I teach painting and drawing classes at UC Davis and have always had a strong relationship with artists from France and Italy, Titian, Pontormo, Matisse, Cezanne, etc. I have spent many months abroad, studying great works of art in museums and churches there.
I set up the Art Studio in Paris and the French Riviera class based upon my undergraduate experience of designing my own semester abroad program to study art. That semester long ago convinced me that being an artist was to be my life’s work. I also co-directed the New York Studio School’s Summer Program in Paris while I was still a student, and again, saw the incredible impact that French art and life had on our peers.
I wanted to introduce my own students to the life-expanding experience of living and working abroad. I taught in a Rhode Island School of Design program in Brittany, France several summers ago and then was an artist in residence at a program in Umbria, Italy. It reinforced my desire to bring such opportunities to UC students. From 2007-2010, I taught a Summer Abroad class in Italy and these sessions far exceeded my expectations as I continue to see the impact the month abroad has had on our students’ work and lives. Our last three summers in France have been very exciting—seeing art closer to our own time—and to live where many of the artists had lived made a strong impression. For myself, these summers contain some of my most memorable teaching moments.