Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer in the City and day trips to the country

Our long time and close friends moved to their country property some six years ago.  Their 50 acre property is situated on a hillside approximately one hour east of Toronto.  Nine horses, two dogs and three barn cats share the space.  Tuscany come to mind as we approach their home.  Two streams of fresh spring water flow through the property.

J outlines the property line to Helen
Horses happily grazing
Both J and O are excellent cooks and lunch was a feast of fresh farm and some home grown
vegetables

Bleu and Jolie guard the fridge


The century old home has been renovated  using salvaged material and large picture windows have been installed to achieve maximum light.  From the kitchen window one can watch the horses travel to and from  the barn.

The day went by all too quickly and we promised we would get together again very soon.


I am painting in encaustic which is beeswax and oil

Summer Blessings original encaustic by Helen Tilston


Are you catching up with friends this summer?



68 comments:

  1. The area is absolutely lovely. I am immediately drawn to the blue sky. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Bonnie

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    1. Hello Bonnie

      It was indeed the perfect summer day. We shall hold the memory fondly in our hearts.

      Wishing you a great week

      Helenxx

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  2. This looks amazing. I really liked the photo.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. Hello Gina

      Hello Gina and welcome to my blog.
      The countryside is quite spectacular in this area.

      Have a great week

      Helen xx

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  3. That property really does resemble Tuscany (or at least the photos I've seen of it). What a lovely place to spend some summer time.
    Summer blessings is a great title for your painting.

    Happy Canada Day!

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    1. Hello Lorrie

      Thank you for the Canada Day greeting. I return the good wishes.

      There is one point on the road, just before arrival where it looks like Tuscany. There was a car behind me and we were unable to get the image from this point, next time I will.

      Wishing you a week of joy

      Helen xx

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  4. Ooh, I am fascniated by your painting and the depth of encaustic--must read up more about that! And what a fantastic day and so close to home. Friends, good food, beautiful scenery, my it doesn't get much better than that now does it?

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    1. Hello Heather

      Encaustic is a wonderful medium, I was first attracted to it at MOMA, when I saw Jasper John's "the American Flag". The image moved me greatly and many years later a teacher appeared. The studio needs an open space, preferably a shed works best (your house which you featured last week would be perfect) The fumes can be toxic otherwise.

      Our day in the country will be filed away as one of the highlights of 2012.

      To a glorious week

      Helen xx

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  5. Dear Helen, the place is magnificent . Thank you for comparing it with historic Tuscany! The place is gorgeous, very green and just beautiful! To me, it looks very English, which is a huge compliment, as the countryside in England is quite unique!

    As you probably know, in a few days (not sure when exactly) we'll be off to our house in Italy, to spend the rest of the Summer there.

    I don't actually have friends in Italy, anymore, except one or two, but I do have a super family! Three years ago, some friends from England came to stay with us, and we had such a fantastic time, just going out, eating, drinking... doing things! Then we all went to Rome and stayed at this really beautiful hotel, with antique furniture, paintings, red velvet chairs... so nice! We always stay there, when in Rome.

    I am looking forward to spending a bit of time with my family... just us, together, with lovely food and laughter. We are trying to stay close, now our parents have both passed away. I think they would be happy to know we all love each other and always remember them, when we are together. It's going to be a celebration, because we do have a lot to celebrate!

    Your Summer Blessings encaustic painting is very original and certainly different from your usual style, so full of colour and never abstract. But I like this painting... I keep thinking it represents two old walls, like the ones you see in Pompeii, meeting in the middle, to make a corner. I can see a corner, which is not actually there, is it? The dark vertical line towards the left creates that illusion. Love the blues, and I think there's something else there still trying to come out, that I can't see, but I know it's there! Am I crazy?

    HAPPY SUNDAY

    ANNA
    xx

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    1. Hello Anna

      So lovely to hear from you. Our day at "the ranch" was superb and lots of fun and reminiscing. I have known J for close to 40 years, knew his late parents too. He knew my late parents too. It is wonderful to recall the fun stories of the past and giggle.

      Your home in Italy sounds idyllic and I will be so anxious to read all about it in your blog. You are so right, it is vitally important to keep the family connection. It is what all parents want of their children.

      You have such a wonderful eye and thank you for the indepth study of my encaustic painting. Anna you have a way of reading what is in my heart. Thank you so much

      Have a glorious week

      Helenxx

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  6. Now that's a summer place. I had no idea Toronto was so lovely in the countryside. What an idealistic place to paint.
    Sam

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    1. Hello Sam

      There are some beautiful well kept secrets in Ontario. I believe the Tourist Board likes to keep secrets. Many Americans living near the border also know the secrets and many come across and several own property in Ontario.

      Wishing you a week of joy

      Helen xx

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  7. lovely friends you have~~with a lovely home/landscape:)
    yes, we're catching up with friends this summer...sweet times...now that it's july, we'll meet up fo jazz-in-july outdoor concerts where we can bring food and dine al fresco :)

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    1. Hello Becky

      Thank you for saying it, our friends are very special and we hold them dear to our hearts.

