Lou Messa


Madison County, Virginia resident, Lou Messa has been a professional painter since 1970. His style reflects the country landscapes and buildings which he paints, lush landscapes and old, run-down buildings, painted with exquisite detail.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lou spend three years studying at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts after high school. Once drafted into the Army, he became an illustrator, and once out of the service, he decided that he wanted to paint for a living. Cue a change of scenery as he and his family moved from Pennsylvania to the rural area of Madison, Virginia.

Lou prefers the country, both to paint and to live in.  He says he's a country boy at heart and his paintings reflect that love.  Old weather-beaten barns, winding country roads and overgrown pastures are favorite subjects for his detailed paintings.  He is also recording some vestiges of rural Americana that are fast disappearing, the barns painted with "Mail Pouch Tobacco" or "Coca Cola" and also some of the structures carefully built with stone and mortar or handhewn timber by immigrant hands.

Lou Messa works with watercolor or acrylic, rendering his images with great precision and detail.  His preferred palette is monochromatic browns and earthtones enlivened by concentrated bursts of localized color.