a 2 year reflection

A hot Augusto arrival

Semester one,

Nervousness, insecurities, adjustments

A will to maintain my routines

The slow evaporation of willpower due to stress of midterms

Professors that are self-absorbed and threatened by the aura of my presence

My independent and non-conformist approach

Ah… the party, lots of wine and a much-needed release of stress, ah… to be happy

But in the dark corners, mean girl spirits lurked, I was the source of their laughter, not life its self. Immaturity

Ah winter break – time to go home and renew, begin routines and return stronger

Semester two, so far so good

I am a lot calmer

A new option for creativity that was not present in semester 1 arises

Silver lining, I was forced to be creative outside of academia, I created my own creative class.

museum visits to study & sketch their works of art and of course enjoy a cappuccino

2nd month of semester 2 covid surfaces and total lockdown begins

Mornings were depressing, bright without the option to enjoy them

I found comfort in the night; in the dark no one can see that you are sad and alone

May arrives, lockdown lifts, all non-locals have left, Rome is empty

Villa Pamphili is all mine

It is wild, overgrown, and fresh

6th of May 2020 13h41

I walk through its paths as if I am the sole survivor of the pandemic

Rome heats up

Businesses reopen

Still

Rome is empty

Boarders remain closed

Walks become morning adventures only,  

the streets of Rome absorb and reflect the sun like a cast iron skillet

Still, I go out, I am here in Rome to experience Rome the eternal city

The frutta and verdure mercatos are full of stone fruit, figs, grapes and every veggie possible

The Summer fruit is ripe, the tomatoes are like works of art, when you slice into one, jewels appear

Summer days are filled with hot and sweaty walks through Roma centro and caffe doppios at the museum bar.

Days dedicated to portraiture painting

my summer flat is an amazing space where I completed numerous oil paintings

{why can’t I remain here? Because I am not a typical study abroad student, I am not wealthy}

Inspiration came in many forms, identity, fresh fruit, travels to Venice & Florence, sorrows.

I am very sensitive and emotional and that does not bother me

A pleasant break in my routine came with an excursion to the beach, a much-needed break from Rome’s sticky hot pavement

Back in the city

I am ready to begin classes, to begin my capstone seminar, to be around people again

The 3rd semester is spent 50% online with on campus studio courses thank God!

Rough waters

This fall semester is a bumpy one, within a month I have to move again, on my bday no less

Happy birthday to me… tears

My birthday was spent moving, cleaning, packing and unpacking

11th of october

Which disrupted my study flow

The new flat is modern, cozy & on the 2nd floor, {American 3rd} the windows are tall and narrow, the view is rectangular and enclosing, it is not a wealthy view, it is containment

Much to my dismay My health suffered here… I am not sure why?

Contributing Factors = a loss of all will power, stress became too great. This flat is cold, I worry about the electricity bill, I feel isolated in this neighborhood… as a result all too familiar unhealthy habitus has returned

shall I continue…

Are there any positives you ask?

Yes!

I paint, I painted a lot, my painting flow continues to gain momentum

I ended the fall semester of my senior year with a 20-portrait critique!

16th of December

But there is no rest for the weary

MFA application deadlines approaching

winter break consists of

Continuous drafts of statements

Painting more

Long walks in the city have ceased, its cold and dark

The winter is unfriendly here

In Europe you live in the elements

automobile shelters are rare and only for the well off

There is an absence of holiday spirit here

I don’t feel anything

numb

I go outside rarely because it is not friendly, cold  

And day light is short

The spring semester has begun, my last!!!!!

An online start

Certo!

Covid is still here

But I am okay with the online start

I am not ready to people yet

The second portion of my capstone is delayed because the “good ol boys club” is still upset

They could not control me and they never will!

Still, I strive

As a result, my first painting was a symbol of strength and resistance!

They tried to suppress my cultural capital but their methods failed miserably

When men feel inferior to women, they come for us

They came for me

But I did not send for them

Therefore, their attempts were ineffective

they did not break through my barrier  

I painted and painted and painted!

I painted everything I felt.

Sadness

Strength

Vulnerability

Isolation

Anger

INEQUALITY

my emotions manifested ethereal scenes and dreamlike atmospheres

Concepts manifest soooo frequently now

so many paintings in my head

concepts in journals

sketches scribbled on papers

The seeds I planted are growing at a phenomenal rate

My return home will nourish these sprouts

I will be nourished

My next chapter will expand upon my time in Rome, and all the life experiences, lessons and hard truths learned

I am stronger

My focus has been enhanced

My vision becomes clearer everyday

I know I have all the tools inside me, to create

the barriers and confines of academia have taught me to think outside of their world.  

Who am I?

I am a PAINTRESS!

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