It’s been a few days since I’ve posted an update, so here we are with the catch up…
Saturday was a day of recovery from the past week of busyness. Slept in, had brunch, did some work, took a nap, went to a pool party in Maison Basse, went on a walk with Spencer and Rachael, had dinner, and ended the night with a movie.
Sunday started with a morning workout with Rachael, and a cool down walk before breakfast. After a shower, I spent about four hours in the basement Mac lab fighting with the wifi and trying to keep up with my four different journals…! (One for travel photo, one for art history, one for personal thoughts, and this blog) Eventually, I crawled out of the lab to go to the printmaking studio and carve some plates to print. Eventually my hand got tired, cramped up, slipped off of the linoleum, and sliced open the end of my pointer finger. Needless to say, that was the end of my printmaking work for the day. Stopped at the gym to walk Spencer through a workout with Rachael, went on a walk before dinner, and then failed to get the wifi to cooperate for movie night.
Monday meant the start of week two!
I have a feeling things are about to start picking up and time is going to fly, so I’m doing everything in my power to appreciate every second we have here.
9:00 photo included a field trip to Fontaine de Vaucluse. This adorable town is home to an extremely deep pool of water (deepest point reached at 308m) that filters down from the glaciers and flows through the town through a beautiful river as well as an ancient paper mill. We spent the hour and a half we had in this town exploring these two landmarks and as much of the rest of the town as possible.
On returning to Lacoste, I took a quick nap in one of the hammocks on the terrace, went to lunch, and worked on some homework before heading to Printmaking.
Tuesday started slowly… after breakfast I spent several hours in the library journaling and trying to get my work in order for the week, eventually I went to lunch and then to my art history class. Finished the day with an exploratory run, a workout with Rachael and Spencer, several beautiful rainbows, dinner, and a presentation by the animation professor.
Nothing crazy exciting to report, of course I’m still loving every second of being here, and having four field trips this week is/has been quite a whirlwind…!
À la prochaine!
It may only be 10:05 right now, but I am very tired and I’m not sure if I’ll make it through this post without several errors and a complete lack of fluidity…
Allons-y !! Here we go !!
So yesterday was Thursday - because of our campus wide field trip Friday (today), I had the entire day off from classes. After breakfast, some journaling and brainstorming for photo, Spencer and I took a trip down to the chilly Maison Basse pool to shoot some inspiration for his paintings.
After lunch I found my way back too my room and accidentally fell asleep for two and a half hours…
Finally got off my butt and headed over to the gym with Rachael and Spencer for a sweaty EMOM and a lovely walk down the hill (and then back up).
After showers, the crew headed to one of the two local cafes for a glass of rosé (and a scoop of chocolate ice cream < the real reason I “go out”).
No pictures were taken on Thursday, but Friday made up for it.
(I can’t even download all of the pictures I want to here because of post limits, but eventually they’ll all find their way somewhere on the internet)
Breakfast call was 7:45 this morning so everyone would be on the bus by 8:30 - after a quick nap on the two hour bus ride, we made it to Nîmes and walked straight to L’Arènes de Nîmes where we learned a little bit of history, ate some lunch, took some pictures, and then decided to get down out of the sun…
We found our way to the Museé du Vieux Nîmes where we wanted to learn about the origin of denim (supposedly it has something to Wild Bill Hick Hock, his horses, some gypsies, and Wild Bill’s misunderstanding of “de Nîmes”… and there you have it, “denim”), but it turns out the denim exhibit closed on Sunday… so we looked around the other rooms in the museum that were open, and then went to explore the rest of Nîmes and Jardins de la Fontaine.
Explored, took pics, sweated, ate some ice cream, and found our way back to the meeting spot to get back on the bus and head to Pont du Gard!
Pont du Gard is almost definitely one of the most beautiful wonderful places I’ve been in my life.
The structure itself is amazingly old and …just so grand
The water that runs beneath it is so clear and refreshing, the two hours we spent cliff jumping and swimming flew by… I would have happily spent the entire day here.
However, 5:30 meeting time meant back on the bus to Lacoste for dinner, showers, and now I’m here, just finishing up editing pictures, spending some time chillin and regrouping before I pass out…
Today was so busy and wonderful and I can’t believe it has officially been one week we’ve been here.
We have fit so many things in such a short amount of time, I can’t even wrap my head around it.
I love being busy and exploring new places and talking to new people and taking pictures every where I go… This experience is truly once in a lifetime and I can’t even begin to describe how thankful I am to be living here.
Bonne nuit tous les mondes!
I have somehow managed to do a semi decent job of keeping up with this blog, so hopefully I continue this bit of consistency for the next seven weeks… but no promises on that one.
Today was Wednesday, day 3 of classes, and as usual, I opened my day by sitting in the window of our little house, watching the sun rise up over the mountains… I treasure this moment every day because I know going home to the dreary winter of the midwest will lack both stunning sunrises to watch from my window, and the marvelous mountainous landscape…
After breakfast I headed to photo where we discussed a beautiful reading from “A Field Guide to Getting Lost” by Rebecca Solnit, where the author discussed distance, and the surreal blue color of mountains on the horizon…
(The following are quotes from the excerpt that I found quite beautiful and thought provoking)
“The color of that distance is the color of emotion, the color of solitude and desire, the color of where you can never go. For the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains … Blue is the color of longing for the distances you never arrive in, for the blue world”
“We treat desire as a problem to be solved, address what desire is for and focus on that something and how to acquire it rather than on the nature and the sensation of desire, though often it is the distance between us and the object of desire that fills the space in between with the blue of longing”
“Some things we have only as long as they remain lost, some things are not lost so long as they are distant.”
