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Artists who paints in oil en plein aire. Member of the three member Plein Aire Cottage Artists. Members: Mary Rose Holmes, Violetta Chandler and Helen Tilston

Friday, October 10, 2008

3bestchefs.com and 3 best artists

A winning combination. Someone recently commented on the "trilogy" of the pleinaire cottage artists.

We are three members: Mary Rose Holmes, Violetta Shtumeyzen and Helen Tilston

We exhibit at Guppys, whose website is 3bestchefs.com. The three restaurants: are
Guppy's, E and E Steak Out, Mystic Fish.

This year, we are exhibiting at three venues, The Food Gang Miami,October 23, 2008 Guppys (January 2009) and Cornell Museum in February 2009.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Indian Rock's Beach and treasures

The Sun is Up and so are we
For Night has flown away
and although it's very nice to sleep
It's nicer still to play.

These words from a childhood song ring in our ears as we head out in the morning sunshine to paint our favourite "little village".

Mary Rose (Holmes) has found her motif. She stops in her tracks and says "this is it, look at the sunshine on that balcony" click, snap, easel legs are unfolded and a new canvas unwrapped..

Lunch time arrives all too soon and it is time to go to "The Lighthouse" for nourishment.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chic a Si Cottage Painting by Violetta Plein Aire Cottage artist

The sun was at the point during the early afternoon, when shadows dance. The only sound was the humming of the bees and Violetta's paintbrush as she "dab, dab, dabbed" the canvas. Orchids, of purple, bloomed in Colonial Court's tranquil garden, where Violetta's easel rested and one particular orchid had the aroma of chocolate. This is the painting Violetta created of Chic a Si's viridian/lapis azuli coloured shutters.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Food Gang Miami -Plein Aire Cottage Artists Exhibit

The Plein Aire Cottage Artists solo show at the Food Gang in beautiful Bal Harbor, Miami opens on October 23, 2008 at 6.00 p.m. We are looking forward to seeing you there. Our feature painting is a trip tych. One panel painted by each artist. The scene is a view from one of our fabourite spots at Indian Rocks Beach Florida.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Coastal Cottages Exhibition Food Gang October 23 2008

The Plein Aire Cottage Artists and guest Jen Savedra will open their "Coastal Cottages" exhibition on October 23th 2008 at the Food Gang, Bal Harbour Florida. This exciting exhibition will feature cottages and scenes of both Florida and Europe. The show runs through December 2008.
The Food Gang
9472 Harding Ave
Surfside, FL 33154, United States
(786) 228-9292
The Plein Aire Cottage Artists (Mary Rose Holmes, Violetta Shtumeyzen and Helen Tilston) have been honoured by The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation for their untiring attempts to save Florida's cottages.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Plein Aire Cottage Artists Summer 2008

Artist Mary Rose Holmes has been painting in Galway Ireland at Ross Castle. The grounds are spectacular and the private lake and walled garden offer endless vistas

Violetta has been painting at Traverse City Michigan. This northern Michigan skies and lake with boating activity and holidaymakers baking in the sunshine will undoubtedly be captured on canvas.

Helen Tilston has been painting in Killarney Ontario and also in capturing gardens in Toronto Ontario.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Canadian TV documentary on A day in the life of Helen Tilston

The weather was absolutely co-operate on Thursday May 29th on the scheduled date when a Canadian TV channel filmed two short documentaries. One "A day in the life of an Artist" The second is called "My Treasure" and features a painting called Cluainin "sweet meadow from Gaelic" which I exhibited at the Florence Biennale in December 2007.

The location chosen was a quiet residential street in Toronto. My subject for a "day in the life of an artist" was a Victorian red brick home. The sun danced across the lawn and created the most spectacular shadows. The windows gleamed with light. I chose Alizarin Crimson and Cad Red and Cad orange for the brick work with some burnt sienna for shaded area. Viridian and cad yellow worked well for the greens.
The film crew were magical and in total accord and harmony with the day and the painting. Once wired up with microphone threaded through my blouse and the little box in place on my belt by my waist, the cameras began to roll. I got totally engrossed in my painting and the hours passed. Many pedestrians as they walked by would ask the camera man "Who is she" He would calmly tell them, she is an artist by the name of Helen Tilston. They posed many questions and asked how long I had been painting and where I exhibited. The time went all too quickly and between painting "a day in the life of an artist" we also conducted the interview for "Cluainin".

