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

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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!

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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.

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The fabulous bat on top of the weathervane…

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

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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…”

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Gaudí and Güell forever linked…

Casa Mead

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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…


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Perugia…

Our day in Perugia, Italy, last October began in a foggy state but then lightened by noon. Our time there was enhanced by music and chocolate. The town was getting ready for its chocolate festival that would open a few days later. Here is a very short video of our day…to see it full screen click of the screen expansion in the lower right-hand corner.

Perugia has a very nice art museum in the Palazzo dei Priori (Town Hall that includes the Galleria Nazionale) and we saw an inspiring photography exhibit by Sandro Becchetti. Love those black and whites…This is the National Gallery of Umbrian Art in Middle Ages and Renaissance. The Griffin is the symbol of the town.

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The Fontana Maggiore is the medieval fountain between the Cathedral and the Palazzo dei Priori. Built in 1277-78 it depicts prophets and saints, symbols of the months, signs of the zodiac, scenes from Genesis and events of Roman history.

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You can wander the streets and get to the top of the hill for some amazing panoramic views…

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There is an extended walk with escalators from the parking area up to the actual town…just a little spooky…

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I fell in love with the black and white photographs in the museum, so I spent the evening after we got back to our apartment converting some of my images into black and white…

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Since I have been home I also layered some of the images together…

3, LRM, (010_JC_(Perugia)


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Books never close…

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It is true, I love to make travel journals. Trouble is, I cram them so full of the  paper I collect on the trip that I cannot really close the book without the help of very large ties. The receipts, the business cards, the postcards, plus all the photos I take need to go somewhere, but I always have this flaw in my book making skills of having too much stuff. So, when Teesha Moore made a suggestion on The Artstronauts Club (http://theartstronauts.com/about/ of keeping all of the ephemera in an expired passport I jumped up and down. Inspired! Oh, wow, I said, only have to travel with a little tape and a small stapler and all those extra little paper souvenirs are all in one place. Helps to figure out what to declare in customs and keeps them altogether so the travel journal can be just photos (and maybe can actually close.) When I thought about it further, my hopes were dashed, however, because I have no expired passports…I have only the one that I got four years ago when I retired and started to travel.

Within a week I got an email from a company (P22 Type Foundry) talking about a product they created to celebrate their twentieth year in business. (I am on their mailing list because their fonts include the handwriting of Claude Monet and Cezanne…what else is an intermediate school art teacher supposed to have on her computer?) The product was a set of three almost-passport-size soft-covered notebooks for $7.95. Answer to my dreams!

My package came on Saturday…

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There, right there, joy and celebration…evidently the Postal Service came out with a new set of stamps in May featuring antique circus posters. (Can be ordered online…https://store.usps.com/store/browse/productDetailSingleSku.jsp?productId=S_472104  Oh, heaven!  and they are forever stamps! Mail art here I come…

Then inside…

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Multiple postcards that advertise their fonts but are also beautiful.

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and a temporary tatoo (I am way old for that sort of thing so guess I will have to find a willing kid to wear it for me…)

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The three books with gold stamped covers and a variety of lined and grided papers…

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definitions of the foot of a letter…

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The “golden canon of page construction”…

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A perpetual calendar…

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Keyboard positions and job case diagram for letterpress type…

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and a type diagram and definition of picas and points…

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Lovely things, and now I am set for three trips!! I dance for joy…

 


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Lines…

The same morning I saw the rainbow and the osprey I took pictures that featured lines. I am not quite sure why…just seemed like a nice exercise to  reacquaint myself with the Canon camera I had not used since I found out how easy an iPhone is to carry around in your pocket. The lines were easily available because there were lots of puddles from the rain the night before. The things I see, with my little eye…

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Best walk ever…

This morning. 6:45 a.m. Best walk, ever…First, a rainbow…

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Then, an osprey…

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(I was walking with TM, the bird-identifier…take it on faith…) These photos are not with my iPhone because I decided to dust off my Canon that I haven’t used in years and years…proved to be a really good luck day!! And it has been raining hard ever since, which is in itself good luck…yeah, rain! oops, thunder and lightning and now the power is out…oh, well…

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Hope your day got off to as good a start!


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Walk…

Our morning walks are still functioning as our beacon for each day. Out the front door at 6:45 (daylight savings time has made it dark when we start), but each day we can see better as we take off. When we return we feel wide awake and enthused for the day. These are random photos that I applied a bit of app-work to because I am still experimenting with DistressedFX App (not all of the birds you see were actually in the original image and sometimes I just go through a phase where I use my iPhone as a playground or sketchbook to alter, erase and bring a little bit of serendipity into my life. Who knows what might happen (evidently I am into blur)…

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Then one morning we walked through the playground of the school and it looked like this:

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and I thought with some underwear and a teddy bear it would look like my favorite picture I took when I was in Tuscany, Italy for the first time…

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I guess walks help with time travel too…I could smell the cappuccino and taste the brioche…