Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


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Basics…

Yesterday I was motivated to work on mixing my own watercolors. The stars were aligned and I finally had all the supplies I needed. What had delayed me was not having watercolor half-pans to store the finished mixes in, but the last time I ordered a book from Amazon I remembered to order the little, white pans.

On our travels I had collected dry pigments as souvenirs. The first time was when we visited Roussillon in Provence back in 2013. (This may have been what spurred me on, also: we are taking an OLLI class through CAL—six weeks of talking and reading about Provence. It is bringing back lots and lots of memories.) In the Fall of 2015 when we were in Venice I visited a store that, among other things, carried pigments.

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Roussillon

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The red cliffs around Roussillon

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Venice

colors

My paint! The larger bottles are the pigment from Venice. (No, I did not have to carry those jars in my suitcase. They came in plastics bags and I put them in the jars from The Container Store after I got home.) The small vials are from Roussillon. The pigments are mixed with gum arabic and a bit of honey on a sheet of glass. Always wear a mask because the pigment in powder form is bad for your lungs. My only trouble now is I have already used up all the available half-pans so have to get more. Did not even get to experiment with my yellows and reds, yet…


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Zentrum Paul Klee…

Ponder two words: Renzo Piano

The Italian architect that designed…

#1. The Pompidou Center in Paris. (In collaboration with Richard Rogers.) I loved taking pictures of this building…

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However, I was not sure how much I liked the building itself, plopped down in the midst of the beauty of Paris and all of its formal architecture. My mind gave it a minus grade, most likely because it puts all its inner workings on the outside. (I am perfectly willing to take another trip to Paris to re-evaluate the situation, mind you!)

#2 The Academy of Sciences building in San Francisco. This building is one of my favorites from its living roof of California native plants down to its aquarium. It sits within the nature of Golden Gate Park and has a perfect view of the deYoung Museum. It houses multiple purposes (the planetarium, live penguins, a rainforest, as well as scientists doing their research and work). We visit here often and it gets a big plus from me.

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#3 Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland. Situated so it has an interplay with nature, this building by Piano knocked my socks off with its exuberance and swoop. It perfectly illustrates this quote from Paul Klee in 1902: ” Everywhere all I see is architecture, line rhythms, plane rhythms.” A very big plus from me. That makes it 2-1 in favor of Mr. Piano. (I am so presumptuous to think this matters!)

I linked to a full picture of the building because I did not actually take one of all three of the curves. It started to drizzle and I was balancing my umbrella on my shoulder and trying to hold my iPhone with two hands…if I had only known. At the time I had not made the connection that all three buildings had been designed by the same architect.

We left the bear pit after being unsuccessful in catching sight of the bears. This is the old pit that they sometimes still use, but they do have new digs with lots of vegetative cover and big fishing pools.

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We hopped onto the #12 bus and rode it to its end at the Zentrum.

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This sculpture is taken from a line Paul Klee drew in one of his pieces of art…

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The lobby and cafe…

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Most wonderful of wonderful…the lower area given over to allowing creativity to develop. A whole light-filled space for kids’ art. This building is about the interaction of nature and culture…I could feel it…

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The next post will be about the art in the exhibit rooms…


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Intimate Impressionism, two…

Continuing with the Intimate Impressionism works at the Legion of Honor…what can be better than butter?

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I think that would look good in my kitchen, eh, eh…next to my bowl of fruit…

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Where I would be getting my supplies together for my picnic out side in my garden…

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Which I would then paint with the magical tubes I kept in my paint spotted box…

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before moving inside to also paint my mantelpiece that held the flowers that I collected in the above mentioned garden…

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Then I would carry my paint box, with my small, intimate canvases stuck under my arm, and tour my neighborhood for likely sights to feature in the landscapes I would paint…

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I guess in this fantasy I am living in France or somewhere…I would not complain about that…

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because my impression is that I would have lots of like-minded artist friends around…

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and flowers would be everywhere…

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and we would celebrate…

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Enough of this fantasy…the path back home and back to the real world…

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Good show…it is at the Palace of the Legion of Honor until August, 3.

 


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Intimate Impressionism…

We drove over to the Palace of the Legion of Honor last week to see a show of small Impressionist paintings. This show will be at the museum until August 3 and as a bonus there is a beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge as you walk to the entrance.

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We arrived about noon, so we went to the restaurant first to enjoy a lunch.

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The restaurant always connects their offerings with the show that is on display. I had the Camille Pisarro Quiche and TM had the Claude Monet Kale Salad…

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We were also joined by multiple friends who were anticipating and hoping for our exit…

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A very amazing thing was that in the exhibit they actually allowed photos without flash. I will share some of my favorites.

