Well It’s been mixed emotions saying goodbye to 2012 as It has been a very important and adventurous year of my life but I am so excited for what the following year holds!

IMGP3275The year started off with a huge rush of excitement as I squeezed everything I could possibly fit into one suitcase and left for Turku, Finland to study for the semester in the Turku Arts Academy which proved to be an unforgettable experience.  It was amazing starting fresh at a brand new art school in a country I had never been before and I learnt so much during my time there.  I found it amazing how quickly my new friends and I acclimatised to living abroad, I quickly fell into a new routine and became accustomed to  Finland’s mentalities and ways of life.  I really wanted to get involved with traditions and one that I surprisingly found that I loved was spending Sundays  hiding from the bitter cold in the incredibly hot wooden sauna before running outside and jumping through a hole in the ice into the freezing water.  Sounds crazy, but it is actually fantastic!  And the best hangover cure you will ever come across!  The snow and Ice of Finland’s winter is the thing I miss the most.  The cold completely transforms the entire landscape to a beautiful vast, crisp, blank canvas of sparkly, crystallised frost.  Something I will never forget.

It’s incredibly hard to sum up an entire 6months in a few sentences and I wouldn’t give it the justice it deserves but it really was the most amazing experience made better by the wonderful people from all over the world I was lucky enough to meet.

IMGP5858French, Scottish, English, German and Italian friends gather in Tallinn, Estonia.

My love of travel has been well catered for in 2012, of course I managed to travel all over Finland during my time there from the very South to way up North in the Arctic CircleIMGP4259
where my Mum and I even spent a night in a hotel made entirely of ice and got to have a go at ice hole fishing, which I had been dying to do for far too long!  Travel from Finland by sea is easy and inexpensive and was the way I chose to do most of my travelling allowing me to visit Russia, Estonia and Latvia which was just fantastic.  Most easily connected to Finland is Sweden meaning I was able to travel the fantastic ferry route through the Finnish Archipelago often for weekend trips and this acted as my starting point to my travels home as I carried on through Denmark and Germany before returning to Scotland.

The end of 2012 of course saw the start of 4th of Art School which is already half way over!!  It’s just amazing how time flies!  And now we already find ourselves in 2013…

This year is going to be fantastically challenging as my dissertation is due in a just a few short weeks and the 4th year painters will be hosting our Pre-degree show of our work in Edinburgh at the end of February.  Then its work work work before the Degree Show opens in June and our graduation happens in July.  I just can’t believe I’m at this stage already.  At first my friends and I were terrified at the idea of leaving art school, but then we realised that we can do absolutely anything we want to from now on…and that prospect is just far too exciting!

Happy New Year everyone, I wish you all an exciting and adventurous 2013!

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