Archives for August 2017

Art of the Week: Bleached White is the New Coral

Bev Goldie

Central Ohio Branch

Bleached White is the New Coral

Encaustic

 

Bev Goldie has recently switched her medium of choice from oil painting to encaustics (molten wax and Damar resin). After viewing some stunning encaustic works in New York and Florida Ritz Carlton hotels, she made the commitment to learn how to do them.  There weren’t any classes in Ohio, so with much experimentation, attending workshops and hard work, she learned to create encaustics. Goldie exhibits her work, some of which have won awards and teaches workshops and classes in Ohio at the Columbus Cultural Art Center. Her public Facebook page, Encaustics by Bev Goldie, shows many techniques, finished works for those who may want to know more about this ancient art form, and lists classes.

You may also see more of her work at: www.bgtproductions.com

 

 


Attention Pen Women! We’d love to see your best work for possible publication as Art of the Week. Please review the general submission guidelines on our web site and send only one work per email as a low resolution file. Put Art of the Week Submission in the subject line and provide the information seen in the posts (title/medium/name/branch). Your submission may then be made to Darlene Yeager-Torre at arteditor@nlapw.org. Thank you!

Creative Inspirational Wisdom: From Where or What Do You Draw Inspiration?

This week, Lois Batchelor Howard personifies poetic inspiration in a rural location.


 

I am blessed or cursed.  I don’t know which.  Perhaps both.  If I describe my living on a farm, that will possibly explain why or how I write.  I’ll give it a go.

 

Every time I look behind the house or the barn, for that matter, I see them there or I see them coming.  Actually, they’ve been coming for a long time.  They’re odd things: sometimes strange, always different, fascinating somehow. They’re always there, it seems. Grandma Bryce might have called them “wonderful pains,” like she described the aches in her legs that would not go away.

 

They have me caught; I know that.

 

When I’ve had the courage, I’ve asked my neighbors. Funny… they don’t see them, and they give me looks like I give a field of corn that for no reason I can figure out has suddenly stopped growing. Or is it the look I feel when it’s harvest time and the combine has broken down? Maybe it’s more like I’m asking ’em to an opera and they know that I know, more than the smell of bundled hay in the early dew of dawn, that they love country music. Whatever. I can’t pinpoint the look, but I’ve felt it before; it’s not a stranger to me. It’s kind of “puttin’ up with,” and it unsettles me some, but not enough to stop seeing those things.

 

They sit atop the trees on the horizon by Nelson Rathbun’s place, and they often shoot right out of the setting sun or the rising sun. I see lots of both, but there are more chores in the mornings.  They ride the backs of cows. Sometimes they get the chickens clucking and squawking, and the hogs squalling and the dogs barking, runnin’ around in frenzied circles, the horses bolting their heads sideways, restlessly shifting their weight back and forth in closed stalls.

 

Yes, these things have found me. They are powerful things, I tell you. I know I said it before, but it seems they are always here. Sometimes they’re in my boots when I go to put ’em on in the morning or they stick to my high-tops after a heavy rain, when I’ve had to gluck trough-deep in mud.  At times, they even leap out in the black of night. They’re here, all right, and—how does the expression go?  They must have seen me coming!  Or I, them.

 

I could use a lot of fancy words, maybe. Straight of it is, we get along. Oh, sometimes I put ‘em off, but mostly I grin and welcome them in. You don’t get that much company with all this land around and the houses so far apart. I don’t even always treat them to electricity; sometimes I light an old oil lamp and over the oilcloth table cover, shadows visiting on the walls, we sit down together. I rustle up some hot tea and biscuits and blank papers, set the ink jar down, and dip my quill into the ink that somehow reminds me of the clear spring water trickling down near the pond at the top of the hill. But I’m getting’ off the subject, in a way, and I’m repeatin’ myself. I tend to do that. My listeners keep reminding me that I do, but you do what ya gotta do.

 

“Friend-Things,” I say, “What poems do you have for me today?” and as they keep prattling on, which is our way when we’re together, I write. Oh, sometimes we take a break and check the larder or the root cellar. They tell me that’s why they come, and sometimes we gaze out over the acres and know there’s a lot of promise in that old Spring earth, buds of words and greens sproutin’ up all over… Why, those things now, out there again, dancin’, like they own the place.

 

They’ve been lookin’ over my shoulder, and they say they like readin’, that I draw inspiration from livin’ here on the farm and listenin’ to them. Gotta’ give credit where credit is due.

 


Like many of you, Lois Batchelor Howard likes to write. She admits she is possessed! She graduated from the University of Michigan in Music (pipe organ) and through years of rich musical experiences, the music of words became her favorite music. Gratefully, she is a much-published and award-winning author, and she loves being a Pen Woman.  A longtime member of La Jolla Branch, she served as its president for five years.  After moving to Desert Hot Springs, Lois now enjoys being a member of the Palm Springs Branch NLAPW. 

 

“Working Barn” by Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

OUR GUEST BLOGGING SERIES IS ENDING SOON: Pen Women are invited to submit guest posts or artwork for our two series, Creative Inspirational Wisdom and It’s A Creative Business, up until Thursday, August 31st, 2017. Please visit this link for more details. We look forward to reading your material!

