Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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.



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Playland Cowboy

Playland Cowboy

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Back over that new bridge to home…

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


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Rodin, trois…

Our evening at Musee Rodin also included a walk through the former Hotel Biron which had been where artists like Rodin, Cocteau, and Matisse had workshops. That offered a different perspective on the garden.




Since it allowed pictures I could also get photos of work by Rodin’s friends.

Van Gogh



Rodin worked in many media, including terra cotta



A type of ceramics featured his work

as well as marquettes of his larger works




This last one is Victor Hugo.
I did not mention this building that comes into view from different parts of the garden

It is Les Invalides where Napoleon’s grave is.
By this point in our trip I was totally in love with the Paris Metro system. When we got out at the Varenne metro station in order to get to the museum on the platform were reproductions of the Thinker and Monument to Balzac




Rodin’s Roses…

We were extremely lucky to be in Paris on La Nuit des Musees. Museums across Europe are open free of charge for one evening each year.

We chose to go to Musee Rodin, the house and gardens of the sculptor. We thought it opened at 6:00 but when we got there at that time we found we were an hour early and we had to stand in line for an hour in the rain.



During that wet hour we turned to each other every ten minutes and wondered, “Why are we doing this?” It is a good thing we stayed because at 7:00 the rain stopped and we entered the magical garden. I found it breathtaking…first for the plants…












Beautiful roses and some plants that looked like home, including ceanothus…





By this time in the trip my iPhone had its new power pack case and it was more complicated to use my ollo clip macro lens, so I opted to try the built in ability of the iPhone to do macro shots. I got four inches away from the roses and was quite excited to find such a clarity on the raindrops.

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A few weeks ago, I was going through my iPhoto files. I was scrolling— looking for shots to process in Photoshop and caught a glimpse of photos of student work from years ago. Fond remembrance was in the back of my mind when I visited the Legion of Honor last week. The project had been one of my favorites and highly successful with my 7th and 8th graders (not measured by a bubble test, but by student rubric and teacher observation!) but there had been a struggle on my part to find graphics of hands in order to introduce the project. I do not remember what my solution was at the time, but at the Legion of Honor, I had a do-over. Thank you Rodin. Now, if ever given the chance again, I can introduce the project easily.

I further processed the hand pictures I took last week by putting them in Blender app and layering two of the images together and then into Pic Grunger, which just had an update and now includes some textures to layer, also. (Great update!) Then into Impression app to put my name on the corner. (This also has a new update where you can choose different fonts, colors, and transparencies.) Too cool.

The Project: A “Handbook” for the Art Room

Each student was given a piece of ribbon that they draped around their non-drawing hand. (When they drew on their 5″x7″ piece of paper, the ribbon needed to start and end on the mid-point on the edges of the paper in the landscape direction.) They did a light sketch in pencil and then used black ink, shading with a variety of textures and dividing the background into sections with patterns. I took the finished drawings and made copies of each one and then my students got one copy from each member of the class to attach together into an accordion book. We had made paste papers that were used to cover cardboard for the covers. Each student also used plaster gauze to make a mold of their hands that were painted (including patterns in a contrast color) and attached to the front cover. A ribbon was threaded through the hand to tie the book closed.

The students took the original ink drawing and mounted it in the middle of black tag board with a four-inch border. Then they extended the sections and patterns into the frame using metallic colored pencils and pens.

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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