      You have an exciting line up of events and gatherings with friends. The summer goes by so fast it is important to set dates

      Wishing you a new week full of joy

      Helen xx

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  8. What a lovely day you must have had Helen. The house and surrounding countryside look idyllic. Perfect for a day out! We will be catching up with friends and family this summer. We plan to have several tea and dinner parties in the garden. I already look forward to them very much. This Wednesday I will have some colleagues and friends for tea :-)! I hope the weather will be ok!

    Have a lovely new week!

    Madelief x

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    1. Hello Madelief

      You said it, it was indeed a very special day. We can see why our friends moved away and yet they are within an hour of the city which adds variety. Your garden is idyllic for dinner parties and I wish you sunshine as you serve tea this week.

      Helen xx

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  9. What a fabulous place. A lovely day for you all. xxxx

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    1. Hello Diane

      It is indeed a beautiful home and each items is selected with love and care by the owners. We had the best day

      Hope your week is very special.

      Helen xx

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  10. Lovely encaustic, Helen!
    I think encaustic paintings are my ultimate favorite. I am immediately drawn to their depth and texture and always want to touch them.

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    1. Hello Ann

      Thank you for your kind compliment on my encaustic painting. I do love the hot wax and the tactile feel of encaustic and it lends itself to abstract, which is very different from my plein air oil painting.

      Have a wonderful week

      Helen xx

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  11. Beautiful scenes and what lovely clouds...wishing we'd have some here...JUST VERY HOT!!! Have a grand week! Cathy

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    1. Hello Cathy

      It was a perfect day and the temperature was perfect, no humidity. We were in the hills which is always somewhat cooler.

      Wishing you a great week and Happy July 4

      Helen xx

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  12. How beautiful this is Helen!
    It must be wonderful to spend time there.
    It looks so peaceful.
    I have never heard of this type of painting, but I love the wonderful tones and softness.
    Wishing you a fantastic beginning to your week!

    lisa

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    1. Hello Lisa

      We had a most memorable day and our friends are wonderful hosts. We had a long walk through the fields and the wild flowers were blooming and no insects. Encaustic is beeswax and oil paint, applied to canvas or board and the various layers are fused together with a blow torch.


      Have a super week

      Helen xx

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  13. Wonderful images, thank you for sharing.

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    1. Hello Steve

      Thank you for visiting and your kind words

      Helen xx

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  14. Ooooh, that looks so relaxing and fun! I like your painting too. I am jealous of your summer, it's winter here in melbourne at the moment and we're freezing!

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    1. Of course it is winter in Melbourne but I am sure you get some sunshine during the day?

      Wishing you a week of joy and art

      Helen xx

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  15. Helen thank you for your sweet visit, I am a bit weepy today knowing my baby is gone, but your comment made me smile and I enjoyed reading your blog...it made me feel happy. Thank you

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    1. Thank you for visiting and I am happy your enjoyed this post.

      You will always have your daughter and she will always have her mother in her heart. I can understand your sadness

      Wishing you a week of joy

      Helen xx

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  16. Thank you for your beautiful visit, I so enjoyed my visit with you and the beauty you share and create.
    Will see you soon:)
    Xx
    Dore

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    1. Hello Dore

      I thank you for your visit and kind words.

      Wishing you a very Happy Independence Day

      Helen xx

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  17. Thanks so much for your visit and sweet comment, your friends house is just too good to be true... A dream house and such a clear beautiful sky.

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    1. Thank you for visiting and welcome to my blog.

      Yes their home is beautiful and they selected items with care and love. The sky was beautiful = a perfect summer day

      Helenxx

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  18. How utterly idyllic.
    What a beautiful painting Helen, that's just the sort of thing I am drawn to, I love the tones in it.

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    1. Hello Tabitha

      Thank you and yes idyllic is a perfect word to describe our day.

      Thank you for your kind compliment on this painting.

      To a great week

      Helenxx

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  19. Belle ambiance et j'aime ta peinture.

    Amicalement,

    manon

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    1. Hello Manon

      Man thanks for your kind words and compliment on my painting.

      Helenxx

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  20. Hi Helen,
    Thank you for finding my blog and introducing me to your lovely blog. I shall enjoy following you too.
    Sarah x

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    1. Hello Sarah

      A warm welcome to my blog and I am also looking forward to reading your posts.

      Helen xx

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  21. This post is amazing, Helen. The photos with the blue sky and the white clouds, the green of the wide landscape makes it special. The house of your friends looks very welcoming (the kitchen is amazing - I would LOVE to cook in it!). I must say, Helen your painting is very, very appealing - and that you have painted it encaustic makes it even more exclusive! I am your biggest admirer! CHrista

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  22. Hello Christa

    The kitchen is a dream and we commented that they could host cooking sessions there. Living in the country they prepare most of their meals and of course have access to local product. They are both excellent cooks. Thank you for being my biggest admirer.

