I [heart] Paris
27 April, 2009, 3:55 pm
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit


Yes, I went to Paris.
Yes, It was amazing.
Yes, I went to a bunch of really cool museums.
Yes, I saw a bunch of amazing works of art and touched original prints by Picasso and Durer and Miro.
Yes, I spent a little bit of money on books and posters and some other fun items.
Yes, I am back in Lacoste.
Yes, I am exhausted.
Yes, I will write more soon and share some pictures.
Yes, I have way too much shit to do between now and Wednesday morning, including a 5 page paper and oral presentation for Art History, and a presentation for Typography 2.
Yes, this post is a mild form of procrastination.

Photo: Moi in Paris avec Notre Dame in background.


Supervitesse (or “Departing for Paris in the morning”)
21 April, 2009, 3:23 pm
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit

I’ll be getting up bright and early tomorrow morning (5:30am, to be exact) and departing for Paris. All of the students at the Lacoste campus will be riding a bus to Avignon and then taking the TGV (Train à Grand Vitesse – which travels at a speed just under 200mph) into Paris. I love travel and especially any kind of train or public transit. So, this is pretty stellar. ‘also anxious to ride the Metro all though out the city. We’ll be taking in the sights and going to a crap-ton of awesome museums from Wednesday to Sunday. I’m sure there will be plenty of going to sidewalk cafes and eating lots of amazing breads and cheeses and crepes and other goodies as well.

chin chin!
20 April, 2009, 11:08 am
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit
Chin chin!

Chin chin!

Last Friday, the Graphic Design and Monotype Printmaking students (I actually fall under both categories at the moment) took a trip to an old paper mill in Fountain De Vaucluse. A stop at the fountain itself and the city of Isle sur la Sorgue were scheduled as well.

The weather for this trip was PERFECT! We had heard it was supposed to rain, but luckily this was not the case. A good portion of Fountain de Vaucluse was rather touristy but still the surrounding area was GORGEOUS. As we approached the paper mill we all marveled at how clear the water running from the spring was. Who knew seaweed could look so pretty and bright green. Off in the distance you could see huge cliff walls and on top of one rested a castle.

The paper mill itself was pretty interesting but ended up being a hug let down in terms of all the students hopes to buy some good paper for projects. Don’t get me wrong, they had some really great paper, but it was way overpriced (to the point where even our professors advised us not to bother) and a lot of other things they sold were geared more towards tourists looking for a memento than a bunch of poor art students looking for some unique paper and gifts. Of note and of redeeming quality: they did have an old typograph machine and small clam shell letterpress on display.

A field trip with the educational premise of going to a paper mill ended up being a great excuse for some wonderful sightseeing and exploring in the south of France. After our little trek through the mill, we headed up to see the natural spring. Once at the top we were greeted by a large pool of bright greenish-blue water. Furthest from us was a point where the pool rapidly deepens and the bottom has never been determined. Apparently, Jacques Cousteau, himself, has tried and failed. We spent a good amount of time taking it all in before moving on.

Next, we traveled to the city of Isle sur la Sorgue. The waterway that is formed by the spring at Fountain de Vaucluse flows into the city and at one point creates a little island in the middle of the city. Tom and I had a light lunch at a table that was situated on a pedestrian bridge over the waterway. It was pretty spectacular with a nice view to either side of us. Something I know my mom will appreciate: I had tiramisu and it was quite excellent! After our little meal on the water we went and explored the city a bit. We came across and wandered into a gallery featuring works by an artist who took old advertising billboards and banners and used them as element of collage, which she then painted over and inserted phrases that were commentary on consumerism and the current energy crisis, etc. They were amazing works of color and texture and type! The artist spoke English very well and we struck up a conversation with her after telling her that we were American art students. She seemed very enthused to have someone come into the studio and discuss her work with her. With that we concluded our little excursion by meeting up with everyone else and heading back to Lacoste.

After dinner, a few of us headed out for drinks and met some more locals and their friends from the surrounding area.

The weekend kept me busy with school work. But now we’re all getting excited about our trip to Paris on Wednesday. We have a campus-wide meeting tonight about our itinerary while we are in Paris. My Typography 2 professor gave our class a nice little preview of some of the things we will be seeing with him. All kinds of wonderful poster exhibits and trips to design/art bookstores. I predict my wallet may be taking a serious hit. Don’t let my wife see that I just typed that.

