Wednesday, April 18, 2012

All Work and No Play is not good enough

Artists Helen and Violetta
The trend for portraits of homes and meaningful vistas continues.  We are hearing more young people express their desire to own and collect original paintings and art that is meaningful and recognizable to them.    With temperatures in the 80's painting outdoors requires wardrobe planning.  Shade is always desirable and sunblock.
Artists Mary Rose and Violetta
One Jewish client(Mr. X a heart transplant surgeon  and Susan a G.P.)  who have become friends and visit our home when in town, loved this recent portrait "Our Lady of the Streets in Green Robe" when he visited at New Year's.

 He phoned me following their visit and asked if I would do a portrait of a Mother & Child (but not include the head dress as shown in the Blessed Mother painting)  as a surprise gift for his wife.  He commented, and we agree, that if his wife were single she would likely be running a large orphanage somewhere in the world.  Her love and dedication to children and causes is so great.  When I asked for images of his wife as a younger woman and mother,  he refused and said "I would prefer if you just painted a mother and child and  I know I will like it".   A tall order, a lot of trust and I must say nervousness on my part.

A Mother's Love - Susan & Her Child - I feel resembles Susan as a young woman and the baby Mr. X as a child.

I can breathe deeply and say he loved it and knows exactly where it will be hung in his home

I spied this molding and felt this frame would be flattering to the subject.

Back to the street to paint another session in our latest triptych - one panel painted by each artist when put together forms one cohesive scene.

Helen Tilston paints outdoors, temp 88 degrees

Now time to watch the sunset and be with our good friends
Grand-children at Holmes cottage


All ages gather on the porch for dinner

Architects in serious discussion
The sunset reflects on the windows
How was your week?   Do you agree that a frame should enhance the piece of art or must it match your decor?

75 comments:

  1. What an enjoyable life you have, painting outdoors, absorbing the air, heat, rise and fall of the sun. An umbrella setup is a must, I see.

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    1. Hello Becky

      I thank God for the life I have and I am truly grateful and thankful each day. There are indeed challenges when painting outdoors. I got a few souvenirs from the fire ants too and some spurs. The umbrella is a must to keep the sun away and also to minimize the glare on the canvas and to read tones correctly.
      Have a wonderful week
      Helen xx

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  2. Hello Helen:
    It is reassuring to know that more people across the age range are coming to appreciate the beauty of an original art work. In these days where fashion, celebrity and the latest technology are the new 'false gods' it is such a joy to feel that there are more and more who seek a deeper meaning and a spirituality in their lives which is expressed through Art in all its forms.

    Your painting of the woman and child has such immense tenderness. We are not at all surprised that your client loved it at first sight. Certainly a most nerve wracking commission, but you have completed it triumphantly in our view.

    And, how wonderful at the end of the day to be able to relax in such a beautiful and calming setting, surrounded by friends and family. Perfect!!

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance

      Yes, many of the younger generation of late 20's early 30's are surprisingly sophisticated in their taste. In my view, it seems they make do with less but are select in choosing quality.
      One commented that unlike his father he will move more frequently between jobs and States and wants to acquire meaningful items.

      Thank you for being so supportive and complimentary of my art. I was nerve wracking but sometimes this type of work is good to challenge us out of our comfort zone.

      I hope some day you visit the Gulf of Mexico and we shall put your name on one of the chairs on the porch and talk long after the sun sets.

      Wishing you a week of joy
      Helen xx

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  3. Beautiful art work Helen and how lovely to be painting out of doors. Our weather here in the UK is dreadful, wet and cold not a good combination! You all look so relaxed sitting on the porch in the last two pictures, I wish I could join you. Enjoy the rest of your week.
    Jo xx

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    1. Hello Jo

      How kind of you to speak such words. Sorry to hear your weather is inclement in the U.K.

      We watch many sunsets on this porch, our friend's cottage. It is the most perfect setting and also there are no mosquitoes.
      I will wish for the sun to shine on you
      Helenxx

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  4. Beautiful work Helen, and I loved the other one too. I think the frame should match the painting. It would be great if it matched both the painting and the decor.
    Weekend was busy...we went to the Nethercut museum and the Pasadena Showcase House...I loved seeing beauty everywhere....xx

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    1. Hello Mona

      Thank you for your kindness and words of approval. You make a good point. It always amazes me when visiting a museum to note the variations in picture frames, yet when art is hung with thought, it seems to work in harmony.
      Your weekend sounded eventful and enlightening. I bet Ollie and Augustus wondered where you were.

