About Me

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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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Living Abroad in France and why

View from Colonial Court Inn, Indian Rocks Beach, Florida by Helen Tilston

Having lived  in Australia, Canada, Honolulu, Florida and Ireland I have been reflecting on why some of my siblings are travellers and others have chosen to live in Ireland.   Could it be the music we listen to that inspires us to travel.   This beautiful song by Nina Simone, which I heard recently,  is "on repeat" at my house.

This song brought to mind my blogging friends who have chosen to live in France.
 French Essence The beautiful and observant Vicki Archer formerly from Australia speaks of living in Paris and Provence.
http://afemmeduncertainage.blogspot.ie/  Also beautiful and a journalist Tish Jett formerly from the USA now living near Paris.
http://lostinarles.blogspot.ie/ Another beauty whose eye is always on the arts, Heather Robinson formerly from the USA and now living in Provence
http://quiddity2.blogspot.ie/  Dawne Polis  Also a beautiful and talented photographer and writer  from the USA who just very recently, as in a month ago, moved to France and is going to be renovating an older home.
My French Country Home  The beautiful collector and writer Sharon Santoni formerly from the U.K. now lives in Normandy.
La Pouyette.  The beautiful and soulful Karin, whose country of origin I do not know, writes and links music that always warms my heart

I would love to hear from these bloggers and their story on what was the first note that set them on their course to live abroad.  Was it a song like "My Father" by Nina Simone?

Are you living in a country different from your birthplace?  I would love to know why and what inspired you to move

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Seaweed and Ripples in the rock pool

Helen and Spice Girl foraging for seaweed

Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me

As I gaze upon the sea

All the old romantic legends,

All my dreams, come back to me

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow- The Secret of the Sea)

I have been informed that there are more than 200 varieties of seaweed on Irish shores and, while some may be distasteful, all are edible.  Some tasty varieties are:  Sea Spaghetti (Himanthalia Elongata)Sleabhcán (porphyra spp) Dilisk (Palmaria Palmata)
Carrageen (Clondrus crispus)Alaria (Alaria Esculenta).

These next few weeks will find us foraging for seaweed and learning of its medicinal, culinary and cosmetic benefits.  

Entrance to Youghal Harbour 

The Lighthouse at Youghal Harbour

This song shows some of the Irish shores we will haunt.

Do you include seaweed in your diet?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Thrill of It All

Spice Girl graciously guards her new territory and daily roams the beach at Youghal, Ireland.  This Florida born  rescue dog who grew up listening to southern American voices now listens to southern Irish accents with many Gaelic words included.

I have not met Pamela from the house of edward.blog but I imagine she has a soft southern American accent.   Some time back, Tish Jett from afemmeduncertainage.blog wrote of Pamela and her dog Edward and in passing said, "someone should paint this image".   I thought to myself why not give it a try.   I am a plein aire painter and took the opportunity to set up my easel on Youghal beach in the brilliant light of  day.  

Pamela & Edward oil on canvas

In my right brain, and oblivious to all things logical,  I painted to my heart's delight.  A couple stopped and said "Are you from Indian Rocks Beach, Florida"?   I said "yes, how did you know"   They said "we saw your umbrella"

My latest read "The Thrill of it All" by Joseph O'Connor.  When I finished the last page, I immediately returned to page one and read it again.  It is set in England, circa 1980 and is the story of a rock band called The Ships.   Joseph O'Connor is brother to Sinead O'Connor.
Hearing an author's speak about their work is also thrilling  Joseph O'Connor

Hope you are blissfully enjoying sunshine and blue skies

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer and Lost Buttons

Helen Tilston in Sarasota, Florida

I hope you are having the best summer ever.

There has been lots of excitement here and several trips both local and international.

My second blog Plein Aire Cottage Artists explains my lost button and I would greatly welcome assistance.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

From Sea To Shinng Sea

Sarasota Florida 
Our new home is beginning to resemble a home.   The weather on the south coast of Ireland has been spectacular.   The sun rises at 5 a.m. and it is past 10.00 p.m before dusk.
Our living room is beginning to take shape
The fireplace we love and have had occasion to build a turf fire 

The Irish Open Golf Tournament at Fota Island found us following golfers.

Irish golfers, Rory McIlroy  and Padraig Harrington both wearing green

A trip to Florida found us celebrating July 4th at our friend's cottage at beautiful Indian Rocks Beach
Indian Rocks Beach at sunset on July 4th.
The fireworks were unbelievable
July 4th at I.R.B. Fl.
My friends Mark Ellis and John John with their girlfriends

Mary Rose, Violetta and I paint in the glorious light in beautiful downtown Sarasota.   
Stylish and beautiful Gallery Curator Kate Runyon,  Helen,Mary Rose & Violetta at Michael's on Main in Sarasota

We absolutely love Kate's style and enthusiasm
Always words of encouragement
A visit from  Gallery Curator, Kate Runyon,  from Michael's on Main in Sarasota, where our artwork is now displayed.

