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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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Side Saddle & Women of Substance

Many of you have asked why women choose to ride side-saddle?  A wonderful question and hopefully you will find the answer.
The second question, how do you remain in the saddle when jumping?

The two pommel saddle is used. In the 1830s, Jules Pellier invented a sidesaddle design with a second, lower pommel to the sidesaddle
The Riding Habit:

The skirt or apron as it is sometimes referred to is designed for safety and worn over jodhpurs.

Early images of Greek pottery and Celtic stones depict women riding sidesaddle. 
The earliest functional "sidesaddle" was credited to Anne of Bohemia (1366–1394) It was a chair-like affair where the woman sat sideways on the horse with her feet on a small footrest. The design made it difficult for a woman to both stay on and use the reins to control the horse, so the animal was usually led by another rider, sitting astride.
A more practical design, developed in the 16th century, has been attributed to Catherine de' Medici.  In her design, the rider sat facing forward, hooking her right leg around the pommel of the saddle with a horn added to the near side of the saddle to secure the rider's right knee. The footrest was replaced with a "slipper stirrup", a leather-covered stirrup of  iron into which the rider's left foot was placed.

Side Saddle Ireland Publishes upcoming events.  Please contact should you wish to join them and seek further knowledge.
Susan Oakes (world record for highest jump on sidesaddle) get dressed for event in Jan 2013.

The beautiful Nadina kindly gave me permission to use her photos from a recent event.  She is a woman with extraordinary talents.  Her photos and artwork will delight.

HRH Queen Elizabeth riding side-saddle in 1986

Are you ready to join this group of fun-loving women as they take to the fields?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Side Saddle Hunt in Ireland today

Evelyn Glynn riding side-saddle in Co. Meath today

In Ireland, side-saddle riding is undergoing a revival.  In Navan. Co Meath today some 50 riders met, all elegantly attired in their finery.   An overcast, muddy day was not going to deter this enthusiastic group of sports women.

 The organizer is Susan Oaks who currently holds the world record in side-saddle high jumping, clearing 5ft. 9 ins. on Brandy and Red at Aintree, (England)  racecourse in July. The previous record was achieved in 1915 in Sydney.

 Video shows Susan Oakes securing world record

 In its second year, the Irish Side-Saddle Hunt has attracted for this event, women from around the world.  Participating this year are France's Lady Antoinette de la Bouillerie, Lady Martha Sitwell, socialite and former face of Ascot Races, Jewellery Designer Phillipa Holland and Lucy Holland.Visitors from Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Belgium will join the Irish side saddle riders who range in age from 8 yrs old to late 60's.  Wearing side saddle habits, many handed down from generations, in navy, black or tweed.
Susan Oaks securing the world record

Oakes will ride her German stallion SIEC Atlas today.   Recently she completed a one day event in France, taking on all three categories, dressage, cross-country and showjumping while riding "side-saddle"

My nice, Evelyn Glynn, while relatively new to the art of side-saddle riding is no stranger to the equesterian world.   Securing a jockey's licence at a young age, she advanced to show jumping and is a regular rider with the Hunt.

In gratitute for photos by: Alison Murphy-Dunboyne Photography

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Red Carpet Awaits You

Triptych - My beachiful beach"  Photo Karin Alpeter
It is time to celebrate

Parrots interrupt Mary Rose  while painting with words of wisdom "Celebrate", photo Karin Alpeter
That is directly heard from the mouths of the parrots who regularly walk along Indian Rocks Beach.

My flowers welcome you - original oil by Mary Rose

Kinvara Memories - original oil by Helen Tilston

Cafe dining - original oil by Violetta

It has been a very exciting year for the Plein Aire Cottage Artists.  We have travelled and painted in Ireland, the Adirondacks, Canada, Winter Park, Hawaii, Colorado, Michigan, Sarasota, Indian Rocks Beach, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs and Tampa. 

These paintings plus sixty oils, painted en plein air, will be on exhibition at Guppy's,
Indian Rocks Beach Florida.  The show Coastal Cottages Series Eleven (our 11th year exhibiting as a group)  opens January 24th at 6.00 p.m.

Wish you were here

Helen, Mary Rose and Violetta return from a day of painting at Indian Rocks Beach-Photo Karin Alpeter

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Art Show - the stress and joy

Helen Tilston painting at Indian Rocks Beach - Photo Karin Altpeter
We have been painting for the past twelve months in anticipation of Coastal Cottages Series Eleven which opens on January 24, at Guppy's, 1701 Gulf Blvd. Indian Rocks Beach Florida.

Violetta Chandler painting her thrid of a triptych at Indian Rocks Beach. Photo Karin Altpeter
My art partner Russian born Violetta

Mary Rose Holmes painting at Indian Rocks Beach - Photo KarinAltpeter

 and Mary Rose Holmes a seventh generation Floridian and myself, Irish born Helen Tilston have been painting and exhibiting  together for the past twelve years. We call ourselves "The Plein Aire Cottage Artists.
Someone who stopped and chatted one day as we painted en plein air commented, you should have called yourselves the IRA  (Ireland, Russian and America) to which his smart spoken friends responded "yeah but your weapon of choice is a paintbrush". Our motto is peace.

Helen Tilston painting in Sarasota Florida Photo Jeannine Mullen

Final touches are being put on our paintings, frames are being fitted and now what we will wear on opening night is on our mind.

Many out of town guests are attending.   If any of you happen to be in or near the Gulf Coast of Florida, let me know and I will give you a personal docent tour.