Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


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Notes from a wanderer…

#1…On my bucket list: learn how to create wrought iron railings…I could really make use of this skill…

  
#2…a town with a chocolate museum is my kind of town…especially when the hot chocolate holds up its own spoon…

   
 

#3…averaging 15,000 Fitbit steps a day, but did not notice until I went up here (at the Sagrada Familia)

  
and the only way down was this…

  
then my knees started to feel it all…

#4…I’ve seen a few Arcs in my day, but the one in Barcelona is quite special when you discover it in the rain at dusk…

  
#5…will Vuitton give me his tempered glass to take home to make mosaics with?

  
#6…get the app “Spotted by Locals” (it’s free and then you pay for the city you want to use). First time we used it we hit a home run. We were two blocks away from La Fermata…pizza by the slice paid for by weight…maybe the best pizza ever… 

 

#7…rain is good and keep your flags flying high…

   
 


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A positive…

A positive thing that came out of standing in a line to get into Casa Batlló was that it meant that there was time to read all the brochures available about the structure. Wouldn’t you know they are having a photography contest where if you tag your photos on Instagram you have a chance of winning a digital Fuji film camera. What could I lose?  So here are my entries and a few others…

   
                 

Gaudí did not like straight lines and used nature as his starting point…


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Settling in…

We arrived in Barcelona last Wednesday  at 11:00 a.m. and immediately started to become acquainted with our new “home away from home”. It is quite impressive in my way of thinking. We are in the Eixample District of Barcelona which when it was laid out back in the 1800’s, was aligned in a gridded regular square system. The sidewalks are lined with multi-storied buildings most of which have multiple balconies (we have two) in wrought iron with ten feet tall shutters. 

   

You walk all the way through and find another balcony and a common open space for the block. 

     

Our front door details…

   
 

The square blocks have their corners lopped off so every time you come to an intersection it visually opens up and makes this very urban space human and accessible. A fabulous urban planner thought that up! Every block has a big beautiful intersection.

   
 

Thursday morning we explored our neighborhood and quickly walked past the Block of Discord. I got my first glimpse of Casa Botlló. We were on our to the University area for our Untours orientation (how to use the Metro, interesting day trips…)

 The local market:  
        

Lots of art nouveau building facades:

         

   
       

The University clock tower:

  
We met our group at a cafe in an interior courtyard with the most amazing wall decorations:

                

Friday we went through Casa Batlló: 
   
         

Oh, joy, oh, rapture! Then we met our Untours group for a tour of the Santa Catarina Market, olive oil tasting and a tapas lunch. 

   
       

Terry and I walked around the main cathedral on our way home… 

   

That was the only organized activity with Untours and now we are on our own…so Saturday we hopped the high speed train (201 km/hour) for a day-trip to Girona for their flower festival…

   
    
This is only the beginning…  


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Past/Future…

What I Have Been Doing

I am going to be here on June 14:

Shadelands Antiques and Crafts Show
Over 80 dealers will be selling their antiques and collectibles at the Shadelands Antiques Show on Sunday, June 14, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on the Shadelands Ranch Historical Museum grounds, 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road. The event benefits the Walnut Creek Historical Society. Admission is free.

so I have been making things like this:

Watercolors:

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and acrylic collages:

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I have also been helping a dedicated group of volunteer mothers at a local elementary school create a mosaic for their multi-purpose room wall:

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seven mosaic trees will eventually represent the life-skills program at the school…

The moms plotting the logistics of getting 75 kiddiegartners to apply flower tiles to the wall…

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from this:

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to this:

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Success!

What I Will Be Doing

Speaking of mosaics…next week it is to be Barcelona and then Madrid!

My sketchbook is ready…

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sketchbook1

and we will be off…I know I tell you each time that our apartment will have wifi and I will be blogging, and then something compromises the wifi connection and I cannot stay in touch…but, this time I think we are to be golden, because not only is it a larger city but there probably is a wifi cafe just down the block if it doesn’t work in the apartment. Here is holding the good thought! See you on the other side!

Besos!


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From ceiling to floor…

Crocker Museum of Art

I would be remiss to not include some photos of the Crocker Mansion, the old portion of the Crocker Art Museum. Judge Edwin Crocker, a banker, served on the California Supreme Court and his younger brother was one of the “Big Four” that ran the Central Pacific Railroad. In 1885 the mansion and art collection of the Crocker’s was given to the City of Sacramento and the Museum Association of the State of California which makes it the oldest art museum west of the Mississppi.

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We left the museum and walked back to the train station passing the State Capitol building.

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Gazing at the California countryside through the train window as we returned home…

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Riding the rails, part two…

If you know me at all, you know that I have a soft spot in my heart for printmaking. After seeing the room with California faience tiles at the Crocker Museum of art, we walked to the gallery room next door and there was another wonderland! Multicolored block prints by an Arts and Crafts master.

William S. Rice came to California in the early 1900″s, originally to Stockton and then to Alameda and Oakland. He was a public school art teacher and art administrator for their school systems. He wrote two books, including Block Prints: How to Make Them and traveled through California making art before population influx had changed it. If you ever look at old Sunset Magazines, you might see his work on its covers.

From the Crocker Museum website:

Rice was a prolific painter of the California landscape but is today better known as a printmaker, one who authored two books on the process and executed every print himself. He applied the classic Japanese art of ukiyo-e (woodblock printing, or “pictures of the floating world”) to images of the West, where he moved in 1900. This exhibition brings to light many of the artist’s accomplishments, including several never-before-exhibited pieces capturing the California landscape before development.

