The Last 6 Months…

So I have officially finished my third year at SCAD… The next step is Senior Year and I can’t believe I’m already staring at my final year of school. The past few months of classes have been a whirlwind, and while I haven’t taken as many photos as I would like, I’ve done a lot of personal learning and growing, and I think that’s exactly what I needed. Shooting some personal work (not for class) has been a relief and a nice step away from the critiques. It has allowed me to explore what exactly my “aesthetic” or “style” is and have fun without overthinking things. 

Meanwhile, I’ve been in the process of moving on to the next step in-between school years. Every summer I can feel myself becoming more and more independent and this time I won’t be returning home at all. I’m packing up all of my belongings  and driving up to Charleston for a 3 month internship with Charleston Magazine. I’ll be living with my girlfriend, (potentially) taking pictures that will be published in a magazine (or two..!), and getting a part time job. It’s going to be an adjustment, but I hope that it will allow me to experience a little bit of what I do or do not want to do after graduation and give me a better idea of where I’m going with my life…! 

I’m ready for some change, a challenge, and something that’s going to push me out of my comfort zone a little bit. I’m excited for the second half of 2017 and all of the excitement that is to come.

Wish me luck! And Enjoy some of the miscellaneous work I’ve done between now and January!

November 18, 2016

Buongiorno from Italy!

So far Italy has been wonderful and the end of my time in France was so very bittersweet… 

Open studio had a less than overwhelming turnout but I managed to sell a couple of my prints anyways… after packing up and saying goodbye to all of my Lacoste pals, the fam and I headed to Marseille to fly to Rome… We made it to Rome, took the train into the city and hauled our bags to the hotel… despite exhaustion we found our way to one of the infinite Italian restaurants for some wonderfully fulfilling pizza and pasta (I can’t recall if it tasted so good because it was so late, I was so hungry, it was the first authentic Italian food we tried, or it was really just that good) 

Tuesday we woke up and headed over to the Vatican City for our three hour tour… our tour guide had a pretty thick Italian accent but the sights were amazing nonetheless… after that we headed over to the Angry Pig for some sandwiches more sightseeing and then Fridgidarium for gelato. We wandered around the city some more before finding our way to a restaurant Megan recommended for some more delicious Italian food at a wonderful outside table with very friendly waitresses. After a long walk back to the hotel we passed out for the night. 

Wednesday started with cannolis for breakfast and a walk to the colosseum (to be harassed by a bunch of solicitors) and head inside. Between the colosseum and the surrounding forum there was a ton of history and ruins to see before eventually getting hungry and stopping to eat sandwiches on the steps across the street from the Altare Della Patria. We decided to check out the views from the top and enjoy all of the roman sights from above. Next stop was the Spanish steps and a beautiful view of the sunset from the church at the top. From there we spotted a terrace wine bar and decided to stop and rest our feet with some drinks. After the sun set we walked back to the hotel to freshen up before dinner, where we sat next to a large group of Italian men who showed us how a real Italian dinner is done. I ate some of the most delicious homemade pasta and tiramisu and with full bellies we headed back to the hotel. 

Thursday we rented a car and headed to Naples - we made a pit stop at Herculaneum before driving to Vesuvius to hike up to the crater. It was a little cloudy but it was still an amazing sight. We hiked back down and made the treacherous drive through downtown Naples…. I wouldn’t recommend any sort of transportation here besides walking, and even that is quite frightening because of all of the motorcycles, cars, and whatever else can zoom around the tiny streets that have complete disregard for their surroundings.
After making it to the airbnb we were spending the night in, we were all quite hungry and went out to find dinner despite it only being 5:30… without a plan and no real idea of where we were going we struggled to find anything that would be open before 7:00… we then walked back to the airbnb, sat around researching pizzerias until finally settling on one, getting directions, and hoping for the best.
We made it there with few complications, ate some delicious authentic Naples pizzas, found a place nearby to get dessert (like we need any at this point) and had some wonderful gelato before heading back to go to bed. 

Friday was another slow morning, my dad went out to find some Naples breakfast snacks and we ate those in our airbnb before packing up and getting ready to go. We walked out to visit castle dell’ovo and stopped to get more pizza before getting back in the car to head to Pompeii. We spent about two and a half hours walking around the ruins of Pompeii until it started to get dark and the alarm sounded to tell us it was time to go… after an hour drive (to go 15 miles) in the rain we made it to the hotel in Sorrento, walked around around a bit, grabbed some dinner and headed back to go to bed…

We still have another week here and I think I’ve eaten enough bread/cheese/pizza/etc for a lifetime, but it’s not over yet…!
The Europe adventures continue….

November 11, 2016

Going into our final week here in Lacoste, I was much less stressed than many of my colleagues. This past weekend I finished essentially all of my work, and had gotten a full night’s sleep every night (unlike many). Monday involved a few final critiques, and some rest due to my newly formed cold… Tuesday included final art history presentations, printing some pictures for myself (not for class), and helping out my roommate with her final prints. Wednesday was a rough day for many here at the SCAD Lacoste campus. My first class at 9:00am began with a lot of silent tears and everyone trying to hold it together as we tried to push through framing our work and anything else we had left to do for open studio. I had little to do to keep my mind off of everything going on, but I managed to sit down with one of the coordinators here to talk about so many different things… frustrations, confusions, things that seem so wrong but no one has any idea how to fix… While we didn’t really come to any conclusions or solutions, having someone here to talk to was really helpful. Thursday we picked ourselves up, started hanging work for the show, and got ready for the (hopefully) hundreds of people to arrive in Lacoste for the Open Studio Exhibition.

Today my parents arrive and it is the third to last day I will spend here in this quaint village on the hill… I will miss it greatly, but my time here has been the most wonderful learning experience. So here’s to a kick ass exhibition and a wonderful trip to Italy before heading home.

