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St. Helena Jail

Oil on canvas, 20″ x 16″, unframed

St. Helena Jail

The stone jail was located at Tainter and Kearney Streets, today the location of the St. Helena Catholic School. The previous version was made of wood, which allowed the rowdy prisoners to make so much noise as to disturb the neighbors. The new stone jail was built in 1886 at a cost of $178.

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Chiles Mill

Oil on canvas, 20″ x 16″, unframed

Chiles Mill

Governor Micheltorena granted Rancho Catacula to Joseph B. Chiles in 1844, comprising 8,545 acres. The Chiles Mill was built largely by William Baldridge (Joseph’s partner) in 1848. A rude wooden block procured from the woods was mortised by Baldridge into a tub wheel. A shaft running from this was connected to one of the grinding stones. The building was fashioned from locally sourced materials. The building is gone today.

Shirley Tistle

I grew up in Des Plaines, Illinois where I took my first art lesson at the age of twelve from a local watercolor artist in my neighborhood.  There we painted all her knick-knacks, fruits and flowers and my love of painting began.  From that summer I was hooked!  When in High School I took two years of art where we explored all mediums.  I took an honorable mention in a National Art Scholastic contest for my watercolor and ink figure drawing.  I also painted scenery for plays and children’s ballet shows.

I have three children and three grandchildren.  I am now living in Pope Valley with my sweetheart in a small home in the middle of a vineyard with a million dollar view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Awakening to the most beautiful sunrises, seeing the sky change to the sunset and watching the moon rise over the mountains is quite an inspiration.

I am currently enrolled in an art class and am truly inspired by all the artists that I paint with.  Their energy and input is invaluable to me and having Theo Becker with her insights as a teacher has helped focus my direction and sharpen my talents.