These documentaries will be ready for TV in August and I shall post these on our web site

Friday, May 2, 2008

Indian Rocks Beach Action 2000 Receives Check from Plein Aire Cottage Artists

(l-r) Lillian Johnson, Burt Vallery, Kathy Hall, Eric Myers, Michael Alea, Jim Labadie, John Todia, Julia Folden, Helen Tilston and Mary Rose Holmes

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - At Indian Rocks Beach Action 2000 meeting on April 14, the Plein Aire Cottage Artists Mary Rose Holmes, Violetta Shtumeyzen and Helen Tilston presented a check to A2K in the amount of $1,850.50. Mary Rose Holmes thanked Action 2000 for the wonderful work this non-profit, all volunteer organization, does for Indian Rocks Beach.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

St. Petersburg Garden Club Visits Indian Rocks Beach

St. Petersburg Garden Club Visits Indian Rocks Beach Shores
The Plein Aire Cottage Artists Mary Rose Holmes and Helen Tilston hosted 24 members from the Garden Club, St. Petersburg, who visited Indian Rocks Beach shores. The tour of gardens of Indian Rocks Beach included: Beachfront 810 with Speaker Lee Wilkerson, Chris Corral's House at 5th Avenue, Colonial Court with speakers Laura and Jim Labadie, Sarah Seaside with speaker Mary and Lee Wilkerson and Kay Smith's Garden and her collection of lilies and environmentally friendly garden.
The Mayor of Indian Rocks Beach, R.B. Johnson, greeted the members and explained IRB's beach re-nourishment plan. The walking tour culminated with lunch at Guppy's where the staff had provided each table with a bouquet of fresh flowers.
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Monday, April 7, 2008

Florida's Forgotten Coast?-Plein Aire Cottage Artists

Coastal Cottages are disappearing due to greedy government's imposing exhorbitant taxes and forcing owners to sell to developers. Three Artists have been painting the cottages and sights along the Gulf of Mexico. Violetta Shtumeyzen, Mary Rose Holmes and Helen Tilston brave all types of weather to paint, en plein aire. These three artists are often signed on Gulf Blvd, with French Easels and umbrellas, as they capture a part of Florida which is disappearing. It will never be forgotten

Guppy's on the Beach, 1701 Gulf Blvd. Indian Rocks Beach permanently carries the art of the artists

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Plein Aire Painting at Indian Rocks Beach

The weather is glorious and the light is remarkable this past few days. Violetta, Mary Rose Holmes and I have been painting, en plein aire. We are working on a trip tych, one panel per artist. The bougainvillia and hibiscus are in their prime.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Suncoast News Article published March 19, 08

Displayed At PHCC

By Scott E. Smith of The Suncoast News

Published: March 19, 2008

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - Your friendly postman isn't the only one who braves the elements of Mother Nature.

Environmental artists – the practitioners of outdoor, or "plein air," painting – brave sun, wind and rain to deliver their appreciation of their surroundings and personal sense of the community in which they reside.

Through April 15 the Pasco-Hernando Community College Art Gallery is presenting a collection of artwork by the Plein Air Cottage Artists. The exhibit features works by Mary Rose Holmes, Violetta Shtumeyzen and Helen Tilston.

The three met when Holmes and Tilston studied under Shtumeyzen at the Gulf Coast Museum, in Largo.

Holmes, a fifth-generation Floridian, understands the beauty of Florida and how to bring it to life on canvas. She gained knowledge from her grandmother and obtained a degree in fine art at Agnes Scott College, in Atlanta.

Shtumeyzen studied under her father, Yakov Tsatskin, an artist. In addition to teaching at Gulf Coast Museum, she teaches at Ringling School of Fine Art, in Sarasota.

Tilston, is a native of Galway, Ireland, where she discovered her love of color and form. This fondness developed into a passion for painting – particularly plein air.

Tilston studied at Canada's Ontario College of Art and Design and at The Gulf Coast Museum.

The trio can be seen in the community capturing their surroundings on canvas.

The subject matter of their artwork includes Florida landscapes, mostly around St. Petersburg and Tampa. They focus on the shores and streets of Indian Rocks Beach.

They concentrate on the cottages and small businesses that are rapidly disappearing during a wave of redevelopment in the southern Pinellas beach communities and have been collaborating together for five years.

While she was painting a cottage, an onlooker told Holmes she couldn't save the cottage by merely preserving its image on canvas.

