a day at marseille
17 May, 2009, 4:14 am
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit, Uncategorized

‘went to Marseille on Friday. It was kind of a bummer of a day. To start, it rained all day, until we got ready to leave. I think most of us were (are) stressed out about the amount of work we have to do in the next week (in addition to slowly getting ready to leave once said week is done.) Anyway, here’s what I did enjoy of Marseille: An art supply store to buy paper for my final printmaking project, a nice lunch – which consisted of Bouillabaisee, a trip up to Notre-Dame de la Garde (which rests at the highest natural point of Marseille, and appears to have various dedications to sailors within it?) and a good amount of exploring the city streets and people watching. After that the entire busload of students and professors went to Ikea to buy frames for our big gallery show at the end of the quarter. Observation: Traffic in Marseille is a BITCH!

Have a look-see.


Late of Camera
14 May, 2009, 4:27 am
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit, Uncategorized


Hello. ‘miss me?

I am swimming in the deep ocean that is the end of an academic quarter at SCAD. Plus there’s that little fact that I am in Lacoste, France and we’re also beginning to put together our campus wide gallery show. Busy is an understatement.

BUT… I wanted to at least show you all some more pictures and briefly tell you about some of the things that happened last week.

We went to an ocre factory on Wednesday. Ocre is where color/pigment/paint comes from. Most of the ocre there was either red or yellow in it’s pure form. We made water colors at the end of our visit. I spent too much money in the gift shop. (But some of that went to presents, so chill…)

We visited the beautiful town of Roussillon. Since it is near the ocre mines and factory most of the brick there was red/orange. Really cool. Great view of the valley. There was a church there.

On Friday, Professor Clifford, Kyle, Lauren and I ran around Avignon all day and only accomplished about half of what we needed to. Note to USA: more Holidays and longer lunch hours like the French have.

We had a Sidewalk Arts Festival in Lacoste on Sunday. My friend Allison and I drew a giant cicada (the French like cicadas… or cigales… well the southerners do… more on this later.) I gave myself a nice blister from rubbing too hard on the pavement.

On Monday, we visited some of the local artists in the town. Evert Lindfors is a older, slightly eccentric/extremely generous gentlemen. We visited his studio, which was stuffed to the gills with stone and terracotta sculpture. He knows how to party and had some great things to say about life and art. Gabriel Sobin invited us to his house which was very zen and completely amazing and featured a wonderful view of the Luberon Valley.

See. Brief.

Marseille tomorrow. Work and more work the rest of the weekend. And the next week. Home soon.


(Photo above: red and yellow (yellow is hard to see) ocre rubbing inside my journal.)

Paris Part Two
9 May, 2009, 4:59 am
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit, Uncategorized

Metro in Paris!

so… where was I?

Ah Yes. Paris.

Friday ended up being my favorite day, I think. The day started with a trip via the Metro to the Musee D’Orsay. As a former Chicagoan and lover of public transit in general, riding the Metro was an exciting pleasure. (It’s the little things, right?) The Musee D’Orsay (which is a former rail station) housed plenty master pieces by Cezanne, Van Gogh, Manet and other impressionist and post-impressionist works.

“04.24.09, 10:10am – See Cezanne’s Mount St. Victoire and almost weep.”

As silly as it sounds, when I spotted Cezanne’s masterpiece (or one of, anyway… ironically his favorite painting of mine lives in Chicago) I began to tear up. The great thing is that this would hardly be the end of seeing some incredible original works. I saw Manet’s Olympia up close and personal and she was beautiful and naked and brazen as ever. There was a Rodin exhibit which also included some beautiful sculpture by Wilhelm Lehmbruck. One of his works struck me in particular. I wrote it down and did a (very) crude sketch of it in my notebook. Before leaving the museum, I had lunch with some friends on the top floors of the museum which allowed you to peek out through the large clock faces of the museum and out into the city of Paris. Beautiful! From there, I met up with Professor Clifford and the other printmaking students and headed to the Bibliotheque National. There, we met the head curator of the archives of original prints stored within. We met in a large room filled with humongous books that contained original prints bound into them. We were there for over two hours just looking up close and personal at amazing original works. I saw Picasso’s signature in fucking pencil for God’s sake!

