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A Portrait of High-Impact Learning

Jacquilyn Richardson – Class of 2020
CHIP Grant Recipient 2019

Majors: Studio Art and Emerging Media with a concentration in Digital Design

During the summer of 2019 Jackie spent over 35 hours a week painting and drawing from life at Studio Escalier in Argentonnay, France. Jackie spent 11 weeks learning how to turn the human form and about translating that to paper and canvas. Jackie was one of 13 students selected to participate in this intensive painting and drawing experience, and her newfound understanding of light, color, movement, philosophy, and technique has allowed her to take her own artwork to new heights as she prepares a show for her nomination for the AICUO Excellence in Visual Arts Award.

Jackie’s experience was made possible by a Capital High Impact Project (CHIP) Grant, a program designed to provide well qualified and highly motivated Capital students with support to engage in high impact educational experiences.

In the artist’s own words, Jackie describes her experience:

Portrait study“In May of 2019, a small village in the French countryside captured my heart forever. When I applied to the Summer Painting and Drawing Intensive at Studio Escalier, I had no expectations to be accepted into the program. Accepting applications from all over the world, the small studio only accepted 13 students into the extremely competitive program. When I received my acceptance invitation, I was financially unprepared for the possibility that I would actually be accepted. I say with complete confidence that without the Capital High Impact Project Grant, I would not have been able to experience my life-changing trip to France.

Studio Escalier is located on the 3rd floor of a small chateau in Argenton-Chateau, France. The small village is surrounded by farmland and national parks, and lies along the L’Ouere river. Every morning I woke up at 8:30AM and got ready for class, then I walked along the winding roads of Argenton to be in class by 9:15. On my way to class I greeted locals in their native language, and over the course of my stay my fluency in French grew. In the mornings I drew from life with the owner of the studio, Timothy Stotz, who lead critiques, demonstrations, and instruction. Tim taught me about movement in the body, repeating patterns, how to recreate the light I saw falling across the forms in front of me, and most importantly how to find joy in every step of the drawing process. The most important lesson I learned from Tim is simple, “technique is the level of joy in your practice”.

After a short break for lunch, I returned to the studio to paint with Tim’s wife and the other owner of Studio Escalier, Michelle Tully. Michelle taught me about color and value, and how light reflects off some surfaces and appears on the body. Michelle was patient, encouraging, and immensely skilled at direct painting. Painting is perhaps the most difficult task I have ever undertaken. In one stroke, I have to take into account value, hue, saturation, texture, the consistency of my paint, and the local contrast of what I am working on. Repeating this process over and over for an entire painting is simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating, and each day on my walk home I battled between my fatigue and my motivation to continue practice after class.

Figure studies

Now that I have been back in the States for a while, I have taken what I learned in Argenton and applied it to my artistic practice. Capital University has nominated me to compete in the annual AICUO Excellence in Visual Arts Competition, and I am able to use my work from France and the skills I obtained to create new work in this event that will hopefully jumpstart my career. I would like to thank Capital and its faculty again for providing me with the means to participate in this life-changing experience, and I only hope that other students will have experiences as significant as mine.”