Thus, the Plein Air Cottage Artists were born. The community has since responded to their efforts and a yearly calendar, "Save Our Cottages," is a result.

The history of plein air painting can be traced back to the mid-1800s, when Impressionism was born. Impressionist style of art is when the artist captures an image or object as if someone catches a glimpse of it.

The paintings possess a strong use of color, are bright and vibrant, with subject matter primarily limited to landscapes.

True to form, their artwork reflects rapid, vibrant strokes of color that capture Florida of yesteryear.

The PHCC Gallery is part of the Alric C.T. Pottberg Library on the PHCC West Campus, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey.

Viewing hours are 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information on the Plein Air Cottage Artists visit its href=http://www.pleinaircottageartists.com> Web site.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Old Florida Paintings by the Plein Aire Cottage ARtists

triptych by Mary Rose Holmes, Violetta Shtumeyzen and Helen Tilston, the Plein Air Cottage Artists, who met in an art class in ’99.
[Special to the Times]
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NEW PORT RICHEY — Anyone who loves Old Florida's quaint beach cottages on sand paths leading to the Gulf of Mexico will enjoy paintings by the Plein Air Cottage Artists.

The exhibit is coming to Pasco-Hernando Community College's art gallery.

"Plein air" refers to artists who work in sun, rain, fog or cold to capture the light of the outdoors (think Vincent Van Gogh in Arles).

The Plein Air Cottage Artists are Mary Rose Holmes, a fifth-generation Floridian; Helen Tilston, born and educated in Galway, Ireland; and Violetta Shtumeyzen, who was born in Ukraine and educated at the Repin Academy of Art in Russia, and teaches at the Gulf Coast Museum of Art in Largo and the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota.

The three met in an art class in 1999 and began working together in 2002, concentrating on what they have called "an endangered species," the cottages of Indian Rocks Beach.

Their colorful work is impressionistic; they sometimes create works individually that can be displayed together as a triptych.

The three have used their art to pressure government bodies to preserve the quaint neighborhoods along the barrier islands of Pinellas County that are making way for high-rise condominiums.

"They put a face ... on the cottages," Indian Rocks Beach Mayor Bill Ockunzzi once said.

The three have gone to Italy together to paint and were invited to exhibit their work in the International Biennale in Florence in December.

Their work is permanently exhibited at Guppy's restaurant in Indian Rocks Beach.

Information from Times files was used in this report.

>>check it out

Plein Air Cottage show

Where: Pasco-Hernando Community College Fine Arts Gallery in the Alric C.T. Pottberg Library on the New Port Richey campus, 10230 Ridge Road.

When: Thursday March 13 thru April 15 2008. Opening reception, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday. Hours are 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Call 816-3229.

Admission: Free.

[Last modified Thursday, March 6, 2008 5:54 PM]

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Pasco Hernando Community College Exhibition-Plein Aire Cottage Artists 2008

Today, we enjoyed meeting Carol our expert picture hanger and Doug Butler who is responsible for the beautiful library at Pasco Hernando Community College. Our exhibition hangs at thr Alric C.T. Pottberg Library Gallery with an opening reception on Thursday March 13 commencing at 4.30 p.m. The exhibition run through April 15th. The Gallery enjoys spectacular light with long windows and a pink flowering tree is the backdrop to our paintings.Live oaks cast shadows on our art work. The subject of our paitings is Indian Rocks Beach, Italy and Ireland. Thirty two paintings will be on display.
We look forward to welcoming friends and meeting you in person on Thursday, March 13th.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Biellale Artist- Guilia Tasso

Guilia was born in Toscana. She studied Ceramic Design at Croydon College of Art and Design and Central St. Martin School of Art and Design in London, England. Guilia's exhibition piece was in ceramics. On a colourful table sat 51 ankle height boots, the type worn by schoolchildren in history. Each boot was in a different colur, one was striped, white red, blue and yellow, one was turquoise, some red, and cheerful colours, however, interspersed in the arrangement were some black boots and instead of laces, barbed wire was threaded through the lace-holes. I got to know Guilia very well, as our exhibitions were side by side. Guilia is 51 yrs of age and each boot represented a year of her life. The black boots symbolized the saddest years and tragedy. Guilia teaches and resides in Rome with her supportive and loving husband and family. Guilia is extremely gifted as an artist and I look forward to seeing her at a future Biennale in Firenze

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Florence Biennalle and Memorable Friends

