Saturday, December 3, 2011

My day was interrupted by an Angel



View from my studio door
 Mantle in  our living room

Christmas is fast approaching and the calendar is filling up with invitations, tree lighting, Christmas parades, celebrations, parties and gift giving. Life has become slightly hectic.  My past two days have been spent, decorating and preparing for **our annual art exhibition** in January.  The house needs some Christmas decorating.
Edge of Mantle   "Castellovicchiomaggio chapel" by Violetta.I was with her when she painted this, in Greve in Chianti, in 2007, following our exhibition at the Biennale in Firenze.
My staircase leading to living room
Then to my studio to work on completing paintings and putting the final touch on some.  My studio is on the ground floor.  I get south facing light and reflections from the canal, which is an extension of the intercoastal waterway which connects to the Gulf of Mexico. The canal is like Venice without the bridges.    My view is breath-taking and I count my blessings to live here.
Painting drying in the Florida sun
My Studio which receives the ultimate light and  dappled light from the canal
Our Lady of the streets, I am working on when interrupted

**Plein Aire Cottage Artists 3 Members/3 Friends:-Violetta Chandler, Mary Rose Holmes and Helen Tilston Annual Art show" **
I am working on a new portrait of "Our Lady of the Streets" I have a new model for "Our Lady" and her mantle is green.   Shhhhhh!  Suddently I hear a sound. Is it of this world?   I drop my paintbrush and rush to the water's edge and there to my surprise is a young manatee.

It is all alone.  Often they swim in pods but this "Little Angel" is going solo.   We looked at each other for a while, we communicated in silence and I bade him "a safe journey and a very blessed Christmas"   I believe he told me he would return again.
I felt very special to have been vistised by such a rare and beautiful visitor.

Manatee sounds

Have you met an manatee?

63 comments:

  1. I can't say that I have but I am so delighted that you had such a wonderful interaction. So many things that we still can't explain in this world...thank goodness for mysteries...

    Bisous,
    Heather

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  2. What a sweet post. That would be such a wonderful thing to see. They are gentle giants. So graceful and sweet.

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  3. You are so lucky to have had such a friend come by to say hi. I have only seen manatees at monterey bay aquarium. They seem like kind creatures. Your 'Lady' is so beautiful. I just love her. Thank you for your faithful visits to my blog and kind words. It means so much.

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  4. Lost in Provence

    Dear Heather

    Yes indeed thank goodness for mysteries. I loved my encounter and he/she brought such joy to my day.
    Wishing you a peaceful weekend
    Helenxx

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  5. Love of the Sea

    Yes manatees are graceful and gentle.
    I was told I should have turned my garden hose on and he would have drank from it. Someone said I should have fed him lettuce leaves, but I was star struck and just looked at him.
    Thank you for commenting
    Helen xx

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  6. Kerrie of Sea Cottage

    It was indeed a rare and beautiful encounter.

    Thank you for your compliment on Our Lady - I felt inspired to paint her, her feast day is December 8th.The local newspapers carried the image of Our Lady from my blog of last week together with the gift of food article.

    Fun

    I love your blog and it is a joy visiting you
    Helen xx

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  7. What a wonderful gift of a visit...how sweet that this little one came by to see you, I do hope he/she comes back, it would be very speical to have such a friend.
    Thank you Helen for your caring comments concerning my mother...they were a world of comfort and a blessing!
    Your studio and it's light are wonderful...
    xo J~

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  8. Beautiful work Helen!!Love the image of the manatee, such majestic creatures.

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  9. What an experience. A manatee in your garden!
    I was intrigued by your green Madonna. We have a ceramic plaque set high on the south wall of our new house. It shows, in relief, a Madonna in a green robe with Jesus on her lap. Does it signify something special do you know?

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  10. What a delightful blog Helen.
    I cannot imagine what it must be like, to see a Manatee in your back garden.
    I think your green wrap on our lady is beautiful..why not..she is always in blue..its a lovely painting.
    How simply great to have a studio with light and such a view.
    Hope the "little angel " comes back.
    wish you a happy Sunday
    val

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  11. No Helen, I have never met a Manatee. How lovely that you were interrupted by such an angel. Your 'Lady of the streets' painting looks lovely,I hopeyou were inspired to finish her?

    Your place is looking wonderfully festive. I adore the sheep on the mantle, so right for Christmas, did you paint them?

    Thankyou for your recent visit and kind remarks. Lois and I were thrilled to get Abby's lovely parcel.Enjoy the run-up to Christmas, sounds like you've got it all going on.With much love, Linda x

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  12. Hello Helen
    What a wonderful experience for you, and as I have never been close to a manatee, then would have been thrilled to see one too.
    Your home is looking very beautiful with all your decorations, and the paintings are simply wonderful, I particularly love the sheep.
    I hope you are having an enjoyable weekend.
    Love, Abby xx

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  13. O, what a surprise! I had to look in the dictionary what manatee means... no, I have never met one but I have heard about them of course! What a story! You really are lucky, aren't you? xxx Christa

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  14. Mmmmmh..did someone mention Venice..here I am! :)
    Hello Helen, thank you very much for popping by my blog some days ago!
    Happy December!
    Michela x

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  15. Great visit and truth be told angels are everywhere and come in all forms. The lucky ones recognize this from the moment the visit happens. I too have encountered many.