“4:56pm – Durer, Picasso, Miro, Redon and many others spill from eyes!”

As amazing as it was – it was also overwhelming. Had we stayed another minute my eyes would have exploded. This is a good thing though… the incredible thing is that we probably saw the smallest fraction of works contained in that room. Still reeling from that experience, my friend Kyle and I and a girl named Rachel headed out to meet up with the Graphic Design students for our appointment at Porchez Typofonderie.

“5:07pm – LOST!!!

We were sure we were in the right area of town (which is to say we were actually outside Paris city limits at this point) but we couldn’t find the address we were looking for. To make matters worse, no one at the post office we stopped in had any inkling of an idea of where the address we were looking for was. Luckily, Rachel had a cell phone on her and had our Professor’s cell number. We found out we were just a bus ride away from our destination. Porchez Typofonderie turned out to be a small apartment turned into a studio for a two man operation. A very humble space for the man responsible for a great deal of typefaces currently being used in France and Europe and responsible for logos for Air France, La Poste (the post office in France,) Gloria Vanderbuilt, France Telecom (sort of their version of AT&T,) Uncle Ben’s and many more. Like Michel Bouvet, Jean Francois Porchez proved to be a gracious host as well. He had drinks and snacks available for us as he talked to us about his work and answered questions. We finally got back to our hotel around 8pm. I grabbed dinner with a few other students and then met up with Tom and my friend Allison for a drink. Our waiter ended up being originally from the States.

On Saturday, Tom, Allison and I decided to make it a day of shopping and exploring the city. This was the first day we didn’t have any kind of required itinerary with school. There was also a lot of traveling via Metro on this day. So this ranks as probably my second favorite day in Paris. ‘mostly because I wasn’t on a tight schedule with school and we just ended up going to different places on a whim. We walked up the Champs Elysees, from the Louvre up until the Triumphal Arch. We had lunch at a sidewalk cafe right before getting to the Arch. I can’t even necessarily recall specific events in any order from after lunch up until dinner but it involved riding the Metro around and randomly exploring Paris. At one point I did buy a new sleeve for my MacBook Pro made by Freitag (the people in the Helvetica movie that make bags and wallets and other fun things out of used truck tarpaulins.) I’ve never seen any of their products in the states (though I’m sure they’re available) and decided this was going to be my splurge while in Paris. For dinner we traveled outside of the touristy part of Paris with our friend Derek while he snapped some photos for an assignment. After our meal we headed back into the heart of the city and went to the Eiffel Tower. As typical and touristy as it may be to go see the Eiffel Tower while in Paris, it was pretty epic and a fine piece of construction. And as cheesy as it sounds it made the trip to Paris complete. ‘like something I could check off the proverbial list.

Before heading back to Lacoste on Sunday, I made a point to make it to the Pompidou Centre, where I saw contemporary works by Calder, Rothko, Van Doesburg, Duchamp, Dali, etc. Pretty cool. Great bookstore too. Then I hightailed it over to the Grand Palais to catch the Warhol exhibit before meeting back up with everyone at the train station.

There it is. My Paris trip… only took me forever to blog about it. C’est la vie!


PARIS Part One
4 May, 2009, 12:03 pm
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit

A week later and I still don’t think I can put my trip to Paris into words entirely. In the five days that we were there there was plenty to do. In some ways this prevented me from taking in the city on a grander scale. On the flip-side, because of the way things were scheduled, I got to see plenty and some things I probably would not have been able to do if I wasn’t traveling with school. I had a little journal with me in which I tried to write things down to help to remember certain details of the trip and share with you later. That didn’t last long. The pace of the trip, the amount of things I saw, my want to just enjoy what I could and my inability to truly follow through on most of what I do prevented these writings from becoming anything cohesive. Where they are appropriate I shall insert a few them.

