Archives for January 2018

Poem of the Week: The Shawangunk Mountains And Mohonk Preserve

By Cornelia DeDona, Member at Large
Kingston, New York


The Shawangunk Mountains And Mohonk Preserve

are my church

a photographer’s dream

an obsession.


I return

to scramble

Giant’s Path

Rock Rift

Bonticue Crag.


I return

to capture black snakes slithering

through the foothills

to meditate on the serenity at Duck Pond,

snacking on wild blueberries.


I rejoice in making a photo

of two Turkey Vultures perched on a ledge

then follow them with my telephoto lens

as they take flight

and then circle back to

inspect their new home.


I witness

fellow hikers’ reflections

in pools

beneath waterfalls

the cool mist

sweaty rock panorama.


I return with raw

close-ups of Spring’s

trillium erectum

wild ginger, and bloodroot;

all stalwart parishioners.


I return

to pan

Summer’s rhododendron bridge,

and zoom into a cloud

of pink and white mountain laurel.


I return

to shoot Autumn’s

red oak and mountain ash,

to snap the sugar maple’s

red, orange, and yellow leaves,

ablaze in my continuous shutter release.


I return

to marvel at the hypnotic revelation

that is the Gunks.


I return

in Winter

to photograph the glacial majesty,

the mirror images in footprints left behind

to find the divine in a frosty pine.


I return

to capture

the golden light

the blue hour and the twilights

in slow water and ice.


My focus


day in and day out.


I return.

I return.

I return.


Art of the Week: Here I come ready or not

Judith (Judi) Polivka Betts
Batton Rouge – New Orleans Louisiana Chapter
“Here I Come, Ready or Not”
Transparent Watercolor


Judi Betts paintings are meant to illuminate life and stimulate discussion about subjects and scenes found every day. She wants viewers to be awakened to see something old or new in a different way.

Betts utilizes flat area shapes to weave positive and negative shapes together. These are not “thing” shapes – such as a tree, they are usually patterns of light against a mid-tone or darker value. In her paintings they’ve become known as ‘magical shapes’. They are edited and redesigned. Shape become visual arrows to help direct the eye, to add visual vibration to the painting’s surface, or to combine several small shapes to make a more interesting pattern. Often shapes are used to create intrigue, orchestrate color, and create rhythm. She uses patterning to create vibration, direction, balance and mood.

Among many other honors, Judi is a signature member of the American and National Watercolor Societies. She is listed in WHO’S WHO IN AMERICAN ART. Her paintings are included in corporate, university, museum and private collections. When you visit her website, go to her biography to learn more about her achievements.


Art of the Week: Seasons

Anne Price Yates
Portland Oregon Branch
20 x 16 Acrylic
(also see Price Yates)

This landscape represents the seasons in a clockwise direction. Fall is upper left, then winter upper right followed by spring and summer. Initially an oil painter of figures and landscapes, Anne Price Yates now paints more frequently with acrylic. In the Portland cold, rainy winters ventilation is not as easy as opening a couple of windows so acrylic paint is a safer medium.

Be sure to visit to see more of Anne’s work.
Also see Price Yates.

Poem of the Week: The Facts of Aging

by Mimi Gould
Atlanta, Georgia Branch

So much to do before I pass
and here I sit upon my ass,
my energy is gone there’s none to spare
I lay on the bed, still in my underwear.


I wasn’t warned about getting old
I tried to do what I was told
but none advised me about fatigue,
and laziness and the lack of speed.


I munch on ice cream and candy bars
and wonder how my waist got large.
I truly want an exercise routine
but end up with People magazine.


It’s disgusting to me, this aging event,
I can’t even remember how my days are spent.
The golden years are simply phony
with time to spare, it’s pure baloney!


I’ll wake up tomorrow and hear myself say,
hooray, I’m vertical for another day.
And suddenly the day goes by,
hours seem like seconds, the time just flies.


The months and years are gone like a breeze.
I need more days, dear GOD, if you please.
A new year is here, I must take control
of mind and body and this lazy soul.


I’ll rid the cupboards of cookies and sweets
and try my darndest to get off my seat.
The stationery bike awaits my butt,
and perhaps a dance class to strut my stuff.


