Liz Aplin Trip: Florence, Italy and Yellowstone National Park
Every other summer, a lucky group of Baylor art students
get to take their talents to the next level by participating
in the Liz Aplin Trip. The trip is organized as a tribute to
the late Liz Aplin, a member of the Baylor art faculty, who
died in August 2000. Two groups have traveled to Florence,
Italy and studied at the Florence Academy of Art. The students
stayed in a restored 15th century villa and walked to the
academy each day for a full day of classes in Renaissance
drawing and sculpture, figure painting, portrait painting,
and landscape painting. In addition to classroom instruction,
art historians led the group on tours each week.
"We learned techniques we would only learn if we studied in
Italy or France," says art instructor Laura Yann, referring
to a technique known as "sight size." Laura has adopted the
technique in her own art instruction at Baylor, because she
sees it as an important foundation for learning how to draw.
"There aren't many schools teaching this. It's invaluable to
our students," says Laura. A third group studied "plein-air"
painting for ten days in Yellowstone National Park. Surrounded
by glorious vistas, students began each day with painting,
working through the afternoon and into the early evening.
At night, the group discussed triumphs and challenges with
professional artist and portrait painter Joy Thomas. "They
pushed themselves mentally and psychologically to make excellent
work, but also found a new way to relate to the world around
them," says Laura. "They have been given the gift of seeing
light and color anew, and the process of seeing and painting
has become a means of connecting to the world around them."