Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Arts & Letters Club Art Judges

Kinsale Ireland Photo Helen Tilston
Where has summer gone?

We thoroughly enjoyed the work involved in judging The Arts & Letters Club, Washington D.C. scholarship.    A challenging experience and we ere happy to call upon our previous experience of judging the Plein Air Paint Out in Tarpon Springs some years back.

All three of us have been working on commissioned pieces this summer.   Additonally, we are painting furiously and  adding to our upcoming exhibition at Indian Rocks Beach in December.

 Giving back to our community is important for us and this year the Plein Aire Cottage Artists are donating this painting by Mary Rose Holmes to the annual Octoberfest at Indian Rocks Beach, Florida
Mary Rose Holmes painting at 8th Ave and Gulf Blvd. Indian Rocks Beach

Mary Rose Holmes adds magic to painting in studio.  

Violetta Chandler has generously agreed to donate a portrait to a worthy cause that provides health care to those without.
The painting will be painted in situ from live model at the Gala in January.

Violetta painting en plein aire from the live model

Helen Tilston is donating"My Day of Rest at Youghal Beach"  to Martine + Matisse.

My day of rest at Youghal Beach Original Oil by Helen Tilston

Now back to the studio.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Fine Art Scholarship Judges

Photo by Helen Tilston
 The phone rang recently and the Speaker asked to speak to the three members of the Plein Aire Cottage Artists;  Violetta Chandler, Mary Rose Holmes and Helen Tilston.

They declared that they have been following our artist journey and congratulated us on our work and recent commissioned pieces.   We listened cautiously.    It was then revealed that they had selected us to be the Judges of one of the most prestigious scholarships in the USA for 2016.   The scholarship is open to young artists across the entire country.  

For the past month, we have been burning the mid-night oil and more than once saw the sunrise.
Some of the pieces of art work submitted took our breath away.   It is at a time like this where we are so pleased to have three of us to collaborate.    We take this responsibility with the uttermost care and detail.   We bear in mind the amount of work and care put into each applicant's portfolio.  Having made this journey ourselves we hope makes us compassionate and considerate.

We have made our selections and submitted the results.

We are delighted to say that the world will benefit from these amazingly talented artists.

Photo:  Helen Tilston

We shall leave the scholarship nameless until the winning candidates are advised at an upcoming date.

We are very much looking to future assignments.

Violetta, Helen and Mary Rose at Indian Rocks Beach

Violetta, Mary Rose and Helen

Monday, September 7, 2015

Indian Rocks Beach Celebrates Octoberfest 2015

Historic Yacht Basin, IRB, Fl. Original oil painted on canvas one panel by each artist:  Mary Rose, Violetta & Helen Tilston
Hope everyone had a wonderful summer and that you are fully rested to take on the world of Autumn and Winter.

The Plein Aire Cottage Artists have had one of their busiest and most successful Summer.  Pictured above is Violetta painting at Ballycotton, Co Cork,  Ireland, in June.    Ireland has welcomed our paintings.   One comment from an onlooker was "It looks like ye paint the sunlight in the painting"

Mary Rose and Violetta adding magic to plein air paintings

Four local newspapers covered our shows.  Cry Radio Station in Youghal invited Helen Tilston to Sixty Minutes for a one hour interview and a promise of a return visit prior to Christmas.
Technical Asst. Reese Denehy at CRY Youghal

Suzanne Dillon Radio Host at CRY Youghal
Helen Tilston awaiting interview at CRY Station Youghal
Pat Carroll  Host of Sixty Minutes at CRY Station Youghal

This was my first radio interview, I was slightly nervous but am told it went well

Should your travels bring you to Ireland please stop in and say hello to our friend at  AHERNES
Have a pint of Murphys(a Cork brew) or Guinness (Dublin) enjoy a plate of oysters and seafood and deserts of the finest. Coastal Living Series 19 is on exhibition here.


The Historic Yacht Basin at Indian Rocks Beach Florida has a magical spirit.  Visitors always stop to watch the sunrise, or the reverse sunset,  the dolphin or manatee on occasion, the egrets, blue heron and songbirds stop which travelling north and south.  The historical white house located here with the sunlight dancing on her windows, enhanced by  the scent of orange blossom, jasmine, roses and bougailvillia all mingle with the salt water.   Violetta, Mary Rose and I have painted here on many  occasions.  Recently, we  painted a triptych (one panel by each artist).  This painting we are donating to Octoberfest.  The painting will be auctioned off on October 10, 2014 at Octoberfest, Indian Rocks Beach.   We understand there will be on line bidding available.   The entire proceeds benefit IRB Action 2000 which gives the entire amount back the community by beautifying the neighbourhood.

Above is an image of  the Historic Yacht basin. Bidding Link will follow.

Many thanks for your comments and wishing you a wondrous week.

Mary Rose, Violetta and Helen

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Youghal at Aherne's =Coastal Living Series 19

A Mother's love, by Helen Tilston
One of my favourite restaurants in Ireland is Aherne's, located in the Historic Walled port of Youghal (Old Town Walls, built in 12th century are still intact) is one of Ireland's Heritage Towns and is seeped in history.  Sir Walter Raleigh was Mayor of this town.  Myrtle Grove his home is worth visiting.

