmond that has been under construction for some time. My friend has a son who is a tenant there, so when I was invited to visit, my curiosity was piqued. The vision of the development is supposed to include not only condos but restaurants, shops, private slips and a public marina. The condos are up, and a couple of restaurants are emerging, but still there seems to be no sign of any kind of public marina that was proposed by the city to be developed some time ago, alongside the development of the private slips. There were a scant few private slips that looked occupied, and they were gated off, of course, so no painting down by the harborside for me. The grounds between the condos and the river are still very much a construction site. I had heard that a lot of the promised tenants of the condominimums vaporized with the failing economy and it's been much slower going than originally planned. Construction hasn't stopped, but it looks to have slowed considerably. In any event, dashing my hopes for a marina painting, I settled on this view, looking approximately west up the James river towards Richmond's skyline:
"Richmond Skyline" Oil on Canvas, 9x12"
It was all haze and big puffy clouds, the shimmering water rarely disturbed, and then only by intermittent flocks of Canadian geese. Being made to stand for a while and contemplate this very familiar view, I realized once again the incredible gift we have in the James, and the vast amount of nature and wildlife that pulses right through the heart of our downtown. So the river actually has plenty of tenants already, who seeminlgly have no awareness of any shortage. I just hope we can remember to serve them well.