Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Easel on Down the Road - Tennessee

My short stay in Tennessee had many interesting aspects but one event will forever define it for me.  First things first...

I had a free week and decided to grab three more states before year-end (16.6 x 3 years = 50 states). So, yesterday I headed south out of Saugatuck (through a freakishly bad snow storm at the bottom of the lake) to Nashville, where my niece welcomed me with open arms, two small children and turkey chili (yum!). 

Robin is the oldest daughter of my third oldest sister. She unintentionally inspired me to write this blog because her own blog is both naturally humorous and unselfconsciously smart.

This morning, Robin and the boys led me to Percy Warner Park in Belle Meade, a city within the city of Nashville. Old stone steps climb gracefully up a hill, the entrance to over 800 acres of wooded trails. I set up looking at a small bridge. The old masonry was difficult to draw but the light through the trees was magnificent. It was cold and I had a hard time concentrating at first.

As soon as an expected phone call was received and completed, I could relax enough to focus.  That call was from "A Way With Words" (, an NPR show that I heard in Minnesota (we don't get it in Saugatuck). I had called in about the word "oory-eyed" and they wanted to hear my story! I was so nervous; I was snuffling from the cold and madly trying to evade the leaf blowers who were roaring in the background, but talking to the hosts was easy and fun. I wonder how much will get edited out... 

So that call will always remind me of painting in Tennessee. And I will think of the mansions lining the streets in Belle Meade when I think of Nashville and also of being a young mom with little peas at home, playing endless board games and inventing Batman scenarios. 

Tonight I am in a lodge at Barren River Lake State Park in Kentucky. Tomorrow I paint this state a second time.

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