Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


Travel Journal Ready

Ready to go…

The bags are getting packed and the travel journal is ready for use. First stop will be Bacharach on the Rhine. Already inserted are copies of postcards of Lorelai and the painting by JMW Turner of the Lorelai cliff on the Rhine is a centerfold. Turner popularized this area with British tourists by painting and sketching it.

I also included a photo of the placemat from a German restaurant in Berkeley.

The next segment of the trip will be Leiden, the Netherlands.

The ephemera I found on Etsy:

I will be looking for images in the Rijksmuseum by Charley Toorop, a Dutch painter who lived from 1891-1955. I was struck by her style.

While in Leiden we will take a side trip to Bruges…

Now it is ready to be filled with my impressions.


Typography as art…

On the bottom floor of the Palace of Fine Arts Legion of Honor, next to the cafe, is a small gallery/room that contains some treasures. Each visit I make I am sure to pop in to see what is on display. Something always catches my imagination and blows my creative juices into the air. Last Thursday’s visit did not disappoint because the small gallery of Illustrated Books was focusing on “Inspired Alphabets”.

I walked into the room and was caught by the word circus…then lithography…if you have read this blog for a while you will recognize some of my favorite themes…


Then there was this fabulous collage book with collaged lettering…

More lithography…

And who knew Claes Oldenburg envisioned buildings and cities made from letters…

There is much to be said for the small book that can be held in one hand…with the power of the fold…

The letters themselves creating abstract art…and the overprint…

The Dada Movement…

Lifted by my interaction with the typography, I got home to a new visual journal I had under construction and had found the way I wanted to create the title page…


Onward and upward…my souvenir of the day was an idea…

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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:


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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…


from this:


to this:



What I Will Be Doing

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

My sketchbook is ready…



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!




One of my iPhone collages was accepted into an art show “Expanding Vision a Contribution to Mobile Photography” at The Arts Center, Corvallis, Oregon. The show runs from August 21 until Sept 28. I posted this collage before, but now it has been collaged to a collage. (I was just waiting to use that sentence!)  Wish I could visit the show, but if you are in the neighborhood I hope you will drop by! Here is information about the show and a slide show of the works included.

Also, links to most of the photographers are listed.

Here is my collaged work…


My iPhone collage was created from three photos taken while I was in Perugia last October…one of a skyline, one of a gargoyle on the museum, and one of a store with the word Perugia on its sign. Those were combined with Image Blender app and put through some distressing with Pic Grunger app. The original skyline photo was put through Etchings app for a treatment that makes it look like a postage stamp. The printed collage was put on an 11″x 14″cradled board that had been treated with lots of texture. Paper (some I printed myself, some collected),  acrylic mediums and acrylic paint were used to finish the collage.

What an honor! Excitement!

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Our day in Perugia, Italy, last October began in a foggy state but then lightened by noon. Our time there was enhanced by music and chocolate. The town was getting ready for its chocolate festival that would open a few days later. Here is a very short video of our day…to see it full screen click of the screen expansion in the lower right-hand corner.

Perugia has a very nice art museum in the Palazzo dei Priori (Town Hall that includes the Galleria Nazionale) and we saw an inspiring photography exhibit by Sandro Becchetti. Love those black and whites…This is the National Gallery of Umbrian Art in Middle Ages and Renaissance. The Griffin is the symbol of the town.


The Fontana Maggiore is the medieval fountain between the Cathedral and the Palazzo dei Priori. Built in 1277-78 it depicts prophets and saints, symbols of the months, signs of the zodiac, scenes from Genesis and events of Roman history.

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You can wander the streets and get to the top of the hill for some amazing panoramic views…

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There is an extended walk with escalators from the parking area up to the actual town…just a little spooky…


I fell in love with the black and white photographs in the museum, so I spent the evening after we got back to our apartment converting some of my images into black and white…

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Since I have been home I also layered some of the images together…

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I have been playing with layering images together. What prompted me was going to Café Claude last week for lunch. They served their bread and frites wrapped in deli paper printed with a French newspaper. I, of course, brought the paper home for a future collage, but also took this picture…

I wanted to combine it with one of my favorite photos from Paris.

I put the Paris image into Snapseed and turned it into a black and white image and I increased the saturation and contrast.

I took that image and put it into Waterlogue app.

20140413-191641.jpgboth images were put into the Image Blender app and blended and then flattened. The picture of the paper was put on top, rotated slightly, and then edges were erased. Then both images were also blended.

The image was put into PicGrunger app and grunge and creases were added.

Here is another…

The view from Perugia, Italy, last October…put into Stackables…

Then I wanted to put these two images on top…


That gave me this…

Back into Stackables and then PicGrunger…


One last image of a poster on the museum in Perugia advertising a show of photographs…I had processed it when I took it last October on the trip and converted it to black and white. I have a new app called Stackables…quite amazing…lots and lots of layers. Just getting to know it, and liking what it does, so far…stay tuned and watch this space…





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.


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…



Battered suitcases…

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.”—Jack Kerouac, “On the Road” (1957)

Yes it is true, we are hitting the road again. This time to Umbria and Venice. When I return I will finally use the book I made in the “Ticket to Venice” class I took many long months ago. It will hold all the ephemera I collect and photos I take. (Classes are on sale right now, hurry, before Mary Ann Moss gets back from Amsterdam!)

