Sunday, September 30, 2012

Artist Residency: Giverny, France (Terra Foundation)


Last semester I was selected to participate in an artist residency at the Terra Foundation for American Art Europe in France! The New York Academy nominated eight students and one professor to travel to Giverny for this incredible opportunity. Jean-Pierre Roy, Jacobs Hicks, Ivy Hickam, Robert Plater, Daniel Bilodeau, Valentina Stanislavskaia, Gaetanne Lavoie, Adam Carnes and I arrived in Paris a week early to do some research. We visited the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the Musee D'Orsay and a few contemporary art galleries. We also fit in some tourist stuff- like picnics at the Eiffel Tower, shopping at the Sennelier store, waiting in line and eventually getting to see the catacombs, partying at the Sacre Coeur, flea marketing, etc. After all that inspiration, we knew it was time to get to work.

When we all arrived in Giverny, we were greeted by our guide Miranda. She was extremely knowledgable with an absolutely delightful personality. Immediately the group was very taken with the place. We all arrived feeling very, very grateful.

The town, with less than 500 residents, was full of charm and covered in flowers. We had extremely comfortable living situations as well as generously sized studios (equipped with an apple orchard!). A chef prepared our dinner and dessert and delivered it daily. We all met for lunch everyday, which was provided by the Impressionist Museum cafe. When we weren't in the studio working, we were taking day trips to new landscapes, exploring surrounding towns by bike, or plein-air painting.

One of the coolest experiences from Giverny was Monet's house and gardens. It was gorgeous, but crowds of tourists filled it everyday. As a courtesy, they closed it to the public one evening, and allowed us entry so that we could paint peacefully.

We formed friendships and bonds that otherwise might not have happened. We learned so much about each other's work as well as our own. And we got to see how this place had changed our work. It's a short period of time that none of us will forget. I cannot thank the Academy enough for the opportunity.


In June, Michael and I (plus 2 friends) took a trip to PERU. We started off in Lima to visit an old friend, and then to Cuzco to get acclimated. But the main event was Machu Picchu. We hiked the Salkantay trail for 5 days through the mountains of Peru to arrive at the ancient city! It was breathtaking (literally... I got altitude sickness and could not breathe). Our peak was 15,000 ft above sea level.  It was the most ambitious adventure of my life. My favorite part of the trip, besides seeing the ruins themselves, was when we zip-lined!

After many days of not sleeping warmly.. and not showering.. and bruised ankles..., we took a trip to paradise.. Lake Titicaca, the land of Uros- the floating islands. These man-made islands were constructed of local reeds. They use these reeds to build their homes, land, and transportation! We also stayed on Taquile Island, where there is no electricity. We stayed with local families and even got to visit a part of town that had never seen tourists before. It was a festival with a live band, live bull-fighting (they don't kill them in peru) and many, many beers. The locals were so thrilled that Americans had visited (showing a good sign for tourism/economy), they were thanking us at every turn.

We spent 2.5 weeks in Peru, here are some highlights:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Year 1 complete!

It was bittersweet packing up my studio at school this weekend. I'm happy that I get a summer break to reflect on everything I've learned, but shocked that the first year is over already. I am so grateful for all the great things that have happened this year, and I absolutely love the Academy and I'm proud to be part of the community.

I have an extreme summer ahead of me. I'm pleased to announce that I was selected as a recipient of the Terra Foundation Artist Residency in Giverny, France.. I fly out to Paris for a few days in August, and will spend 2 weeks in Giverny. I will blog about my experience when I return. But before that, I'm making a stop in Kansas to see old friends and family and then heading to Lima, Peru. Michael and I, plus 2 friends will be doing a five day hike in the mountains to Machu Piccu, followed by a cultural tour of Lake Titicaca. I will post pics when I get back at the end of June. Until then, here are some random photos/highlights from the past semester. 

What a real scapula looks like...

Very cool studio visit with J.P. Roy, one of my painting professors 

wigs n beards

The boy and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary :D 

Painting on chairs with friends! 

My first Tribeca Ball !! 

"Molt", a new piece that sold the night of the ball.

Nico, being Nico.

Will Cotton, this year's commencement speaker! Congrats to the extremely talented class of 2012, we will miss you! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Plein-air painting: Class field trip!

My color theory class packed up their paints and walked down to the Brooklyn Bridge for class this morning. We all chose a spot and did a little plein-air painting. The tourists loved it! They took our pictures and asked a lot of questions. It was my first time painting in public. Other than a few people standing directly over your shoulder watching you, it was quite fun! Check out my Lady Liberty...

