|Mary Rose Holmes at the entrance to her beach cottage with Artist Violetta|
|Mary Rose painting en plein air|
|Violetta and Mary Rose painting en plein air|
Mary Rose Holmes majored in Fine Art. During her time at college the emphasis and style was certainly modern. Students were encouraged to used bold slashes of colour in a minimal fashion, which Mary Rose did. Returning home during college break, she would boldly present her modern ideas to her father (a collector of original realistic and impressionistic art) and imply that he should move along with the times. Her father Algenon Speer, a Fifth generation Floridian defence attorney living in a small town in Florida had his own ideas about art. He tried cases in various areas and during his travels back in the 50's he stumbled upon some black artists who sold their paintings on the roadside, outside the orange groves where they worked for $20. Those he purchased, still wet and fresh off the easel and loved. The artists would know when he was heading to Fort Piece or Kissimee and wait for him. (he secretly wanted his daughter to paint in this style). Mary Rose's mother favoured the European school of art for their home and only one of the Highwaymen paintings met her criteria. The Highwaymen collection sat in the attic of a beach home until Mary Rose and Dwight purchased their present cottage. The interior walls are hard cyprus and the door surrounds are pecky cyprus (now most difficult to find)
The artists are known as the Highwaymen. Many of the earlier paintings sell from between $3,000 - $25,000.
|One of the few surviving members of the original Highwaymen, Sylvester Wells, visits Holmes' cotttage .|
|Sylvester Wells and his wife having tea with Plein Aire Cottage Artists|
|Highwayman Artist Sylvester Wells reminisces about his fond departed friends, Hair, Roy and Harold Newton, Al Black and Roy McLendon|
Algenon Speer collected approximately 25 paintings many hang on the walls of Holmes' cottage today.
|Living rooms at Holmes Cottage with Highwaymen Paintings on walls|
Algenon Speer Collection of Highwaymen paintings Featured at Leepa Rattner Museum in Tarpon Springs.
|Violetta and Mary Rose plein air painting inside the cottage, facing the beach|
|Mary Rose paints, supervised by her dog Little Bear|
|Violetta, Mary Rose and Helen paint a triptych in front of cottage|
|Artist Mary Rose painting|
We hope you enjoyed your visit.
Are you familiar with Florida's Highwaymen?