Fresh Air

New York City is beautiful... but even with Central Park, green space isn't exactly its strong suit. Especially for a girl from small town Wisconsin (the lakes... I miss the lakes <3.) 

Fortunately, Connecticut isn't too far away, and the last two Fridays I've been able to head up north, breath deeply in the midst of trees and rivers, and do some painting! 

Passing the time on the MetroNorth up to Connecticut

Passing the time on the MetroNorth up to Connecticut

Straight Lake Park--my favorite Wisconsin Trail!

Straight Lake Park--my favorite Wisconsin Trail!

My lovely Aunt Mary and Uncle John let me stay the first weekend of November with them.  I had been up a few weekends before and fell in love with the tobacco barns. I know... sounds strange, but the shape, color of the wood, and strange slated sideboards were SO unique and picturesque! I braved the cold, and did my first painting since making the trek to NYC (all my school work has been in graphite.) They thought I was crazy out there, painting in gloves and layers of sweaters, but the opportunity to swash paint strokes onto canvas was beyond worth it. 

The garden patio behind the house--again, COLD, but well worth it :) The walls are the remains of the original foundation.

The garden patio behind the house--again, COLD, but well worth it :) The walls are the remains of the original foundation.

Then, last Friday, most of the school took a day-trip up to instructor Jacob Collin's house in Connecticut. I didn't take as manny pictures as I should've--it was BEAUTIFUL! It looked like a north woods lodge mixed with a secret garden, secluded by trees on all sides, and near a river. Food, wine, friends, and good conversation made for a glorious day, and I even managed to get a painting done! 

Hopefully I can get out to do some cityscapes now that I know I still remember how to hold a brush! ;)

Finding a Harbor

It's official: the crazy stop-and-start,-cut-throat-competitive-paperwork-nightmare process of renting a New York apartment is DONE!

I had no idea what to expect, but the beauty of not having a plan, is that it's given me the much-needed freedom for improvising! 

And between couch-surfing and travel, there has been a LOT of improvising.

I had hoped to be able to blog over the last few months, but it turns out that "drifting" doesn't leave much time for writing about drifting--who knew?

Hannah and I on the hunt for the perfect place.

Hannah and I on the hunt for the perfect place.

Apartment hunting theme music!

But as of today, I officially have a harbor to land in between drifting adventures! My friend/roommate Hannah and I went to look at some apartments in Williamsburg on Sunday. We weren't expecting much... I mean, a loft in Williamsburg? Sounded too good to be true. We needed three bedrooms, and space for five girls, with a budget that most New Yorkers would scoff at. But we figured it was worth a look.

We met up with Joey--a Chassidic Jew with killer Peyots and a permanent grin. He showed us about 5 different places over the course of the afternoon. There were pros and cons for each, but nothing was quite what we needed. We finally got to the last loft that Joey had to show us, and before he opened the door, Hannah and I looked at each other, "This is gonna be it..."



Williamsburg! An artist hub that's central to everything :)

Williamsburg! An artist hub that's central to everything :)

Move-in December 1st... Success. Can't wait 'til my fabulous roommates--Hannah, Lydia, Rachel, and Deborah--and I move in and make it our own! 

An Unexpected Journey

Walking around a corner doesn’t typically bring huge surprises. Streets look like streets and buildings like buildings. I'm caught off-guard when I walk by someone out with the BIGGEST DOG EVER (we're in New York...where do you keep it??) or I see someone I know out of context,  but a little bit of strange is normal, right?

And don't get me started on the things you see on the subway....

"So THIS is a wardrobe..." Thanks, Lucy, for demonstrating an expression of magical wonder.

"So THIS is a wardrobe..." Thanks, Lucy, for demonstrating an expression of magical wonder.

Gotta love the strangeness of public transportation. I didn't take this particular picture, but click on the pic for some Buzzfeed entertainment!&nbsp;

Gotta love the strangeness of public transportation. I didn't take this particular picture, but click on the pic for some Buzzfeed entertainment! 


However, sometimes there’s another kind of surprise. It’s more of a “I just walked into the wardrobe and found a magical land…” moment.  These aren't as common.

Recent life has had a strange assortment of those moments.

Less than two months ago, I went to New York City by myself for (basically) the first time. I took a summer portrait painting workshop at Grand Central Atelier. I assumed that after the workshop, I would return to Minnesota, finish my final year of art school at The Atelier, and continue life as usual.

My entourage of belongings--4 a.m. on Aug. 31st, the day of departure to NYC! For better or worse, pre-travel all nighters have become a habit. BUT I was ready to go!&nbsp;

My entourage of belongings--4 a.m. on Aug. 31st, the day of departure to NYC! For better or worse, pre-travel all nighters have become a habit. BUT I was ready to go! 

That is not exactly what happened. Fast-forward to present: a series of events (much like the tornado in Wizard of Oz) finds me on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, NY for a few more days–HUGE thanks to the Kurtz family!—and I’m about to lease an apartment. I’m now attending Grand Central Atelier’s full-time art program and living out of a suitcase (…kind of. ;)

After I got back from the NYC workshop, there were all sorts of fun things that happened in a three week span—applying to Grand Central, finishing out my waitressing jobs, packing up and moving out of my apartment and studio, finishing a half-done painting, turning 22, getting together with as many people as possible, trying to plan living arrangements for NYC, and... putting together two art shows that I hoped would generate revenue to help with tuition (which they did!)

Thank you so. so. so. much to everyone who helped make this happen, and all the amazing people I've met since moving to NYC!

Thank you so. so. so. much to everyone who helped make this happen, and all the amazing people I've met since moving to NYC!

All of this was done with the unbelievable support of family and friends who, rather than telling me I was crazy, rallied around ready to do whatever was needed.

August of 2014 will forever send my mind reeling. (And all summer I thought it would be a quiet month--ha!) The future has become both less certain, and strangely less scary--something like learning to enjoy the adventure in the midst of it. I'm becoming less certain about the world around me, and yet more certain of the peace I can have, no matter the circumstances.

More to come on that... :)

I’ve included a few links to articles that were written by my hometown newspapers:

I’m greatly honored that they considered my story worth sharing--if you get the chance, I hope you enjoy reading them! 

Also, check back soon--I’ll be posting:

·      Pictures from the July/August week of the workshop

·      A recap and pictures from “Along the Way”

·      Pictures of what I’ve been up to--at school and elsewhere!!

·      The concept behind the name “Adrift by Design”

After that, the rhythm will be posts every-other week. I would LOVE to hear from you, so don’t hesitate to comment below or send me a message!