My immediate neighbour at the Florence Biennale was Brigitta Santagoeds from Holland.
Brigitta is a very accomplished artist. Her exhibition was three paintings one called Blue Tree 1, The Strong Tree, Blue Tree 2. Brigitta is warm, fun loving and intelligent. I was particularly impressed by the bond of friendship between the Dutch Artists. They had met in Holland prior to coming to Florence and rather than ship their work, they rented a truck and transported all the art work. Brigitta was the navigator/map reader and co driver of the truck. I look forward to meeting Brigitta at a future Biennale

Tampa Bay Sun Biennale Italy Interview with Helen Tilston and The Plein Aire Cottage Artists

AS PROMISED, BELOW IS plein aire cottage artists interview with Phyllis Johnson, Journalist with Tampa Bay Sun, December 27-January 09 2008


Granddaddy of all art festivals draws hundreds of artists, including three of IRB's own.

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - An art show held in a fortress one city block wide with 840 artists representing 76 nations, the Biennale is considered the Olympics of the art worldand a feather in the cap of local plein aire cottage artists Helen Tilston, Mary Rose Holmes and Violetta Shtumeyzen, who were asked to participate.

Modern, new exhibit halls have been built into the historic fortress, explained Holmes "Over there they preserve the old rather than tear it down".

That is a tradition the cottage artists identify with: their main subjects have been the Indian Rocks Beach cottages that remain endangered while condo overkill has been robbing the city of its small-town ambience.

Tilston, on arriving in Florence on December 1, said she felt like the queen of England riding down the banner-lined streets with people saying they were honoured to have the artists.
"Even customs and immigration officials welcomed us and said how delighted they were with our presence"

From the opening ceremonial concert through the black tie gala dinner closing of the event on December 8, there were classes, lectures, films, even some time for coffee at local cafes. An unfortunate incident that turned into an unexpected victory occurred when an unhappy-looking Biennale participant at one of the cafes approached Tilston and Shtumeyzen. The artist, a Russian, explained in her native language to Russian-born Shtymeyzen, tsap tssap" meaning she had been robbed. Her passport and money had been stolen while she was hanging her works. "Clawed by the cat" was the way a Turkish artist sitting nearby described the robbing.

Tilston and Shtumeyzen had two free hours before a scheduled lecture and decided to stage a two-person fundraiser. They hurried back to the show and went from artist to artist to explain their cause and filled garbage bags with donations. When they counted their bounty, over $1,000. flowed from the bags. They then presented the artist who had lost her possessions with the money and managed to be on time for their lecture.

The nine international jurors for the show included distinguished figures in the art world from Brazil, Mexico, Florence, India, France, California, New York and New Orleans. "They looked like male and female models out of Vogue magazine with their beautiful leathers, colourful shawls and sleek boots," said Tilston.

Artists who are juried and who exhibit at the Florence Biennale receive a lifetime invitation. The plein aire cottage artists plan on attending again in 2009 and inspired by the energy of the Biennale are painting profusely for their exhibition at Guppys on the Beach.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Florence Biennale-December 1-9, 2007

www.pleinairecottageartists.com Energy, excellent artwork, interesting workshops and networking kept the Plein Aire Cottage Artists, Mary Rose Holmes, Helen Tilston and Violetta fully engaged. The Florence Biennale is unique in that it is invitational only and Artist's work is juried prior to admittance. The Florence Biennale is the only Biennale where the artists are present. The combined energy and enthusiasm of the artists felt like lightening bolts travelling through the Fortezza da Bassa. The Biennale is sometime called the Academy Awards for Artists or the Olympics.www.pleinairecottageartists.com

The Plein Aire Cottage Artists have been invited to attend the Biennale for life.

Ciao Firenze and looking forward to seeing you in 2009

Following the Biennale we travelled to Greve in Chianti and painted en plein aire. Then onwards to Venice to view Museums and galleries and to paint. Three small paintings were painted on location.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Scrugg's Cottage Trip Tych by Violetta, Mary Rose Holmes and Helen Tilston

On February 5th, The Plein Aire Cottage Artists have begun a trip tych, which is the one of the largest pieces done by the group. The panel is 5 feet tall by 3 feet wide and is 3 panels. One panel painted by each artist. This piece will be on show at our upcoming Art Exhibit at Alric C.T.Pottberg Library Galler, Pasco Hernando Community College, West Campus, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey Florida Tel. 727.816.3229 March 13th through April 15th, 2008. The energy and excitement of working on a trip tych creates the effect of lightning bolts on the canvas, as Violetta, Mary Rose and Helen Tilston tap the canvas, pounce on the canvas and delicately draw on the canvas. A local Press reporter stopped by and asked if we need to plan the painting, select the colours. We find the energy and thought process becomes one, rather than three individual chanels. We were on the same wave length. At the beginning of the painting, the horizon line is established and the roof lines, the direction of the sun, do we want to change what is to what we wish in order to add drama and pazzazz to the painting. We wanted the sun to be further West to create long shadows.