We got up early Wednesday morning and caught a bus to the city of Avignon. From there we rode the TGV to Paris. Once we arrived in Paris we walked along the river Siene to our hotel in the Latin Quarter. Almost immediately we could see Notre Dame looming large in the distance. Holy Shit! I’m in Paris. I felt a weird sense of comfort knowing I was in a big city. After getting checked in at the hotel and heading back out to grab lunch, that sense of comfort diminished slightly as I remembered that I spoke very little french and ordering food could prove to be difficult. A good amount of Parisians did seem to speak English but that still led to some interesting exchanges. Besides that, I wanted to be able to ask for things in French when I could. I succeeded sometimes. After a few of us grabbed lunch together we headed towards Notre Dame, which was only blocks from our hotel. Some people decided to go inside while Tom and I opted for a seat at a sidewalk cafe.

“04.22.09, 12:05pm – In Paris, enjoying cafe au lait @ Aux Tours Notre Dame. Tasty! ‘have longed for something brewed and not out a vending machine.”

After our brief trek, I met up with all of the Graphic Design students back at the hotel for the afternoon’s events. We first headed to Galerie Sit Down where we viewed an exhibit of posters advertising art exhibits. Art about art, if you will. After that was a trip to a shop with archives and archives of all sorts of publications dating back to the early 20th century. I bought a really cool looking poster from 1973. The type, colors and texture on it are gorgeous. The highlight of the night proved to be our trip to renown poster designer Michel Bouvet’s studio. He invited us in and talked to us about his work (which included sharing his sketches for the posters he creates) and answered any questions we had for him. After an hour or so our professor thanked him and said that we had taken up quite a bit of his time. To which, Michel instructed us to sit down and after walking out of the room briefly, returned with beer, wine and peanuts for all of us. He spent the next hour showing us some really cool books and answering more of our questions. It had been a long day, so after dinner I called it a night and went to bed.

Thursday started with a trip to the Louvre. I know I barely saw a fraction of everything contained within the great museum. But I was able to see the winged Nike, the Venus de Milo, some really small painting called the Mona Lisa or something like that (honestly, it was very small and didn’t really compare to some of the other works in the museum… not too mention it had a huge ass crowd surrounding it). After a while the Louvre became a bit overwhelming and I was hungry for lunch. I found the Museum of Decorative Arts (Les Arts Decoratifs), located right next to the Louvre, to be more interesting. There was an exhibit of posters and other contemporary design by the design duo of Antoine+Manuel. Just outside of that there was an exhibit of really interesting French television advertising that included Michel Gondry and a gentlemen named Antoine Bardou-Jacquet that used type to illustrate all kinds of animated objects. In another wing there were some really cool political posters.

“04.23.09, 3:32pm – Sit in courtyard outside of Louvre – enjoy Parisian sun… ”

With a bit of time before my next appointment I decided to enjoy the weather and view outside. Around 4pm the Graphic Design students headed to the Grand Palais to catch the exhibit “Le Tag.” The exhibit consisted of a bunch of graffiti artists doing an interpretation of the word “love.” There were some really great pieces that exhibited a great amount of control and talent in the graffiti medium. Something different to open up your mind and expose you to great art.

“5:28pm – W. Blake w/Tom”

After that Tom and I caught the William Blake exhibit across the street at the Petit Palais. I jotted several notes about his printmaking processes which we were told to pay attention to by our printmaking professor (who happens to be one of my favorite professors from Atlanta, if I have not already mentioned.) Tom and I then walked the long walk back to the hotel and took in the sites as we went along.

“6:35pm – Pont Alexandre III – EPIC!!!”

We crossed the Pont Alexandre III, which is a huge bridge in Paris that crosses the River Siene and is decorated by cherubs, nymphs and winged horses at either end. As we got closer to the hotel we stopped and had crepes with nutella and bananas. Soooo freaking good! Needless to say, after the walk home we were beat. I think grabbed dinner but for the most part, thus concludes day 2 in Paris.

More words and all of my pictures from the trip coming soon… must go eat and do work now.

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