Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


2 Comments

Miró and tapas….

IMG_2212 IMG_2213

Before getting to enjoy the balcony with double pillars in the front of the Palau de la Musica Catalana, we were treated with a small exhibit of the work of Joan Miró.

From the website describing the show…

The interview Miró granted to Georges Charbonnier in 1951 gives us a few key clues to understanding the essence of his work. To the question of whether the artist “has to put down roots”, Miró replied, “The roots of the land. The roots of the earth. Without in any way taking the earth to mean the motherland. I am talking about the earth that makes trees, a flower, a vegetable grow.” This point of view meant he attached great importance to popular art: “A plate made by peasants, a pot to eat soup from, are for me as wonderful as a piece of classical Japanese porcelain displayed in a case in a museum.” And from a taste for objects to sculpture is only a small step: the artist is driven to sculpt “for the direct contact with the earth, with stones, with a tree. When I stay in the countryside, I never think about painting. On the contrary, sculpture is what interests me.”

The pieces on display in this room, from the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, are these words made solid; both the photographs by Joaquim Gomis, taken in the studio on the Passatge del Crèdit in Barcelona and at the Mas Miró in Mont-roig, and the sculptures by the artist himself. The former because they are visual testimony to Miró’s love for the elements of nature and for everyday objects, and also to his first pottery and sculptures, created from 1944-1946 onwards. And the latter, the sculptures, because a decade later Miró started out once again from objets trouvés to construct, by casting them in bronze, what are in fact assemblages of the objects he gathered and collected with such passion.

IMG_2150 IMG_2154IMG_2103IMG_2105IMG_2108IMG_2152IMG_2151

Then our group was led out onto the balcony and, when I looked over the side, I could spot the restaurant where we had eaten lunch. They have a very good deal and excellent food…so, here come my pictures of food!

IMG_2144

Tosca seems to serve just about all day long, but for lunch they have a fixed priced meal where you get to choose three choices from their tapas menu and since there were two of us that meant six tapas to share, plus drinks.

IMG_2071

Calimari

IMG_2072

Patatas Bravas

IMG_2073

Salad

IMG_2074

Empanadas

IMG_2075

Pork

IMG_2076

Seafood Risotto

Really, I am only going to make one post about food…but since the topic is Miró, it brings me to my memory of strolling down La Ramble to one of the Barcelona markets (there are markets all over the city, but this was our destination walk to possibly the most famous). Just outside of the market in the middle of the walk way  is a large mosaic in the street done by Miró.

IMG_2330

(Plus, there was this really cool building that contained remnants of when it was built. Originally, it was a store to buy umbrellas and it still contains umbrellas and a dragon on its facade…mosaic, of course). A pause in our stroll for the umbrellas:

IMG_2329 IMG_2312

The entrance to the Mercat de la Boqueria:

IMG_2326IMG_2325 IMG_2324

Yes, there was quite a hustle and bustle and we were even there early. We made our way toward the back (Rick Steves says the food stalls at the back are less expensive than the ones near the entrance.) We found two stools so we could slide up to the bar and started to order. Lots of chaos around us, good service, and lots of fun.

IMG_2317 IMG_2316

The menu above where they are preparing the food.

IMG_2313

Our waiter

Albondingas

Albondingas

IMG_2320

Croquettas

IMG_2319

Another day, another order of calamari, this time with a caprese salad

IMG_2323 IMG_2315IMG_2318

I loved the food in Spain, but being at home I am having a difficult time going back to no starches. While in Spain the starches were balanced by all the walking so there was no discernible damage. Unfortunately, at home it doesn’t quite work that way…Miró and tapas are not really connected, but if you are in Spain it is hard not to experience both repeatedly.


1 Comment

A confection…3…

The inside of the Palau Musica Catalana…

Lobby and grande staircase.

IMG_8171 IMG_8172 IMG_8173 IMG_8174 IMG_8175

IMG_8204

The marble balustrade with iron encased in glass railing…

IMG_8205 IMG_8203

Possibly the most impressive and beautiful skylight. The Moderisme architects did assemble the best artists and support team available…stained glass by Antoni Rigalt…

IMG_8176 IMG_8178IMG_8184IMG_8189IMG_8188IMG_8191IMG_8192IMG_8187

I’m including some music to entertain you…

A sculptural ode to Catalan folk music on the left of the stage…

IMG_8185

A sculptural ode to classical music on the right…(that is Beethoven)…

IMG_8186

Stage murals of eighteen muses with trencadís in the background, three-dimensional sculptures of heads and instruments by Eusebi Arnau, and mosaic bodies by Lluí Brú.