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Animals and People

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I was dodging people so the type of the labels was not always straight, for which I apologize. Next post will be still-lives and landscapes…


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Swiss Friday…

We are in the throes of planning our next trip which will be in July. I realized that in the face of so many train trips that will be included (no water-taxis, no Metros, no rental cars this time) I might need to alter my luggage configuration. (One carry on and one checked suitcase will be harder to handle when hopping on and off trains, I think). So I started working on the concept of a backpack. I am of an age that backpacks were not around during my schooling years.  They were an important item for my children (my daughter was particularly skilled a deciding on the best one for her needs), but I never had much experience with them until toward the end of my teaching career when my shoulders began to give way from all the years of throwing around twenty-five pound sacks of clay and carrying the ever-present satchel filled with books and papers. However, the backpacks I switched to in order to relieve the pain were Baggallini purse sized ones…way too small for my needs on this trip. I started my research and after looking at many catalogues found that Eddie Bauer had one “sized for women”. Sounded good, but wanted to try it on and judge its size in person. Last weekend we were in Camarillo where there is a massive Outlet Center with an Eddie Bauer store. Had a few minutes and I stopped by…but no luck, they had other versions of their backpacks in stock but they did not carry the one I was interested in. (There was also a time-limit on this project because Eddie had a 30% off sale going on.) Other than the outlet, the closest regular Eddie Bauer store to home is in the middle of the Westfield Centre in San Francisco conveniently located near a BART station. That was a good excuse for a day trip and a lunch!

We set off on Friday with the goals of finding a backpack, having a lunch in the City, and getting 10,000 steps for the Fitbit. I am starting to notice how the Fitbit influences choices…as we were leaving the BART station our choice was taking four flights of stairs (actually it was no choice because the escalator was broken). Arriving at the Centre we passed a Tumi store so had pop in to see what alternative backpacks might be available. Tumi had great pockets (lots of them) but was way on the far-side of $200 so we proceeded up to the Eddie Bauer Store. Two stores away from it was Travel+ a luggage store with a French brand of suitcases and also the Victorinox brand. One model of a backpack (the last version available)  was hanging from the lowest hook all by itself. Definitely a possibility, but I still hadn’t seen the Eddie Bauer version. So I went to try it on and then I realized it was way smaller than the Swiss Victorinox version and the Swiss version was on sale for 50% off which made it more of a Tumi price discounted to closer to Eddie Bauer. Plus I think it may have been whispering to me that it wanted to go back home to visit for a while. (I am never sure if TM follows my way of thinking, but he, too, liked that it was Swiss to go with his army knife). It came home with me and I will take it to Switzerland in July for a short visit.

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On our way to find lunch, we had to go up and down the escalator (sorry Fitbit). No matter how many steps in my goal I just cannot pass up a picture op…The dome in the Centre is pretty spectacular…

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Off to John’s Grill. (Historically famous in literature because of being mentioned in Dashiell Hammett’s Maltese Falcon). We have been there often with friends (thought of you Joyce and John!). It was so San Francisco of us to have the Jack LaLanne’s salad…crab, shrimp, avocado, tomato, and mushroom with bleu cheese dressing…

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This time, however, I actually saw the Maltese Falcon upstairs in a display case…

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Then we checked in with Fitbit and realized that we had done only half of our steps for the day so we decided that walking straight down Market Street to Fog City News would be a good addition. But funny thing, we walked past and stopped into a Swiss chocolate store on the way…an entire store with handmade chocolates from Bern…bears everywhere…

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Another goal for reaching Fog City News was to see if they had a copy of Frankie Magazine (not Swiss, but from New Zealand…the postage is too high to actually subscribe but well worth the walk in San Francisco to see if a copy is available) and…

SCORE!

There it was…

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I couldn’t figure out why the store was exceptionally busy…it couldn’t just be that everyone was buying Mother’s Day cards…

BONUS!

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David Lebovitz was there signing his new cookbook. (We read his blog religiously…he used to work at Chez Panisse but now lives in Paris and blogs and writes cookbooks. If you are going to Paris it is a good source for restaurants to try.) I did not buy the cookbook because my days of running up my step count while I walk in my kitchen as I am making French macarons are past…but I do know that chocolate bears are in my future as I scale an alp. I’m fired up and ready to go! Just have to wait a couple of months. Even walked down the four flights of stairs to the BART train (the escalator was working in that direction, I did have my choice…) and by the time we got home the Fitbit read 10,100 steps…perfect…

 

 

 

 


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Layers…

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…

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

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

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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.

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

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Here is another…

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

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Then I wanted to put these two images on top…

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That gave me this…

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Back into Stackables and then PicGrunger…

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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…

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Happy New Year…

I was looking through a year’s worth of photos to create a review of my year and try to use the split screen capabilities of iMovie. This time of year is such a natural demarcation for me because practically all celebration in my life occur between the last week in November and January 1st. TM’s birthday and Thanksgiving (usually the same day or very close), Christmas, my birthday, New Year’s Eve all in one week. New Year’s Eve is also the anniversary of when I met TM and the night he asked me to marry him. Only two kids birthdays and our wedding anniversary happen in other parts of the year. This movie helped to wrap up the year. It felt good to look again at all the parts of the year. The garden flourished and the seasons changed indicated by the farmer’s market produce coming in on schedule. We saw many exciting sites in the world and close to home. I didn’t realize how the California coast figured so prominently in our journeys and, of course, San Francisco. Visually entrancing places. I started to use Photoshop Elements again at the end of the year. 2013 was a very happy year for us…I wish a beautiful 2014 for you!