Studio Escalier : Week 1 Update

This week has been an incredible learning experience. I am delighted to know that I have 9 more.

I think the major improvement in my work thus far is the general proportionality and depth of my figures. Without going into detail about the training and process, I find that I am able to see the figure in a far more intense, in depth and careful manner. One of my favorite notions this week is that prior to photography artists, generally speaking, had no concept of a flat picture plane. They considered their figure in a sculptural manner.

The below photos are technical drawings completed thus far. I find I am constantly running out of time with a pose. I think about high school students who want to rush through everything. Can you guys imagine – most of these drawings took me 40 minutes and they aren’t anywhere near RESEMBLING a finished product. I could easily spend another 3-25 hours on each pose.  

I feel very comfortable in the atelier environment and the magical pursuit in which I am engaged. Much of what I am learning speaks to ideas I seek not only in my artwork, but in life. I hope to do away with this imaginary veil that separates us from one another and the universe as a whole. Our worlds exist because of our whole, not our individuality. Our diversity or juxtaposition provides contrast that allows clearer vision.

I feel less afraid about my future and finding secure employment. I can honestly say that my only goal is to pursue the joy and integrity of an artistic life. I firmly believe this is where my greatness lies. Otherwise what on earth is the point?

I ordered two books this week: Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic and Pema Chodron’s lecture Fail Big, Fail Better. Preparing…

Argenton-Chateau is lovely and quiet. I find that I am immersed in my own retreat. There is no urgency to my life and that is a gift of unspeakable value. Yoga, meditation, long walks, short runs and creative pursuits are a part of my daily routine.

I did purchase a wedding dress prior to this trip, so no more pain au chocolat for now.


We began with whirlygigs – They turned out to be pretty awesome once I learned how to use them properly.








Probably my best work so far. I feel pretty good about it. A few of the concepts that were taught really sunk in for this drawing.




This and the above two photos were my last drawings of the week. I think my brain started to shift into overdrive and things began to fall apart. 
I don’t know who this guy is, but I am going to find out. There are at least two of him. Right now, I call him Mr. Umbrella Pants.

Poem: the sweetness

the sweetness

exquisitely aged buildings
host songbirds in their windows
from many hidden places they discuss last night’s downpour

I must remember that one
and a half spoonfuls
is the perfect amount
of sugar
for the warm black tea.

It feels more like dessert than breakfast
as I pull the blanket around my shoulders.


The Dharma Year

When I applied for MFA programs in December, I wanted to be accepted. I planned to be packing around April. Fortunately I was rejected from all 4 programs.

I was recently pink slipped as an art teacher and will not have a job next school year. I am so grateful.

These little “problems” are just such perfect timing. My shop is doing very well. I have enough savings to focus my energy on art and the shop for the next year. I am awestruck at the perfectly aligned path that the universe has laid out before me.

Through commitment and hard work, I have placed myself in the perfect position to pursue my heart centered desires. For the next year, I am going to create full-time. What a great journey for a blog titled “Seeking Joy”.

I am calling my journey the “Dharma Year”. Dharma refers to my ultimate purpose, my place in the cosmic alignment of things, conformity to my nature. For the next year I will pursue all of these things. I will work diligently to build a career in which I am able to pursue my truth.

The year is already off to an outstanding beginning. I am three days engaged (did NOT see that coming…my friend pointed out, “All a part of your Dharma Year!”). This summer I was accepted into a very selective drawing and painting intensive, Studio Escalier. In France. So I’ll be there if you need me…for three months. My art is going to blossom. I can’t even imagine how. So I’m not trying. I’m just letting it all unfold.

Thank you universe! Please follow my journey on instagram, facebook or on this blog!


My summer home for three months. I’ll be spending 6 hours a day, 5 days a week studying figure drawing and painting.



I dropped a magnet on the floor this morning. It skittered across the tile and came to stop much like any other object. But it isn’t any other object. A magnet acts very different in the presence of something metallic. To see it behave like a normal pebble was suddenly so odd.

I wonder about humans and this property in ourselves. Are we an average pebble skipping across the ground until we find something that makes us act in the most unusual, bizarre fashion?

This could be a positive thing – this new behavior is energetic or exciting. It could be a negative thing – one becomes listless and unimpassioned.

I like the idea of our secret power being hidden, even to ourselves, until we find the right set of circumstances to activate it.