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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

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Painting for a young girl

She is twelve years of age.  Soon she will leave the private school she has attended all her young life. Her parents are collectors of original art.
They  asked her what she wanted for her birthday.. She replied:   "A painting by Helen Tilston of my school".   The school is situated on fifteen acres.  There are stables. Horseback in both English and Western style riding lessons are offered. There is a barn, with cows, calves, sheep lambs, goats,kids, a donkey and a pot bellied pig
Student taking lesson

As an artist we rarely find a perfect composition and at times buildings, trees and objects must be moved to make for a better composition.
This is the actual riding stables.  On the left is the tack shed, which is a pre-fab.  We decided to substitute the cracker style barn for the tack shed

As with all schools, security is tight and special permission was granted to me to paint on the grounds of the school. I was given a large name tag to wear.

I set up my French Easel and began blocking in my image.  Suddenly I heard a little voice say:
 "Miss X.. she is here, look, look she is here". 
 The teacher came around the corner, followed by twelve students all aged about  8 yrs of age and said: "Can I ask who you are and what are you doing" ( I introduced myself.  She looked shocked and said.) "We have just read (I did not get the name of the book)............and the protagonist in the story goes around sketching continually and I have also just been talking to my students about Monet and the French Impressionists.  We studied his Cap D'Antibes  painting.  Then seeing you here,  it is as though we are seeing a vision".

I continued to the stables and worked on my compostition.  The rain came and I had to take shelter and call it a day.  My work thus far.  I shall return to the school for at least one more painting session and hopefully meet some more joyful teachers and students and hear more stories.

Roughed in sketch of barn with Elvis in his stall by Helen Tilston
Do you know the name of the children's book the teacher is referring to?  Do you cherish memories of your school?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

She wants help with Colour

Helen Tilston plein air painting, painting is incomplete.
She loves our art work and her main home has a large collection of our paintings.  She has purchased a delightful cottage on the intercoastal waterway, at a bargain price. It was sold in what is known as a *short sale.  Her views are spectacular and this 3 bedroom home is in very good condition just  needs some new flooring  and the walls need painting.
Her thoughts on colour range the full spectrum and she is confused and conflicted on colour.
Artist Mary Rose Holmes

We had scheduled a day of painting in a historic area of Sarasota and invited our client to join us for lunch.
Burns Court Sarasota
Artist Mary Rose Holmes
 Equipped with cappucinos we set up painting in historic Burns Court.  We received a warm welcome from local shopkeepers who always welcome us with open arms.   Our painting en plein air commenced.
Artist Violetta Chandler
Helen Tilston decides on this vista
This beautiful vista captured my heart

Indian Rocks Beach Florida

Helen and Violetta at Burn Court

We stopped for lunch at a delightful French Restaurant on Main St.  We chatted and a little shopping was in order.  We took our client to a favourite store and knew she would be inspired by the colours, as we felt they would be fitting for her cottage

Violetta amid pastel shades
The introduction of pink
Tranquil blues and luxurious pure linen sheets
It's mine, no it's mine
A special and eventful day and so much enjoyment.  Our client was delighted and her colour selection was chosen.  Farrow & Ball is going to receive a paint order and some canvases of ours are being primed.

* A short sale results from what is called an upside down mortgage here in the USA. The mortgage extended is greater than the value of the home and the owners are in default. Enter the bank who are left with the property and decide to accept a low price from a new buyer.  I am not allowed to tell you what our client paid for this property, other than say it is ridiculously low.  For those with extra money and seeking ocean side property, there are some bargains with views that are exquisite.

(P.S. I neglected to take pictures of Mary Rose painting in Sarasota, so have substituted images of her taken in the past two weeks)

Does living by the ocean appeal to you?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lost and Found and the late Queen Mother

Helen Tilston photo by Karin Altpeter

“You are as young as you feel. If you begin to feel the warmth of your soul, there will be a youthfulness in you that no one will be able to take away from you.”
John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom 

Indian Rocks Beach Florida homes
I was feeling particularly energetic and decided to up my daily run on the beach from 3 to 5 miles.
Indian Rocks Beach Florida

Shore birds at Indian Rocks Beach, Florida

On my return, about 3 miles from home what should dart across my path in haste to the beach but a small poodle dog. (Indian Rocks Beach has a by-law which prohibits dogs from  the beach and imposes a fine of $140.)  She played in the waves as they lapped to shore and ran wildly. I called it and grabbed it and it nestled in my arms. I traced the steps of the dog to some beach-side homes.  I knocked on doors but to no avail nobody ever saw this dog before.  Weighing 16 lbs  I knew this would be a heavy load to carry home, so I asked somebody to drive me home.  After suspicious looks a drive home was secured. The dog had a collar and phone number and  the name Mitzi.  I fed her and she drank water.  My dog, Spice Girl welcomed her and seemed to feel Mitzi's distress.The phone number, a Chicago number, was, sadly, not in service.  We made several phone calls and finally as we were speaking to the Humane Society the owner of the dog was on the other line. We obtained the local phone number for the owners who were visiting from Chicago and both were sobbing and visibly distressed.  We returned Mitzi to their arms  and Spice Girl leaned out the window of the car and kissed Mitzi on the lips. It was the perfect ending.  I wonder how Mitzi would describe here five hour adventure.

Mitzi and Helen saying good-bye

Shortly afterward, the Post Woman knocked on my door and there was a parcel postmarked Royal Mail, from Penarth, U.K.
Yonks and enclosed within the most bautiful stamps including one of the late Queen Mother, who is wearing the same sapphire and diamond brooch she wore when I one time met her at St. James Palace
I shall frame it and it will join my photos of the Royal Family.  Thank you very much Dianne (Yonks).  Dianne writes beautifully and is one of my favourite blogs.
Fred Tilston, Helen Tilston and HRH The Queen Mother, wearing her sapphire and diamond brooch

Have you found anything valuable lately?