Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


3 Comments

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.


Leave a comment

Bees…

While walking through the Castel Sant’Angelo we came across a newel post covered with carved bees. I thought it was charming in its weathered way.

The symbol of the bee related to the family Barberini (they had changed it from an earlier symbol of a horsefly) and a few days later we visited their Palazzo which is now the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica. This is a building worked on by three different architects, Bernini, Borromini, and Maderno. Bees were everywhere. Picasso was also everywhere on this trip…we saw three different exhibits of his work (more on that in another post.)

Bees on the top of the fountain…

On the ceilings…

Around niches for sculptures…

In nooks and crannies…

I loved this central staircase by Bernini…

Images from the grounds…


1 Comment

Being a groupie…

In preparation for our trip to Rome, we researched blogs that might give us hints on how to navigate the “big city”. We found Parla’s Rome and also got Katie Parla’s app that recommends restaurants for our phones. On one of our first days here we stopped for lunch at one of her suggested restaurants in the Ghetto.

We had been visiting the museum and Temple and then she walked in the restaurant. We knew what she looked like because we had watched a podcast she did after recently visiting the headquarters of Google to give a talk on Roman food. this day, Terry started gesturing and saying to me “There she is!” He was kind of animated (if you know him that is kind of unusual…) She came over and said “hi” to us and then after lunch I asked her for a picture. Highlight!

Evidently, Anthony Bourdain likes the restaurant, too. Look up Nonna Betta if you are ever there.

I am a Pete Souza groupie, too. He has an Instagram feed that I follow. He is not only a terrific photographer, but he has a sense of humor that makes me laugh out loud some days. He has been official photographer to two Presidents and a photojournalist. He also shares his knowledge often explaining the type of camera, lens, and processing he uses. Last week he mentioned that he shot a beautiful picture he posted of a desert chollo cactus. He said it was taken with an iPhone 8+ using a filter (vivid warm). I had no idea you could shoot with filters with an iPhone and even though I only have a 7, I made a mental note to try it sometime. So there I was standing in front of the Roman Coliseum as the sun set and I finally remembered to give it a try.

Pete Souza is also a friend of Brandi Carlile and I am definitely a groupie of hers! Sometimes he posts pictures of her, too. It is nice to know that is is never too late to be a groupie. Don’t know why I waited until now.


2 Comments

Angels, Colossus, and a Poet

Terry and I arrived in Rome Wednesday for a two week stay after which we will go to Venice for two more. We have an apartment in Trastevere close to the Tiber River.

We walked across the bridge to Castle Sant’Angelo with the other Untours participants for our event on the first day. I felt all eyes were upon me…not real eyes but these eyes…

Even lovelocks!

And inside was a big colossus.

Almost to the top of the castle was an angel by Raffaello da Montelupo that had been at the very top until it got hit by lightening and was moved down. It had my favorite wings.

Then at the very top is the bronze Michael the Archangel by von Veuschaffelt done in 1753.

As we left we used our eyes to view the Vatican in a display.

As luck would have it, each time we take the bus we are watched by this neighborhood poet. (Belli)

And sometimes, just random guys….


1 Comment

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.

rousillon

Roussillon

provencecliff

The red cliffs around Roussillon

venice

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…


1 Comment

A weekend…

I was motivated to make a movie of our recent weekend in Morro Bay. I had taken a lot of short clips of crazy elephant seals, sea otters, birds, and surfers. Plus I was interested in seeing if I could make the entire film on my iPhone6. It has a larger screen than my previous phone and even though the iMovie app is not as complex as the version on my laptop I thought it would be interesting to see what could be done just with the one mobile device. Here it is: (Don’t forget to click on the small square in the lower right hand corner so that it displays full-screen. You really can see many more details in the images.)


4 Comments

It is a new dawn…

I have been a flake with posting blog entries recently but my resolution for 2016 is to “be better about it.” So first day of the year, first re-entry into the chronicles of the blog, and a big Happy New Year to you…

I have been thinking the last few days about how joyous it feels to wipe out the old year and start afresh. I am especially fortunate to get to celebrate my birthday on the 30th and the next day swing right into the celebration of the New Year. Mind you in a younger state I always felt my birthday was much too close to Christmas and next year I am pretty sure the whole concept of the birthday will land with a great deal of angst (because it will be the “big 7-0”). This year it was just very happy and fun.

My friend Gail is planning a trip to the Central Coast of California and asked be for suggestions of things to do (she has already done Hearst Castle and Cambria). It was fun to ponder this for the last few days because we are also going to visit the area in the middle of January for the Morro Bay Bird Festival. Plus when I focused in on what I like to do best when I am there, it fit my theme of wrapping up and starting afresh. I dug out a few pictures from my trip last year (they have been posted here before) but rejuvenation and the sense of impending joy made me seek them out.

Here you go Gail…roll out of bed at 5:45 (even though it is a vacation it is well worth the effort). Swing past the coffee shop on Main Street and then head out to the parking lot at the base of Morro Rock. Clamber down to the sand and stand at the wave line and as the sun comes up sip your coffee. It goes something like this as the light hits the rock. It really can’t be beat…fog and rain are the only things that can stand in your way. Oh, and the desire for a little more shut-eye might factor in…

IMG_8859

IMG_8867 IMG_8877 IMG_8882 IMG_8890_2

IMG_8905

It is a new day, it is a new dawn…Happy 2016 to you all! (Have a good trip, Gail!)