Thursday, February 14, 2013

It's Going to be a Bright, Bright Sunshine Day




"Join me on the Patio" original oil by Helen Tilston,
My art partners Mary Rose Holmes and Violetta Shtumeyzen-Chalmers aim to paint together, outdoors, at least twice weekly.   In the past few weeks, it appeared that each selected day was overcast and dull and a day in the studio was more productive.  This week we decided to assemble at Violetta's studio.
Painting commences outdoors at Indian Rocks Beach, two weeks ago
A typical day in the studio begins with pots of tea, fresh fruit and some delicious delicacy from the Mennonite farmers in  the Sarasota area or delicious freshly baked cake from Mrs Shtumeyzen's oven (Violetta's beautiful mother).  Violetta on Sunday  returned from Hawaii with an island blend of teas, one emitting the aroma of plumeria.  Centre piece is sprigs of rosemary from Helen's garden, which Violetta plans to leave in water till it roots and then plant in her garden. (Incidentally, my plant is descended from Mary Rose's rosemary plant)  I like to say I have Mary Rose's baby (Heavens forbid, not to be confused with the movie Rosemary's Baby)


Violetta sets her table as she would set up a still life

Mary Rose is served tea by Violetta
Violetta's welcome is always warm and generous.
Once nourished, it is now time to select our music, some classical, some Hawaiian and
Israel Kamakawiwi'ole is chosen.
We are now singing in Hawaiian so please join us.

Time to work
Max is Violetta's dog.  He is not letting her out of his sight since her return from Hawaii.

Miniature garden off living room.

Foreground Violetta, Mary Rose nearest
Lanai off studio, mural by Violetta.

Violetta and Max in foreground, Helen Tilston admires "Florida, my love" by Mary Rose Holmes

Copious cups of tea, fruit and poppy seed cake and before you could say "plein air", it was 5:30 p.m.

Finishing touches being applied to:  "The Blessed Mother" by Helen Tilston
One of our husband's remarked how quiet we are when painting. Just paintbrushes keeping to the beat of the music.




66 comments:

  1. Happy Valentine's Day, Helen. I think it looks like you guys are having way too much fun! What a wonderful life!

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    1. Hello Marsha

      Thank you for your kind wishes and a Happy Valentine's Day in return.

      You are so right we had a wonderful day of fun, good food and painting.

      Helen xx

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  2. Hello Helen,

    What gorgeous colours and textures throughout this most intriguing post! Violetta's studio is charming, fresh and airy. An interesting life you lead, my dear Helen! How lucky you are to be able to create in such an energetic atmosphere, one that appeals to all the senses. Thank you so very much for sharing a day that, although typical for you, for us it is purely a treat!

    Poppy xo

    PS: Your first painting in this post, "Join me on the patio", is exquisite! I am mesmerized...

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    1. Hello Poppy
      Violetta studio is perfect, the sliding doors open to the lanai and good cross breezes. We treasure our time when together painting and being creative. The day is never long enough.

      Thank you very kindly for such a high compliment on my painting.

      Wishing you a glorious weekend
      Helen xx

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  3. Oh my, what a wonderful way to spend the day. Love your painting shown at the top of your post, Helen.

    Especially when I look out the window and see the last vestiges of snow still on the ground. Though admittedly it's a sunny day here today and most of last week's snow is fast disappearing.

    I love the bright and sunshiny world of your paintings.

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    1. Dear Yvette

      Why thank you kindly for your compliment. This means a lot to me.

      I am happy to read the snow is melting and the sun is shining in your corner of the world.

      The light here in Florida on this coast is quite spectacular.

      Have a glorious weekend

      Helenxx

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  4. Ahhh....Love your music not to mention the treats...everything so soul-soothing xx

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    1. Hello Mona

      So pleased to read you like Israel singing. I think his voice is angelic. He died too soon and at such a young age.
      Thanks for your visit and encouragement

      Helen xx

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  5. What a lovely day you must have had Helen. I enjoyed seeing your photographs!

    Happy Valentine's day!

    Madelief x

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    1. Hello Madelief

      Thank you for the good wishes and wishing you a very happy Valentine's Day in return. Having said that I realize it is tomorrow in Rotterdam. I am delighted you enjoyed the photos.

