August 13-26, eight Academy students lived and worked at the Terra Foundation for American Art-Europe in Giverny, France as part of a two-week Artist in Residence Program. Daniel Bilodeau (MFA 2013), Adam Carnes (MFA 2013), Ivy Hickam (MFA 2013), Jacob Hicks (MFA 2012), Gaetanne Lavoie (MFA 2013), Robert Plater (MFA 2013), Amanda Scuglia (MFA 2013) and Valentina Stanislavskaia (MFA 2013) will continue to share their experiences here.
Tuesday, August 14:
Today I rode up a hill with a borrowed mountain bike to the edge of a farm field. I could see little houses and valleys below. On my way I met two horses, one black, one white. Irritated by flies in their eyes they kept nodding their heads at me. I patted their warm brows. A young French girl, who must have stepped out of a painting, walked over to me calling out the horses' names. She was rosy cheeked and wore a dress the color of the sky. I spoke to her in my broken French and she patiently waited to understand. When I said "Je suis Américain," she smiled. She lives in a house down the way. I wished I could paint her. I said "À tout à l'heure" and hopped back on my bike.
An attempt at a landscape was made farther on up the hill. A sweaty brow and spilt water decided when it was done. I had fussed with it too much and the lights were muddied. But with renewed excitement for watercolor and landscape, I decided I would try again the next day for I'm out of practice in plein air and I knew that's how the day's painting would go.
After first week's crit, leaving Le Hameau
The studio area the Terra Foundation gave us for the two weeks is called "Le Hameau." The studios are said to have a lot of soul. They are rich in history; Lilla Cabot Perry, Frederick Carl Frieseke, Mary Wheeler, and Richard Miller all painted here.
"Lady in a garden," Frederick Carl Frieseke
The interior of my studio is always cool inside because of its thick walls. It has an old fireplace and touches of paint from previous residents. I've contributed gesso marks to the floor and a large branch from a berry bush cut and left by the gardener. The gardens hiding to the right of the building are a little wild; not too perfectly kept and lovingly overgrown.
Blog post originally posted in Ivy's Blog (post: "Giverny" and "The Hamlet")