Traffic Jam

oil painting of a white barn on farmland by Bridgette Guerzon Mills

Bridgette Guerzon Mills | Traffic Jam, oil, 20×16 inches

I recently finished this oil painting and have had it hanging in my dining room, right across from where I sit so I can stare at it, at least 3 times a day. Sit, chew, and stare. Yep, that’s my process. Actually I did this three times at least until it was done.

On Instagram I shared where the inspiration of the story came from and how the working title in my head while I was painting this was “Traffic Jam” but how I still needed to come up with a more appropriate title. But a couple friends there said I should keep it, so I am. It makes me laugh too.

Back at the end of December I had to go over to the Eastern Shore to deinstall my show M(Other) Nature. Anyone who lives west of the Chesapeake Bay understand that it’s a bit of undertaking when you say you’re going to the Eastern Shore because it means you’re going over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge- which can mean a normal traverse across the waters or it can mean that it will take you hours to get to your destination. It took me the normal hour and half to get to my destination. On my way back though it took me about 4 hours.

I had barely driven fifteen minutes heading back when all of a sudden traffic started getting diverted to the small and narrow 2 lane country roads that surround 50, which is the main road that all the cars and trucks take to go west and east. Like, the MAIN ROAD, as in only real road. It literally took over an hour and half to go 1 mile. 1 mile!!!! I had a long time to stare at the farms around me. I listened to music. I listened to podcasts. I called my husband. I turned my car off so I wouldn’t idle needlessly. I stared out the window. And I took photos of the land around me. This was one of the farms I had a good look at. My view from the traffic jam.

I think I did a lot better than some of my fellow travelers. It looked like one person lost their mind and tried to cut through one of the farms. We had had a record rainfall recently and everything was very wet. And yeah, farmland is rich, muddy earth so when you add recent torrential down pours….the car got stuck in the middle of the field. Literal stuck in the muck. I watched as a tow truck made it’s way nearby and then the towtruck guy got out and stared at the stuck car with his arms folded and a quizzical look on his face, like- this isn’t going to work out for anyone.

Before you get to the Bay Bridge when you’re heading west, there’s an outlet mall and so once I got past that never ending mile, I stopped there because I still had the regular hour and half left to get back home and I was about to lose my mind and needed to walk around. I found out from a cashier that her mom called her and told her about the backup. Apparently a truck had caught on fire. Hopefully no one was hurt.


Long story of a traffic jam that I’ll never forget! And this painting is a testament to it. I loved the textures of the land. And the shape of the white barn against the gray sky. I used my palette knife a lot on this piece. There’s a lot of texture that was already built in, in this painting. I had started another painting on this canvas before. I often do this. I change my mind often about things. I like the textures that the previous paintings leave. A trace of an earlier existence.


    1. thanks Celeste! that’s neat. I haven’t been on any islands out here except for the one where the wild ponies live!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search Icon Site Search Close Site Search
0 results
Text Newsletter