IMG_8196IMG_8198IMG_8200IMG_8199


1 Comment

A confection…2…

Stepping out onto the balcony of the Palau de la Musica Catalana with its double rows of pillars covered in mosaic was like stepping into fantasy-land. I think that if Salvador Dali and Walt Disney collaborated on a surrealist sci-fi movie with a setting in a birthday cake this would be where they filmed it, n’est-ce pas?

IMG_8153

IMG_8155IMG_8168

The details, it is all in the details…(if you double click on these pictures they will get bigger so you can see the details!)

As coincidence would have it, if you live near San Francisco, the Walt Disney Family Museum has an exhibit until January called Disney and Dali. They did collaborate! They made a short movie together and had plans for other projects.

 

 


3 Comments

A confection…

IMG_8115

Gaudí was not the only one. There was also Lluís Domènech i Montaner one of his contemporaries and a professor at the architecture school in Barcelona for forty-five years. He was also a politician prominent in the Catalan autonomist movement. Montaner’s concert hall design is quite amazing.

The Palau de la Música Catalana is a concert hall designed in the Catalan modernista style. It was built between 1905 and 1908 for the Orfeó Català, a choral society founded in 1891 that was a leading force in the Catalan cultural movement that came to be known as the Renaixença (Catalan Rebirth). Between 1982 and 1989, the building underwent extensive restoration, remodeling, and extension. In 1997, the Palau de la Música Catalana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, more than half a million people a year attend musical performances in the Palau that range from symphonic and chamber music to jazz and Cançó (Catalan song).

A red brick and iron structure, it is cramped in with its neighbors but has so much to look at I stood in front of it and gaped…

IMG_8112

Famous musicians connected to the choral society are depicted at the top of the pillars.

IMG_8113

IMG_8116

 

IMG_8114

The front has the original ticket booths that no longer function, and mosaic everywhere.

IMG_8127 IMG_8128

IMG_8117 IMG_8118IMG_8119IMG_8126IMG_8121

The sculpture on the corner of the building was created by Miguel Blay and is called The Catalan Song. His signature can be found if you look hard enough.

IMG_8124

IMG_8130 IMG_8129

The new entrance is around the side of the building where we went to meet up with our tour of the interior…

IMG_2082 IMG_2085 IMG_8143

Dressing rooms, a library, and practice rooms are located in the new tower.

IMG_8206 IMG_8207

New pillars carrying the spirit of the old.

IMG_8131

Our tour took us up to a second floor salon just off of the balcony with the exterior pillars which currently had an exhibit of Miró sculptures (I will show you that in the next post).

IMG_8132IMG_8144 IMG_8146 IMG_8147

Mosaics in the building were by Lluís Brú; ceramics by Josep Orriols; stained glass by Rigalt í Granell; cement tiles by Escofet; and sculptures by Miguel Blay, Eusebí Arnau and Pau Gargallo.

I took so many photos of this building…pattern, pattern, pattern…I did get a little exuberant with my iPhone out on that balcony with all the mosaic pillars…exuberance begets exuberance…so I am going to break it into multiple posts. Watch this space!


5 Comments

Good things…

Back before I went to Barcelona, I mentioned that I had been helping some parents at an elementary school in the district I used to teach in construct a ceramic mosaic. When I left, after many months of making clay tiles, glazing clay tiles, creating images of the life skills the kids at the school are taught, and cutting tiles and mirror for the background, they had begun the installation.

IMG_0027 IMG_0021

By the time I got back they had completed the installation with every kid in the school getting to make an addition of some type. They had even completed the grouting and the entire mural was absolutely fabulous! (I was kind of sorry I missed the grouting because I do love to grout. Oh, well, the next project!)

IMG_4465 IMG_4466 IMG_4467 IMG_4468 IMG_4469 IMG_4470 IMG_4471 IMG_4472 IMG_4473

These are Shweta and Tammy, mothers, artists, volunteers, organizers and Renaissance women who are really fun to hang around with because they do cool projects. I would follow them into an art project anywhere. Kudos on a job well-done! Just goes to prove the universal goodness brought to you by art.

In addition, on the universal goodness of nature:

I have mentioned my Dutchman’s Pipevine on my gate many times over the years. It is great because it is a California native plant so takes little water, the deer don’t like to eat it so it can hang to the outside of the garden gate, and it has possibly the greatest flower ever seen…

5, LRM, (010_JC_PipeVineBloom)

We planted ours probably six years ago for the above qualities and one more. There is a Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly that only likes it. So we have waited and waited for ours to come…which it finally did a few weeks ago.

