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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

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.

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