The “Art” of Studying Abroad
Now three months into my study abroad experience in Florence, Italy, I can say with certainty that everyone has their own reasons for taking a semester away from what they know, and spending a semester in their unknown. My reasons revolved around art. While I had studied “The Masters” for years through textbooks, slideshows and poster-copies, never did I imagine that I would be learning from them through museums, churches and landscapes.
Like most artists, at twenty-one, I had already developed my “style;” my mediums, brush strokes and subjects had all began to fit a very similar mode. And yet, it’s grown. Just as the cultural norms and customs of the area that you call home for four months infiltrate your life the longer you stay, the practices and inspirations of these great artists have become increasingly more infused into my work.
With many hours spent touring museums and studying how they captured the light, the emotion or the story, producing new versions of long-time thoughts has become a possibility. While Florence boasts endless opportunities, I have found myself wandering thorough art museums everywhere that I travel to. Each city holds a different artist or style sacred to its culture for a different reason. Which has ultimately lead me to discover that if you want to study art abroad it does not matter so much where you study it, but rather how choose to study it.
The works throughout this post are: my first fresco painting (side profile); my first oil painting (three views of The David’s face); my sculptural chalk pastel drawing (angels); and my acrylic painting (self-portrait). While none of them are perfect, they are genuine reflections of how the environments that I have chosen to study in have impacted—and improved—myself and my art alike.