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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

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Are You a Groupie?

Helen, Violetta and Mary Rose "Our Island Welcomes You" a triptych one panel painted by each artist
The Art Gallery of Ontario, located in Toronto, received a visit from yours truly this week.

The building was re- designed  by world famous Canadian born architect, Frank Gehry and houses among it's 80,000 pieces, the artwork by the famous Canadian painters known as "The Group of Seven", whose paintings fetch millions at auction.
Lawren Harris Centre Street,Toronto
Franklin Carmichael, Autumn in Orillia
JEH MacDonald, Algoma Forest
Fred Varley, Stormy Weather Georgian Bay
A.J. Casson Winter on the Don
Arthur Lisner, A September Gale, Georgian Bay
AY Jackson, North Shore Lake Superior

The Groupies:
Housed at the AGO is the art work of Canada's famous  "Group of Seven"

The Group of Seven were a group of Canadian landscape painters in and around 1920, originally consisting of Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y Jackson, Fran Johnston, Arthur Lismer, JEH MacDonald and Frederick Varley  Tom Thompson(died in 1917) ) and Emily Carr were also closely associated with the Group of Seven, though neither were ever official members. The Group of Seven is most famous for its paintings of the Canadian landscape, painted plein air. They travelled to remote areas of Canada to paint. Tom Thompson, a favourite died while out in his canoe, painting. His cause of death is unknown, some say he drowned, others believe he was killed. 
Tom Thompson
A Lawren Harris painting "Baffin's Bay" fetched $3,500,000. at auction recently.
You are heartily welcome, Helen Tilston
Beach trail on a sunny afternoon by Violetta
Boats at rest, Mary Rose
As many of you know, I am "a Groupie,  I belong to the three member group called the Plein Aire Cottage Artists, and, like the group of seven, we paint en plein aire.   In hindsight, we feel we should have picked an easier name, but were rushed to choose when Fox TV approached us and wanted to feature our art and cause in a short documentary. See below

Are you a Groupie?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Eat, Play & Love

This week has been one of celebrating and catching up with long time friends. 

Lorol with her dog Sterling (Note Lorol's previous dog was named Hardy aka Lorol & Hardy)
Our " Strand Holidays Girl's Night Group" which started more than thirty years ago is a group of eight woman who all worked in a sales capacity at the now defunct Strand Holidays.  We get together about three times a year and usually have one weekend away each year.  This past weekend took us to Lorol's home in the country.  Lorol is a great friend, an outstanding and generous host, whose home reflects her joy for life.  Lorol's  has been Editor of several travel and hospitality publications. She is an Event Planner and currently working in the entertainment industry. She is probably the funniest person I have ever met.  She has the most unique and recognizable laugh. She has had a big influence on the lives of our group. She taught me to drive.   Jennifer is a Buyer(contracts hotel rooms and ground handling) for a large tour operator and her destinations include  Cuba, Panama, Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands.  Toni represents hotels in North American and Europe.  Patti works for a travel company that offers  trips  to such places as Antartica, Gallapagas, South America, China,Russia etc..  Lesley is an IT specialist with one of the oldest travel companies in existence.
We dined

Jennifer, Lorol, Lesley, Toni and Patti
We shopped
Jennifer, Toni, Patti, Lorol and Lesley
We went horseback riding (extreme horseback riding!)

Helen, Lesley and Jennifer

Angie our Wrangler, Jennifer, Lesley and Helen
We read, danced, sang and laughed some more.

My reading corner

If these walls could talk

We sang along with to Dean Martin 
Bonnie who resides in Vancouver, Norma who lives in Palma de Mallorca and Nancy had conflicting plans and were unable to join us.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Guess Who is coming to Dinner

Dishes Spode Pink Tower, Waterford crystal and fresh flowers
A friend for almost two score years is joining us this evening for dinner.  Some people come into our lives for a short time and others are, well, keepers.  Jen Savedra is a very dear friend.
She is a gourmet cook, artist, and  Editor of Travel Industry Today  Jen (Jenness)was born in Calcutta, India and graduated with a fine arts degree. For many years worked in the airline industry, where we met.  Jen actually inspired me to paint.  Both of us travelled extensively in our careers and World Travel Mart, London  each Autumn found us representing our respective companies. One year, following the trade show, we decided we would travel to the Southern England and paint. We hired a car and drove to Lyme Regis.
My first watercolour painting at Lyme Regis England 1992

Well it poured rain the entire weekend  and I recall standing in the rain and paniting the ocean. It was a moody English cold Saturday, watching the pier at Lyme Regis and remembering the scene in the French Lieutenant's Woman, with Meryl Streep.