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My journal turned out too big for a suitcase (or I am getting smarter about packing), but in the interim what will make it into my valise is this:


The cover is laminated paper I made (lots of scraps layered with gel medium) and it has a soft, flat binding.

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The inside has Fabiano Artistico paper and inserts from Gelli prints I have been making. (We will be quite near the Fabiano factory!)

Some pages have stencils gessoed on them (you won’t be able to see it until I watercolor on top. I have been a virtual dervish of rubber stamp carving so there are stamps put on with StazOn ink and then water colored inside.


A pocket on the back cover holding extra watercolor squares and tracing paper.

The next few weeks will not be filled with nuages, wine labels, and Deux Chevaux. Instead they will be filled with nuvoli, wine labels, and Fiats. Two weeks near Spoleto and then a week in Venice. The really fun part is that we will be meeting old friends Chris and Darrell from Pasadena (we met more than thirty years ago when we lived one house away from each other in Redlands, CA.) The last few months, every time we have communicated we have signed off by saying, “See you in Orvieto, in front of the Duomo at 10:00.) It will be this coming Friday. Excitement! (Oh, the best thing ever…TM on this, our fifth trip, has given me the gift of Economy Plus…the BEST 5 inches ever!)

Busy packing, but here is a collage I made after our trip to Italy two years ago (that time it was Florence and Tuscany, but we hopped over the border into Umbria for a day trip so we could see Orvieto.) Think of us on Friday, standing here in front.


I will be blogging, hopefully a little easier this time as both apartments have Wifi. You will be happy to hear that I have new music selections for my movies…I know, I know…relief!

One of my favorite columnists in the San Francisco Chronicle (Leah Garchik) has a section called “Public Eavesdropping”. I leave you with this item from her column:

“Do you speak English?’

“Why yes, certainly.”

“Oh, good. I wonder, could you direct me to the Renaissance?”

—Conversation between two female tourists at the Piazza di Santa Croce in Florence by Roberto

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Art Show…

I hung an art show January 2 in the Art Gallery of the Orinda Library. It will be at the library for the month of January. It was an interesting experience deciding what I would include and it was fun including the work of my father. I had to reorganize once I got the paintings to the library. The large paintings behind glass with solid wood frames were quite heavy and I got nervous about hanging two on the same wire so I could not group the paintings by subject. But it got done thanks to husband Terry’s brawn and I only hit him in the chin once with a frame. (Luckily, he is still talking to me!)
Here is your invitation to the artist’s reception on Sunday, January 27, 2013, from 2:00-4:00. If you are in the neighborhood of the Orinda Library please join us for lemonade, popcorn, and peanuts. (Another section of the exhibit space has photographs of the digging of the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel. Quite dramatic!)
My work is in a glass case and many of my father’s pictures and lithographs are framed behind glass, so once again I apologize for reflection but hope you get a sense of the exhibit.
My collages, ceramics from my distant past, photographs, and travel journals…





I included sketch books of my father’s because I find then fascinating…








This is the wall of my father’s art…








One of my friends asked if the walls of my house were bare now…ah, but no there is more, much more…

This link is to an article that was in the local paper The Orinda News. It starts on page 2.



I have not made a iPhone collage in a long, long time so when I ran across this post I decided to practice again the art of layering. I did not follow the article exactly but was glad it refreshed my familiarity with the apps.

I used two images, one a statue from the Louvre in Paris and the other from an aerial photograph of San Francisco that is displayed in the tower of the deYoung Museum in San Francisco. Both images were taken with the native camera of my iPhone 4s.

1. The picture of the map had a large reflection circle in the middle of it so I put that image into TouchRetouch app and removed the light area and then saved it to the camera roll.

2. I used PhotoForge2 to crop and save the map image.

3. Both images were put in Juxtaposer app. The map was the bottom image and the statue was the top. Using the controls in this app I removed the parts of the picture around the statue and situated it in the size and position I wanted on the bottom image. This was saved to the camera roll as one image.

4. The new image was uploaded into Camera+ app and the clarity preset was applied. Then it was saved.

5. Put into Snapseed app where the Drama filter was used with an intensity +75 and saturation +75. Saved to the Camera roll.

6.Uploaded to PictureShow app and the Retro filter was applied and then saved.

7.In Photo FX the Lens FX Vignette was applied. (Black circle was selected with a softness of 200 and amount of 75.) Then  Film Lab/ grain/ Big monochrome at 36 was used and the image was saved.

8. The saved image went into Halftone app with these applied: dotsize, strength, grain at normal; paper at plain white; no layout active. Image was saved.

Then the Image Blender app was used and the image from #8 (halftone) was uploaded on the left side as the background. The image from #7 was used on the right. Slide the bar all the way to the right and edit the image with the mask control using a small brush to erase areas (I erased on the face.)

I felt the image needed another layer so with CollagePro app I combined an image of graph paper and some script from within the app. Then I used the Image Blender app to combine the two images. Once more into Snapseed for a frame and just a touch of the vintage filter to tone down the bright white of the frame. Last touch was into Impression app to sign my work. That’s it!