      Helen xx

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  6. Dear Helen - Violetta's home is charming, and her mural is beautiful. Thanks for sharing a day with you artists. Such camaraderie! I really admire your artistic support and friendship.
    Kind regards,
    Loi

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    1. Dear Loi

      Violetta is a true artist and has exquisite taste. She has the most wonderful art books, paintings and collects items of beauty. We have a great friendship and working relationship, which is a gift.
      Have a wonderful weekend

      Helenxx

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  7. Happy Valentine's Day. What a lovely setting to work on your art.

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    1. Thank you for your wishes and wishing you the joys of the day in return.

      Violetta's studio has perfect natural light and she knows how to entertain

      Helenxx

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  8. My dearest Helen, How civilised you and your friends are...the great ladies of renaissance, devoted to art, music and meeting of the great minds. In friendship, meeting of the great minds is important because it can last for a lifetime. I love the melancholy expression of The Blessed Mother in your work. Max looks like a very well behaved dog!

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    1. My dearest ASD

      You are so right when you say "meeting of the great minds an last a lifetime". There is so much to learn and to explore and it is rewarding to meet like minded friends on the journey. I thank you for remarking on my painting of the Blessed Mother. Your expert eye and qualifications in the art field are impressive. Max is now 6 yrs old and is very intelligent. He has a wonderful life and is spoiled by Violetta's parents who take care of him when she travels.
      Hope your weekend is full of joy

      Helen xx

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  9. Sounds heavenly, Helen. Such a dream way to live...lucky you!

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    1. Hello Rebecca

      Yes it is heavenly and I am very fortunate to live here and have such friends. It is a blessing.

      Helenx

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  10. The colors in Join Me on the Patio--are calling to me. Such warmth!

    Violetta's home is lovely, and your painting day sounds like it was fun and productive. I didn't know there are Mennonites in FL.

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    1. Hello Jen

      Thanks for your positive and uplifting comment on my painting.

      Yes Violetta has a fabulous sense of design. She is a fifth generation artist and the first woman artist in her family.

      There is a Mennonite community in Sarasota with first settlers arriving in the late 1920's. . The historical core of this community is south of Bahia Vista Street and west of Phillippi Creek. They contribute greatly to the area.

      Helen xx

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  11. Helen, I love everything about your lovely day. It sounds wonderful. I always enjoy seeing what you girls are working on. Bonnie

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    1. Hello Bonnie

      Having a studio day certainly allows us to put the finishing touhes on our paintings. We always eat well and hear new music then.
      Hope your weekend is special
      Helen xx

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  12. Helen! "Join Me on the Patio" is just gorgeous! Looks like a nice time was had by all. Happy V-tines Day!

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    1. Hello Elizabeth

      Well thank you sincerely for your words of praise on my painting. Coming from such an established and recognized artist, I must say I am deeply honoured.
      A very Happy Valentine's Day to you too.

      Helen xx

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  13. I love your painting of the Blessed Mother, Helen. I hope you continue to paint more and more paintings like this. I love all your paintings. You use such vivid colors.
    Shelly

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    1. Dear Shelly

      Thank you for visiting and for your support. You know how I love to paint the Blessed Mother and it is always rewarding. I sometimes think I receive divine intervention. It was such a surprise and joy to have you sing at mass on Ash Wednesday. Your voice is spectacular- I am reminded of Maria Callas when I hear you sing.

      Helen xx

      Hope you weekend is very special.

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  14. Helen, what a fun post...it so reminds me of the Southwest. I love that last picture of what I see as the Virgin Mary

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    1. Thank you for your comment.It is indeed the Blessed Virgin Mary. Wishing you a weekend of joy

      Helen xx

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  15. This sounds like such a satisfying, lovely day. Sitting in pretty surroundings with lots of nice edibles and doing what you love to do - create beautiful artwork. Perfect! Little max looks cute.

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    1. Hello Sulky Kitten

      Max is a precious dog. I have known him since he was a puppy. We had a truly fabulous day. The drive along the coast to Sarasota is quite spectacular and following our day of painting and sampling, we stopped at Trader's Joe's for more goodies. Trader Joe's is probably like Waitrose

      Hope your weekend is special.
      Helenxx

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  16. Helen you are simply as much artist with words as you are with a brush and paint. . .you so completely painted a picture of your wonderful day that I felt I was right there with you! (And I loved that first painting!)

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    1. Hello Jackie and Joel

      Oh thank you for your kind words on my post. It was a very special day at Violetta's home, which is decorated with love. Her art work on the walls adds to the ambiance.
      Again it is always lovely to hear from you.