The pier at Lyme Regis where Meryl Street stood in the movie The French Lieutenant's Woman
Painting long weekends became an annual tradition, either spending a four day weekend in London, the Cotswolds or New York City and always with our watercolours, visiting exhibitions and exploring. 

Kensington Palace - 1996 - Nantucket 2008
Beauchamp St. London 2007
Near Harrods London, 2008

The watercolour book I use  is heavy hand made paper, purchased from L. Cornelissen, 105 Great Russell St. London, England.  It is one of my favourite art shops in the world.
Vintage steak knives to be used for dinner
here.  HRH Prince Charles paints in watercolours and uses the same watercolour book and paint box.One time while shopping there, a driver came into the store and said "pick up for Buckingham Palace"sure enough a brown papered parcel awaited the Prince.
I have several watercolour books full of the most wonderful memories . These are used, as studies, for larger pieces.  When one paints outdoors, the memory is embedded in the mind, in looking at these sketches I can remember the sights, the sounds, the smells and some of the wonderful and famous people we met. (that is another story)

Spice girl, our dog, Charlie Jack Russel Jen's dog, Mike and Jen
The painting is by Jen Savedra and proudly hangs in our dining room

Watermelon and arugula salad with shaved  parmigiano cheese.most lovely things  Grilled sirloin steak, assorted roasted vegetables picked up at local farmer's market.  Fresh fruit and ice cream for desert. Assorted English Cheeses.

Meryl Street at Lyme Regis

Friday, July 8, 2011

Beware of night ramblings

Cornell Museum - Crest Threatre (photo courtesy Melissa Carter)
Beware of night ramblings

We don't knooow what we don't knooow, said a non English speaking professor  of architecture when describing the famous Palladio in a lecture to us one time in Venice, Italy.  We forgot most of the wisdom he imparted at our lecture but his expression "We don't knoooooow, what we don't know"(which he repeated throughout the lecture)  is often repeated by us at parties and we(artists, Violtta and Mary Rose, Plein Aire Cottage Artists) all giggle uncontrollably at our little inside joke and at the fondness of the memory.

Villa Foscari (La Malcontenta) Andrea Palladio near lagoon Venice Italy

Mary Rose, Violetta and Helen painting Cornell Museum en plein aire
Violetta, Helen and Mary Rose deliver their triptych painting to Cornell Museum

We just don't knooow who is checking out our blogs and what surprising, joyful news and invitations are coming our way.

Following my posting on encaustic painting, the Director of Cornell Museum contacted me and asked if I would exhibit some of my encaustic paintings at their museum. Cornell Museum at Old School Square is located in downtown Delray Beach, Florida, a first-class resort destination and a diverse, vibrant "All-America" city.  This "Village by the Sea" is situated on the Atlantic Ocean between Boca Raton and West Palm Beach.  Delray Beach is just 30 minutes south of Palm Beach International Airport and 45 minutes north of Fort Lauderdale.

Helen taking a break in the beautiful foyer of Cornell Museum

Music:Pictures at an Exhibition 
 The charming Cornell Museum of Art and American Culture (c. 1913) presents rotating local, national and international exhibits of fine art, crafts and pop culture.  The intimate, 323-seat Crest Theatre (c. 1925) presents world-class musicals, comedy, variety, Broadway cabaret with New York's hottest stars, and lectures with nationally renowned speakers.

Should you happen to be in the Delray Beach area between July 12 and October 23, 2011, please stop in and visit.

The delightful town has numerous outstanding restaurants and boutiques and also a beautiful beach. 

Cornell Museum has a triptych of their building, painted by the Plein Aire Cottage Artists,
Helen Tilston, Mary Rose Holmes and Violetta Chandler.  One panel painted by each artist, as seen below. It is proudly hung at Cornell Museum.Cornell Exhibition of art
Details of Encaustic painting by Helen Tilston
Violeta, Helen and Mary Rose at Cornell Museum

Have you ever visited Cornell Museum at Delray Beach?Do your plans in the next few months include Delray Beach ?

As always your comments are my treasure