    Bette

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  16. Helen,

    I so enjoyed reading your post. But I have to tell you: the light in your studio doesn't come from the Canal... it comes from withing you and also exudes from your paintings: SO MUCH LIGHT AND SO MUCH WARMTH! I just love your oranges, your reds and your blues, Helen!

    Your house looks lovely, as you get ready for your busy Christmas engagements. And I love the view from your studio (I can see a little bit, but I can imagine the rest!)That baby manatee:just gorgeous!

    Thank you for sharing a very sweet and colourful "slice" of your life, Helen!I always enjoy reading "you!"

    ANNA
    xxx

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  17. Your house looks beautiful and truly decorated by an "artist".

    A v. special artist judging by your visitor.

    xo Jane

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  18. How delightful to encounter this special angel Helen. Moments like this make life so joyous.
    Love your paintings...you are very talented.
    xx

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  19. 'I get south facing light and reflections from the canal, which is an extension of the intercoastal waterway which connects to the Gulf of Mexico.'

    I swear I could feel a coastal breeze on my face when I read this.

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  20. What a wonderful post! Thank you very much for sharing photos of your studio. It looks like an incredibly beautiful setting. I have never seen a manatee in real life. You are very lucky to have seen one. They seem so peaceful!
    Best wishes,
    Louise

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  21. Dear Helen,

    What a wonderful intrusion!! To have such a lovely animal swimming so close by. It must have given you lots of energy and inspiration :-)!

    Good luck with the painting!

    Lieve groet, Madelief x

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  22. What a wonderful experience Helen. We have met quite a few Manatees when we have been to Florida..... I LOVE them. They seem such gentle souls. You are so very lucky to live where you do Helen.
    ....and, your house is looking very festive too. XXXX

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  23. Vad mysigt det lät när du skrev att du ägnat dig åt att juldekorera! :)

    Dina tavlor ser underbart vackra ut! :) Lyckliga ni som har ljus som tillåter skapande... här är det oftast ganska mörkt nu!

    Ha en fin fortsättning på veckan!!!

    Stor kram♥ Maria

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  24. Thank you so much for passing by my blog! Christmas is indeed coming. I do hope you have a magnificent time with friends and family and that it is safe too. Goodluck with the upcoming exhibition! Would love to hear how it goes!

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  25. What a darling post! I have seen manatees in Florida a few years back, at one of my first visits ever to this beautiful country!
    I believe it was 1986.
    I had never seen animals like that before.

    But your face to face meeting is special indeed!
    Merry Christmas, your artwork and your holiday spirit filled house are all wonderful!

    xoxo

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  26. Such a beautiful encounter with your sweet visitor. So different than the visitors we would have here. I love the quality of light in your studio.

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  27. 24 Corners

    It was special to meet the manatee, face to face. They are rare and this is the 2nd time in 20 years that I have seen one. Dolphins are a more common sight.

    Your mother sounds lovely

    Helenxx

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  28. What a wonderful post to read! And YES...we met a manatee last spring! Quite by accident! We stood on the same beach this weekend and talked about seeing this amazing creature. My husband and I both saw it swim by...gracefully coming out of the water...back in....then out...until it was out of sight! We couldn't believe our eyes! They really are awesome! ♥

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  29. Hi Steve

    Thanks for visiting. I know with your camera skills you would have loved watching and capturing him on film
    Helen xx

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  30. Hi Lucille

    I love your description of the plaque on your new home, I am afraid I do not know the significance of the green robe on the Blessed Virgin. I wonder if it is our Lady of Guadaloupe?Thanks for visiting.

    Helenxx

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  31. Val's Alentejo blog

    Hi Val

    I treasure my studio. The light is spectacular and it is always bright and sunny. Thank you for your kind words on my art and blog. It is rare for a manatee to visit our canal and I do hope he makes a habit of visiting me.

    Helen xx

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  32. Flowers on my Table

    Hello Linda

    I was indeed inspired and have finished my painting. The background is gilded and I will tone down the gold with some glazes.
    The sheep on my mantle is a painting by my first teacher Willi Wildman. I studied with Willi for many years and have 2 paintings which I purchased over time. I just love them.
    Hope your week is spectacular.
    Helen xx

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  33. My Spotty Pony

    Hello Abby

    Thank you for your kind compliments on my home. I treasure my art and object collected through the years.
    The sheep painting is by my first art teacher and I love it. I was with her when she painted it.The sheep were at Keady Market in Ontario.She did original sketch and tone values at the market and then completed it in the studio. It holds wonderful memories.
    Hope your week is going very well and that Spotty is in good health
    Helen xx

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  34. Emilie's Daughter

    Hello Christa

    I was indeed very lucky to meet the manatee. They are rare even in this area. They are gentle giants and live on plants.
    I will be thrilled when he returns.