      Helen xx

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  17. Your whole painting experience is so lovely, as it should be. The atmosphere just seems to invite creativity...it's wonderful, and I love that you all have a mascot in Max, he's adorable!
    Happy Valentine's Day Helen...♥
    xo J~

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    1. Hello Jessica

      You so well know how atmosphere is necessary for creativity.
      Violetta is a born artist and not only paints but is a dress designer and is knowledgeable in every aspect of art and literature. When she serves even the smallest snack is is presented with such graciousness. Max is adorable, he feels every mat on the floor was put there for his benefit.

      Hope your weekend is special

      Helen xx

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  18. Dear Jackie and Joel
    You are very kind and generous with your compliments on my writing and artwork. I am very grateful to you for visiting.

    Wishing you a weekend of glory

    Helen xx

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  19. Hello Helen:
    How wonderful to be able to gather with sympathetic artists and create your wonderful works together in such nurturing surroundings. Your creative friendship is a treasured gift and, we are sure, brings out the very best of all your individual talents.

    The table setting is, as you say, a perfect 'still life' and in every room there is so much of interest and charm. Lovely!

    We find your painting of 'The Blessed Mother' enchanting. Such a gentle and comforting face and the expression in the eyes tells so many stories...no words are necessary.

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    1. Dear Jane an Lance

      You would love Violetta's home. She has exquisite taste and has a library of rare art books. Being among her paintings in this setting adds to the ambiance. Her grandmother, now deceased, had a saying: "Tell me you want prayer; but only bring me the good news".(loosely translated from Russian) Violetta has embraced this motto and celebrates life in her quiet, gentle way.

      Thank you for your very special remark on my painting of the Blessed Mother.

      Have a weekend of joy

      Helen xx

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  20. Wow! You've had a lovely day together! Great paintings! Max is adorable! Have a grreat weekend!

    Satu from Finland

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    1. A big warm welcome to my blog and thank you for following. I am coming over to visit you soon

      Your kind words and compliment are much appreciated. Yes Max is a very special and affectionate dog and never fail to amuse.

      Helenxx

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  21. Beautiful Helen! I want a slice of you life please! The vibrant colours and the Menonite treats have sold me on your neck of the woods. I wish I could paint along beside you but I think your husbands would be remarking on the constant gabbling and chatting as there are so many things to oooh and aaahh about where you and your wonderful work are concerned.....and thank you for all your support to me over the last while. X

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    1. Good Morning, dear Catherine.

      I am very fortunate to have two great friends in Violetta and Mary Rose. The Mennonites are experts in baking and preserving and there is a settlement near to Violetta's home.
      We certainly do our share of gabbing at lunch time and tea time. That is a beautiful thought that you would join us one day. I can only imagine the photos you would take.

      It is a joy to visit your blog.

      Helen xx

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  22. What a wonderful way to spend the day!!! Have a grand weekend! Cathy

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    1. Hello Cathy

      You are right, it was a most memorable day and we treasure our get togethers.

      Have a brilliant weekend

      Helen xx

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  23. I love this post Helen!
    Thanks for this peek inside your world!
    Pure bliss
    Wish I could paint

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    1. Hello Terri

      Lovely to have your visit.
      If you are ever in the Florida area, we would love to have you along with us, no painting required. I know you would be busy with your camera and being creative in your gifted way.
      Have a blissful weekend
      Helen xx

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  24. It makes you realize how wonderful women are and how creative in everything they do. It's wonderful, helen, to see how well you and your friends get on. I can hear laughter and jokes, I can smell perfumes, taste good things to eat and I can feel love!

    Isn't it great to be a woman, Helen?

    HUGS

    ANNA

    xxx

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    1. Dear Anna

      Thank you Anna for your kind words. We have a great friendship and have been close friends for twelve years. Our backgrounds are different. I am Irish born, Violetta is Russian born and Mary Rose is American. Someone once said we should have called ourselves "The IRA" (IRELAND, RUSSIA, AMWRICA) but the only weapon you will find on us is a paintbrush.

      We love discussing food and recipes and you would be a wonderful addition ...then we could call ourselves the I-IRA

      HELEN XX

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  25. Such beautiful paintings!! This is something out of a movie :)

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    1. Why thank you for this precious comment. Shall we place a call to Stephen Spielberg? Ha Ha

      Helen xx

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  26. Your photos and the wonderful colors in the paintings remind me of a warmer climate. Thanks for the warm up on a cold winter night!

