Each week a new student gets to write the blog. We can write about whatever we want. The thing is when teachers give you the freedom to write anything it is either amazing and the words come flowing onto the page, or a painstakingly slow process where you are stuck so long looking at a blank screen that you start to hallucinate or forget what words even are. So where to start?
What makes a good blog? I suppose the best writing is when people expose an emotional weakness of theirs. But do I really want to do that? I suppose I could. Only around five people read this anyway ( shout out to ECJ who always seems to read and comment on these things). So let's delve into my outstanding mess of emotions and reflections, how fun!
This is our first week back after visiting Paris. It is also officially the longest I've ever been away from my home in Danbury NH (which is kinda pathetic). I've never been in a different place and experienced having the feeling of being at home. But after our long and hectic week in Paris I was surprised by the amount of relief and comfort I felt upon returning to our cozy house in Aix. After sleeping in a hotel room for a week, my room in Aix finally felt like MY room.
It seems as though staying in Aix has been a game changer for me. As a single child and a day student I am used to spending a lot of time by myself in a quiet house. At first it was quite a shock to be surrounded by other people all.. the.... time.... But after a while I got used to it, and I've come to find it quite nice.
Some more new experiences I've had would be taking the bus, the train, and the metro. None of which I had ever done before (yes I know how sad that is). I've always been nervous to do these things, probably because in general I'm always nervous. I have many fears, mostly irrational, which have always kept me from doing things like taking the bus, or comfortably walking around places by myself. In general whenever I go outside I think "this could be it, this could be the day I die. This could be the day someone kidnaps me or murders me.” This kind of thinking has always controlled my life and prevented me from trying new things.
But here in France I have learned to let go a little. I know that Jen and Dave and my group won't let bad things happen to me. I feel less afraid to put myself out there. I feel less afraid to wander around in a city unsupervised.
I am truly grateful to be on this adventure because I knew coming into it that I would learn how to be more independent and less afraid of the world. And that's exactly how this experience has helped me. AND! I haven't even started to talk about the art portion of the program. Oh boy if you thought this blog was long and boring already just wait for this bit.
There are not enough words to describe how I feel about the art on this trip. I have loved art ever since I can remember. It has always been a major part of my life. Here I get to draw and paint every day. I get to see and learn and be inspired by new art.
In my time here I've learned that I can be a real artist. Jen and Dave have showed me that I can pursue art professionally if I wanted to. I have learned about great artists such as Cézanne and Vincent Van Gogh. I've visited the rooms they have worked and lived in and painted in the same spots that they have created some of their greatest works.
While being there I have realized that they are just people who liked to paint a lot. Standing in Paul Cézanne's studio I expected to see and feel some magnificent presence. But I didn't. I was just standing in a room. It was then I realized that Cézanne was just some old guy standing in a room painting. If some old guy can stand in a room and paint so can I. Heck, I already have. I just haven't spent as much time standing in a room and painting as he has.
In the studio of German artist Doris Solomon
It was then that I came to the realization that famous artists aren't gods, they are just people, and I'm also a person. So I already have the potential to become as great as they were just by the fact that I am a person. I just need to paint more and more, and even more than that. I suppose as my final words of this blog I will just say that if you have the opportunity to come on this adventure, you should.
Below are recent works by me and my wonderful group.
Aaron Rosenblum (in progress)
Below are some graded charcoal drawings:
(Dave here. As final editor I have a lot of power, so here are some more of Ceilidh's work...you know, just to visually reinforce her "outstanding mess of emotions and reflections"...)
Examples of her term long unfinished History of Art Timeline book:
On another note, this past week was Spring Family Weekend and we had the fortune of touring and enjoying the visit of Aaron parents, Irina and Bruce.
Standing before the Roman bridge: Pont Flavien, 12 B.C.