      Helen xx

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  5. The piece is wonderful, and I agree the molding you selected does enhance the painting. How wonderful you could enjoy the sunset with family and friends at the end of the day. Bonnie

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    1. Hello Bonnie

      Thank you for your visit and approval of my painting and frame.

      There is no better than to enjoy dinner and sunset with good friends of all ages.

      Hope your week is spectacular

      Helenxx

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  6. Aren't the Hattats wonderful, Helen? They have expressed what I wanted to far better than I could have hoped for!

    I love what romantic figures you ladies make in your flowing skirts. Such gentleness as is seen in your beautiful painting.
    xo,
    Heather

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    1. Hello Heather
      Yes the Hattatt's are brilliant writers and with so much feeling and love. I also admire your writing ability Heather. You exude warmth and love and I admire your keen eye when you travel. You have the ability to get to the heart of the matter.
      Incidentally, the young man with the dark hair in the photo is, like you, a Yale grad.
      Hope the sun is shining in Provence
      Helen xx

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  7. Dear Helen,

    I love your interpretation of "A Mother's Love" as a theme for your painting. The intensity and the depth of the love between mother and baby is intensified by the "lack" of eyes. This allows us to look at the image and concentrate on the love which is there, and it is deep love, expressed more by the hands of the subjects, than the look in their eyes. The baby's eyes are not actually visible, but we can feel the intensity, the sense of peace, fulfillment and serenity which pervades the hearts and minds of both mother and baby.

    This is a beautiful painting, Helen, full of messages about love, feeling secure and protected. I can still remember falling asleep on my mum's chest, when I was a child. She was very "soft", and her skin always smelt good. She used to wear a gold chain with a largish pendant representing Mary and the baby, which she gave me, when my father died.

    Going back to your painting, Helen, it was a good idea to paint an ordinary mother and child, as I feel that this interpretation is much more intimate and realistic, than a religious one. It's a nice painting, Helen and it would have been lovely even without a frame.

    I believe that paintings are creations, have a life of their own and should be respected in their uniqueness. Matching a work of art to the decor of a room would be insulting. There are artist, though, who are prepared to "sell" their art and will paint a pink sun, to match pink curtains, if paid a fat commission.

    Van Gogh died age 34... he only ever sold one painting!

    CIAO, HELEN!

    I enjoyed your post.

    ANNA

    xxx

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    1. Dearest Anna

      How can I have any secrets from you Anna? Your keen eye and passionate and compassionate heart discover all my inner feelings and motives for painting. I love you for this observation Anna and also for several other reasons, too numerous to mention.
      I truly hope I captured the love, security and protection that the baby would feel. I love the image of you snuggled to your mother's bosom and I can just envisage this scene and the gold chain and medal. How beautiful that you have this medal and more importantly the memory of your dear mother.

      I am laughing at your comment on an artist painting a pink sun to match pink curtains. A furniture store owner once asked me to paint such images. I think I lost her business card!!!

      Poor Van Gogh, I love his work and what a shame he was not understood or appreciated more.

      I will leave you Anna and wish you a joyful week

      Helen xx

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  8. The painting looks beautiful Helen. The faces of the mother and baby look so serene!

    Each time I see you painting on one of the photo's I am amazed how stylish you look. Somehow I always thought painters wore only old clothes full of stains ;-)!

    Wish you a happy day!

    Madelief x

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    1. Hello dear Madelief

      Thank you for your observation and kind words of support. I hope I captured serenity in the painting.

      I worked in fashion and design for a number of years. I love to dress well and I love to paint and I try and do both. Having said that, I have some paint spots on my outfits.

      Wishing you a joyful day too

      Helen xx

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  9. Art is subjective. You are a true artist Helen, once again you have painted a most tranquile mother and child . Its most fitting for any wall. mother and child . you have painted it so well.
    No, a painting should not match the room. That is tacky. Whatever one thinks looks good..thats what it should be.
    So glad that your client liked it.
    Everyone looks so happy out on the porch.
    As always you look so lovely when you are outdoors painting.
    lovely post
    thank you Helen
    happy days
    val

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    1. Hello Valerie

      I thank you for your validation of my art. I appreciate this from you as a fellow artist.

      We had a lovely evening on the porch and talked till the stars and moon shone brightly.

      Thank you for your good wishes and compliments on my wardrobe.

      My best

      Helen xx

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  10. Holmes cottage is beautiful, Helen - the sunshine on the fresh white furniture is so appealing, and you clearly had good company. And what a wonderful painting, personal to you as well as to your client and the recipient, a bond between all three of you. The woman's face is so serene.