New pics here!

Bonsoir for now!

Photo: Yours truly enjoying some vin Rose in Isle sur la Sorgue

The one where I finally explain what the hell I did in Arles.
15 April, 2009, 11:36 am
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit, Uncategorized

So… as I’ve mentioned several times now… the entire campus took a trip to Arles, France last Friday. The big to do in Arles, especially on Easter weekend, is to go to the bull fights. There were several fights happening through out the day, with main event being in the early evening. This gave us several hours to explore the city. Some of us debated on whether or not we were even going to go to the bull fights. Others had already made up their minds that they did not wish to view any of the bull fights. I myself was torn but came to the conclusion that this was something that is a huge part of the culture in Arles that I would probably never have the chance of seeing again. Whether or not I agreed with the public killing of an animal for sport was something I was not entirely sure of. But I felt that I had to see this… to sort of help inform that opinion… to take an educated stance. I don’t agree with many things in the world… but that does not make them not happen (as much I sometimes wish it did.)

At any rate, my friend Allison and I bought tickets for the 5pm main event and then took off to explore the rest of Arles. I met Allison through some of my roommates here in Lacoste and we have the Treasures of Provence/ Art History class together. So, she’s become a good travel companion.
We ate our sack lunch, that school provided for us, in the public square and people watched for a bit. After that we walked pretty much all over the city of Arles. Some of the things we saw were: the old Roman theatre, the place where Van Gogh did some famous painting and took up residence for a while, an old church, the Rhone River, and a few shops (some touristy, some not so touristy.) After that we sat down at a restaurant for dinner and had some amazing paella (with crawfish, mussels, chicken and beef) and a glass of white wine. The food was amazing! I think we would have been content with our visit to Arles ending there, but we still had other matters to attend to.

The bull fights were kind of surreal and boring at the same time. We saw five different fights or “toros” The first round intrigued me, the second clued me in more as to what was going on… but by the fourth toro, things became a little too ritualistic (read:pointless show just to kill an animal in the name of “sport.”) for me. I suppose it’s not too far removed from hunting in the US in that the bulls that are killed are butchered in order to be eaten. I still don’t think I fully comprehend all that I saw and I am trying to keep in mind that these fights are a huge part of the culture in Arles. Although Arles is in France, there was a good amount of Spanish culture (see above mention of dinner) infused in the days events. (Not totally surprising when you realize how close Barcelona is.)

Photos from Arles here.

On Sunday, at one of the cafes here in Lacoste, there was a film showing that was made by SCAD students. The film was of a play about Don Quixote that happened at the Chateau de Sade last year. I left in the middle of it to talk to my lovely wife (whom I miss very much) and apparently right after I left, Pierre Cardin himself showed up. Oh well… next time.

Today, in my Art History class, we traveled to Sénanque Abbey, an old monastery that is still kept up (with some outside help) by a few monks who live there. The architecture was pretty impressive. I missed out on a good portion of the information being given by the tour guide due to my poor comprehension of French. Photos here.

The Graphic Design and Printmaking students (I happen to fall into both of these categories) are going to a paper mill near Fontaine de Vaucluse & Isle sur la Sorgue on Friday. The entire campus leaves for our long weekend in Paris a week from today. That should catch us up. I’ll try to not to slack off so much next time.

Merci beaucoup! Au Revoir!

Up Through The Night
13 April, 2009, 12:33 am
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit

Dear Friends,

I am still with you. ‘just bogged down in school work. I so want to tell you about my trip to Arles which included walking through a hotel where Van Gogh stayed (and painted his famous “Garden of the Asylum at Arles”) and seeing the bull fights (yes… BULL FIGHTS! …still trying to gather my thoughts on that experience.)

‘hopefully by the end of the week I will show more substantial signs of life.

Photo: Sunrise – as seen from one of the computer labs that I have been glued to for at least half the weekend or more.

