By Diane Pham ( “SCAD students attend class in a spectacular restored medieval village in Southern France”

The completion of Maison Basse and SCAD Lacoste’s tenth anniversary have given more attention to our goings on than usual. (design will save the world) is a “weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.” Diane Pham, the architecture and design editor for, published an article on October 22 and a few painting students at work are included in the photo essay which accompanies the story. Enjoy!

Thank you for writing the article, Diane.

Sandra Reed, Professor of Painting


Why is French drawing so good?

Question: Why is French figure drawing so good?

Answer: Because French models are so good!

On Sunday afternoon, October 21, Florent posed in the Maison Basse studio for the second Open Model Session this term. The painting students and Maison Basse residents arrived in advance and cleared and cleaned the area under the skylight. When the drawing session got underway at 3:00 pm, Professor Deems and her life drawing students, joined by painting students Tyler Giordano and Kayla Cloonan, received a real treat. Florent, a professional artist’s model, shared his favorite poses and was also open to trying new poses. After three ten-minute poses, he settled into a long pose during which he held Sujay’s soccer ball under his chin as though he were about to heave an over-sized shot put.

When 30 minutes had passed, Florent said he was okay. At 45 minutes into the pose, I said it would be a good time to take a short break because we had 35 minutes remaining, and he said he was okay. In the end, Florent held a standing pose with torsion for 80 minutes. This allowed all of us to focus on subtle shifts such as changes caused by inhalation. It also meant that our concentration was unabated. If he could hold the pose, we could hold our focus. The session ended at 5:00 p.m.

All of this took placed under the most wonderful northern light. The life drawing students had the opportunity to complete their second long pose focusing on proportion; Kayla expanded her experimentation by using pruned branches as over-sized holders for her fine art brushes and adapted her exploration from landscape to the figure; and Tyler created a painted color study. Professor Deems sketched and so did I.

By Sandra Reed, Professor of Painting

Filling The Empty Space

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When first arriving at the beautiful Maison Basse September 21, 2012, a strange mystery was noted. In the kitchen area an obvious empty space had been made in the midst of its decorations hanging on the wall near the ceiling. There was some speculation as to the reason for this, but no one really knew why. Tyler Giordano and I were approached about the answer to the mystery. We found out that it was an empty space made with intentional design in mind. The plan was to have a student or students imitate one of the tin flower decorations in the art nouveaux style to fill the designated space. Having an interesting element incorporated into the interior design of the room was very clever and enhances the already stimulating atmosphere. Over the course of a few weeks, Tyler and I used acrylic paint to work on this project while making changes and new observations along the way. Tyler said that the most challenging thing about the project was: “Because of the dim lighting near the ceiling, it was hard to recreate the accurate colors we needed to match the other decorations.” After a substantial amount of hard work, the ultimate goal of filling the empty space with the desired image was achieved. I am proud of our result and am glad that after I am finished with my quarter here, a little piece of me will be left behind for many to see in the years to come.

By: Julie Ferris, BFA Painting

Photo credit: Sandra Reed (3) and Julie Ferris (1)

Work hard, play harder.

While the other 58 students were in Paris, the painters made the most out of being able to paint all day on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (no other courses since the other professors are in Paris). The Maison Basse studio was full to overflowing. To take a break on Friday, October 19, students played an informal game of soccer in the Maison Basse courtyard. And then they rested.

Opposing teams -- whose to say which team won the match?

Painters Painting and Danto

Many of the painting students are reading After the End of Art by Arthur Danto as the course text. Undergraduates will each write a summary of one of its eleven chapters in preparation to discuss these with the graduate painting students and Professor Reed in small groups next week.

To provide context for discussion of Danto’s ideas regarding the ‘passing of the pure’ and ‘post-historical art,’ painting students gathered in the Maison Basse conference room last night, Thursday, October 18, and watched “Painters Painting,” a 116-minute documentary. This film features interviews with leading artists, critics, and patrons who lived in New York between 1940 and 1970, many of whom are mentioned in the course text.

Thanks to graduate painting student Charles Parham for bringing the DVD to Lacoste.

By Sandra Reed, Professor of Painting

Photo credit: Sandra Reed

Student Presentations – Class 6 of 16 (Wed Oct 10)

Students presented their work for feedback at the end of Week 3. At the beginning of the term, students in Advanced Painting PNTG 409, Intermediate Painting PNTG 302, Independent Study PNTG 485, and Graduate Studio PNTG 738/758 courses set personal objectives in a written course proposal to plan what they would present at this checkpoint. As part of the presentation of their work, students were required to show and discuss processes, preliminary works (drawings, photos, poems, collages, modellos, etc.), sources of inspiration/influence, and references/research materials (including visual material, heritage, and readings).

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Maison Basse: News from SCAD

A morning view of the Maison Basse courtyard and vineyard from Chambre 5.
Photo Credit: Sandra Reed

SCAD is proud to share its work on Maison Basse with the world.

Here is information about it:

And at this link, you can watch a video about Lacoste and Maison Basse:

A visitor to Lacoste and to Maison Basse observed that however wonderful the video and photographs make the place look, they understate what it is like to be here.

Maison Basse Dedication

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This Saturday evening, October 6, was the grand opening of Maison Basse!  SCAD Lacoste was paid a visit by our President Paula Wallace as well as patrons who made it possible for us to have the incredible work space that we are now using. Throughout the week they took extra time to visit students and faculty in their studios for encouragement and collaboration. President Wallace’s presence was warmly welcomed by the students. “She was very approachable and enthusiastic about getting to know us and was interested in our goals while in Lacoste,” said one student with whom she spoke. Continue reading