22 July 2013
Our paints have arrived! Well, kind of…more like we arrived to the paints. We met outside the art room in King’s College at the start of class and walked down to Tindall’s Art Store to purchase our brushes and paints. Just the smell of the store and the beautiful display of the art supplies made me feel like the most creative and artistic person on the planet, which of course deems far from the truth. It is amazing how your body reacts to certain environments it is placed in. Walking through the isles of Tindalls had my mind wondering a mile a minute about all the different ways I could use all the supplies in front of me. We had the option of purchasing Gouache, acrylic, or oil paints depending on our preference, skill level, and price level. I chose the Gouache, the cheapest of the three but also the longest lasting and the best option for beginners. Gouache is a water-based paint and therefore it does not stain your clothing (an important detail for beginning painters) and the paint goes a long ways with a little water. My kit came with 5 tubes of paint, green, blue, red, white, and 2 shades of yellow, as well as a kit of three different sized brushes. It cost a little more than what I expected paint to cost, but Professor Newbolt swears that it is the best paint in England.
Professor Newbolt is a funny guy. He paces the classroom as we draw and comments on how beautiful and abstract our art is. No matter how terrible it really is… In his class I feel like Picasso, and I am not going to argue with that. He informed me that the best paint store in the world is located in London and that we should all go to it if we get the chance. He warned that when we walk in and look a little puzzled at what we see, to not be alarmed by the eccentric painters that come up to us trying to explain the chemistry behind color choice and artistic impressions.
Our second Formal Hall was this evening, and this time I chose to attend at King’s college. Anxious and excited not only to eat in the “Harry Potter-like” dining hall and dine with a variety of new people, but to wear my brand new bright pink hat. I don’t think the right word for it is “hat”, but I am not sure what it is called here in Britain. Purchasing it in Edinburgh on a whim at an antique store was the best purchase I have made on this trip. It was the cherry on top of an evening so perfectly British. A few days ago I went on a little shopping spree to Dorothy Perkins and H&M to purchase some additional items for my somewhat-lacking wardrobe. Then, I purchased a chic floral dress that I planned to wear with my dazzling pink adornment to the Formal Hall. So, here I am floral and bright pink all over sitting in the Great Hall of King’s College Cambridge, feeling not only like a true English woman and a dynamic character in the story of Harry Potter, but as an individual distinguished by the years of life, study, travels, and experience that have so dramatically shaped every cell in my body. Amazement fills my whole being when I look at the caliber of people I have met here at Cambridge. I have made incredible friends, people I know I can turn to and depend on through the years of my life’s journey. Formal Halls are a place where dining is truly defined. From 7 until 10 friends, foes, and strangers gather to partake of a beautifully displayed three course meal, but more importantly discuss live’s experiences with one another.
The menu for the evening included Tamarind confit leg with spicy Thai salad, peanuts and mango as appetizer, Ginger marinated bream, braised pak choi, jasmine rice, snake beans, and tom yum soup for the main course, and a fresh fruit cocktail for desert. It was all just as delicious as it sounds…