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    1. Hello Sanda

      The weather is beautiful here this winter and the sun shines most days. I hope the sun is shining on your world today

      Helen xx

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  27. Beautiful post, Helen, and like always I'll say I admire your friendships.All that tea, cake and creativity sounds absolutely wonderful and Violetta's home is lovely.
    The patio painting is beautiful; the rich red of the flowers somehow remind me of a tropical summer garden.

    Have a lovely week!

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    1. Dear Suman

      Violetta is a marvelous hostess and most generous. She loves to entertain. The mural on her patio is quite spectacular and one cannot find where the mural plants and real plants start and finish. It also changes with the blooming of her plantings. We are off to paint tomorrow, this time plein air, so no cakes!

      Have a glorious weekend

      Helen xx

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  28. WOW, Helen! What a lovely community you share with like-minded hearts and hands. What more could an artist want, than to have friends with whom you can BE STILL and QUIET and create such loveliness? Your very first painting, "Join me on the patio" is just gorgeous. I have never been one for yellows or reds, but since blogging and viewing other peoples' art and use of color, I have grown to be in love with the hues of life. Beautiful is your art.

    Thank you so much for coming to leave a comment! It really does mean so much to me; I will be back. I am taking a small trip to California to see family and I do need a break from planning blog posts. I need to sit down more to read and also put in more hours teaching. But blog posting is in my blood and eventually, I hope to write even more and even attempt to publish. But any artist needs a repose to stand back, observe and recharge!

    Happy day! Anita

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    1. Dearest Anita

      You express your thoughts so beautifully. The light in this part of the world is quite spectacular and the colours we use are all in nature, particularly at this time of year. Of course of a blustery day that would differ.

      I hope yo ave a wonderful time in California and a good visit with family. Travel always inspires and I am sure you will find so much of interest.
      Enjoy your repose and I will be looking forward to your return. Regards to Ruben

      Helen xx

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  29. HI Helen, I am your new follower. I LOVE your blog, your paintings, and the way you paint. It must be fabulous to be able to do what you love to do and to do it with good friends. Christa

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    1. Hello Christa

      A warm and heartfelt welcome to my blog and thank you for following. I will look forward to knowing you and to your comments. Thank you for your kind words and compliments on my art.
      Have a brilliant weekend

      Helen xx

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  30. I am jealous of you ! When I was young, I studied history of art and I was involved with the painters of 19 ceintury.I adore your profession and the colors you use.Warm regards
    Olympia

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    1. Hello Olympia

      Thank you for visiting and your kind words. Your education in art history will benefit you in many careers.
      Kindest wishes for a glorious weekend

      Helenxx

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  31. Helen,

    It's so true that creativity brings out the best in us. When joined with like minded artists I'm sure it's like time just flew by. Ladies you are truly blessed to have this opportunity in this lifetime and maybe the next one as well...cheers!

    Bette

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    1. Hello Bette

      You are so right the day flies by and by the time the day is done, we are usually exhausted, thirsty and hungry. Somehow we forget to eat, drink or stretch for hours on end.
      Will try and do better tomorrow when we head outdoors.
      Wishing you a joyful weekend.

      Helen xx

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  32. Hello Helen, what a terrific thing to have painting buddies. I am sure you inspire and encourage each other, it's quite wonderful. Your painting of the Blessed Mother, is very beautiful, so restful and calm. I love your Patio painting too, it is kind of the opposite, so vibrant and colourful.
    Thank you for your visit and kind comments. I had a good day at the wedding fair, and I am sure it will lead to quite a bit of work. It's lovely to be back in communication with you again. Much love, Linda x

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    1. Hello Linda

      It is indeed great that I have two brilliant painters, as my art partners. We try and get together at least twice weekly. Thank you for your compliment on The Blessed Mother, I have just finished it.
      So lovely to have you back and I am delighted to hear the wedding show was such a success.

      Regards to Lois

      Helen xx

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  33. I love seeing the works of your painting buddies...yours are so wonderful

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    1. Hello Cindy

      Thank you for stopping by and for your encouraging words. We truly appreciate them.
      Have a wonderful weekend

      Helen xx

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  34. Hi Helen, it all looks very peaceful and productive!How lovely it must be to be able to paint alongside your friends - you must inspire each other. Just love the bright colours of your first painting - its so evocative of hot sunny days and blue skies - something we don't get a lot of around here, so its so good of you to share yours.
    Gill xx

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