English Weather

The weather forecast predicted rain every day so far this week. Every day, I have worn my Hunters through the dry streets of Brighton and London. Today I decided, no more! As cute and pink as they are, it’s time for a change in foot ware. There are only so many times a girl can go out into the world, encased in rubber up to her knees. Today it rained heavily.

Obviously, the clouds waited until after I had left the house before leaking their melancholy precipitation down onto English umbrellas. They even waited for me to complete my entire journey to school. It wasn’t until I left studio that I had the horrible realization that today of all days it had decided to rain. I felt very productive today. Like every day, I packed a little lunch to bring along with me. There are two benefits of this. One, it allows me to be far more productive. Rather than finding a stopping point, packing up my valuables, leaving campus, finding food, eating it, and coming back, I simply wash my hands and clear off a little corner of my desk. Two, all the money I’m spending here is money that I’m not spending on travels. I packed an extra big lunch today, because I wouldn’t be going straight home and eating dinner afterwards. No, I had exciting after-studio plans.

I don’t have much time left here. It’s really hard to believe. I’m leaving Brighton in early May to go explore Europe by rail. That’s one month in England, which will be punctuated by a final trip to Paris/Normandy and hopefully some time in Amsterdam, as well as traveling with my parents, finishing my final projects for school, packing, and moving out of my house. Since I’m now traveling during the high season, I’ll also have to arrange all of my accommodations in advance. I don’t want to show up in a city and have no where to sleep! I don’t know how I’m going to get it all done. But for now, I’m doing what I can to prepare for the last big adventure. Saving money, putting extra hours into studio, lots of research, and seeing the last of England. Wow.

I left studio (which has been going great this week, by the way) to go to… studio. Chris’s studio. Chris is the head of Brighton’s painting department and a wonderful teacher. It was my conversation with him last week that really helped me to turn around my studio frustrations. He was on the amazing class trip to Berlin, and since the beginning of the term he’s been around with encouragement, insight, and interesting anecdotes. I also have him the link to my blog today, so he’s probably reading this. Hi Chris! I meant every word, I think you’re really great!

I caught the bus over to the Hove side of Brighton. Technically, the place where I’m living I believe is called “The City of Brighton and Hove.” They were neighbors that kindof grew into each other. Hove is to the West, I believe, but I hardly have any sense of direction over here with the crazy streets. It was an interesting journey. I’d never traveled in that direction before, and I would like to return and explore it. It was enticing from the double decker bus window. The studio was just a block or two past my stop, Hove Station. I didn’t even realize that Hove had a station.

It’s so interesting to learn about the practice of professional artists. The real art world is still in many ways a mystery to me. Conversations with Christ are always a pleasure, but it was a real treat to see the space in which he works… as well as the work itself. His studio is much cleaner than mine could ever be. I think I must get in too much of a rush. Until now, the only art I’d seen of his was a tiny photo of a painting printed on a postcard to advertise a show he had been in. It was a lovely reproduction, of course, but no substitute for seeing it in life. He has very interesting and beautiful paintings of paint. Although he’s been moving away from paint as a subject, his work continues to explore the his interest in baroque sculpture.

I hadn’t realized that he worked with video (and apparently music!) as well. The films he had on his computer were really fascinating. They’re difficult to describe. A video would be of a cobweb, a woman spitting out milk, or some linen fluttering in the breeze; but, for subjects that are almost mundane, they really captured the odd, capricious quality of life.

The building he works in houses many other artists, one of whom had just graduated from the University of Brighton. I got to meet her. It’s so encouraging to see other young people who are successfully finding a place in art and assimilating to the real world after university. Things seemed to be going really well for her.

I had a marvelous evening, and the journey home was quick if it was quite wet. I had splurged on a pineapple earlier this week which I carved up tonight. It’s a good one! Oh, so delicious. My taste buds are enjoying the variation. I’m about half way through all the stew I made last week, so it’s beginning to get juuust a bit tiresome. I’ll power through it for the rest of the week, then I have an exciting chicken-broccoli-cheddar recipe I’m going to try to adapt to the crockpot.

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