New York Academy of Art: My First Tribeca Ball, 2012

Check out my original guest post about the night of the Tribeca Ball on the Academy blog... (link below)

New York Academy of Art: My First Tribeca Ball, 2012In the weeks leading up to the ball, there was a lot of buzz going around the Academy...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New York Academy of Art: Tribeca Ball: From the inside

We're getting excited at school for the upcoming Tribeca Ball event... rated one of the top parties in NYC... this year we're honoring Robert DeNiro! Check out a blog post on the Academy's blogspot from current student Jon Beer about his first Tribeca Ball experience! See link below: 

New York Academy of Art: Tribeca Ball: From the inside: By Jonathan Beer, MFA 2012 Artist, Director, Blind Artists Society Left to right: Richie Fine, Jessica Beck...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Armory Week!

It's Armory Week in New York!! It's an exciting 4 days of international art fairs revolving around the The Armory Show, one of the largest contemporary art fairs in the world. I went to the 2 major fairs, Armory and Volta, and additionally attended Odd Nerdrum's opening at Forum Gallery. I was extremely pleased to see several artists that I'm currently looking at, exhibiting at these fairs. Armory was more established galleries, wealthier buyers, and more well-known artists. Volta was younger, emerging artists. I was pleased to see a large amount of figurative work. (This is a positive note for me and my peers). I left overwhelmed with inspiration. Here are some highlights from my weekend.

Odd Nerdrum at Forum Gallery

Surprised when I found one of my favorite contemporary painters, Karim Hamid, at Volta.

Natalie Frank at Armory. 

Damien Hirst at Armory. 

Damien Hirst at Armory. 

I thought it was fitting that they marked the sold pieces with "spot" stickers. 

Finished the evening at Terra Blues to see Hazmat Modine! (The leader singer, Wade Schuman, is one of the full-time faculty members at the Academy)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Academy Faculty Spotlight: An Interview with Ted Schmidt

Check out my original post, an interview with faculty member Ted Schmidt, on the Academy's own blog...
New York Academy of Art: Faculty Spotlight: An Interview with Ted Schmidt

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Back to school!

Photo from the free book giveaway at the Academy Library! 

After a much needed break, I'm back to the Academy for my second semester. I decided to sign up for 18 credits - which means I will have an additional 6 hour class each week. Last semester kicked my butt with only 15 credits, so I'm slightly concerned for my general well-being. I hear that it's totally possible and worth it in the long run, but that it's extremely difficult. I worked every hour of my free time on homework last semester and just barely got it all done. I'm going to have to become a hermit for the next 4 months. My classes are as follows:

In-direct Painting - a painting method practiced by the masters, a slow building process of layers of color

Figure Drawing II - an extension of figure drawing I, mostly longer poses with the model

History of Composition - a historical account of how paintings were composed, while self-direct and produce our own series of works

Color Theory - the colorwheel and how to use it

Painting from the Imagination - learning how to paint from memory

Anatomical Drawing - drawing of the skeleton and muscular systems, from books and from models

We've only been in class a little over a week. Stay tuned for updates on professors, and class assignments!

Winter break

We had 4 weeks winter break for school! I didn't have too much of an actual break though, as I worked full-time to make some $$$. I work at a architectural, ornamental plaster firm in Brooklyn, sculpting clay models that are then cast in plaster. Here are some process pics.

Due to overpriced flights, we stayed in town for the holidays. We had a potluck on Christmas Eve at our place and invited over friends who were also staying in town. This included some foreigners from school who either don't celebrate or live too far to travel. It was fun! However, we forgot to take pictures... here are only a few from the night...

 Maryam and Erika

 The boy doing hookah tricks

Lia and Nick

We also went to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, this was a first! 

I also had a little free time to do some small paintings... one of which was a portrait of my friend's min-pin. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New York Academy of Art: Inside The Studio, By Maria Teicher

My friend and fellow classmate, Maria Teicher, blogs about art/school related stuff on her personal blog as well. See her latest post from a studio visit with one of our own alumni, Will Kurtz...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Grunt work

I've had some requests to post about the specific class assignments given at the Academy. I've taken some shots of my resulted work, as well as some of my peers. I won't give too much away (otherwise, it won't be as much fun for incoming students next fall), but here are a few examples of the grunt work from Painting I.

In Jean-Pierre Roy's class, we had to complete a self-portrait every week and were sometimes given 2 weeks to complete it. Our final project was a 4.5 ft or larger interpretive self-portrait. We also had a very fun assignment to make a group of tiny paintings (about the size of credit cards), on any subject matter of our long as it was the same subject matter for each painting. Here are some selected samples.

Here's mine: Tiny Landscapes (with details)

Meg Franklin: Eraser Collection

Friederike Callenberg: Eyes, Jessica Augier: Self Portrait Series

Nicolas Sanchez: Brothers transforming into self portrait

Noelle Timmons: Friend's Portraits

My final self-portrait

Kristy Gordon's diptych

Nicolas Sanchez

Jessica Augier

Noelle Timmons

Meg Franklin's totem pole (in progress)

Christina Duarte's grandparents' portrait

Robert Fundis

Zach Brown