Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


From a sketch by my father
c. 1954

Hello and welcome to my blog…


While growing up in Southern California, I was immersed in the arts. My father was an artist (and a public school district administrator) and my mother had a ballet school (and taught kindergarten). The conversations around our dinner table were about the art of art, the art of the theater, and the art of teaching. I was the only person I knew who lived in a house where there was a lithograph press in the garage. I danced and was in plays. Art surrounded us but I had no confidence in my abilities in the visual arts until I discovered ceramics at the age of twenty-seven. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher.


My college years were spent in the Central Coast area of California (an environment that often turns up in my photos and posts). After getting my teaching credential,  I taught special education, High School English and Reading until the year that I was needed to fill in by teaching a few periods of art. I found that in the art room I was at home and I began to understand my real purpose for teaching with confidence and joy.

I married TM almost forty years ago and at first we lived in Southern California. During that time I learned ceramics, we restored a beloved Victorian house that had been built in 1900 and we adopted two kids. The one that loved and excelled at every sport became a personal trainer. The one who could learn only visually went to film school and now has a YouTube channel.

Twenty five years ago we moved to Northern California near San Francisco and eventually I went back to teaching, but this time teaching art full-time at a local Intermediate School. It was the best job, ever, and included ceramics classes in a well set-up lab. The last three years before retirement I was assigned to advise the Yearbook and that was when I developed a love affair with digital photography and visually telling a story.


To me retirement has opened the world of travel and the world of creativity inherent in my iPhone…

This is what I know:

It is wise to plant your garden with  native plants and use drip irrigation if you live in draughty California (golf courses in the desert make no sense).

Art Saves Lives (my own included)

and I wish to prove that even though I am old, I am not dull (watch me try)…


Provence, 2013

My etsy site: www.pinkmonkeyflower.etsy.com

http: www.bringingbackthenatives.net a free garden tour the first Sunday in May each year in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

19 thoughts on “About

  1. Might you be the Lois Reynolds that went to Cal-Poly during the late sixties? I ran across your Blog while checking out PG&E-Perigrine Falcon links (just retired from PG&E last year). FYI, my “significant other” is also a retired intermediate school teacher….

    Great photography and artwook on your site!



    • What a small world! Yes, that was me. I am on pins and needles watching those baby falcons fledge. That web cam is a great public service by PGE. (My husband is involved with mulltiple raptor rehabilitation programs, but he is actually a lawyer looking toward how he will spend his time next year after retirement.) I miss the kids but not necessarily the rest of the stuff that goes with school teaching…

      • Great to hear from you. It is indeed a small world! We moved from the Bay area up to the Sierra foothills 3 years ago. It is “raptor and wild turkey city” up here.

        Good luck you and yours Lois….

  2. Love all the fun you are having in retirement!

  3. Lois, I have been here. Love your work in our class

  4. Lois, I was raised at Stanford, and Los Altos and then lived in Berkeley while my husband went to graduate school. I love your pictures of the area because it brings back those memories. Your apps create that feeling.

  5. Thanks, Sally, What years were you in Berkeley? We were there 72-74 while my husband was in grad school too. Then moved to So. Calif for a decade and came back up here 23 years ago, close enough to get to sample their restaurants once in a while!

  6. Lois, we were in Berekley from 61-64, We moved to Arcata, CA and eleven years ago moved to Washington. Keep photographing. My husband wonders what I am doing with my face in the iphone all the time. I got my good camera out yesterday and saw the pictures and I was kind of shocked. They were not fun at all.

  7. My daughter went to humboldt state for a couple of years. I loved visiting her there. I used to spend so much time trying to get my kids to put down their video games. Now it is me that won’t put down the little computer!

  8. So enjoyed your iphone photography class at the
    Bancroft Garden yesterday ! Thanks for all the
    helpful tips.

  9. I love your style!

  10. I was looking up your dad to look at his art work and saw your blog I was running with your sister susan in 1971 could you gave susan my email it would be nice to see how she is doing. Thanks Craig

  11. Hi I am researching your did’s art, as I have a large oil (?) of his depicting Mt goats. I was wondering what you could tell me about it? I understand he did mainly circus art?

    Jean Ragland
    425 255 6040
    Renton, WA

    • Yes, circus was a major theme of his but he also enjoyed painting wildlife and he also had a rodeo and ranching theme going at the end. He used various media…oil, lithography, watercolor, and a technique he called “dry brush” (he used a very dry brush to apply acrylic ink in multiple layers for depth of tone and value. These are sometimes confused with prints but they are one of a kind.) The lithography was done early in his career (he probably stopped in the mid-50’s. He was also a Principal and assistant superintendent in the Pasadena, CA school district.) The dry brush was a technique he used later in life. I also sent you an email…

  12. Lois, your travel posts are always so enjoyable to read. I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. You can check it out here: http://www.gracednotes.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/one-lovely-blog-award/

    Cheers, Grace

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