Artistic visions return to Miss Lassie’s House

More than 20 artists set up their easels and put their paintbrushes to work on Saturday for an outdoor painting session to raise funds to help save Miss Lassie’s house in South Sound.

David Bridgeman

David Bridgeman works on his painting of Miss Lassies house at an open air painting session on Saturday.
Photo: Norma Connolly

The ‘en plein aire’ (open air) painting and drawing sessions attracted artists of all ages and skill to try to capture the spirit and essence of the home of one of Cayman’s most iconic figures.

The sessions were organised as part of the ‘Save Miss Lassie’s House Initiative’ which is jointly run by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, the National Gallery, the National Museum and the National Trust.

The NGOs are raising money to preserve the house, which is currently up for sale.

Two of the sessions ran for three hours, over morning and lunchtime, and the third lasted four hours. Artists were treated to a free breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea to keep their strength up while their creative juices flowed.

Among the artists who signed up to take part in the painting sessions were Courtney Platt, David Bridgeman, Anne Goulden, Gordon Solomon, Randy Chollette, John Broad, Janet Walker, Cathy Church and Susan Howe.

Each drew or painted the house, which is covered with murals created by Miss Lassie. Each artist donated their work to be auctioned at a later date to raise funds to preserve the home of one of Cayman’s best known artists.

Director of the National Gallery, Nancy Barnard, also took part in the painting session, recreating the familiar wavy blue lines that adorn the doors and windows of the house.

‘We’ve had a good turnout,’ Ms Barnard said, adding that most of the artists appeared for the morning session, taking advantage of the cooler morning air.

For artist David Bridgeman, it was a family affair. He and his son Cameron spent the morning painting images of the white and blue house on their easels.

During the last 25 years of her life, Miss Lassie – Gladwyn K. Bush – painted her visions which suddenly started coming to her when she was 62. She was made a Member of the British Empire by the Queen in 1997 for her contribution to art, and died six years later at the age of 89.

Her home, a classic wattle and daub Caymanian cottage, was built by her father and she lived in it her entire life, painting on canvas and then on the walls, windows and the doors. The future of the house, which stands at the junction of Walkers Road and South Church Street, is now in doubt. It has been put on the market for CI$1.6 million.

Her artwork has been sold as far away as Africa and Europe and the National Cultural Foundation has about 100 of Miss Lassie’s artworks in its collection and has produced a book of her work.

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