Sunday, May 22, 2011

first day of work


I worked a 3 hour beginning/introduction session with the director Saturday afternoon, which went very well. But today was my first day in front of all 14 of the students.

I'm going to be working with these students for 3 months. All of them paid thousands of dollars for this intensive program. It was important that I make a good impression.

For those of you who know me personally, it is fair to say that I am a bit of a perfectionist at my job, yes? Like everyone else in the world, I have my off-days but I was not going to let today be one of them. For 6 hours, I pulled out all the stops. I did some of the craziest, dynamic, hardest poses I've ever done for a life drawing session. I feel like I've ran a marathon - I have that feeling of extremely productive exhaustion. But did I set the bar too high for myself? I don't think I can physically top what I did today. It's close to impossible - something in me would snap or break.

But maybe not. I felt good enough to go for an hour and a half hike around the river, and it is not a flat hike. But I took it fairly easy, and snapped some lovely photos with my digicam. Kind of a test shoot for what I will shoot with my precious borrowed (from awesome friend, Dave Levingston) Mamiya C330 and only 12 rolls of black and white film.

So enjoy the photos.

Tomorrow or Tuesday I will go around town and shoot various notable buildings and establishments. Still trying to get a feel for the town, and not be so afraid while walking down the road. There are very few sidewalks, and the sidewalks they have are very narrow. And the roads are barely bigger than a one-lane road we see in the states. And they aren't one-way streets. ...You have to be very careful going around corners.

To be fair, european cars are significantly smaller... but not proportional to the size of the residential streets.

Anyway, I'm going to finish my green tea and pass out. Have to be up in 10 hours to do it all over again! :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Excuse the mess...

I'm still unpacking!

Street view of the apartment building. I'm on the ground level - left 2 windows.

Garden View.

West view of my apartment.


Looking out to the street.

The trip was very long and I still have jet lag. Went about 28 hours without sleeping and moving ahead 7 hours in time zones. But other than that I couldn't have asked for better travels out here. No delays, no missed flights or trains, and generally getting along pretty well with my limited French.

Last night we had a welcome dinner, and this morning has been about getting food for ourselves. One of the students and I got up at 7:30 am (12:30am Central) to go to the local cafe. I got a cafe au lait, and it was not what I expected. It was espresso in a small demitasse cup with a small amount of steamed milk on the side. I have to figure out how I can get a Soy Latte. Ha! Then we went to the patisserie, and then the supermarket. I'm going to learn a lot of french this summer, that I can say for sure..

Now off I go to a meeting, then I will probably crash into bed. Hope I sleep better tonight then I did last night!

Friday, May 13, 2011

cinq jours

I leave in 5 days.

I leave in 5 days.

I think I have everything done. Well, of course except for having everything packed. I have everything pre-packed (which means there are piles and piles of things in my room that need to be placed in suitcases) and 98% of all my errands done.

I'm getting anxious here!

What is it going to be like? Will I be in pain after every session? What will the town be like? How much French will I learn/pick up? How homesick will I get? What will the food be like? How can I live and experience this adventure to its fullest?

Trying to stay calm here, but honestly, so excited and scared at the same time. But fear can be exciting, just as long as we don't let it smother us.

This might be my last post until I actually get over there. Wish me luck!

Mark S. Chaplin

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cheap Motel

As soon as I got off the plane in Ohio, rockstar Chip Willis picked me up from the airport. We spent the whole night chatting and shooting. Chip is also one of my most favorite people to work with. You never know what he's going to come up with. Creativity just oozes from his pores.

We created some awesome images that night - but be warned, this isn't the usual "Brooke" that you're used to seeing. A bit more edgy, sensual, and challenging. Challenging for me, at least. A bit scary, exciting, thrilling and uncomfortable. But that's most, if not all of the reason it was so fun. It's always great stepping out of your comfort zone as long as you're with someone you trust.

Here's a sampling of the images we created that night.

Thanks Chipsta!!!

Oh, if you haven't checked it out yet - I now have an *active* Tumblr.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dear Abandoned Readers

I apologize for my absence. I haven't kept up with this blog as much as I've wanted to. I've neglected it, and neglected you. It makes me feel bad, but hey, what can you do?

I absolutely, positituvely (yes, I know that really isn't a word), promise that very soon you will see a drastic change in the amount I post. I will be writing very frequently about my travels and experiences in France. You will be my link back home, back to friends, and back to loved art and artists, and hopefully I can be a link to some lovely happenings (at least in my world) in small-town France.

That is less than weeks away - OH MY. Anxiety, excitement, curiosity - a whole range of emotions is tingling through me. Thankfully, I'm not terribly stressed getting things together for the 3 month excursion. I've known about this trip since October so it's given me plenty of time to stock-pile supplies, compile to-do lists, and get psyched up for my adventure. There are last minute things that need to be done, such as car insurance, cell phone account suspension (definitely not taking my cell phone across the pond with me - it's terribly expensive), and actually packing, but other than that, nothing to stress on.

Okay, I lied.

The one thing I'm terribly concerned about is being homesick. I'm an "attached" sort of person. I love my family, friends, and of course, the boyfriend. Being away from them all will be the hardest part of the trip, I'm sure of it.

But anyway, enough of that!


Two weeks ago I was in Ohio for a whole week. Wow, it was what I needed. Papa's funeral was three days prior to me departing for my trip, and I needed to get away and just make art and hang out with friends. Dave Levingston hosted me in his house for the week, and we made such lovely, wonderful images like the ones below.

It's always wonderful working and hanging out with Dave. He's one of the best people to be around and create art with. One of my favorite people in the whole world.

Thanks Dave!