How is your summer?  I intend to visit all of you shortly and catch up on your posts.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cruising the Mediterranean

Taken from Silver Spirit as we sailed the high seas

The itinerary said: Board Silver Spirit in Civitavecchia, on the outskirts of Rome.  
Day 2:  Portofino
Day 3.  Liverno with trips to Florence and Lucca
Day 4.   "
Day 5   Sardinia
Day 6   Porto Mahon
Day 7  Ibiza
Day 8  Barcelona

The Silver Spirt is a luxury 5 star cruise.  Elegant, gracious, spacious and understated are words used to describe living on board.  We were pampered by our butler, Marlon.  This 500 passenger ship has many advantages, one being it can visit ports that are unavailable to large ships.

We were disappointed to find our from Captain Mino Pontillo that due to stormy weather our landing in Portofino was to be cancelled and we were sailing on to Genoa.    We did have a rough sailing on our first night and during the night, I went to our balcony and the large waves told me our Captain had made a wise decision.  

Genoa has been nicknamed la Superba ("the Proud one") due to its glorious past and impressive landmarks.  In 2004 Genoa was named European Capital of Culture.  Birthplace of Christopher Columbus and architect Renzo Piano .  Genoa claims a first for blue jeans, pesto and the earliest bank of St. George founded in 1407.  I plan to return and explore the architecture of Renzo Piano the museums and galleries.

 Day 3 and we are on our balcony waiting to greet the port of Liverno.

Today we are going to Florence. Travel Industry Today have published my account of visiting this city. Should you wish to read please click on link.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Threading through life

Helen Tilston by the Arno River Firenze
Returning to Florence two weeks ago and meandering through her familiar streets, I am reminded of my last visit.

Helen Tilston and Violetta Chandler in Firenze on way to Medici Apartment

Plein Aire Cottage Artists:  Mary Rose Holmes, Helen Tilston and Violetta Chandler
In 2007, my art partners Mary Rose Holmes, Violetta and me represented the USA at the
invitational juried Florence Biennale.   800 artists from 73 nations assembled for one week at the Fortezza da Bassa in Firenze.     A party was organized among some twenty recently met American friends and Aida volunteered her apartment which still had the bake oven used by the notorious family at  the Medici Apartment

Always leave the door open for opportunity

Aida, an avid traveller informed me she used Villa Renters and had success.   On our next trip to Ireland I found The Old Monastery" in Youghal, Co Cork.

View from The Old Monastery In Youghal 
We loved this place so much we vacationed each year for the past five years and have many beautiful memories of joyful times.  A special thank you to owners William and Brenda Hughes.

The Blackwater River feeds into the Irish Sea at Youghal.

We love Youghal so much, and by now you have probably guessed, we have purchased a home here.
We very recently took possession of our 130 year old home.  

Aida I want to thank you for being the seed or needle that started this whole tapestry.

(I have received no compensation from Villa Renters, Italy Perfect nor the Irish Tourist Board)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Beach Walkers/Runners at Indian Rocks Beach

My day begins with a four mile run/walk along the beach.   For two decades I have been a regular on this beach.  I am rarely alone.  The same faces whiz past me and Good Morning's are exchanged and many regulars I know by first name.   Bill who has a larger than life personality and represented a  famous American singer is a regular and his humour and smile lights up the coastline.

 This day he stops me and I am invited to join the beachwalkers for  lunch in a local restaurant.
I enquire if there is a purpose to the luncheon.  In his booming tone he responds:  "Helen, we have absolutely no purpose other than to have a good time"

My art partner Mary Rose, also a beach walker, and I have a delightful lunch and enjoy hearing more about our fellow runners/walkers.

A cardinal has nested, again this year, at my door, in a ficus tree,  and has two extremely fat babies who seem reluctant to leave the nest.  The brazen, law breaking father keeps a watchful eye as we enter and exit.

My 'COMMENT'  button is working again.  Yeah!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What we found at the beach and Comments

One never know what treasures the beach will offer on a given day.

On our morning walk two weeks ago, we found all types of coral.  

Since yesterday, I am unable to" COMMENT" on YOUR blogs.  I am receiving "Comments",
however cannot reply to your comments.

