Making a Splash

Photography by Create + Gather
making a splash

Artist Cindy Wilson’s Davis property in Old Willowbank is a place for relaxation, inspiration and celebration.

“If you see it and fall in love with it, buy it.” That’s what artist Cindy Wilson says about artwork. “If you don’t, you’re never going to forget it—it’s going to be the one that got away.” It’s this exact advice that led her and her husband to purchase an oversized Tim Collom cityscape painting years ago without an actual place to put it. It’s also the approach they took when a 1950s ranch house that Cindy had long dreamed of owning suddenly hit the market: They didn’t let it get away.


With five acres to play with, Cindy decided, “I’m gonna build a pool house around that painting.” And she did. Colorful and accommodating, it’s situated near her studio—equally colorful—and a big, beautiful barn that was original to the property in Davis’ Old Willowbank neighborhood. By day, Cindy tends to her gardens, goats and chickens and works in her studio among her signature ceramic beach balls, sunbather statues and floral-forward paintings. Come evening, the Wilsons have no shortage of alfresco options, whether it’s by the pool, in the gardens or inside the barn, which has also seen a party or two. And although the end of pool season is approaching, they do have many things to look forward to this fall, including loving on their newest grandchild, harvesting a small pumpkin patch, enjoying their vineyard’s first vintage of cabernet and spending rainy evenings in the barn.

barn door

Outdoor arches crafted by local artisan Tim Hoofer of Hoofer’s Welding.
cindy wilson
A photo of Cindy’s sculpture of “the skinny gal with inner tube” is on permanent file at the Washington, D.C., Library of Congress under Pop Art.
The barn exterior was refurbished by James Kelly of Competition Construction, who specializes in barn renovations.