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

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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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The last day…a goodbye to Provence…

On our trips we have usually spent the last day before leaving our apartments organizing ourselves, packing (stuffing) our suitcases, and mentally preparing for our early morning departure the next day. This time, however, we decided to “go for the gold” and catch one last missed site before we took off. Except for seeing it from the airplane as we flew into France, we had not seen the Pont du Gard, but our lovely landlady had mentioned earlier in our stay that it was best in early morning or twilight because of the light. We knew that we would never make it in the early light but twilight was a definite maybe if we combined it with other sites. In the morning of the last day we packed suitcases and organized for departure and then set off…whipering goodbye to our locality. First I buried my shoes in the trash near Le Beaucet, then we picked up some candy nougat souvenir gifts in Saint Didier and went on to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue for one last lunch. We had serendipitously discovered The Table on our very first day in Provence and had returned many times when we were near the town for more meals. We had our “goodbye” meal and then jumped in the car for the hour and  half drive to Uzés, a medieval town with garden. Cars are confined to an exterior road so walking and exploring was quite pleasant. There we ate a light dinner in the plaza and then made the ten minute trip to Pont du Gard. We had excellent timing for the light, only had to pay half price for parking because of the time of day, and we were almost the only tourists around. This is all captured here in my last movie for this trip. I fear I added a few too many pictures of the aqueduct but that is symbolic of how awe-stricken I was by its magnificence. Despite its incredible size and domination of its valley, you cannot see it from the road and only when you get quite close do you catch a view. Wham…visual awe. (The Romans left the rocks protruding out of the pillars because that is how the scaffolding was attached and they anticipated in the future after building it in 19 BC they might have to do maintenance. Ahh, the greatness that was Rome!)

By making it to the Pont du Gard, it meant that on our trip we had been able to see all four of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Provence. The Amphitheater and arch in Orange, the Popes Palace and bridge in Avignon, the Theater and St. Trophime Church in Arles and the aqueduct. Only thing we missed because the weather was out of our control was the lavender bloom…meaning we will just have to go back someday.

The last day in three minutes:

(don’t forget to make it full-screen so that you can see the birds fly)


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Pernes-les-Fontaines…

It is getting close to the time of our next trip. I need to eliminate photos from the iPhone and iPad so I can fit in the new thousands of images so I realized that I had never wrapped up the Provence trip. There was a lovely town close by to where we stayed called Pernes-les-Fontaines. Forty fountains (but I did not take pictures of all of them) and possibly the best shutter colors in all of Provence. Most magnificently, the loveliest iron work on top of the church steeple.

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A stroll through the town…

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Some of the fountains…

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Your choice of stucco for your walls…

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Her name is Amelie…we know because we checked…

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and we walked…

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I particularly loved the cafe umbrella that was adorned with scraps…think I will do that at home…

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There was a castle…

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and the Tourist Info center had art in its garden…

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We were not successful in getting wifi in their wifi cafe, but we met the dog on the bar stool…how cute is that?

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Got back home to another great sky…

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Cheese…

My favorite images from my trip to Provence included the Cheesemen I saw in the markets of Aix-en-Provence and Pernes-les-Fontaines.

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Passionate for goat cheese (especially when drizzled with lavender honey or decorated with thyme flowers)

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When my friend Lisa (who was looking forward to her own trip to Paris) said, “Why don’t we take a cheese class?” I jumped-like-a-goat at the thought and even roped Terry into going, too. Since it coincided with our 39th anniversary it turned into a mini-celebration of sorts in honor of goats, longevity, and friendship! Some people have time-shares in vacation properties and then there are those who have goat-shares for the milk (investigating now).

We made feta, chevre, farmhouse cream cheese and fromage blanc.

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Lisa’s photo of her fellow cheesemakers

It was a lovely day in San Francisco…

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Trader Joe’s has goat milk but maybe TM will give me a real goat for our 40th!?

Next it will be olives…I can feel it…

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Probably need to get a hat to fit into the whole theme of markets and cheesemen and our new favorite CD is The Goat Rodeo Sessions…we blast it everywhere…love goats!

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