 

Poem of the Week: Fifties Girl

by Mary Lou Taylor, Santa Clara County Branch, CA

 

 

Fifties Girl 

How did I miss it? I was there

heard the music  read the papers

watched TV  Elvis James Dean  “Howl”

I missed them all   missed the trends   what was I?

obtuse  dense  dull?  did the twist but only because I was hired

as a movie extra and I pick up on dancing fast.  I stayed innocent

lived free of guile  hard roads?  freedom?  they didn’t concern me

I was vaguely aware of Bob Dylan   I knew the Beach Boys intimately

I was after all a California girl   from the ‘50s I remember Elizabeth Taylor

at my UCLA Junior Prom   Bud Murphy jumping from Royce Hall tower

Jimmy Durante and Bob Hope on campus   Ernie Kovacs   my wedding hat

bottles and diapers  “Mr. Sandman”  Johnny in Carson’s Cellar   when Dylan

went electric I missed it   when everything was up for grabs I missed it

missed rock ‘n roll  “We Shall overcome”  all that underground music

Janis Joplin   Jimi Hendrix   all that pain   where was I?

came to 1970 and the decade was over  I was

a fifties girl   the nearest I came to giving

a thought to what was going on

in the world was when we lived

on Andrews Air Force base

and I could see the Enola Gay

from my upstairs window

Art of the Week: “Memories Quiet Interlude”

Dawn Petrill

Central Ohio  Branch

Memories Quiet Interlude

 30” x 30” Acrylic and Mixed Medium

 

 

Memories Quiet Interlude was inspired by a walk with my dog by a stream.  Time seemed to stand still as I gazed at the place where the water changed course at the horizon and I decided to recreate that feeling in this painting.

 

The painting includes embedded objects and textures.  I do this in much of my work because I feel that it gives them an added dimension as well as something new to look for with every viewing.

 

This painting was recently juried into the Ohio State Fair’s Fine Art Exhibition, Professional Division, and was on exhibit there from July 26- August 6, 2017.

 

 


Attention Pen Women! We’d love to see your best work for possible publication as Art of the Week. Please review the general submission guidelines on our web site and send only one work per email as a low resolution file. Put Art of the Week Submission in the subject line and provide the information seen in the posts (title/medium/name/branch). Your submission may then be made to Darlene Yeager-Torre at arteditor@nlapw.org. Thank you!

Creative Inspirational Wisdom: Season to Season

This week, Sara Etgen-Baker reflects on the inspiration to be found in nature and solitude.


 

When the alarm sounded, I wanted to continue sleeping.  Instead, I slid out of the warm sheets away from the comfort of my husband’s body; peeked through the Venetian blinds; and noticed graceful flakes of pearly-white lace had dusted the tree-lined trails adjacent to my home.  Even though the mercury hovered just below freezing, I knew today was the perfect day for a solitary winter run.  So, I quietly donned my winter running clothes and headed downstairs.

 

Daylight had not yet turned the slumberous, dark blue clouds to their morning gray, and—for a moment—I hesitated at my front door not wanting to disturb winter’s peaceful silence.  When I stepped outside, my warm breath mingled with the crisp, cold air as it stung my cheeks.  As I began to run, my stiff legs begged me to turnaround; I ignored their cries knowing they would soon stop complaining.  Only my footfalls broke the silence as the gentle snow crunched under my feet.

 

As I ran through the woods that morning, nary an animal crossed my path; their tracks in the snow indicated that they had been here before me though.  The nippy air frosted my breath, and soon my breathing mixed with my footfalls creating a rhythm.  I ran effortlessly past fallen trees along the creek side with no thought of time or distance.  I wasn’t aware of speed either—just movement.

 

I ran past an icy pond cloaked by barren, frost-covered trees trembling like skeletons in the brisk wind.  Snow began falling around me making me feel as if I was running in a snow globe.  Soon, winter’s tranquility and purity enveloped me; time and distance became meaningless, and I imagined that the woods looked as it once did 100 years ago. I gazed into the distance; and for a brief moment, I thought I saw Henry David Thoreau standing outside his cabin near Walden Pond.  He was not there, of course; and there was no one and nothing except for what was right in front of me—miles of glorious solitude.

 

For years I’ve run alone along these trails in the woods—a quiet, almost sacred place every bit as wondrous as Walden Pond.  Generally, the only sounds I regularly hear on these solitary runs are birds chirping; small animals collecting nuts; and my feet as they gently land on leaves, pine straws, or snow.  I occasionally hear the pitter-patter of rain drops as they hit leaves and fall onto the underbrush and forest floor.  Sometimes a light rain cools my perspiring body and soothes my spirit.  Frequently, I immerse myself in my thoughts and dreams and feel invigorated.  Other times, the solitude nourishes the seeds of stories germinating in my head.

