Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


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…


1 Comment

Transforming my frustration…

I have mentioned before how much I love the app Snapseed for processing my iPhone photos. For many, many years it has been my go-to, all-purpose, crop, clean-it-up and tweak app. So imagine my surprise when I opened it last week to find that there was an entirely new version. I am so set in my ways, I was immediately frustrated. That frustration grew and grew as I tried to do the things that I have always done, but couldn’t find the work flow as it had always been. hmmm, I said, why would you do that to me oh, favorite app…

Many YouTube videos later and a walk in the garden yesterday, I have made my peace…I at least know where things are now.

Fernald's Iris

Fernald’s Iris

lewisia - Version 2

Lewisia

Pink Monkeyflower

Pink Monkeyflower

Spicebush

Spicebush

New dwarf Butterflybush

New dwarf Butterflybush

Swallowtail looking for new dwarf Butterflybush!

Swallowtail looking for new dwarf Butterflybush!

California poppy

California poppy

California poppy

California poppy

So I say, people, take out your green grass lawns, install drip irrigation, put in native California plants…you will not regret it as you face the draught…spot through the garden a few non-natives, like a Cecile Brunner in a planter…you will have no end to willing photographic subjects…and you might get to liking Snapseed again as well as saving money on water fees!

Cecile Brunner

Cecile Brunner

And with great anticipation of getting to try a new feature of the Snapseed app (it now includes a function called Transform, which allows you to tweak perspective both vertical and horizontal…so all those tall buildings in a big city…no leaning towers except in Pisa! In a few short weeks we will be off to soak in the architecture of one of the most interesting cities…for now, from an old photo, here is what it can do…

crocker

original…notice right hand edge of building

crocker2 copy

now it is straight!

I really like Snapseed again!


4 Comments

A walk with Priime…

IMG_9573

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…

IMG_9575 IMG_9580

IMG_9572

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.

IMG_9581 IMG_9582 IMG_9583

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…

IMG_9591 IMG_9590

and more colors of Douglas Iris that are popping out…

IMG_9592 IMG_9599 IMG_9598 IMG_9597


3 Comments

Julia Morgan in the garden…

A few weeks ago, after reading this article in the SF Chronicle, we knew it was time to visit the UC Botanical Garden. Julia Morgan had designed a building on the campus that was a women’s social club in the beginning but then had other uses over the years. It needed to be moved out-of-the-way of construction projects. It had been cut in four pieces and trucked up the winding, narrow road to the garden. Eventually the structure will function as a wedding venue in the garden.

The bonus on our trip to see the Julia Morgan architecture was that at the time it held an art show of botanical art  displayed in the setting. (The only negative, which wasn’t really a negative, was that Julia Morgan had a way with light and it infused the spot. The day was very sunny and all the art was behind glass. I cropped my pictures  very close so that I could eliminate as many reflections as possible but I was not totally successful.) The interior is sheathed in redwood with a massive brick fireplace.

The new setting and the buildings’ details:

IMG_9254

IMG_9308 IMG_9290IMG_9267

IMG_9273

IMG_9304IMG_9303

I overheard a docent say that when the building had been jacked-up for the move, this fire-place screen, designed by Julia Morgan, had been found under the building. So it was restored for further use…

IMG_9274 IMG_9272IMG_9287

The art:

Forest Floor Watercolor Betsy Rogers-Knox

Forest Floor
Watercolor
Betsy Rogers-Knox

American Mountain Ash Watercolor Sharron O'Neil

American Mountain Ash
Watercolor
Sharron O’Neil

Beautyberry Graphite on paper Maryann Roper

Beautyberry
Graphite on paper
Maryann Roper

Foxglove Colored pencil Rhonda Nass

Foxglove
Colored pencil
Rhonda Nass

Sassafras and Spicebush Swallowtail Watercolor Wendy Cortesi

Sassafras and Spicebush Swallowtail
Watercolor
Wendy Cortesi

Detail

Detail

Heuchera Watercolor Martha McClaren

Heuchera
Watercolor
Martha McClaren

Coneflower Watercolor, colored pencil Wendy Hollender

Coneflower
Watercolor, colored pencil
Wendy Hollender

Franklinia Capsules Watercolor Dick Rauh

Franklinia Capsules
Watercolor
Dick Rauh

Eastern Redbud Branch Oil on paper Ingrid Finnan

Eastern Redbud Branch
Oil on paper
Ingrid Finnan

Shooting Star Copper Etching Bobbi Angell

Shooting Star
Copper Etching
Bobbi Angell

Rat's Tail Watercolor Sally Petru

Rat’s Tail
Watercolor
Sally Petru

And this was by my friend:

Paddle Plant Watercolor Linda Kam

Paddle Plant
Watercolor
Linda Kam

Such excellent artists, beautiful plants, and a nice variety of techniques. We also walked the California Natives section and were treated to a Silk Tassel and a poppy…

IMG_9309 IMG_9311


2 Comments

Prisoner of Alcatraz…

IMG_7803

Wednesday morning, 8:00 a.m., we left for San Francisco so we could catch  a 10:00 a.m. ferry to Alcatraz Island.

