Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


Monet, young…

Thursday we visited the Palace of the Legion of Honor to see their “Monet, The Early Years” show.

When we started from home it was a drizzle and it stayed that way all across the city.

When we got to the museum there was no parking except miles and miles down the road. Two positives from that were adding multiple steps to our Fitbits and we were so far down the road we got the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge, ever.

The museum was more crowded than I had ever seen, so my pictures were hard to get. I was dodging around stationary people listening to handsets. Later we found out that it was a free day for KQED members. Oh, and it was Spring Break so there were lots of kids around. A sampling of the art when he was young:


Fishing Boats, 1866

A Hut at Sainte-Adresse, 1867

The Seine at Bougival, 1869

The Porte d’Amont, Etretat, ca. 1868-69

Still life with Flowers and Fruit, 1869

Camille on the Beach, 1870. 

The Pont Neufchâtel in Paris, 1871

Argenteuil, 1872

Still Life with Melon, 1872

The Port at Argenteuil, 1872

Regatta at Argenteuil, 1872

The last one really shows him developing into Impressionism. The reflections on the water are delicious.

After wending our way through the legion of crowds, we drove over to Land’s End for lunch at the Cliff House. Didn’t get a table by the window, but that was ok, we got popovers…

Very happy that we made it home without a traffic jam and before a very big storm.

1 Comment

June Bird Walk…


Lands End

From Leah Garchik’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle this week: “The season of summer vacations is upon us. Laurie Ustruck was at the western edge of the city looking at the ruins of Sutro Baths, alongside a mom who seemed to be visiting her daughter. Said the mother, “I thought you were bringing me to a Lands’ End outlet store.”

Definitely not one of your outlets, we found…


The building on the left is the Cliff House Restaurant (more about that later)…


We gathered with the group of birdwatchers from TM’s class. Early morning last Saturday. Actually, we were there by 8:00 a.m. which meant we left home at 7:00 and, much to my surprise, where we live was blistering hot, the beautiful coast stayed cool and foggy all morning as we walked. This National Park has stunning views and lots of history behind it. We parked above the Sutro Baths and walked the path that was where the steam train and later the electric street car delivered San Franciscans to the Baths. No outlet has that kind of history behind it!


IMG_9770 IMG_9763

We were surrounded by yellows on the trek (and a little red, orange and pink) what with all the lupine in bloom…

IMG_9764 IMG_9767 IMG_9771

of course, monkeyflower…


I finally identified what this is (and it came in many shades)…it is wild radish and is quite tasty!

IMG_1277 IMG_1274 IMG_1224 IMG_9777 IMG_9782 IMG_9772 IMG_9785 IMG_1235 IMG_9787

Caught our first glimpse of the Golden Gate (but was not golden in this light…couldn’t even see the tops)…

IMG_1238 IMG_9789 IMG_9790

IMG_1247 IMG_9796 IMG_9817 IMG_9808 IMG_9815

A plethora of cormorants and gulls…Gulps of cormorants, rookery, sunning, swimming…

IMG_9813 IMG_9829

and thickets where if we spent some time we would probably see many species…


We circled up behind the Palace of Fine Arts where we had been the week before visiting the “Intimate Impressionism” show. I did not know there was a nice dome on the back…but the redtails were circling…

IMG_9853 IMG_9859 IMG_9861

We went down and around the golf course (watching our heads for errant golf balls)…

IMG_9857 IMG_9867

and in these trees saw juvenile redtails learning stuff that birds learn when they fledge out of their nests…


Once we came around the golf course we walked down the trail the way we had come…

IMG_9871IMG_9875 IMG_9876

Harbor seals were up on the rock (definitely not “sunning” themselves).


Oyster catchers (almost bright enough to see their flame scarlet bill with its orange yellow tip).

IMG_9874IMG_9877IMG_9878 IMG_9879

Back to the parking lot and down the hill to the Cliff House for (wait for it…) Popovers and this view…

IMG_1284 IMG_1282


As we walked back up the hill to our car we saw a redtail motionless on a draft having a good ride before he bore down on an unsuspecting rodent…

IMG_1293 IMG_1297

The graffiti on the sidewalk said it all…


Leave a comment

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.

IMG_1062 IMG_1067 IMG_1069 IMG_1071

We arrived about noon, so we went to the restaurant first to enjoy a lunch.


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…


We were also joined by multiple friends who were anticipating and hoping for our exit…

IMG_1078 IMG_1084 IMG_1082

A very amazing thing was that in the exhibit they actually allowed photos without flash. I will share some of my favorites.


Animals and People

IMG_1087 IMG_1088



IMG_1104 IMG_1105

IMG_1107 IMG_1106

IMG_1103 IMG_1102

IMG_1085 IMG_1086

IMG_1109 IMG_1108

IMG_1124 IMG_1125

IMG_1130 IMG_1131

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…

Leave a comment

On the water…

A lovely foggy Friday to cross the new Bay Bridge looking for art at the Legion of Honor. The new bridge is a soaring sight and quite ethereal.




When you get to the Legion of Honor you also get a view of the other famous bridge…IMG_3853

“The Impressionists on the Water” runs until October 13 and it is a beautiful show. No photos in side the exhibit but I was awed by color lithographs by Seurat. Layers of color in the pointillism style, blended by the eye into depth and texture of water.

IMG_3855 IMG_3856

Whenever I go to this museum I pop into the room that has their Rodin sculptures. I think of him as old friend, now, because I have been to the Rodin Museum in Paris and I have seen where he lived and worked. This time at the Legion of Honor I caught sight of Camille Claudel and a work she had done. She had been part of the exhibit “Les Papesses”  at the Pope’s Palace in Avignon in June and now I understand why she is usually found in close proximity to Rodin’s work.


