October 3, 2016

Posts every three days is pretty reasonable right….?

I’m tryin… 


(oh boy this is going to be fun - I am very tired and getting sick)

Saturday I was planning to sleep in, but awoke to Rachael calling me to go to the market with her and Steph. So I got up and got ready in 20 minutes, and we took the bus to Apt. We shared a warm baguette and walked around in the rain, stopping in a few stores and following Steph around as she took pictures for her photo project. Eventually we headed back to Lacoste, had brunch, and watched a documentary while we worked on some homework. There was a mandatory photo field trip to a local photo exhibition in Apt, so after getting ready to go, we drove back to Apt to look at studio shots of horses, walk through the rain, and almost miss dinner.

Sunday I decided to sleep in and catch up on some rest. Eventually I went down to breakfast, and left from there to go on a walk… Somehow my “walk” turned into a 10k hike up a mountain to the Cedar Forest on top of Le Petit Luberon… 3 hours later I returned with muddy shoes and a stupidly hilarious snapchat story of my experience (I hiked through the fog/clouds, found a random dog with a bell around its neck that led me along the trail before abandoning me, french hikers tried to communicate with me, I almost got lost/had no idea where I was going, started hiking down the other side of the mountain, then decided I should probably turn around, peed in the forest, and finally made it back to civilization..!) All in all it was quite an adventure. After that I had to actually get started on homework, but not before baking cookies with Steph, because cloudy/rainy weather and homework always goes better with a warm batch of cookies… After dinner I spent some time in the printmaking studio, and then in the photo lab printing photos until I couldn’t keep my eyes open and headed home to pass out.

Which brings me to today…! What a day today was. It began with photo, where we got a tour of Lacoste and learned about its history and lots of interesting facts from a man with a strong french accent. Then we headed back to the classroom for our first critique. After photo I went straight to the printmaking studio to work on my first round of prints. Then I ran down to lunch before the café closed for the afternoon. Back up to the studio for round two of printing, before class. Then three hour printmaking class, followed by another run down to the café for dinner, back up to the studio to finish and clean up, then ran over to the library for a group meeting for our art history presentation, and then home to process how I could spend the entire day in the printmaking studio and still have an entirely new plate/print due in two days…… awesome.

Very exhausted, not feeling spectacular, but also I’ve been waiting for the day I caught this sickness that has been going around here since the first week… A lot to get done before we head to Paris next week so on to the next day…!

September 30, 2016

I can’t believe tomorrow is October 1st… 
September always seems to fly by.

Nonetheless, here we are again, with your three day catch up

Wednesday was another busy day - photo in the morning, where we spent the entire class discussing our project ideas (which luckily I have an actual idea for and I feel excited to see how it all comes together..!). The afternoon was filled with laundry, linen exchange, lunch, and work that turned into brainstorming/planning for Paris (still shocked we only have a little over a week before we leave for Paris, but I can’t wait). Followed by a field trip to Goult for printmaking, where we sketched on engraving plastic plates and I wandered around the little town on my own taking pictures until my SD card was full… (I have also developed a severe obsession with the windows/shutters here and have taken far too many pictures like the fourth picture below…) 

Thursday was a weird day for what seems like everyone here in Lacoste…
Because I don’t have class on Thursdays, I spent the majority of the morning in the library doing work and feeling nostalgic. Eventually I made my way to lunch, and then home to accidentally take a three hour nap….. oops. I woke myself up to go do a quick workout with Rachael before my group meeting for art history, then head to dinner, shower, and watch a movie with the crew before bed.

Round two of Field-Trip-Fridays was another exhausting one….
Early breakfast and bus call before making our way to Glanum to explore the ancient mausoleum, triumphal arch, and ruins, as well as the mental institute that Van Gogh stayed in after cutting off his ear. We then hopped back on the bus to St. Remy where we wandered around the quaint little town, grabbed some snacks 

(sidenote: we wandered past a restaurant with delicious looking desserts in the window and decided to stop in for a coffee and some treats on the back patio. Apparently there wasn’t enough room for us outside, so they sat us inside, where we soon realized that this restaurant was a little bit more high class than we originally anticipated. The waiter came by with menus and we tried to figure out if we were going to stay and let this play out, or make a run for it. Before anyone made a decision, the waiter came back and began speaking very quickly in french. Because I happen to be the only one who knows even a smidge of french in our group of five, everyone turned to look at me. Panicking and unsure, I tried to form some sort of french sentence that came out something like “un moment, plus temps s’il vous plait”… which apparently sounded something on the menu because the waiter replied “d’accord” and began writing on his notepad… After that we gave up on french, told him we needed a minute, had a minor freak out, and just decided to get up and leave, filing past him each muttering some form of “desole” or “I’m sorry” before walking as far away as possible. Needless to say, we won’t be trying that again any time soon…)

took lots of pictures, and eventually made our way to the Musée des Alpilles to meet up with the rest of the group and look through the museum. (We had little preface of what we would be seeing in this museum and because all of the signs are in french and don’t have much vocabulary I’m familiar with, it was a little confusing, and we spent most of the time admiring the beautiful light on the balconies). Eventually, Professor Kofke (the printmaking professor) made his way into the part of the museum where they had old printmaking and letter press equipment and shared several interesting facts with a few of us (including where the words “deadline”, “leading” (in type), “stereotype/cliché”, and “uppercase” came from.) After we left the museum, we had another two hours to explore before we had to leave. Despite the fact that our feet/shoulders/backs were tired, we decided to find our way to the fancy chocolatier that one of the professors recommended, and because we didn’t quite know our way around St. Remy yet, Rachael plugged the name into google maps, and it gave us some directions… We soon found ourselves behind the town cemetery, a few blocks away from the “town center” part of town, and questioning how people ever found this place. Turns out google maps had taken us to the distribution building of Joël Durand…. I thought it was hilarious, everyone else seemed to be a little to tired and frustrated to find the humor in the situation.
We trudged back into St. Remy, found that we had already walked past the chocolatier once before, and after looking around the tiny shop, ended up leaving without even buying anything. After that we still had 45 minutes before we had to report back, so we wandered around the city a little more, found a professor, helped him find his way to the van, bought some macaroons, and then headed back to Lacoste.

By the time we got back after stopping at the super market, I was exhausted and desperately wanted to shower. I forced myself to eat some dinner, and crawled my way up the hill to shower and lay down. The rest of the night was spent watching HP4, editing photos, taking pottermore quizzes, and relaxing.
Tomorrow is a full work day, so my feet will get another day of rest… But until then, it’s time for some sleep.

Bonne nuit!

September 28, 2016

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!

September 23, 2016

Alright guys
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!

September 21, 2016

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 yourself
  • Work 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 back
  • Trust 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!

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