    Fondly,

    Helen xx

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  23. Goodness! Could that place be any prettier?!!
    I'll bet you would have liked to stay a week! And paint
    everything there!
    I do love your encaustic :)

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    1. It is a wonderful place and so pretty, like you say.You are right, I have been extended an invitation to return any time I want to paint. Thank you for your comment on my encaustic. I have been working on this medium for the past few weeks.

      Have a happy July 4th

      Helen xx

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  24. Oh Helen,

    I LOVE THIS MEDIUM AND...I love a setting as such. With horses (my favorite animal) and green rolling hills, how could anyone NOT be inspired?

    We are working along very well here in spite of the vicious heat wave. My studio is coming along and my husband is the best for wanting to help me out.

    Be well, create and breathe in all the beauty! Anita

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    1. Hello Anita

      Thank you for visiting. We love visiting their ranch and they are such welcoming and gracious hosts. Both are extremely talented and artistic.

      Glad you studio is coming along and how great that Ruben helps

      Helen xx

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  25. Hello Helen,
    Thankyou for your kind comment. I shall enjoy following your life and art.
    Cheers Gillian

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    1. Hello Gillian


      A warm welcome to my blog. Looking forward to knowing you and to your return visits.

      To a week of joy

      Helenxx

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  26. Gosh, what a beautiful place to be, Helen! I love countryside and the idea of just lazing around under the sun surrounded by nature's quietude is intoxicating in itself. I'm sure it must have been the perfect summer escape for you. Thanks for sharing the lovely pictures.

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    1. Hello Suman

      It is a glorious place and always peaceful and the sun always seems to shine. J was born in India and lived there for his early years and is a marvelous cook.
      Hope your garden continues to bloom

      Helen xx

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  27. Oh you made my day!! That property looks really great! I always feel good when reading your lovely posts! How spectacular the countryside is! Thank you so much for sharing these photos!!

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    1. Hello Sapphire

      Thank you for such generous and kind words. I am so grateful to you for reading and appreciating my posts.

      Wishing you a week of joy

      Helenxx

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  28. Hello Sapphire

    Thank you for your kindness in expressing your appreciation of my blog. I return the compliment, wholeheartedly, to you on your beautiful blog. We are both blessed to live in places where scenery and beauty prevails.

    Helen xx

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  29. The countryside surrounding your friends' home is really beautiful. I have to admit, I have not always been fond of the Southern Ontario landscape (having grown up in Western Canada, amongst *real* mountains!), but I can see the beauty here. Your painting is very much in keeping with the setting - serene and full of light. I hope you are having a wonderful summer!!

    PS. Thank you again for your kind words on my blog - they really do cheer me up!!

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    1. Hello Louise

      I can understand your thoughts on the Ontario landscape having grown up in the West. Ontario is full of surprises and we keep discovering some great and wonderful roads and paths. I thank you for your compliment on my art work and it means much coming from you.

      Your blog is a delight

      Helen xx

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  30. What beautiful country! It's not all that far from where I grew up, so seeing the photos is a bit nostalgic for me. Cool encaustic painting :)

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    1. Hello Elizabeth Rose

      Ontario looks beautiful in the summer (some winter sports enthusiasts would disagree). Thanks for your comment on my painting - have a great creative week.

      Helen xx

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  31. Helen...it looks as if you stepped into country heaven...seriously, how beautiful, your creative eye must have been saoking up every detail, every second! How fortunate you are to have friends that live in the such amazing places!

    I've not heard of encaustic painting before...it's wonderfully interesting...I must learn more about it!
    xoxo J~

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    1. Hello Jessica

      We are indeed fortunate to have friends in beautiful places - I could have locked myself in this home for a good month and still find subjects. There is also wonderful harmony and peace here.

      I hope your summer is going well.

      Helen xx

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  32. What a beautiful place your friends have. A wonderful way to catch up. We have friends visiting next week. Summertime is perfect.

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    1. Hello Jacquelne

      Enjoy your visit with your friends this week. I love summer entertaining. We had a glorious time at their farm

      Helen xx

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  33. Hello sweet Helen! As I look at my beautiful calender that you sent me, I am seeing that JULY IS WHOOSHING along too fast! But I will savor all the beauty of the earth and sea, and thank YOU for going along with me to see belugas, mermaids and amphibious horses!

    Have a lovely day dear one. Anita

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    1. Hello dearest Anita

      I am so happy you are using my calendar. The painting for July is a seascape and in keeping with your beautiful post of this week about life at sea.

      Wishing you a great and creative week

      Helen xx

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  34. What an idyllic spot to live and create in! Just the place to hide away from the world- and the heat!!

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    1. Hello Lily
      What a wonderful idea to hide away from the world and hear.
      I think I shall do just that.

      Helen xx

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  35. GREAT POST:)
    Your blog is so wonderful..do you have twitter or fb to follow with??

    If you want some cute swedish decor inspiration...check out my new post:)

    Have a great week.

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se
    (sweden)

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  36. Oh Helen, what an incredible property,50 acres?

    Heaven on earth as is that kitchen.

    Where would we be without friends?

    xo Jane

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  37. A perfect summer day! Sun, friends, food ... Its al you need

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