When Katie Fitzgibbon, owner of Aherne's asked if we would exhibit our paintings in their dining room we were thrilled to be associated with this fine establishment.

Coastal Living Series 19 is now at Aherne's.

Should your travels take you to Ireland, Aherne's is a must.  

Evening at Ballycotton by Violetta

Summer's Dream by Mary Rose Holmes


Open turf fires and warmest of  welcomes await you in this family run hotel in historic walled port of Youghal.  Rooms are comfortable and luxurious, decorated with antiques and original art work. Their famous seafood bar and restaurant specializes in the freshest of local seafood: lobster, crab, prawns, mussels and salmon.  The FitzGibbon family have been running Aherne's since 1923 and the present owners, third generation, David and John and their wives Katie and Gaye are always on hand to extend a welcome and offer personal advice.
Aherne's is the perfect base for touring the South East, Waterford Crystal, Jameson Whiskey, Ballycotton, Ardmore, Lismore and Cork City are all in close proximity.

Aherne's is one of the exclusive properties featured in the prestigious "Ireland'sBlue Book"
Oysters and Guinness @ Aherne's
Open turf fires and the warmest of welcomes await you in this family run hotel in the Historic walled port o 

Youghal harbour

Cozy Fire @ Aherne's

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Indian Rocks Beach - Plein Aire Cottage Artists Preservation Award 2015

Mary Rose Holmes presents Award to Rebecca (Bama) Palmer, Owner of PJ Restaurant, IRB,.Photo;Phil Hanna
Each year, for the past eight years,  the Plein Aire Cottage Artists and  Indian Rocks Beach Action 2000 present one business and one residence with the "PRESERVATION AWARD".  This year the winner for business is P.J's Restaurant & Oyster Bar.  The Owner Rebecca (Bama) Palmer pictured above accepting the Award from Plein Aire Cottage Artist, Mary Rose Holmes.   PJ's a long time business at Indian Rocks Beach found their lease was expiring and they then found an old building. They did a spectacular renovation. The  food is delicious and the service friendly and efficient.

Mary Rose and GeorgeAnn Thompson accepting Award for the Brindley Family. Photo Phil Hanna
The 2015 Residential Award was given to The Brindley Family.  This beautiful beach side home circa 1920 is elegantly and environmentally restored.   Accepting the award on behalf of Mrs. Brindley is, long time friend, GeorgeAnn Thompson.
The 2015 Preservation Award - Photo Phil Hanna

It was a wonderful evening and we thank all the volunteers and residents of Indian Rocks Beach who helped on Thursday evening.  A special thank you to Indian Rocks Beach Historical Museum for hosting this year's event.  A special thank you to City Commissioner Phil Hanna for use of his photographs.

We look forward to presenting two awards again in 2016.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Indian Rocks Beach is coming to Ireland

Mary Rose and Violetta at Indian Rocks Beach

2015 is already shaping up to be a very exciting year for Mary Rose Holmes, Violetta Chandler and Helen Tilston

Helen at Indian Rocks Beach (photo credit Rossana Stroligo)
Ireland has extended an invitation to us to exhibit "Coastal Living".   Our show will open in June 2015.

Mary Rose at Indian Rocks Beach (photo credit:  Rossana Stroligo)
Prior to the show we will be painting, on location, en plain air in Ireland.  Helen has been scouting Ireland for the past several months for vistas.   

Paintings are being tagged, measured and selected.    We are also taking every moment to complete commissioned pieces prior to travelling to Europe.  

A few of our patrons are planning to travel to Ireland for our art opening.   We are truly blessed.

Coastal Cottages is ongoing at


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Plein Air Painting in Florida & "Reply Button to Comments"

Plein Aire Cottage Artist Violetta paints in Sarasota Florida
A sunny morning meeting in Sarasota, where we agreed to meet with Violetta (her hometown) and paint.

The light and values have attracted Plein Aire Cottage Artist Helen Tilston
We ran into some friends and following some diversions eventually found time to paint

Plein Aire Cottage Artists Mary Rose Holmes and Violetta
Downtown, Sarasota has seen some changes and is now vibrant and alive with many new stores, boutiques and restaurants.  It is certainly worth visiting and talk on the street is  "it is booming and is growing".

Michael's on Main Street, Sarasota is our most recent gallery and we are thrilled to work with Gallery Curator, Kate Runyon whom we have the utmost respect.   She has incredible S.T.Y.L.E
Kate Runyon.  She exudes style.

Christie's At Indian Rocks Beach, Florida

Christie's have opened a new office at Indian Rocks Beach, called  "Coastal Christie's" and our paintings grace the walls of this fine building.

Triptych by Plein Aire Cottage Artists at Salt Rock, Indian Shores

Coastal Cottages Series Twelve continues at the Gallery at Salt Rock Grill, Indian Shores.

Can someone please help me restore my "Response to Comments button"   It has disappeared when I used a new template for this blog.   Also new posts to this blog do not show up on my sidebar.

Many thanks