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    1. Hello Mise

      Yes, Holmes cottage is beautiful and I know you would love it.
      This week on my second blog, www.pleinairecottageartists.com, I featued some more images. I will also write more on it next week with interior shots and some very unique artwork. So as they say on RTE, "stay tuned"

      Thanks for your observation on my painting and how beautifully you have worded the connection between the three of us.

      Have a wonderful week Mise
      xx

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  11. The mother and child painting is lovely, evoking warmth and tenderness. I think the frame has to fit the picture.

    Nice to hear your observations about young people and art. I am seeing that with antique furniture too--they are looking for something solid and unique instead of something from ikea or pottery barn that everyone else has.

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    1. Hello Jen

      Thank you for approving of my painting and its frame.

      I am not surprised to read your observation of young folks wanting antique furniture and meaningful pieces. This is wonderful and also I might add there are some young brilliant minds ready to take over the running of the world and they will manage so much better than our generation.

      My best
      Helen xx

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  12. I am so touched by this post. Your talent is amazing. Truly.

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    1. Why thank you very kindly my friend.
      Helenxx

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  13. This is a beautiful painting Helen. I must admit that if I were an artist I'd be filled with anxiety after gaining a commission.
    The new owners must feel so very pleased with your stunning work.
    xx

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    1. Hello Annie

      There is indeed much anxiety in commissioned work. It does however, take one out of their comfort zone and there is always new knowledge gained. It pleases me that he liked the painting.
      Hope you have a wonderful weekend
      Helen xx

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  14. Hi Helen: My comment just bounced away, so I'll try again. My favorite treatment is Mary Cassatt's Breakfast in Bed. Thanks for visiting our High Point Post.
    Best,
    Liz

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    1. Hello Liz

      Enjoy your stay at High Point. I also like Mary Cassett's paintings and in particular this one. I had not seen it before.Many thanks

      Helen xx

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  15. Hi Helen: My comment just bounced away, so I'll try again. My favorite treatment is Mary Cassatt's Breakfast in Bed. Thanks for visiting our High Point Post.
    Best,
    Liz

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  16. How beautiful your painting is! Love the expression on her face! It looks so peaceful and calm. I love the other painting too. Glad to see your ouside photos. All of them look happy enjoying their lives to the fullest!

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    1. Hello Sapphire

      Thank you for your observation and kindness. It is indeed delightful to be able to enjoy the beautiful spring sunshine, although it is quite hot presently. Hope you are enjoying Spring time in Japan and I know there must be incredible blossoms.

      Helen xx

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  17. Helen, this portrait is beyond beautiful, and what a wonderful story behind it. His faith in you does not surprise me in the least. You are truly so talented.
    I wish you a beautiful day ahead.
    xo.

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    1. Hello Lisa

      You speak so kindly and pay me such a compliment. I am particularly flattered when such words come from a famous artist, namely Lisa Gordon.

      Wishing you a weekend full of joy
      Helen xx

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  18. Helen,
    Your painting of mother and child is just beautiful...It conjures up so many emotions a mother has for her child...stunning really. I love the frame that you chose...I think the frame (if there is one at all) must be suited to the piece and not the decor.

    The porch looks like the perfect place to enjoy the sunset with family and friends.
    xo
    annie

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    1. Hello Annie
      Thank you so much for your kindness and support of my art and the frame used. Yes gallery wrapped, unframed paintings are also quite stunning and in particular in modern settings.
      The porch is a special place and lots of stories, laughter and Blue Grass Music is played here. The sunsets are also most memorable.

      Helen xx

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  19. Oh, Helen....your 'Lady of the streets in green robe' is really, really beautiful - really moving! So is the other one, too, absolutely, of course but that first one particularly speaks to me! (I do very much wonder if my impressions would be switched around if I had seen them in the opposite order - I think that I have to get over the shock of liking the first before I can take in the beautiful second one. If that makes sense...)

    Should a frame match the painting or the room? Well! Just my two cents =] but, if a work of art speaks to someone's heart and their space is, also, a reflection of them, then, even if it seems at odds or is eclectic, I think that there's a way to make it both work and to let the frame help the art sing within its surroundings.

    Best wishes... =]

    Katy Noelle xo

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    1. Hello Katy
      Thank you kindly for providing your opinion on both Our Lady of the Streets and the portrait of Susan. I was inspired to paint Our Lady of the Streets when one day in the city I stopped and spoke to a young expectant mother who was begging and clearly not in a good place. Her face remained in my memory and the next morning I painted Our Lady of the Streets.

      I agree with your opinion on picture frames and, like museums, where the frame enhances the painting, it actaully works.

