About Me

My photo
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, January 28, 2012


"There is a kindness that dwells deep down in things; it presides everywhere, often in the places we least expect.
"The word kindness has a gentle sound that seems to echo the presence of compassionate goodness. When someone is kind to you, you feel understood and seen. There is no judgment or harsh perception directed toward you. Kindness has gracious eyes; it is not small-minded or competitive; it wants nothing back for itself. "
An Excerpt from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings by John O'Donohue

On Saturday afternoon, I settled down with a cup of tea and was enjoying catching up on my favourite blogs. Zsa Zsa Bellagio's blog I have very recently started following.  I find her topics interesting and varied.

Imagine my surprise to find that I was her  featured post of today http://zsazsabellagio's blog

This was totally unexpected and I was impressed at how she  researched and found out so much about me.  I am most grateful for this honour Zsa Zsa.

I emailed Zsa Zsa to thank you. Her response was:- " I really try to feature all the wonderful ladies and artists and followers who participate in the blog! ( especially those like you- who take the time to comment and enjoy! 

Have you experienced kindness from an unexpected source?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Matisse+ Martini's= Health

Plein Aire Cottage Artists Helen, Violetta and Mary Rose with Organizer Extraordinaire: Sue Murbach

Artists: Violetta, Mary Rose and Helen - Donated Triptych "Let's Sail Away"

Clearwater Free Clinic serves the uninsured in our area.

Martini's + Matisse Gala is am much anticipated soiree.
This year, was a sold out event and  attended by some 800 guests.  All primarly in the medical profession.  More than one hundred artists donate a piece of art, which is carefully juried.  The inaugural event, some years ago,  showcased  " Featured Artist"  Sophie Matisse, the great grand daughter of French painter Henri Matisse.
Sophie's abstract painting was in high demand that evening.
Artists: Mary Rose Holmes, Helen Tilston and Sophie Matisse

Each year we have donated paintings to this worthy event.  Last year the organizers selected the three of us as "Featured Artists".(Plein Aire Cottage Artists)  This  prestigious  honour we graciously accepted.
Last evening Martini's + Matisse 2012 commenced at 6.00 p.m with the Sponsor's Cocktail Party and introductions.

Happiness everywhere

Incredible caterers, En Garde
Glowing table and guitarist singer songwriter Will Cooper
Mary Rose Holmes, Dwight Holmes and Mike Tilston
Bonefish delicious shrimp dish
Beautiful guests
Martini Bar and master martini shakers from Bonefish Grill
Famous Chef Scott from Guppy's Restaurant and his helpers
The Artists donate their paintings.  The Event costs $150. per person.  Three tickets are given and one can choose to put all their tickets in a giant martini glass located beside each painting. At 9.15 p.m. the draw takes place at each painting.  To be eligible for the "Featured Artist" painting,  patrons must purchase tickets at $50 per ticket.  We were thrilled to see our "Giant Martini Glass" was full to capacity.  The winner of "Let's Sail Away" triptych was:  Dr. Kimberly Quick.

The evening went all too quickly and we finished in the courtyard with coffee, desert and cigars.
Plein Aire Cottage Artists Mary Rose and Violetta :

How was your weekend?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Circle

Original Oil painting by Helen Tilston

On my bedside table is a copy of the book Anam Cara which was written by John O'Donohue, who is an Irish poet philosopher who lived in the west of Ireland until his early and untimely death at 52 yrs of age in 2008. This book is well worn and read.   John, like myself, is a Celt.  A Celtic symbol is the circle. Life is a circle, one event, leads to another and so on.  I do believe the majority of you will enjoy this book.

One art collector, whom I had not met, (I shall refer to her as Madame X) contacted me last week to say she would be unable to attend our art opening this past Sunday.  We made arrangements to meet yesterday and she received the docent tour of our exhibition, at Guppy's Restaurant.

  This past summer Madame X purchased a plein air painting of Guppy's Restaurant, which I had painted more than a year ago.  

Lunch Date Original oil by Helen Tilston

Madame X and her husband enjoyed a Thursday lunch date each week and they had a favourite table at Guppy's. My painting hung above their table.  Her husband would say "let me buy you that painting as you so love it" she would say "Oh we have no space for it and we have such and such expense".  Sadly her husband died in his sleep this past Spring, at the young age of 50 yrs.   A month later she went to Guppy's and decided to sit at a new table with her friend - she looked up and there was my painting hanging above her new table (the restaurant was renovated and paintings re-hung by designer) and on looking at the title she saw it read
"Guppy's lunch date".  The rest is history. She is the proud owner of this painting.

Over lunch we chatted about life and art and I mentioned that I used paint miniature art and exhibited.
She looked vague and then asked if I had exhibited at the Belleview Biltmore at the juried minitature show.  I assured her I had.  This annual show consists of more than a 1,500 miniature paintings by artists from all over the world.  Yes, you guessed it, she had purchased one of my miniatures about fifteen years ago.
My Irish playground Original Oil on Ivorine Miniature Helen Tilston
 Miniature painting is oil on ivorine - pardon image, it is under glass.

We had a delightful lunch and I have a new friend.

Do you believe in the circle of life, events, happenings.  Have you had such instances?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

How does a hot water bottle work

Some long time friends have flown in for our art opening tomorrow.  Amongst the friends are D now 30 years of age and B  28 years old.  We have known D....and B....since they were babies.  They spent many New Years with us at our former country farm farmhouse, cross country skiing, downhill skiing and skating.   We had wrought iron beds in each room of the farmhouse.  The century old farmhouse was drafty, with floor to ceiling windows  and lacked central heating.  Each bed was equipped with two hot water bottles, with knitted covers.   On the boys first visit, I tucked them into their separate bedrooms. I spent time with each boy and told D to slide the hot water bottles around the bed and soon the bed would be warm and toasty.  I returned to the kitchen and some five minutes later  heard B padding down the stairs and in his 4 yr. old voice said "Auntie Helen, tell me again how the hot water bottle works"

Last evening they were guests at dinner and the first time the boys had visited this house.

  D and B in viewing the upstairs rooms  noticed the wrought iron beds in our guest bedroom at this house, they had slept in those same beds during their visits to our farm.

Memories came flooding back to them and they remembered the hot water bottles.  Then went around identifying and remembering paintings and photos.  Some great stories were told.

The art show is hung and opens tomorrow evening.  I am looking to the evening.

Have you used a hot water bottle?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Blessings

Our Lady original oil painting by Helen Tilston

Wishing you a very Happy New Year full of blessings, hope, joy, love and peace that passes all understanding. 

I posted this morning and "hit publish" and realized I had posted to my second blog, which I shall link here


May all your dreams come true in 2012.

Any resolutions?