Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


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Published!

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Creative Legacy

I have subscribed to a magazine for a few years that tickles my fancy when it comes to creating. The magazine is called Uppercase and is published in Canada. One woman, Janine Vangool, is the publisher, editor, and designer and it is published for the “creative and curious”. Showcasing artists and crafts she periodically puts out a call for submissions on different topics, so when she asked for articles on the impact of growing up in a family where you were surrounded by art I could not resist a submission. It was my good fortune to have it accepted for publication. My article joined others exploring how creativity is passed down from generation to generation and how making is part of our heritage. (I think maybe being published had been on my bucket list…so, cross that one off! ) It certainly was a thrill the day the postman delivered my copy.

Here is the article with two lithographs by my father illustrating the text. Now I get to say if you want a subscription to this magazine, published four times a year, by using the code “summer30” you can receive $15.00 off for the year subscription. You could also purchase a single issue (# 30) here: http://shop.uppercasemagazine.com/collections/current-issue¬†

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Goats…!

The Chianti Cashmere Goat Farm was on our agenda of visiting places while in Tuscany. A wildlife-friendly farm with 300 goats and 12 large, white Pyrenees-type dogs protecting the herd from wolves.

Listen up, I am in charge here...

Listen up, I am in charge here…

Oh, I do not think so...

Oh, I do not think so…

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The goats are grazed on these hills of neighboring farms supporting the organic nature of the vineyards…

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There is a retail store with yarn, soaps, and woven items…

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The owner, Marcie’s friend, Nora, told us about the processing of the cashmere. (Of great interest to me, a former spinner and weaver. I even used to teach my art students how to spin wool using a knitting needle and a russet potato as a drop spindle.)

This was a very nice excursion.

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And the doves were nice, too.


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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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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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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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A walk with Priime…

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Took a morning walk with a new iPhone app I had just purchased. It is called Priime and it is free, but, of course, if want the full complement of filters and lenses, you would have to purchase them once you are in the app.  I liked what it did, so I did.

Here is a discussion of how the app works, in case you are interested: http://iphonephotographyschool.com/priime-app/

Our walk had a particularly nice sunrise…

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and I discovered that my neighborhood school has an answer to the “love-lock bridges” of Paris which are being crumbled by the weight of all the locks.

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Looks to me to be ceramic hearts by first graders…oh, the love…

I also used Priime on some new things in my garden…my new Meyer Lemon…

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and more colors of Douglas Iris that are popping out…

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Due to circumstances beyond my control…

First there was November…what was I thinking? I agreed to do two boutiques on the same weekend. Eventually it dawned on me that it meant double production of items to sell. Then I started muttering, “I am too old for this…”

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I took a break from making art to welcome everybody home for Thanksgiving and cook, cook, cook; but then did a fast push until the first weekend in December.

The boutiques went off without a hitch, but I had double shifts at both of them…back and forth, back and forth…and I started to think, “Why am I doing this?”

The Monday after, a construction crew arrived and began to install four windows in the living room after we scrambled to remove everything from the room because they were also going to repair cracks in the walls accumulated over the years. (A side-product of living in earthquake country.)

They worked until the Monday before Christmas Day and we rushed out and got a two-foot high tree to put on a table, removed boxes and paintings from the floor in the dining room, and temporarily tidied up the living room so we could have a Christmas day where everyone could find a seat…

The day after Christmas we started painting. Not being spring-chickens, this took us two and a half weeks. I had an extreme case of the “I am too old for this madness” syndrome (I am sure I was not that polite).

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We did take one day off for my birthday. We visited the winery cats in Healdsburg and I picked up olive oil. The tree eventually got taken down and became enrichment material in the aviary for a Barn Owl.

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The muttering really started when I was sitting on the floor painting the baseboard…but at least I am not tall enough to do the ceiling…

It has taken until now to rehang all the pictures, push the furniture back in, and put things in order. Oh, and there were a few muscles to nurse back to health…

I guess it wasn’t all circumstances beyond my control…I did not have to say “yes” to two boutiques and I could have accepted the outrageous bid from the “real” house painters…but, anyway, that’s where I have been…

Love that I have a Benjamin Moore paint store two minutes from my house, love my new colors, love the new layout, and so happy the job is done!! The ceiling and walls are painted in a grey Farrow and Ball color called Pembroke Stone, only I had Ben match from a sample so that it cost a fraction of the price. There is an accent wall in Ben’s Black Raspberry and the entry hall got Ben’s Pale Avocado which definitely brightens things up. Ben’s Simply White did the wood work. Sorry about the bad pictures. With all the different light sources it is hard to get pictures…or maybe it is just the ultra-clean windows!!!

purple entry crossstitch


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Prisoner of paper…

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I was so taken with our day on Alcatraz, I decided to make a book…what else could I do? This is a nice, simple structure I have wanted to try. I had a sheet of Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. paper on hand so the idea stuck and I was imprisoned by it until the book was completed.

Here is the structure.

I tore 5 pieces of paper 6″ x 12″ out of a big sheet of the Fabriano paper. (I have found if you fold and crease the paper three times, back and forth, it tears quite beautifully and cleanly.)

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Three inches from each side (long way) I scored and folded a flap…

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On the outside I put double-stick tape and stuck the flaps back to back. (This means there was a single 3″ flap, a 6″square, and a double 3″ flap until I had a long line of the pages attached together.

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So that the book closes as a 6″ square, I folded the first 3″ flap over the first 6″ square and then folded the next double flap around to the back and continued as it folded into a book shape.

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I decorated a 6th piece of paper with water-color and pen. (This piece was slightly longer, 12 1/4″, since it had to wrap around the very thick Fabriano paper and even then it didn’t quite meet in the middle. Mathematically it should have, but when it is Lois, the not-quite-precise, one just has to say “oh, that is the way I wanted it” and keep going…

The inside of the cover’s left-hand flap is attached to the outside of the first flap of the inner pages and the right-hand flap inside is attached to the outside of the last page. Both outside flaps meet on the front and are connected with a closure.

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I printed out the pictures I liked from our day on Alcatraz 5″ x 5″ onto presentation paper from Office Depot (it is a nice, matte, two-sided paper that is not as expensive as photo paper. The images are very clear and I use and like it a lot for printing with my inkjet printer.) Photos that were of textures I cut in half and attached to the 3″ flaps, leaving 5 of the 5″ x 5″ prints to be centered on the 6″ pages.

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Oh, and a little silver-striped washi tape because I just can’t help myself…

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