I’ve letters to write and a canvas to paint on
and a memoir to write before I’m gone.
I used to run just like a bunny,
batteries charged, yes, that was me.


Now I’m down to a turtle pace,
the only speed are wrinkles on my face.
Dear GOD, please hear my prayer,
bless me with vigor and enough to share.


Art of the Week: Sunny Sunflowers

Kay Duffy
Santa Clara Branch, CA
“Sunny Sunflowers”



The freedom, spontaneity and speed, the “wet and loose” of watercolor, suits Kay Duffy’s temperament.  She says her approach is “juicy”, incorporating bright colors, broad strokes, and strong shapes to depict feelings and impressions of the natural landscape, flowers and trees, buildings, foreign lands and exotic places.  Duffy finds the freedom of painting on location, en plein air, to be the most enjoyable way to paint. Inspiration for studio work comes from sketches and slides taken while walking in the community, working in her garden, hiking in the wilderness or traveling in foreign lands.


Duffy’s recent, more experimental work utilizes an original technique of texturing oriental papers with watercolor pigments. These papers are torn, arranged and collaged to create interesting abstract images.  Metallic foil, pastel and opaque media are also utilized to enhance the image. To see more of her work visit her website.



NEW from Pen Women Press: Celebrating 120 Years of Pen Women

“Pen Women foster and support creative development in women of all ages.”

– Lucy Arnold, Editor


Pen Women Press is pleased to announce the publication of Celebrating 120 Years of Pen Women, a limited-edition, commemorative coloring book that celebrates what unites us, excites us, and makes us Pen Women.


Only 100 copies have been printed and are available from NLAPW exclusively!


Celebrating 120 Years of Pen Women features 30 beautiful illustrations by NLAPW members Anne R. Baehr, Barbara Baum, Anita Benson Bradley, Mary Dall, Patricia Daly-Lipe, Chella Gonsalves, Caroline Henry, Darby Hobbs, Barbara L. Jendrysik, Kathryn Kleekamp, Lisa Livingston, Mary Ann Miller, Suzanne M. Packer, Debbie Patrick, Molly Read Woo, J. A. Slack, Bonnie Jo Smith, Katie Turner, Mara Viksnins, Barbara Waterman-Peters, Patricia Watkins Dick, Melissa Woodburn, and Lucy Arnold.


Published by Pen Women Press (January 7, 2018); 64 pages. ISBN# 978-0-9815693-7-6


Price: $16.00 ($12.00 donation to NLAPW, Inc., plus $4.00 S&H. Visit the NLAPW Bookstore website to order today and to also see S&H rates for multiple copy orders.) Please allow 4 – 6 weeks for order fulfillment and delivery.


Kathleen Vermaelen

Managing Editor, Pen Women Press

Publications Chair, 2016 – 2018


Art of the Week: Bug-Eyed Beetle

Elizabeth J. Parrish
Stockton-Lodi Branch, California
“Bug-Eyed Beetle”
Digitally Enhanced Photograph


Driving down a country road, Elizabeth Parrish was initially drawn to a rusty truck on a property in Lodi. After handing a business card to the woman there to let her know that Parrish was a photographer, she graciously let Parrish wander around while she was busy on a project in the barn. The color of a VW car was Parrish’s favorite, opera pink. Intrigued by the headlight overtaken by nature, noticing the sand in its curvature, and seeing how the spider thought it a perfect place to spin its web, Parrish composed the shot. With a little help from Photoshop™, the rest became a magical experience.


Art of the Week: Myth, Magic and Metaphor

Patricia Daly-Lipe
Washington, D.C. Branch
“Myth, Magic and Metaphor,” Oil



Patricia Daly-Lipe’s paintings come from the heart. Most are unplanned and develop as the paint goes on the canvas. Such was the case with this painting. It was a result of wiping leftover paint with a palette knife onto an empty canvas.  The Princess and the unicorn found their ways in the paint. Daly-Lipe then added the dragon. This painting represents good and evil with the Princess asking the unicorn (who represents creativity/good) to look in the mirror so he won’t see the dragon (who represents evil).