Tag Archives: Evolution

The Evolution of a Masterpiece

15 Feb

There is this cool place in town called The Art Mill, where people can paint. It is owned by some friends of ours and has been quite successful. On top of that, it is easy. You pick out what you want to do, and they take you through a step-by-step process. Before you know it, you have become an artiste.

My wife thought The Art Mill would be a great place for us to spend Valentine’s Day as a family. My stepdaughter was not too fired up about it, but I was. I was so fired up that I picked out one of the hardest things to do. When we got there, they had to convince me that I should start off with something a little easier. That is when I spied a landscape scene that looked cool.

After a few brushstrokes, it looked like this.Art Mill 1

As I was instructed, a few more strokes were added.Art Mill 2

Now, it was time for a real color – orange.Art Mill 3

Next, I was told to add in some darker stuff.Art Mill 4

At this point, I was not sure how it would turn out. Then, the trees were added.Art Mill 5

The finishing touches were the branches, the shadows and the stars.Art Mill 6

Alright, it is not a masterpice, but it is decent coming from someone who did not know what they were doing.

A strange thing happened while I was painting this landscape. I began imagining someone living within it. Maybe a person coming from a distant place over the horizon. As the night passed, they moved closer to the dark forest. I pictured them moving slowly on horseback while they sensed the world around them. Where were they coming from? Where were they headed? I am not sure, but I think it is a strange world in which they navigated.

Is that what art is supposed to do? Bring out our creativity and imagination?

Anyway, we all had a great time painting, talking and laughing. That included my stepdaughter who wanted to know when we could go back. Next time, though, I do not think I am invited. It will be a girls only thing.

Let’s Go Peay!

3 Sep

College football season has begun, and it was a rousing start for the University of Tennessee. With a 45-0 victory over Austin Peay State University, they got an easy but much-needed win. Instead of boring you with the details of the game, I have decided to share some information about the opposing school.

Austin Peay State University is in Clarksville, Tennessee, which is not too far from Nashville. Clarksville is known for a few things other than the university. It is the largest city around Fort Campbell, a major military installation and home of the 101st Airborne. Legend states that it is the Clarksville mentioned in “The Last Train to Clarksville” by The Monkees. In another musical connection, Jimi Hendrix was stationed at Fort Campbell when he was in the army.

Wilma Rudolph is probably Clarksville’s most famous native. During the 1960 Olympics, she was the first woman to win three gold medals in track and field.Wilma Rudolph

Rudolph did not compete for Austin Peay. Instead, she took her talents to Tennessee State University and its famous track and field team.

Athletically, Austin Peay State University is known more for a chant by the fans than by what happens on the field. To spur their teams to victory, the fans yell, “Let’s Go Peay!” Obviously, that has a double meaning and gets laughs from other fans. However, it was better in the 1970s when Fly Williams played basketball for APSU. A New York City playground legend, Williams managed to find his way to Clarksville.Fly Williams

When Williams was on the court, the fans chanted, “The Fly is Open! Let’s Go Peay!” It could be the greatest chant in college fandom history.

You may be wondering how a school can get a name like Austin Peay that leads to such chants. Austin Peay was the governor of Tennessee in the 1920s, when the university received its charter. Austin Peay

He signed into law the Butler Act, which outlawed the teaching of evolution in Tennessee Schools. This led to the Scopes Monkey Trial, one of the most famous trials in the history of the United States. Ironically, Peay stated that the law should never be put into effect. While it has been stricken from the books, the debate over the theory of evolution and creation continues well into the 21st Century.

I wonder if the evolution folks chanted “Let’s Go Peay!” when he signed the law.