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!

    September 20, 2016

    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.

    September 18, 2016

    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… 

    September 17, 2016

    After arriving in Lacoste yesterday afternoon, seeing the most jaw dropping views as drove into the town and walking up the hill into the village, and exploring all of the streets and buildings, it’s safe to say I’m basically in heaven.

    Everything here is gorgeous and historic and old but so beautiful and well restored and full of life. The light is so lovely everywhere you look, and the color of everything is so wonderful.

    Somehow this morning my body decided to wake up at 6:00am - so I decided to take a little hike up to the top of the hill, sit on the chateau wall and watch the sunrise… I watched as the sky turned vibrant pinks, purples and blues, until the sun finally rose and passed behind a cloud to form the overcast light that followed…

    I took some more shots while headed back down to my house, had some breakfast and then headed down to the bus to Apt (to go the the market)

    There were so many different vendors selling different kinds of food/produce, clothes, soaps, flowers/plants, and just about everything else in between… Apt is such a cute little town :)

    After leaving Apt, we headed to Pont Julien (a 2000 year old bridge) for a picnic and some exploring before heading back to Lacoste for orientation tours, a quick workout, and dinner.

    The first full day here has been so wonderful, I can’t wait to see what new adventures the next few hold and what my classes will be like… As I sit here, trying to hold my eyelids open, I just hope that I will be able to make it back up the steep stone stairs to my bed before I pass out…

    Au revoir et bon nuit!

    September 16,2016

    So today (yesterday?) I began my journey to Lacoste, France to study abroad for the next two months. 
    After waking up at 6:00am, taking a flight from Chicago to Atlanta, a two hour layover, a nine hour flight from Atlanta to Frankfurt, an hour layover, and another hour and a half flight from Frankfurt to Marseille, I am now sitting in the Marseille airport with a bunch of other SCAD students, waiting for the bus that will leave in three hours to take us to our final destination (Lacoste). 
    My (new !!) camera has been packed away safely in my bag for the duration of my travels so I haven’t taken any pictures, but I can’t wait to go out and explore this new place with my new gear :)

    So today is just the beginning of eight weeks of new experiences…! 
    Hopefully I’ll be able to keep things updated here but no promises - I’m not about to be tethered to my computer unless I’m doing work

    Bonjour & Bienvenue !

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