After some serious reservations had begun to set in regarding the art program I realized that what I had expected and what was underway were not the same. I had visited the school last September and asked the program director several pointed questions about the program. I received positive responses to my questions but I now realize we were coming from very different perspectives and did not have a meeting of the minds after all.
All the questions in the world do not help if you’re coming from very different perspectives and don’t realize it. Doh! Communication 101.
The program as it is is fine but it’s not what I was looking for at all. The direction was aimed toward a sort of abstract impressionism I guess I would call it. I am sure “officially” it’s probably just impressionism, which I like, but their spin on it was not the direction I want to go with my art. I like it for what it is and I wouldn’t mind dabbling but it became clear that it was not possible to dabble in “this and that” as the program had a distinct focus it was building toward. I’m sure it works well for most of their students.
So… I changed to the history program and I will paint on my own. The history classes I am now taking (Art History, and Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations) I had wanted to sign up for anyway but thought it would be too much with the art program. The Art History class includes a trip to Paris in March to visit a couple of museums with the professeur. Awesome! As an avid “history buff” (really, the first thing I wanted be when I grew up was an archeologist…how did I even know what that was? Yes I was an odd child, and an odd adult for that matter…) I am so excited to take these classes and with my new schedule I have a lot of time to paint on my own.
I will paint on Helene’s terrace and in the city as well as the landscape. I have ordered some supplies and can’t wait for them to arrive in a few days. So excited! My housemate, Becky is a “real” art student so I may ask her and other students for insight and feedback.
Unfortunately this means no new art to show you this week but give me a little time and I’ll show you some more work and later this week I hope to post some local art I’m seeing in Aix.
Anyway I’m painting in my head already. I am not sure if all artists do this or not but I start thinking about a composition, colors, how to approach an image long before I start. Not that I can show you that. No one could probably make out what’s going on up in my noggin even if I could! Ha! I am sure the world is the better for that. At the moment, I am thinking of a still life requested by my Mom of some flowers in a vase.
No changes to my French class…still garbling through it.
Finally, I finalized my travel arrangements for our winter break this past week. Man college students sure do get the cool schedules….a break after only a few weeks of school, SWEET!
First a train to Paris for a couple of days, then a train to Rennes in Brittany. I’ll also visit a bit of Normandy (Mont St. Michel here I come!). I’ll rent a car in Rennes for getting around that area based on some great advice from a former colleague of mine in the Paris office of my former employer (thanks Olivier!). I’ve never been to the NW of France and I’m looking forward to it…even if it is going to be cold and raining.
I’ll drive to Brussels after that and stay in Belgium for a few days. I passed through Belgium a long time ago but have not been back. I will have to really experience Brussels so that of course means lots of chocolat!! Then a train all the way back to Aix-en-Provence.
Speaking of Aix, I know I have mentioned it’s been really cold but it actually SNOWED last Sunday. BRRR Spring cannot come soon enough!
I think it will be a great break and I’m really looking forward to exploring new places. Being able to travel around while I am here is a big part of this adventure for me. I’m grateful for the opportunity. Naturally, I will take pics and share any interesting tidbits I might pick up on the trip. But that won’t be for a few weeks. Plenty more going on between now and then.
I’ll talk to you again soon. Thanks for reading~ JW
*I do not own this photo.