The exhibit had many of his water colors but I was entranced by his block prints.

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In particular I enjoyed the demonstration of the multi-block nature of his printmaking work.

Lonerock-Santa Cruz

Lone Rock-Santa Cruz, c. 1935

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Progressive layers of the block printing process for Lone Rock-Santa Cruz

This demonstration of how he went from pencil sketch, to etching, to block print was masterful!

Leona Live Oaks pencil live study etching block print

Leona Live Oaks
pencil live study
etching
block print

The block prints themselves swept me away. (My apologies for the reflections on the surfaces, very hard to get away from that when there is excellent museum lighting on glass framed works.)

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The Lumberdock-San Francisco Bay c. 1917

The Lumberdock-San Francisco Bay
c. 1917

Pt. Lobos Cypress c.1925

Pt. Lobos Cypress
c.1925

Moonlight-Eucalypti c. 1920

Moonlight-Eucalypti
c. 1920

Carmel Pines c. 1920

Carmel Pines
c. 1920

Hollyhock Garden c.1925

Hollyhock Garden
c.1925

Blue Gums-Berkeley c. 1917

Blue Gums-Berkeley
c. 1917

Clear Lake c.

Clear Lake
c. 1920

Nuthatches and Iris c.1930

Nuthatches and Iris
c.1930

Source of the Glacier c. 1920

Source of the Glacier
c. 1920

Sierra Sunrise c. 1925

Sierra Sunrise
c. 1925

Mot-Mot Bird n.d.

Mot-Mot Bird
n.d.

Sleepyhead c.1930

Sleepyhead
c.1930

Parrot and Butterfly c. 1925

Parrot and Butterfly
c. 1925

Magnolia Grandiflora c. 1930

Magnolia Grandiflora
c. 1930

White Calla c.1925

White Calla
c.1925

Dessert Butter c. 1930

Dessert Butter
c. 1930

Mt. Diablo 1929

Mt. Diablo
1929

Dancing Pine c. 1925

Dancing Pine
c. 1925

Guardian of the Timberline c.1924

Guardian of the Timberline
c.1924

Ancient Oak-Mt. Hamilton c. 1918

Ancient Oak-Mt. Hamilton
c. 1918

 

 


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Riding the rails…

Recently, a group of women I drink coffee with each week decided to catch a train to Sacramento for a day trip visiting the Crocker Art Museum. Some of the group have been my friends since our kids were in early elementary school together and some are new friends, just since I retired and could actually partake in a weekly coffee klatch in the morning. What a luxury that is! One of the group moved to Sacramento and the rest of us decided to meet her for a tour of the Museum and lunch. So “the women who coffee” caught the train in Martinez. It is called the Capital Corridor and, for seniors, only costs $19.00 for a round trip. Takes an hour and is the best deal in town. Also, Toulouse-Lautrec was playing at the Crocker. Eleven of us hopped the train and enjoyed the rolling view.

Martinez Train Station

Martinez Train Station

Train View as we rolled along

California Train View, as we rolled along

Our tour guide met us at the station holding up a large sign so we would not miss her (just like the best of tour guides!)

Michelle Leong (Peet's is where we usually drink coffee)

Michelle Leong (Peet’s is where we usually drink coffee)

Then she led us down to the museum (only about a mile’s walk from the station…)

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The Museum is a combination of old and new…the original building donated by the Crocker’s and a new portion that expands the exhibit space, holds the restaurant and museum store, and has classrooms.

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The Toulouse exhibit did not allow photos but I visited with some of my old friends…

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Jade Beads Guy Rose c. 1907-1912

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Sacramento River Gregory Kondos 1981, oil on canvas

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Wayne Thiebaud

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Early California Artifact

Then we discovered two small gallery rooms that were fabulous. In the first, there was a display of the tile-makers art. In particular, early California faience art tiles and some Julia Morgan designed pressed tiles for the Hearst Castle bell tower. Heaven!

From the museum website:

William Bragdon was a ceramic engineer trained at Alfred University in New York. He moved to Berkeley in 1915 to teach at the California School of Arts and Crafts and shortly thereafter formed a partnership with his Alfred University classmate Chauncey Thomas, then running a Berkeley pottery studio. Together they created decorative tiles, vases, and sculpture, calling their wares California Faience. The most prestigious of the company’s projects came in the 1920s when architect Julia Morgan commissioned a complete environment of tiles for William Randolph Hearst’s palatial home and grounds in San Simeon.

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Showroom Display 1914-25 California Faience

Showroom Display
1914-25
California Faience

Display Panel 1922-23 Earthenware press molded

Display Panel
1922-23
Earthenware press molded

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Hearst Castle Bell Tower Julia Morgan design

Hearst Castle Bell Tower
Julia Morgan design

The Green Man

The Green Man

Julia Morgan's elevation drawing

Julia Morgan’s elevation drawing

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Snowflake and Daisy California Faience by Julia Morgan Winged Seahorse by Julia Morgan Spanish Tile 16th century

Snowflake and Daisy California Faience by Julia Morgan
Winged Seahorse by Julia Morgan
Spanish Tile 16th century

This exhibit will be there until May 17…the Crocker Museum website is here

My next post will be about the gallery in the next room and BLOCKPRINTS!

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