November 6, 2016

This has been the final work weekend in Lacoste, and I went into it with not much left on my to do list to get done… After spending Friday afternoon writing my final Art History essay, making a final presentation, and finishing up my last journal entries in my art history and photo journals, all that was left of Saturday was to finish up my work in the print shop. I polished, cleaned, and reground the plate I had been working on for the past week, made a few more prints with that before creating an entirely new etching on the back of the plate and printing that. Five hours later, I had had enough of the printshop and headed back to my room to sit for a little bit before dinner.

Today is Sunday and boy has it been a day… It all began with my grand idea to hike to the top of the Petit Luberon yet again and watch the sunrise from the cliffs of the Cedar Forest… 

The journey began when I woke up at 4:30am
I got dressed, searched for the house flashlight (that I did not find), and was out the door…
I greatly underestimated how dark it would be at 5:00 in the morning because when I got outside I realized it was pitch black and they don’t really do street lights around here…
So I started running (with my phone flashlight held out in front of me) because for some reason I thought I was going to be late for the sunrise if I didn’t hurry (I ended up being an hour early.. but we’ll get there) 

I got to the trailhead in record timing and almost wet my pants when a rogue grocery bag unexpectedly blew out from behind a dumpster. I then ran up the hill only slightly frightened for my life in under 45 minutes (the last time I climbed up to the cedar forest it took me an hour and a half…) about halfway up not only was it still very dark, but the fog/clouds had set in and I could no longer see more than 3 feet in front of me (even with my flashlight), my calves/hamstrings/back were burning and my heart was pounding… cue the Real Fear. The entire time I had been playing Ben Howard through the speaker on my phone to break the intense silence and also scare off any potential wildlife… (wild boars are apparently nocturnal and I had almost convinced myself that one was going to spring from the trees at any moment) 

Eventually I got to the top and the main road of the cedar forest - I was looking for a specific path that we took the other day when we came up for travel photo - of course I still couldn’t see anything and I wasn’t really sure which random side road/path it was so I walked all the way down to a sign I know we passed, turned around and walked back until I saw this weird thing in a tree that I pointed out last time, and then took the next path… I’m 99% sure this was the right path, however we had taken a detour off the path to this cool spot where you could see the natural bridge, but there was no way I was finding that, so I wandered down the path I was on for a while (because even though it was only 6:30 and the sun wasn’t gonna be up for another hour), and I wasn’t going to stop walking and face the fierce winds that were blowing straight through me (oh yeah at this point it was pitch black, foggy, and windy) eventually I realized I wouldn’t be able to see the sunrise that well from where I was so I turned around and headed back to the main road. 

Luckily by the time I got out there it was starting to get a little bit brighter, so I walked all the way down to the parking lot, eventually found my way out to the cliff and realized the sun was about to break through
I set up my camera(s) and enjoyed about an hour of the sun passing in and out from behind the mountain in the distance and then layers of clouds - it was really beautiful (and despite my struggle totally worth it, I felt like I earned it haha) 

 Eventually my hands were freezing from messing with my camera and things and the sun was high enough in the sky that it was light enough, so I decided it was time to start moving again. And thus begins the journey back to Lacoste…
(Keep in mind, the last time I hiked to the Cedar Forest it took me 2 hours to get up, and 1 hour to get down….)
This time I was just wandering down the main road and eventually realized that I missed the trail I took up - however there were a couple times that had trail broken off, so there must be other ways to get to it right ? (spoiler alert: wrong) 

I started down on the yellow trail anyways…..
I mountain-goated down a very steep rocky path for about an hour (hello quads), eventually realized this was not where I wanted to be, decided I definitely was not about to turn around, kept walking, made it to the bottom of the mountain, saw the Abbey we visited the other day for class across the valley (that was a 40 minute walk from Lacoste), took a dirt road for a while, which lead to a regular road, and then I found myself back at the trail head (yay!!) however instead of just taking the road up the way I always go, I decided to try and take a short cut (bad idea) I took this dirt path, which lead me to another smaller dirt path, which kept getting progressively smaller, until it essentially disappeared… at this point I thought I knew where I was (I did not) and pretty soon I was completely off of any path, in the woods, with no sight of Lacoste.
I fought my way through a lot of trees and bushes until I finally saw Bonnieux (the village across from Lacoste) through the trees… I followed that to where Lacoste should be and eventually realized I was on the completely wrong hill…
So after cutting through someone’s yard, taking another dirt path, climbing up a sort-of-rock-face, I found my way back to the original road and finally got back to Lacoste after two hours….

For those of you who made it through the saga - enjoy some pictures from the sunrise…!

November 3, 2016

It’s already the second to last Thursday, and it’s just hitting me that at this time next week my parents will be on their way to Lacoste, Open Studio will be set up and about to begin, and classes will be over.

It’s really unbelievable that we only have one week left here… although I still can’t decide if the first week of classes feels like ages ago or if it just happened yesterday…

This week has been pretty lowkey - Monday was a work day in photo and printmaking and that night I participated in the interdisciplinary critique and thankfully my work was received very well :) Tuesday I had the day off from classes due to All Saints Day, and after a long workout and run through the valley in the morning/afternoon, I ended up spending the remainder of the day relaxing in my room, sporadically working on journal entries… Wednesday morning we went to the Cedar Forest for photo and saw the most breathtaking views… (I was happy to come back with people who actually knew where they were going, and driving up instead of hiking for two hours was much more laid back)

Today is Thursday and it has been another pretty chill day, slow morning, and eventually on a short hike/field trip to the Abbaye Saint Hilaire, and then back for a quick workout, and now here we are..!

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