 

Here in the woods, though, solitude—as silent and powerful as light itself—forces introspection.  So, I linger in the solitude emptying and quieting my mind; then, I let go of the world and my ego—journeying inwards.  Here, I sometimes hear my inner voice whispering to me; I occasionally meet myself face-to-face and find the being within—the true self—that has been waiting patiently to be discovered.  I continue running—grateful for the solitude and the balance I now feel.  But at some point, I must turn around; follow my footprints; and return in the direction from whence I came.  Reluctantly, I approach the end of my solitary run—not wanting it to be over.

 

From season to season, I’ve run alone along the quiet trails in the nearby woods; and I’ve taken great pleasure in the solitude it offers.  And to quote Thoreau, “I have an immense appetite for solitude, like an infant for sleep…” I discovered long ago that solitude is necessary for me, for that’s where my creativity dwells.  And I can no more live without creativity than I can live without sleep.

 


Sara’s love for words began when her mother read the dictionary to her every night. Her manuscripts have been published in various anthologies and magazines including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts, Wisdom Has A Voice, My Heroic Journey, Times They Were A Changing: Women Remember the 60s and 70s, and The Santa Claus Project. When not writing, Sara spends time with her husband of 34 years, Bill. Sara has been a member of the Dallas Branch NLAPW since 2014.  She enjoys the support and fellowship her affiliation with NLAPW brings into her writing life.  She may be contacted via email at: sab_1529@yahoo.com.

“Snowy Forest” by dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

WANTED: GUEST BLOGGERS! Pen Women are invited to submit guest posts (or artwork) for our two series, Creative Inspirational Wisdom and It’s A Creative Business, up until Thursday, August 31st, 2017. Please visit this link for more details. We look forward to reading your material!

 

Art of the Week: “Roots and Wings”

Roots and Wings

Bronze, life-size

Renate Burgyan Fackler

Central Ohio Branch

 

 

Roots and Wings, a life-size bronze sculpture by artist Renate Burgyan Fackler, was inspired by a poem of the same title. In this sculpture, a young girl is releasing a bird encouraging it to embrace life. She is both grounded and suspended at the same time. “I strive to bring my sculptures to life, engaging my audience in an emotionally uplifting experience,” Fackler said.

 

This sculpture, like many of her works, was created using the complex method of lost wax bronze casting.

 

A member of the Central Ohio Branch, Fackler’s works are found in the collections of The Museum of Women in the Arts, The White House, John Glen International Airport, The Ohio State University, and private individuals.

 

To learn more about Renate Fackler, her studio, and her work visit her website at https://chrysalissculpturestudio.com/blog/.

 


Attention Pen Women! We’d love to see your best work for possible publication as Art of the Week. Please review the general submission guidelines on our web site and send only one work per email as a low resolution file. Put Art of the Week Submission in the subject line and provide the information seen in the posts (title/medium/name/branch). Your submission may then be made to Darlene Yeager-Torre at arteditor@nlapw.org. Thank you!

LAST CALL FOR CREATIVE WISDOM (Art Submissions Now Welcome, Too!)

All good things must come to an end, and our Creative blogging series is no exception to that rule. We presently have 68 pages in the Creative Genius at Work: The Inspirational Wisdom of Pen Women book manuscript, but we can add more! Pen Women who wish to be part of this blog-to-book project should submit work for consideration before the preliminary deadline date of August 31st, 2017.

 

Creative Inspirational Wisdom posts focus on all aspects of the creative process: brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Possible topics include:

  • From where or what do you draw inspiration?
  • How do you generate ideas for your work?
  • What is your creative workspace like?
  • How do you tackle “blocks”?
  • What steps do you take when revising your work?
  • What other helpful tips can you share with your fellow creatives?

 

It’s a Creative Business shares advice about making your passion your livelihood. Possible topics include:

  • What do you wish someone had told you before you started out as a creative professional?
  • Where did you learn how to run your business?
  • How do you make the perfect pitch to magazines, galleries, etc.?
  • What business practices lead to success?
  • How do you market yourself and your work?
  • What other practical advice can you offer about taxes, licensing, insurance, and so forth?

 

Submit today and share your discoveries, insights, and professional expertise with your fellow Pen Women! Posts should be 150 – 500 words on average, although longer pieces will be considered. New posts are preferred; reposts from your creative blog also will be considered. Additionally, we now invite Pen Women to submit artistic works that fit the theme of this series. Accepted pieces would appear both on the blog and in the book manuscript.

 

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

  • You must be a current NLAPW member and the original creator of your submission
  • If you’re submitting a post, please write a cover letter in your submission email that indicates whether your submission qualifies as inspiration or business. (If your submission is a repost, include the original link and permission to reprint in your cover letter.) Attach your .DOCX or .PDF file to the email, or copy/paste the text into the body of the email below your cover letter
  • If you’re submitting artwork, please write a cover letter in your submission email that includes a statement as to how your work fits the theme of the series. Attach your work to the email as a .JPG or .GIF file, or place the image inside the body of the email below the cover letter
  • Send all series submissions to penwomenpress@nlapw.org with “CREATIVE SERIES SUBMISSION.” We look forward to reading/seeing your work by August 31st!