When I comment on your blogs here is what happens:
I write my comment
From my drop down menu I select Google A/C
and bam....My comment disappears 

Does anyone have any solutions?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

IRB -The Goodness and Kindness of the residents and those who visit

Helen, Mary Rose and Violetta painting a triptych
Thank you my dear friends from the "world of blog" for caring and keeping in touch with me.
Your emails have touched my heart.    I am happy to report that I am well and in good health.
Our art show continues at Salt Rock Grill and has been one of our best ever.   
As Plein Aire Painters we take to the streets in all kinds of weather and some days recently have been in the hgh 70's.   Shade is precious on such days, as the reflections in the palms will show.  One could say we are like ducks all in a row.
Our generous visitors who are now new friends
A family who choose to live among us at Indian Rocks Beach, as visitors,  for two weeks, stop to offer their praise and ask questions.  We told them of our upcoming trip to Barcelona Spain.    The lady in the  pink shorts disappears to her cottage and presents us with three bottles of ice cold water. We return to our easels and they to the beach.
A tribute to Gaudi in honour of our upcoming trip to Spain
They return, some hours later,  glowing from swimming and beaming with joy.   They escort us to the beach and have build a sandcastle which is their homage to the Spanish architect Gaudi and a glimpse of what we will see in Barcelona. 

Homage to Gaudi at Indian Rocks Beach

Julie returning from the market and her gift to us

Next, our friend  Julie, the owner of one of the houses being immortalized in our painting (triptych) returns from the market.  Her car is packed with all types of herbs and the perfume of lavender, sage, bergamot and basil meets with our oil and turpentine.  Had Tom Ford been here a new perfume would have been born.   We exchange pleasantries. She then produces freshly baked cookies.  Pleasantly satiated, we decide to skip lunch and return to our easels.

Indian Rocks Beach Florida
I have missed visiting your blogs and will return and leave comments once the sand settles.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Florida Art Show- Dancing and Painting

Helen Tilston painting en plein air
As my art partners sing when the pressure gets high "Mamma told me there would be days like this".
This always makes me giggle to listen to Violetta sing in her soft Russian accent and Mary Rose in her Southern USA soft lilt.  Well, I can hardly claim neutrality with my Irish accent. 

Each week has brought excitement and deadlines and we are comfortable knowing  Coastal Cottages Series 12 is hung and opens tonight at Salt Rock Grill.   The largest piece is a triptych, one panel painted by each artist, en plein aire.   It is one of the most exciting pieces for us.  The scene depicts Indian Rocks Beach, the palms, the sea and the incredible light and sky

Helen's panel in progress

IRB-No Ordinary Here, a triptych- one panel each artists, Mary Rose Holmes, Helen Tilston and Violetta Chandler

 Our team (Master Carpenter Brian and Jose) together with Daryl Frahn, John John Holmes all worked their magic to ensure each piece was hung with precision. 
Brian and Jose's masterful skills at work.
Thank you John John
Ms. Daryl Frahn & Mary Rose planning placement of paintings

In my studio are Violetta and Mary Rose add finishing magic to show-going pieces.  Of interest is the painting Mary Rose (R)is working on, the triptych is three panels hung horizontally.  
Action 2000 is one of our local non profit organizations who do marvelous work in our community host a fund raising Valentine's Dance.  This year was my turn to donate a painting.  Thank you
Clearwater Gazette .

Wishing all of you my friends could be here to join us this evening as our show is unveiled.  This is the view from Salt Rock facing East.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Indian Rocks Beach: Art, Interviews and Books

The sun is shining and the sea is blue 
As we paint together we discuss the hue
Helen Tilston & Violetta painting in the sunshine
There seems to be insufficient hours in the day at this time of year.
Our art show opens on February 28th and triptychs, frames and details are being decided upon.

TheBelleair Bee have featured The Plein Aire Cottage Artists in this week's paper.  We are grateful to Brian Goff for his professionalism and good journalism.

Thank you to Indian Rocks Beach Neighourhood Newsletter for featuring our Tenth Anniversary in the January Issue. 

Mary Rose Holmes puts finishing touches on her painting
This stylish woman stopped and gave her support

I was delighted to find sitting on my doorstep today a package from Amazon containing my copy of
Henny by Elizabeth Rose Stanton.  If you have not found Penspaper Studio blog by Elizabeth I can assure you it is a delightful and uplifting blog.   Elizabeth is a talented writer and also a very accomplished artist.
Spice Girl is showing her jealousy. I have assured her Henny has no intention of living with us

A typical Chicken and Henny

   It is my honour to have Henny perched on my bookshelf in the  company of talented authors whose books grace my home.  Who knew this kind of friendship would develop through blogging.
Tish Jett A Femme d'un Certain Age,  Pamela The House of Edward, Jennifer, Madame Chic,Lance Hattatt's Gardening Books,Vickie Archer, French Essence
All of the above books I have personally purchased.

Curlew on Indian Rocks Beach
Sending you sunshine and fond wishes from Indian Rocks Beach.