Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


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Walk…

Our morning walks are still functioning as our beacon for each day. Out the front door at 6:45 (daylight savings time has made it dark when we start), but each day we can see better as we take off. When we return we feel wide awake and enthused for the day. These are random photos that I applied a bit of app-work to because I am still experimenting with DistressedFX App (not all of the birds you see were actually in the original image and sometimes I just go through a phase where I use my iPhone as a playground or sketchbook to alter, erase and bring a little bit of serendipity into my life. Who knows what might happen (evidently I am into blur)…

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Then one morning we walked through the playground of the school and it looked like this:

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and I thought with some underwear and a teddy bear it would look like my favorite picture I took when I was in Tuscany, Italy for the first time…

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I guess walks help with time travel too…I could smell the cappuccino and taste the brioche…


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An ode to a Dutchman’s Pipe…

Ahh, the pipevine (Aristolochia californica) is blooming and I have not commemorated it yet. A California native plant, deer won’t eat it and it grows rampantly. That makes it good on a fence where deer could get at it on one side. It also is supposed to have a blue butterfly, but you could not prove that by our plant because we have never seen one here. We do get the uniquely shaped flowers and pods (left from last season). As luck would have it, the bloom coincided with my seeing the Georgia O’Keeffe show at the deYoung Museum. I came home from the show and knew I had to photographically deal with the blooms keeping abstraction in mind and muttering crop, crop, crop…what would Georgia do? These are not scientific renderings…just some play with some new apps with serendipitous results.
The work flow in general:
All were originally taken in the iPhone native camera, then, imported into and saved from the following apps. The saved version was then imported into the next app.
Snapseed (cropping and touch up of saturation, brightness and contrast)
TouchreTouch (I had placed a sheet of paper behind each flower for a plain background and sometimes when I cropped square I had corners I needed to touch up)
Waterlogue or Glaze (for a painted look) I often did this multiple times for various degrees of the paint-look
Blender (I used the saved image from TouchreTouch as the bottom layer with each painterly image on top flattening in between)
When I liked it the saved image went into DistressedFX for some aging. Some also went into PicGrunger for creases or cracks.
Please do not think reality…just form and shape!

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This flower is one of my garden’s highlights.


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Oh, Georgia…

Immersed in Georgia O’Keeffe. Sunday morning we saw the show at the deYoung in San Francisco. I had heard a docent talk last week and the docent said that the very best day to see the show was Sunday morning. She was absolutely right…fewer people even though it is a very popular exhibit and great visibility.

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No photographs allowed so I had to rely on posters positioned throughout the museum.

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This show is from before she moved to New Mexico so there are no bleached bones, but I have to say that the images glowed in their presentation…silver frames on pale grey walls. Her works are always smaller than reproduction posters lead you to believe. Her colors were alive and intense.
I had to settle for taking pictures of favorite objects around the museum that they do let you take pictures of. I just love Ruth Asawa’s wire sculptures and we took the time to go up to the observation tower.

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They are getting ready for their big fundraiser “Bouquets to Art”, March 18-23. Nice combo…O’Keeffe and flowers!


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Bird field trip, two…

Coyote Hills Regional Park

Our March bird field trip was an hours distance from home to a regional park with a marsh and rolling hills. The bird-life was abundant and it was an especially good raptor day.  We saw White-tailed Kites, a Merlin, Northern Harriers, a Sharpshinned, and a Cooper’s Hawk. Bright, shiny, and gorgeous, we walked the trails and were rewarded with a great variety of birds. They were difficult to take photos of because of their fast movement. I ended up with many shots of blank skies where a Kite or a Harrier had been. My photos were of the scenery, interesting in its amber and brown-green colors. The marsh is low in water (draught California)  complicated by the fact that the marshes had always been humanly supplemented with pumps until they broke last year and the decision was made that it is too expensive to fix them. They have found that there are fewer birds but not fewer species frequenting the area.

First view of the rolling hills…

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Monarchs on a eucalyptus in the parking lot…

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The birders begin their walk…IMG_0027 IMG_0036

The parched California landscape…IMG_0030

Some water in the canals of the marsh…IMG_0064 IMG_0063 IMG_0057 IMG_0050 IMG_0045 IMG_0039

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A few California poppies were in evidence…IMG_0184 IMG_0183

In places it looked a little like Sedona…IMG_0177 IMG_0174

There is the Cooper’s Hawk…IMG_0189

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Eye…

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Let me say that being on the very far side of the threshold of senior citizenry, the concept of a “selfie” is way outside of my comfort zone. I do not want to know how I have aged. I don’t really like to be in pictures, let alone up close ones that I take myself…

In a weak moment I signed up for an online class with Susan Tuttle called The Art of iPhoneography Self-portraits. I have taken classes from her before and loved learning Photoshop Elements from her in this way. She is such a good teacher I thought that whatever happened I would still learn things and I really should get over my reticence…right? I am what I am…we all decay…hmmmm.

Well I have been experimenting with lots of new apps. I particularly like DistressedFX, FocalLab, and Mextures. I have been layering with Blender App. I thought I should commemorate my eye, above. It is the one that had cataract surgery six weeks ago and my vision is vastly improved and bright and clear. That, too, had its own consequence. I was not prepared for looking in the mirror and actually seeing how the reality of the aging process has affected me. Now I can see those wrinkles. And the grey in the hair. I guess my middle name is actually deNile because it was a shock. I am thinking of marketing a blurry film to go over mirrors…just enough to help the willing consumer be convinced that some of those wrinkles are not there. If it doesn’t take off as a product, then I will just keep passing my selfies through lots of blurry apps to reverse the aging process.

Forgot to mention another app that has multiple uses: TouchreTouch…takes out lots of unwanted history on a face if you end up zooming out wider than an eye!

Oh, ok, here is another one. Really that is it. Entangled in my own vanity I guess…

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Journal…

TM has been getting organized for his birding class. This meant finding the right journals for recording what he sees and counts. First he sought out weather-proof small notebooks for the recording-in-the-field. (I happened to have the yellow one in my collection. I think I had collected it not knowing what I would use it for but having fallen in love with its pale-blue grid-ruled pages. I figured I could rip out a few for my needs and he could have the rest. Anything for the cause!) The smallest ones fit conveniently into a shirt pocket.

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Also, he needed a more permanent three-ring binder for officially entering each birding-adventure. Set in a specific layout it holds all the data.

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I am such a supportive spouse I offered him use of my tools and my experience with journaling. (I thought there could be room for some decoration here.)

I go on trips and I journal about the experience with watercolors…

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I alter old books with gesso, titanium white. titan buff, Davey’s grey, and collage papers…(they never seem to close once I am finished with them.)

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I slap my printed iPhone photos onto inky backgrounds…

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and I make collages from snippets of magazine pictures in books I have made myself. (Mostly because I absolutely love the way Fabiano Artistico paper behaves.)

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I offered, I did offer to assist him in any way…tools, advice…but, no, he did not want my pens, my color ideas…he remains the legal pad to my handmade paper. Thus, it will always be…but now we have a fixture at the back door for any spontaneous, unusual sightings in the backyard. You never know who might fly through. Be prepared…

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