When I think back on this year since last October, it has been a year filled with more ferries, water taxis, vaporettos, and water conveyances than all of my sixty-six years before that. Last October it started in Venice and went to Lake Maggiore in July. Now it has come to San Francisco Bay (actually twice this year, because we took a ferry to a San Francisco Giants game in August…Go Giants, by the way!). At 8:00 in the morning, traffic is a bear, but since it was Wednesday and not in the summer, parking was easy and directly across the street. Plus, the island did not get very crowded during our time on the rock. As we proceeded on our cruise we certainly hoped that Alcatraz would not have us licked.

IMG_7811 IMG_7813

It was a beautiful day with great views of the Bay Bridge on the way over to the island.

IMG_7817

Our approach to the dock included water towers, guard towers, and a view of the prison…

IMG_7821 IMG_7825 IMG_7841

This island is frequented by many bird varieties…

IMG_7848

The Officer’s Club has deteriorated but makes for some interesting photographs…

IMG_7850

The Quartermaster Warehouse and the power plant…

IMG_7854 IMG_7855 IMG_7858 IMG_7863 IMG_7928 IMG_7930 - Version 2

Apartments for the guards…

IMG_7932 IMG_7933 - Version 2

The Warden’s residence next to the prison and lighthouse viewed from the Parade Grounds…

IMG_7937

IMG_7949 IMG_7954 - Version 2

The water tower still has remnants of the American Indian Occupation…

IMG_7960

A great view of the Golden Gate with Hawk Hill on the right, across the Bay…

IMG_7943

The San Francisco skyline…

IMG_7940 IMG_7939

IMG_7961 - Version 2

We toured the cell block and that put us on a higher level to get closer views of the Warden’s Residence and the lighthouse…

IMG_7962 IMG_7963 IMG_7970

We walked through the exercise yard and were impressed with the view the guards must have had while they supervised…

IMG_7990 IMG_7991

We wandered back to the dock through the Agave Trail and had our picnic before boarding the ferry to go back to the city.

IMG_7997 IMG_7999 IMG_8005

We were allowed to escape from Alcatraz…

IMG_8021

There was a model at the ferry landing of what Alcatraz looked like before the buildings started to crumble…

IMG_8047


2 Comments

Prisoner of texture…

IMG_7942

In most cases I would show you the buildings of the place I visited and then the world-class art displayed in the venue. This time, however, I was so struck by the textures I kept seeing that I will delay showing you the other until the textures are thoroughly digested and absorbed. Last Wednesday we spent the beautiful, clear day traveling to Alcatraz Island (we have lived near it for twenty-eight years and had never been). It was a great day of walking and exploring, and we totally loved the environment, the view, and the art.

In these shots you catch a glimpse of a little of the Ai Weiwei art displayed, but really these are just to celebrate age, patina, and the ravages of time…

IMG_7905IMG_7880IMG_7891 IMG_7904 IMG_7901 IMG_7892IMG_7908 IMG_7909 IMG_7910IMG_7911 IMG_7916 IMG_7913 IMG_7912IMG_7918 IMG_7971 IMG_7922IMG_7974 IMG_7984IMG_7980IMG_8002


3 Comments

Garden and Glass, two…

IMG_6778

As you leave the dark gallery area of the Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle you step into areas where the glass objects interact with natural light. The glass glows in both environments. Talk about blowing your mind on color. In the transition area is a wall filled with blown-up images of old postcards depicting a collection of landmark glasshouses in gardens around the world. Right before walking into Chihuly’s glasshouse you get a sense of this unique type of architecture. I was reminded of walking into the Sainte-Chapelle Chapel in Paris. Maybe I was experiencing “art as a protective covering”. Chihuly’s glasshouse is asymmetrical and contains a 100 foot suspended sculpture.

IMG_6676 IMG_6682 IMG_6679

Exiting the glasshouse you enter the gardens where the glass interacts with nature.

IMG_6687 IMG_6713 IMG_6710 IMG_6703 IMG_6702 IMG_6700 IMG_6695 IMG_6692 IMG_6691

I loved the way plants were used as a backdrop for the glass. In an area confined to black and white coloring, covering the ground was black mondo grass. (It is not often you can find a plant that can give you such a background color and texture. Works wonderfully here. I mentioned this plant before and how I combined it with chartreuse plants, although, in our garden I can only use it in containers since it is not a California Native. TM sets the rules on that!)

IMG_6690

IMG_6710 IMG_6733 IMG_6729 IMG_6722 IMG_6715

Black mondo grass covering a hill, this time…

IMG_6714 IMG_6713

IMG_6779

IMG_6735

It was time for lunch before going up in the Space Needle, so we went back inside to the cafe connected to the garden. It seems Chihuly is also an inveterate collector (the cafe is called Collections and his personal collections are everywhere.)

IMG_6740

The ceiling contains his collection of accordions…

IMG_6737

Walls have a collection of his paintings and figurines…

IMG_6738IMG_6745

and the tables to eat at were the coolest…a box covered with glass was in the center of each table and inside was one of his collections.

IMG_6739IMG_6742 IMG_6744 IMG_6743

The food was good, too…later, coming down from the Space Needle I got this bird’s-eye view of the layout of the garden…

IMG_6773

There are some nice videos on Chihuly’s website. Worth the time to watch…