I could not get a picture of it because it was really flittering…

IMG_4482 IMG_4479

but Terry succeeded…

IMG_4483

but then it was gone. Today I passed by the vine and into the house, glancing over to see if it was time for me to take fast growing tendrils and weave them back into the trellis and I noticed that many ends had been chewed off.

IMG_4594

After my first thought that we had somehow grown a super-large example of deer that was taller than the gate and wrecking havoc despite the poisonous nature of the plant (which is why they are not supposed to like to eat it), I looked closer and found that we now have a colony of caterpillars…

IMG_8109

IMG_4584_2IMG_4585 IMG_4591_2 IMG_4590 IMG_4588 IMG_4586IMG_4593 IMG_4592 IMG_8108 IMG_8111

The caterpillars are not poisonous at first, but the more leaves they eat the more poisonous they become. This is why the birds do not like them even though black with red spikes makes them kind of obvious. The caterpillars leave the Pipevine for a different plant when they make their chrysalis. I feel like a grandmother to thousands! I am so proud…


2 Comments

Roofs, chimneys, pinnacles, and spires…(part three)

IMG_8064

Palau Güell

How many pedestrians notice this roof line as they walk on the narrow street? Probably only those who know to look up, they are near a Gaudí building!

IMG_8066

This is an amazing building inside, but since Gaudí controlled every detail, even the roof got his fancy treatment. The top floors contained the servant’s quarters and I am pretty sure the wealthy family who lived here did not access the roof part of the house often, so I think of it as Gaudí making a “Disneyland for the help”. He combined so many different types of materials and textures it was feast for the eyes.

IMG_8095 IMG_8093IMG_8090IMG_8088 IMG_8087 IMG_8086IMG_8068 IMG_8073 IMG_8072 IMG_8071 IMG_8070 IMG_8069

The fabulous bat on top of the weathervane…

IMG_8075 IMG_8080 IMG_8079IMG_8082 IMG_8083IMG_8081

Don’t know the significance of the rope and the rubber lizard…

IMG_8094IMG_8078IMG_8091

Oh, that is not an unknown tourist…it is my partner in crime! Always patient (probably checking his map app to see where we will walk next). During the entire trip he only let this sentence cross his lips once: “You know, you don’t have to take a picture of everything…” My response (with left hand on hip, right hand waving its index finger, and an uplifted trill on the last word): “Oh, yes, I do…”

IMG_8089 IMG_8092

Gaudí and Güell forever linked…

Casa Mead

IMG_8097

That’s not in Barcelona, hah! It is my newly rebuilt porch railing that should be wrought iron and my nondescript, dare I say ugly, chimney that is in need of some Gaudí treatment. At my age, however, it is seriously in doubt that I will squat on my roof sticking shards of tile to the chimney’s surface, especially since I have given up ladders. What to do, what to do…it definitely needs improvement, and now that I have seen what a chimney can really be…something must be done! Maybe if I just added a bat…


Leave a comment

Roofs, chimneys, pinnacles, and spires…(part two)

For those who might travel to Barcelona…I mentioned that you can purchase your tickets for the big sites online. For Park Güell, I learned something after I got home (from someone else’s blog). It seems that they had gone without tickets and faced a two-hour line in the hot sun in order to get in. One of the guards told them that if they came back the next day they could get in for free between the hours of 6:00 to 8:00 a.m. They did that, and there were no other people around. Great pictures without tourists, unlike mine! oh, well…Park Güell was still fabulous. I love trencadís!.

Park Güell

IMG_8004IMG_8005 IMG_8020IMG_8019IMG_8007IMG_8011IMG_8012IMG_8021IMG_8024IMG_8015 IMG_8018 IMG_8025

Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Casa Milà is the building with no straight lines and roof vents and chimneys that look like they are out of a sci-fi thriller. Imagine this without the chain link, as it was originally…

IMG_8043 IMG_8044IMG_8042 IMG_8041 IMG_8040 IMG_8038 IMG_8031 IMG_8028 IMG_8026 IMG_8048 IMG_8052 IMG_8050 IMG_8049

Gaudí framed his own Sagrada Familia through a parabolic arch (one of his favorite architectural devices)…

IMG_8047IMG_8053 IMG_8058 IMG_8055IMG_8063 IMG_8062 IMG_8060

Yes, there are more roofs in the future…watch this space, again…