10 April, 2009, 3:53 pm
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit, Uncategorized

I turned thirty-three years of age on Wednesday. My birthday included the following: a trip to some Roman ruins, a delicious croissant and a hollowed out chicken shaped chocolate (with other chocolate pieces hidden inside) from a bakery in a small town on the way to the ruins, a card from my beautiful wife, frustration with the work turned in for a class, a full moon, strawberry lemon flavored beer (actually kind of tasty, believe it or not,) and the new Life and Times record that is quite good.

Here are some pictures from the Roman ruins.

‘hope to update you all soon on my trip to Arles, France that happened today.

My ass is tired. I’m going to bed.

I love Typographie
7 April, 2009, 7:04 pm
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit, Uncategorized

Hello friends…

I promised to tell you about my amazing day I had on Sunday. So here it is… a little late and probably a little condensed because it’s late here and I need some shut eye.

Anyway, on Sunday the printmaking and graphic design students had a field trip to Les Baux and San Remy. In Lex Baux, is a letterpress shop and print museum. The letterpress shop was, at one time, owned and operated by Louis Jou. LJ was a renaissance man of sorts and was responsible for the revitalization of the town of Les Baux after WWII. It’s mostly one big tourist spot now but a kind gentlemen keeps the shop running and oversees a museum with a bunch of incredible prints and books. His collection includes several original Albrecht Durer prints and an entire set of Goya’s “Tragedies of War” series of prints.

Before going to the letterpress shop and museum, we had a bit of time to kill when we arrived. So, Tom (my fellow thirtysomething) and I wandered off to enjoy what we could of Les Baux. We first stopped at this store that had these huge aisles of cookies that you grabbed individually and stuffed into a shopping bag. All kinds of delicious chocolate, cinnamon, almond, sugar and what-have-you cookies. We then came upon a cafe and decided to enjoy a cup of coffee (or “cafe.”)
We walked in and ordered our drinks and then discovered there was a table waiting for us right next to a window with a spectacular view of the Alpilles (mountains that are kind of the beginning of the Alps.) The cafe au lait turned out to be quite nice and came in a much bigger mug than everyone else has been serving it in. (What gives?) It made me feel alive to be in this spot I had never seen before – enjoying a fine beverage at pretty decent altitude and just taking it all in. Ya know? ‘like I just hit “pause” on all the crazy shit in my life.

After my little existential moment… we headed to the letterpress shop. This is the part where even though I was in a foreign country, I felt I had briefly regained a little piece of myself that had gone missing. The shop was vastly different from Hatch Show Print (a letterpress shop in Nashville, TN where I had interned for several months) and yet it was very similar in that it obviously had some history and the presses definitely had some mileage on them. On the main work table was a beautiful print and behind it sat the type and imagery, locked in a chase for viewing. I made sure I bought one of the prints. There were many gorgeous prints that made it hard to choose exactly which one I wanted to purchase.

After spending some time in the shop, we walked across the street to the museum. The museum is really hard to describe… except that it was like a treasure trove of printmaking goodness. There were all these beautiful books and prints and linoleum carvings (including one of the burning of Joan of Arc.) A few of us remarked that we really didn’t care about the upcoming trip to Paris and that this was worth the trek overseas alone. I’m not really doing this place justice at all… (plus it’s getting late and my brain is slowly turning into mush.)

Following our time in Les Baux, we headed to San Remy. Van Gogh hung out here and liked it so much he wound up in an insane asylum on the outskirts of town. It was such a nice day out. ‘perfect for walking around and exploring the town. We all got ice cream (some called it gelato, but thanks to my wife, I knew better) and then just sort of wandered off around the town. I did walk past a hotel where Van Gogh painted one of his famous self portraits. Oh and apparently Nostradamus lived there at one point, too. We walked past his apartment. Killer.

Since I’m doing such a piss poor job of explaining how awesome the letterpress and printmaking museum was, here’s a link to the pictures I took along the way. Hopefully you can get even a glimpse of how beautiful and inspiring some of this stuff was. I may try to travel back there during some of my free time.

Alright… well there you have it. It was a pretty stellar day. Classes have been pretty intense. Most people only take two classes when they come here because of the condensed schedule and so they can enjoy being here. I’m taking three classes. I’m exhausted. I’m enjoying it too… but I am feeling the burn. ‘looking forward to the weekend, for sure.

Bedtime for Brett!