After discussing what we plan to be working on for the remainder of the quarter, and looking through some inspirational photographers, we took a hike up the hill to the quarry to take some photos… Unleashing 15 photo students in a confined area with no real direction always makes for a very uncomfortable group, so we ended up mostly snapping photos of each other for 15 minutes (see below) and then heading back down into town.
Photo was followed by lunch, a group work session in the lab, and then off to printmaking to have wonderful discussions about life, the things that are important to us, our definitions of success, and so many other important life lessons.
The printmaking professor here, (Prof. Kofke) has had so many interesting life experiences and has really run the gamut of being an artist. From graduating from SCAD himself, to teaching, attending residencies all over the world, and just getting by, I truly applaud how dedicated he is/has been through it all.
He provided a lot of good insight today in class, and I decided to share a list of some of those gems (…with whoever is still with me here)
Be easy to work with. No matter what.Be professional. You represent more than just yourselfWork internationally, then try to “become famous” (not the other way around)Don’t wait until you have what you “need” or until you’re “ready”, just go for it. There are people that are doing it whether they feel ready or not, and you can’t be waiting for the perfect circumstances.“Everything will be okay”Don’t be afraid to quit your job, sell your car, or get rid of your cat - Don’t use temporary things as an excuse to hold yourself backTrust your future self.
I hope that you can see the value in some of these things even though you can’t hear the stories that came along with them, and I’m paraphrasing a lot… Of course we talked about printmaking as well and had several different instructional demos, but I left the class feeling inspired and very happy.
Dinner followed class, and my friends and I retreated to the room with hundreds of DVDs in our sweats to watch Julie and Julia and eat European chocolate…
Once again, I’m sitting in my bed at midnight, trying not to fall asleep while typing, hoping all of this makes sense/is gramatically correct(ish), and hoping that the sketch wifi will cooperate for just a little longer… Every day here is so full, I never have any trouble falling asleep at night or waking up the next day.
Here’s to a classless Thursday (thanks to our field trip to Nimes and Pont du Gard on Friday), and a long weekend full of everything wonderful.
Bonsoir mes amis!
Classes have begun!
Monday I woke up early and had a sunrise workout with my friend Rachael, ate a quick breakfast, showered, and went to Travel Photography. After that I ate lunch, took a quick nap, worked on some homework, went to Printmaking, then dinner, and a movie night with Lizzie McGuire and the girls :)
It was a busy day, so I didn’t end up shooting anything, however, I had a little bit more free time today (Tuesday), so despite my alarm not going off and missing breakfast, today was a successful day as well.
Tuesdays are market days here in Lacoste, so I walked down to the “town square” (aka the parking lot outside the post office) and found something to eat for breakfast…
Naturally, I decided I needed to try some authentic French macaroons, so I struggled my way through speaking french to the vendor, bought four macaroons (lavender, coffee, chocolate, and creme brûlée - so delicious), took them up to a terrace near the top of the village and ate them while doing some work for class. It wasn’t exactly the morning I had planned, but it was absolutely lovely nonetheless.
Eventually it was lunch time, so I wandered down to the cafe, ate lunch and then found my way to le Masion Forte for “Treasures of Provence” (an art history elective). A three hour long lecture about the South of France is not my idea of the most exciting class, but luckily most of the classes are replaced with trips to villages/towns near by, where out only assignments are to journal and sketch about the things we learn… It could definitely be much worse.
Wrapped up today with Spencer and Rachael, doing a workout in the tiny SCAD Lacoste “fitness center”, taking a nice walk down to Maison Basse to dip our feet in the pool, picking (and eating) some fresh grapes off the vine, and walk back up the hill for dinner.
I’ve barely been here five days, but it feels like so much longer because there is always something to be doing or seeing. My eyes never stop taking in all of the beauty and excitement here, and I get excited falling asleep to wake up the next day and explore more of what there is to offer here. I can’t wait to learn and grow as an artist and find my way through the next seven and a half weeks here… I almost never want it to end.
The second full day here in France started again with a fairly early morning, wandering around the village, taking pictures, journaling, and admiring the beauty of the morning on one of the many balconies.
After brunch, a group of girls were headed to Bonnieux (the village on the hill opposite Lacoste) and invited me to come alone with them. The hike over there took several twists and turns and didn’t seem as easy as the “straight shot path across” that we had heard, but we enjoyed trying the local produce in all of the fields we walked through (figs, grapes, etc.) and didn’t mind the long trek across the valley despite our blistered feet and tired legs.
Because it was Sunday, and the tourist season was dying down, Bonnieux wasn’t exactly hoppin’ so we just hiked all the way up to the church at the top of the hill, and had cappuccinos and galettes before heading back to Lacoste for a meet-and-greet-make-your-own-crepes party. Today ended with a workout in the garden, a hike to the semi-off-limits quarry, dinner, and some reading before the first day of classes tomorrow…