Minutes after taking SATs, fourteen girls boarded the bus to the airport for Deerfield’s first-ever DArts Visual Arts Trip to Paris. Fine Arts teacher David Dickinson and French teacher Claudia Lyons led the two-week trip.
Needless to say, our initial impressions of Paris were clouded by our jet lag and extreme sleep deprivation. However, the day after we met our host families and rested, we were able to start navigating our way through this beautiful city.
With the help of our host families, each of us located important destinations set on the itinerary, including la Grande Chaumière, the atelier where we took our drawing courses.
At la Grande Chaumière, we practiced figure drawing from the live nude using a variety of mediums, including ink, watercolor, pastel, and graphite. For many of us, this was our first experience working from a nude model, and these classes proved incredibly beneficial in helping us develop our knowledge of the human form.
In addition to the course we took at la Grande Chaumière, Mr. Dickinson and Ms. Lyons organized a different activity for each day. These activities ranged from museum visits at the Louvre, le Musée de Rodin, le Musée de l’Orangerie, and the Pompidou Center (to name a few), to a fashion show at la Gallerie Lafayette. A weekend boat trip to Rouen and Monet’s garden in Giverney were also highlights of our trip.
We also took a sculpting course in a small private studio near Versailles, where we learned how to sculpt clay models from the live nude. Working with a three-dimensional medium was a constructive exercise, forcing us to take every contour of the human form into consideration.
Although the trip had its small frustrations and glitches, overall things ran smoothly and all of us learned a lot. Not only did these two weeks help us develop our college portfolios and skills as young artists, but also our abilities to navigate a foreign country-of the fourteen of us, only a few had taken French and could speak it among our host families.
From figuring out the metro system to learning new artistic techniques, Deerfield’s first art trip was “un succès incroyable!”