    My best
    Helen xx

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  35. A garden outside Venice

    Hello Michaela

    It is always interesting to visit you my Venetian friend. You live in my favourite city in the world and I also live on a canal.
    Wishing you a joyful week

    Helen xx

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  36. Ideezine

    Hello Bette

    What you say, I do believe, in that angels come in all forms and I have met them in the most surprising places.

    Thank you for your presence.

    Helen xx

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  37. Hello Anna

    Thank you for such kind words. You are the one who is full of light, your kindness and humour brightens my day.

    May the light and sunshine continue to illuminate all that you do

    Helenxx

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  38. Flwrjane

    Thank you for paying me such a high compliment - and this coming from one incredible floral designer, well, I am truly honoured.

    My visitor was indeed special.

    May your week continue to blossom
    Helen xx

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  39. Red Roses and Crystal

    Thank you for your approval of my art.
    I truly appreciate your visit and kindness
    Helen xx

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  40. Hello Suze

    May a gentle breeze always be with you as your creatively go through your days

    Your kindness is much appreciated.

    Helenxx

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  41. Louise at Cosmetic bee

    Hello Louise

    Thank you for visiting and approving of my studio. I do love it and I cannot wait to spend time in it. The view is very special and is always different depending on the colour of the ocean and currents.

    My best
    Helen xx

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  42. Madelief

    It was indeed so special to have him so close. They are truly unique and gentle creatures. We freqently have dolphins swim by and they, too, are special. My painting is very close to completion.

    Have a wonderful week
    Helen xx

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  43. Jacqueline @ Home

    How great that you met manatees when in Florida. Were they in the ocean or did you meet the two legged variety? (I'm being silly now)
    Seriously, so glad you have met them.
    My house is taking shape and is a work in progress.
    Hope your week is spectacular.
    Helen xx

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  44. Elizabeth Rose Stanton

    Thank you Elizabeth Rose and I do feel lucky.

    My best
    Helen xx

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  45. Hello Maria

    Thank you kindly for visiting.

    Fondest wishes

    Helen xx

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  46. Rabbit Town Annimator

    Thank you for your kind and good wishes on my upcoming exhibition.
    It is always very exciting preparing and fussing over exact frames for each piece.

    My best
    Helen xx

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  47. Victoria Art

    I am so pleased you are familiar with manatee. Your kind comments on my home and artwork are truly appreciated.

    Fond wishes
    Helen xx

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  48. In My Wild Eden

    I do love my studio and the light. It is alwsys a joy to step in and there is always a heron, egret or a bird that visits.

    Helenxx

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  49. Lavender Dreamer

    I knew somehow that you would have seen one, here in the Sunshine State.
    No matter how often one sees a manatee it still thrills.
    Thank you for your visit.

    Helen xx

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  50. You have seized beautiful details of your house. And about art/paintings; I love it, if there is much of it, the other option is to only have few, carefully chosen pieces.
    I have never seen a manatee, if I saw one, I´d probably get a shock for beginners. But as people over here say, they are very gentle.
    Being here, I wish to thank you for the many visits you have made over to my blog. I feel honored.
    Wishing you a happy pre-Christmas time : )

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  51. OH this has to be my favorite sea creature next to DOLPHINS and BELUGA WHALES!!!! Oh Helen, what magic! And thank you for coming to visit me and my wonder horse; I dream of having a white horse....ahhhh....

    Enjoy this magical moment dearest. Anita

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  52. I love your beautiful work, Helen. What a delight to have a surprise visitor! I haven't met any manatee before but I heard they are kind creatures.

    Have a beautiful day, Helen!

    Jessie
    www.mixandchic.com

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  53. During a trip to Florida while I was in College, I stayed for awhile with a fellow whol lived on a boat and we fed manatees bread (probably an ecologically unsound practice). Beautiful creaetures.

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  54. Metscan

    Helle Mette

    I think if you saw a manatee you would likely join him in the water. There is an area not far from here where people actually swim with the manatee

    Your blog always inspires and interests.

    Helen xx

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  55. Castles Crowns and Cottages

    Dearest Anita

    I share your love for dolphins, whales and horses. Actually I love all animals. We can learn so much by observing them.

    I am in the Christmas spirit and it is beautiful and may the joys be with you too Anita - looking forward to your next post

    Helen xx

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  56. Hello Jessie

    Thank you for your flattering comments on my art. It means a lot to me. I hope you visit Florida and experience a visit with a manatee

    Helen x

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  57. Bagman and Buter

    Welcome and thank you for following my blog.

    How much fun it must have been living on a boat and feeding manatee. I think giving them bread as a treat was ok

    Helen xx

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  58. You are lucky indeed. Your home is in such a beautiful location. What a wonderful way to have an encounter. Maybe you'll have another visit and not be so surprised. Enjoy your weekend.

    ~Emily
    The French Hutch

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  59. wasn't that a pleasant visit? great post!

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  60. That's the loveliest interruption!
    Warm weekend wishes to you Helen x

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  61. What a beautiful post this is Helen, and your home looks just beautiful!

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