The painting is partially complete but will need two more sessions where we add the magic to the painting.

Jpegs attached of painting in progress.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Plein Aire Cottage Artist Mary Rose Holmes- her father's collection of art

On Saturday January 26th from 7.00 p.m the George Algernon Speer Jr. Collection of 22 Highwayment paintings will be on view for the first time at the Leepa Rattner Museum of Art. The show runs through March 9th.

Speer, a fourth generation Floridian and attorney whose cases often were tried in District Court in Palm Beach frequently drove through Fort Pierce, where he became a supporter of the black artists who sold their paintings along the roadside and came to be known as the Highwaymen. He collected 22 paintings and paid on average $20. per painting. 20 of these paintings were deposited in the Attic of his Sandford home, as his wife's taste in art was quite different. She did allow two Highwaymen paintings to hang in their formal home.

Their daughter, Plein Aire Cottage Artist Mary Rose Homes display some of the paintings at their beach house at Indian Rocks Beach, where the prickly cyprus interior and the gulf of Mexico provide a tranquil background.

A young student has been painting with the Plein Aire Cottage Artist, namely John Holmes,13 yrs who is the grandson of Mary Rose Holmes. John has shown an interest in capturing on canvas old Florida and is a keen drawer. Two of John's paintings are hung at the Leepa Rattner Gift Shop.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Helen Tilston Donates Painting to A2K Valentine Dance

Action 2000 of Indian Rocks Beach, whose mandate it to preserve the beauty and history of our unique community are holding their annual "Love is in the Air" Valentine Dance on February 9th at City Hall, Indian Rocks Beach. This is "the party" of the season and is made possible through the tireless efforts of several volunteers. I am donating a painting entitled "Love Changes Everything and the accompanying poem. The painting will be auctioned on the night of the event. The proceeds benefit A2K

LOVE CHANGES EVERYTHING...Ode to Indian Rocks Beach By Helen Tilston

My heart is on fire since I met you

All days have skies of cerulian blue

Your shell pink beach with its outstretched arms
welcomes home the tired, wounded and aching hearts

Your sunshine of soft gold warms the spirit

Your waves of azure, viridian and cobalt keep in rhythm with me

Your gentle breezes encourage me

Your shorebirds dance with me

Your clouds make silly faces at me

Your residents radiate joy and inspire me

So my dear Valentine there is nothing to oppose

and to you my love I wish to propose

May I live with you forever more?

(by Helen Tilston...January 15, 2008)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sophie Matisse artist

Martinis + Matiseee. The Frank Crum center was rocking last evening. Martinis were sipped and a silent art auction with the proceeds benefitting the Clearwater Free Clinic, a non profit, non government midical facility that provides free medical care to low-income, uninsured residents of upper Ponellas. In 2006 12,000 patient visits and 24,000 courses of medication were provided. Plein Aire Cottage artists www.pleinairecottageartists.com Mary Rose Holmes donated "The Castle Door" and Helen Tilston donated "Sunday at Indian Rocks Beach" Sophie Matisse, the great grand-daughter of Artist Henri Matise, was in attendance and Sophie also donated an original painting fo the event.

Pictured left to Right: Mary Rose Holmes, Helen Tilston and Sophie Matisse

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Save Our Cottages Series 5 at Guppys


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Susan Makin Florence Biennale 2007

Buon Appetito is the title of Susan's piece which hung at the Biennale. It is oil on canvas. Five panels across by 4 down and each panel measures 24" by 24" This particular piece is painted so realistically that one feels able to pick a blueberry or cherry right from the basket.Susan's understanding of colour and values is particularly evident. Many visitors and curators would smile as they observed this important piece of artwork. Susan's work is outstanding and the Artist is clearly disciplined. Just two weeks prior to attending the Biennale she climbed Kiliminjarro. Susan invited Violetta and I to accompany her to synagogue on Friday night in Firenze. An experience we shall fondly remember. We were graciously invited to Shabas with the Rabbi and his family.