Painting In Paris

September 23rd, 2008 by roblog · 4 Comments

As many of you may know, thanks to financial support from the Rosalie Chauncey Scholarship, I was able to study painting in Paris this summer. As a service to prospective students applying for the Chauncey this year, I will be giving a presentation in Melchers 207 Thursday September 25th, at 5:00 PM. I will briefly present on my experiences in Paris and the opportunity provided by the Chauncey scholarship, which will be followed by a question and answer/discussion section. All are welcome. More info and images below…
The Chauncey Scholarship is a competitive scholarship given to a UMW studio art major for the study of art in Paris during the summer, spring or fall semesters. Since the scholarship is not affiliated with any program in Paris, the recipient is responsible for applying to and enrolling in a program or school in Paris.

I can’t stress how highly I recommend applying for the Chauncey Scholarship. We all like painting. We all like travel. And lets face it, if you’re an art student, painting in Paris is probably on your list of things to do before you die. The Chauncey makes this sort of pipe-dream scenerio a practical possibility, so, quite frankly, it is silly not to apply. (I must confess that I started college as something of a redneck art nerd who had never left the continental united states–I never planned on going to Europe, because it was something of a fiscal impossibility for me; the Chauncey gave me an opportunity I had never imagined for myself.)

I studied Plein Air painting with the Parsons Paris Summer Intensive program during the month of July, staying at Cite Universaire’s Fondation des Etats Unis. Classes were held (rarely) at the Parsons Paris building in the 7eme, chiefly meeting on location at various sights around the city. Classes included two three hour sessions a day, in addition to homework assignments each night. The program was a fantastic opportunity for painting boot camp, and the curriculum is multi-leveled, geared to apply equally to the expert painter and the novice. For me, however, the highlight of the program was the chance to meet and establish friendships with motivated art students from around the world–our class included students from at least 7 different countries on three continents. The major drawback of the program is that it is limited to plein air landscape, which, although it is a rewarding and difficult genre of painting, did not allow me to create work that could fit into my larger graduate portfolio.

There are comparatively few painting programs available in Paris itself during the summer, and most were not geared toward intensive painting. I selected Parsons Paris because of its affiliation with a major US art school as well the fact that it was the only available program offering instruction in oil painting. Many more options persist for Fall and Spring semester study abroad options. (There are also a myriad of painting programs outside the Ile de France–including one run by Yale at Pont Aven, but these probably fall outside the eligibility of the scholarship.) That said, I would highly recommend the Parsons Paris Summer Intensives program to the recipient of the scholarship, with the caveat that the recipient may be better suited by a standard semester’s study abroad course in a different program.

I look forward to seeing y’all Thursday night!

A Flickr Photoset of some of my paintings is available here. (Check back in the days to come as I add more.)

Tags: Art · Melchers · original work · paris

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