Camille by Rodin and Rodin by Camille…


Re-creating statues…


Patterns in the courtyard…

IMG_3865 IMG_3864 IMG_3863

The view from the front steps…


I am usually so unsuccessful at catching photos of birds that I  don’t try anymore. Good luck this day, however, a little guy was so intent with the water that he was almost hovering for my convenience…

IMG_3871 IMG_3879

IMG_3876 - Version 2


Rather than head back east in search of lunch, we realized we were not too far from the edge of the earth, so we headed west the few blocks to Land’s End and where the Sutro Baths used to be. It was a wise choice since the fog was starting to lift and we could imagine ourselves “on the water,”  evidently our theme for the day.  We have lived in Northern California for a very long time, but have never been to the Cliff House Restaurant and we were happy to expand our education of historical San Francisco landmarks.



IMG_3883 IMG_3885IMG_3899

Playland Cowboy

Playland Cowboy

IMG_3900 IMG_3901IMG_3904 IMG_3910 IMG_3911IMG_3926IMG_3927

Back over that new bridge to home…

IMG_3935 IMG_3939 IMG_3936

“I am dancing, dancing on the edge of the world”—Rumson Ohlone Song


1 Comment


Cosimo I de’Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany

by Cellini and workshop

I took this photo when I visited The Legion of Honor last August but saved it until now because a week from today Terry and I will be flying to Tuscany. One week in Florence and one week in the countryside staying in Montalcino but daytripping to Siena, San Gimignano, and Orvieto. But since we will be on an Untour, we can make it up as we go along. As we get closer and closer the excitement gets greater and greater.

The past few weeks we have been doing a major construction project that has finally ended (although the painting of walls and trim goes on). It was chaos because we put new windows in six different places and it required a lot of moving furniture and items out-of-the-way so that the worker-men could get access and have room to work. One positive was that a lot of clean out went on. So I went through a pile of magazines that I had saved for inspiration, but they had now outworn their welcome. I was so surprised to find an old issue of Somerset Studio (2001) dedicated to Tuscany. I must have thought even back then that this would be a good place to go. There was an entire page in the magazine devoted to locations of paper stores in Florence. I plan to see if they are all still there and will report back in three weeks when we return. Here’s the list in case you get to visit there (and you like paper!)

Giannini e Figlio, Piazza Pitti 37

Il Torchio,  Via Dei Bardi 17

Il Papero, in the Piazza Duomo

Pineider, Piazza Della Signoria 13

Et Cetera, Via Della Vigna Nuova 82/r

Rigacci, Via Dei Servi 7

Carteria Tassotti, Via Dei Servi 9/11r

Ciao (I just had to say that!)

1 Comment

Paper, Paper, Paper…

Pulp, Pulp, Pulp…

I am thinking how much I love paper…

The Legion of Honor is currently having a major exhibit of the Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave called Pulp Fashion. An artist from Brussels, she recreates historic costume in painted and patterned paper. There were Renaissance costumes and gowns of Elizabeth I and Marie Antoinette. Also, couture creations from Dior, Chanel and Fortuny. The exhibit includes a series that was all white with subtle white pattern and Elizabethan lace collars made from filmy lens cleaning paper. Unfortunately, the policy at the Legion is the same as that at the DeYoung. Their major exhibits do not allow photography, so I am left with offering you multiple links to images.

•This news report introduces the exhibit.

•This blog shows photos.

•The Legion of Honor has a documentary. (The third part of the documentary has a section with kids enjoying the exhibit experience.)

•The museum also has pictures on its site.

•The sculpture of this painting was a favorite because of the chicken. (From Wikipedia)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/39/Stanzione%2C_Massimo_-_Woman_in_Neapolitan_Costume_-_1635.jpgMassimo Stanzione, Woman in Neopolitan Costume, 1635

Cliff really likes the paper chicken in the catalog I purchased.

I could, however, take pictures in their permanent exhibit. They have a beautiful collection of Rodin sculptures, so I concentrated on the hands.

The hand photos were processed with the Plastic Bullet app on my iPhone.

If you can get there, see this exhibit. It is open until June 5. Then, get out your stencils, your brushes, your paper and your paint. Make something beautiful. I am off to dig out my pattern-paper (which is what she uses). I hope I grow up to be like Isabelle!

P.S. A few weeks ago I installed a free app on my iPhone called Fortuny. Why I did that I do not know…we do not live in an environment where we would have that type of fabric on furniture (too many cats and dogs that think couches are beds around here. We are way more utilitarian in our choices for upholstery). I think I was just wanting to look at all the patterns. (Kind of like my free level app that I could use, if I wanted to. When I walk into any room. I am prepared to level the pictures on the walls. Although, if I was still teaching it would be perfect for putting up all those bulletin boards.) Now I have to find out more about Fortuny and go buy paper napkins from Caspari in their Isabelle line, of course…

Pattern, Pattern, Pattern

Leave a comment

iPhone Photo Friday…

Visited the Legion of Honor yesterday on a day you would have thought was summer. It was a Classic Pan type of day, because of the clear skies and wide/long view.

Luckily, we had a long walk up to the museum and we were treated to a fantastic view along the way. (A side of the Golden Gate I had never seen.)

The tip of land with trees on top across the Bay is known as Hawk Hill. It is where Terry has gone for years on Thursdays during the migration season of raptors south. I would always give him such sympathy because he would have to leave so early, be gone so long, sit on a short stool in a blind trying to lure the raptors down for banding (not comfortable for old bones and joints). But no longer. It turns out all these years he was going to the most beautiful place in the world. How hard can that be? On another raptor note: the eggs being incubated on top of the PGE building in San Francisco are getting ready to hatch. You can watch it all unfold here.