      Wishing you a beautiful weekend
      Helen xx

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  20. Your painting of mother and child is beautiful and the frame you chose is perfect. I also believe the frame should enhance the work of art that resides within it. This was a wonderful post - I felt more relaxed just reading it! Thank you for sharing the lovely photos!

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  21. Hello Louise

    Thank you for taking the time to comment and give your opinion of frames in relation to artwork.

    The porch at our friend's house is always a treat and as your know by the ocean it is always different and the rhythm of the waves enhance ones mood.

    Hope you have a beautiful weekend
    Helen xx

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  22. The painting of mother and child, and the story behind it , are both very touching. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hello Duta
      A warm welcome to my blog and thank you for following.

      Your kind compliments on my post and art work are truly appreciated.

      Enjoy what remains of the weekend.

      Helen x

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  23. Hello Helen! Such a wonderful blog you have here. The painting of the mother and child is beautiful. I love the brush strokes and the closed eyes on both the faces; it speaks volumes about their eternal bond. Great piece of work!

    P.S. I love that frame too!

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    1. Hello Suman and a warm welome to my blog. Thank you for following.

      That you for your observation of my painting. I hope what you said is conveyed. Many thanks.

      Helen xx

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  24. Helen your painting sessions always look so incredibly civilised and ladylike, I still don't understand how you manage to contain the paint to the canvas and not get covered yourself!
    A tall order, beautifully executed, well done!
    Sharon
    xx

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    1. Hello Sharon

      We do manage to get the odd Cadmium Red or Veridian Green on our clothing, however, if washed out that day somehow most will remove.
      It was indeed an unusual and tall order and thank you for your approval and kindness.

      Helen xx

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  25. Helen dearest, I got captivated and lost in that SUNSET! Oh how I miss being by the shore. Living in Massachusetts, we lived right across the street from the beach! I am now in Minnesota, but we have many lovely lakes.

    Hmmmm.....good question about the frame. I think for me, the frame has to match my décor, besides, the art I have chosen for my home is traditional French style, so the Louis XV style frames I have are perfect!But there is one room where though it is a château style room, the pencil sketches are in simple, thin gold frames and it is a perfect match!

    Thank you so much for coming by to visit; today I had silence, got a chance to prepare for meeting with a local shop next week to discuss selling my wares and I am loving my weekend!

    PEACE! Anita

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    1. Hello dear Anita

      The ocean is magnetic and draws many to her shore. My childlike love for the ocean I blame on being born on the west coast of Ireland. Our house was 50 yards from the ocean. We literally "watched the sun go down on Galway Bay" as the song states.

      I agree with your choice of frame for the sketches and yes they must be simple.

      Wishing you much success in your meeting.

      Helen x

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  26. I love to see your photos of the en plein aire artists in action, easels and sun umbrellas and pretty clothes set a gainst the bright blue sky - it makes a picture in itself in the contrasting deep shade and bright sunlight!
    Your painting of mother and child is beautiful - I'm sure they were both so happy to have that for their home.
    Thanks for sharing all these lovely photos Helen.
    Have a great weekend
    Gill x

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    1. Hello Gill

      Thank you for your kind words. All three of us worked in fashion and fashion design at different stages of our career and we still love nice clothing. The hot sun also determines how we dress and we find skirts and dresses to be infinitely cooler.Hats are a must too and umbrellas.

      Thank you for your kind words on the mother and child painting. I am happy they liked it.

      Wishing you a great Sunday

      Helen xx

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  27. That really is a wonderful painting of a mother and child. And yes, I also think that the frame would fit the painting beautifully.

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    1. Hello Friko

      A big warm welcome to my blog and thank you for following.
      I thank you for your validation of my art. Yes when one looks at a museum collection, the frame enhances the art and yet the room flows and the wall colour unites the artwork
      Thanks for stopping in
      Helen xx

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  28. I definitely agree that the frame must enhance the painting! Once again you did such a fantastic piece of art, Helen! I was laughing when I read that you have to plan what you wear in these temperatures and you do good to wear sunblock! The family gathering looks fun and very relaxing! Wishing you a wonderful start into the new week! Christa PS. It is not ice on the car - before I took the photo there was a spell of rain. Ciao

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    1. Hello Christa

      Welcome back from Cinque Terra and thanks for clearing up the issue of snow versus rain.

      Yes indeed sunblock is essential and reapplied too. Linen and light weight cotton is also a winning combination.

