Recently, the weather has taken a wet turn. For the painting students, this means muddy shoes, raincoats, and being prepared with plastic bags. These changes in weather are most significant for the landscape painters, who find themselves in an ever-changing environment. As I was speaking with Sami Lee Woolhiser — set up with her portable easel, paints, and stool alongside the trail near Maison Basse — sprinkles of rain descended upon us. She quickly covered her easel in a large, transparent plastic bag, threw on her raincoat, and — with painterly dedication — continued working on the canvas beneath the plastic. When asked how painting outdoors felt to her, she explained, “It’s actually kind of distracting at times, but not really in a bad way. You’re exposed to the elements — like the bees won’t leave me alone! — but you’re so immersed in nature that it becomes a really special experience.”
No matter if you are directly working from the landscape or simply travelling back and forth to classes, living abroad in this unique environment abroad is an experience that any student should consider for personal and artistic growth.
Written by Kate Marie Phillips, Painting BFA
All photos by Kate Marie Phillips unless otherwise noted.