On Dec. 19, 2015 I left Lyon, France after about 18 months of living there. That’s two birthdays, two apartments (plus a real touch and go moment where a friend’s spare apartment was necessary when moving between places), immeasurable kindness from new friends, and one damn fabulous outdoor market (that’s why Croix-Rousse is the best) among many other fond memories.
Having never been to Italy before, this year I was able to fulfill a dream of mine in visiting Florence. I fell in love with La Specola, the museum of zoology and natural history. While that alone sounds great, what's really special about this place are the rooms full of anatomical and surgical wax figures. Heavenly.
Other art influences came from seeing the painted caves in the Dordogne region. While the replicas at Lascaux were incredibly moving (despite it being the off-season and tours only being held in French) for me the real impact came from the paintings at Font-de-Gaume. It was real. Of course no photos are allowed inside the caves.
This was also the year I really fell in love with a new medium, watercolors, and had the pleasure to really sink in to this new discovery. My favorite works this year are a mix of oil and watercolor pieces, both of which explore the layers of a slightly modified or distorted digital photograph.
But mostly I will miss Lyon. It marks the beginning of the end of a specific chapter in my life, in a way. I have spent about 7 years living away from the US. I am just briefly in the UK now, before I return to Los Angeles for who knows how long; complications of cross-continental love and visa requirements. Can’t imagine Horace writing about that.