      Thanks for your visit
      Helen xx

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  29. What a wonderful setting to paint! I would love to see you doing what you do so very well, xo Kathysue

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    1. Hello Kathysue

      I would be happy to have you visit when I am painting. Yes our little part of Paradise is just beautiful
      Have a wonderful day
      Helenxx

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  30. Gorgeous setting for painting and you have captured the vivid sunset beautifully with your camera! Your mother and child piece is stunning and I know that it will be cherished for generations. Bravo!

    Bises,
    Genie

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    1. Hello Genie
      You speak with such kind and soft words. I thank you and I have had emails from the now owners of the painting telling me they love it and it brings joy each time they enter the room.
      I am so grateful for this too.

      Helen xx

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  31. I find it amazing, that you can work under the hot sun ( despite the shade of a parasol). Don´t the colors melt?
    To answer your question, I pay especial care to the frames of a painting, as they have to fit both the painting and the decor of the room/house.
    I wish to hang only paintings, which " speak " to me, so I am able to part even of an inherited painting, if I don´t like it.
    Since you are somewhat aware of my past, you might understand, that paintings from my childhood home are not hanging on my walls. I only have one, which I connect with my grandfather, whom I liked in a special way.

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    1. Hello Mette
      I paint in oil and it is unaffected by climate.

      I totally agree with you on your thoughts on frames and hanging only art work which speaks to you. Sometimes it is not good to inherit artwork as it is not the choice of the new owner. Art is personal.

      My best for a great day

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  32. What a gorgeous painting. I can almost feel the love of the mother and child. I think a frame should definitely enhance, but not overwhelm the artwork. Gorgeous work as always, Helen - such a talent!

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    1. Thank you very much for your kind compliment. It delights me to read that you feel the love of the mother and child in my painting, I had hoped to deliver that message.
      Wishing you a day of beauty
      Helen xx

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    1. I thank you,most sincerely, my fellow artist. This means a lot coming from you.

      Helenxx

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  34. very peaceful and touching The bond between mother and child is deep and well expressed here. What a treasures gift you have. Hope you joy many more people with your work

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    1. Hello Marja

      Many thanks for your words of softness and goodness. I hope to continue learning and growing in my art.

      Have a brilliant day
      Helen xx

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  35. Dear Helen,
    such a beautiful place, that porch in your last pictures! I do like indeed your painting of the mother and child. It´s significant, I guess, that you used that pretty blue colour for her ´dress´; blue always has been the colour of wisdom (especially for our Lady).
    Thank you so much for your kind visits, every time again. I appreciate that a lot.
    Many greetings, Marjolijn

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    1. Hello Marjolijn

      I thank you for visiting and your company is always welcome here.
      I have learned from you, I needed to be reminded that blue represents wisdom, especially when worn by Our Lady.

      It is always my pleasure to visit your beautiful blog

      Helen xx

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  36. Helen,

    Lots of sharing here. How wonderful! Love the paintings and you did a beautiful job on the Mother with child it's heartfelt. I took 2 years of art framing and do understand the relationship between the art and frame as they are spearate BUT become one when united.

    In my experiences of shopping with clients for art, studying art, and enjoying it so much. That when it time to add art to your home it's important to work around the art and unite it in a room or give it it's own unique space.

    Bette

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    1. Hello Bette

      How interesting and what a marvelous education you have in learning the art of framing. "They are separate but come united" that speaks so wonderfully.
      Your clients are most fortunate to have your knowledge and keen eye.

      Helen xx

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  37. Very beautiful paintings. The mother and child painting evokes emotion and I can feel the love between the two subjects. You are definitely very gifted, Helen.

    Thanks for your frequent visits to my blog, I really appreciate it.

    P/S: By the way, the first starburst mirror is my most favorite too. :)

    Have a lovely day!

    Jessie
    www.mixandchic.com

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    1. Hello Jessie

      Thank you for visiting. I always enjoy your posts and loved that mirror too.

      Your kind words are much appreciated and I will continue to strive and work to constantly keep improving my painting.

      Helen

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  38. What a beautiful paintings you make!! thanks for visiting my blog....love from me....xxx..

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    1. And many thanks for following my blog - your visit means much to me.

      My best wishes for a day full of delight

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  39. hi Helen! So lovely to meet you. I feel very strongly that a frame should always compliment (but never detract from) the painting, never the decor. I've seen so many lovely paintings that were made less because of the poor choice of framing- frames too busy, the wrong color/style...
    What a gift to your friend and his wife.... so happy they loved it!
    all my best,
    joan

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  40. Oh Helen - what a beautiful painting - the frame is perfect - they both must have been very happy - for me the frame is about the painting - decors find themselves if filled with things you love - have a very good week xxx

    http://fashionandfrank.blogspot.co.uk/

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