Featured Art: Billowing In

Doris Mady, Greenwich Branch, Connecticut
“Billowing In,” 20×10 oil

 

Doris Mady considers herself a plein air painter. When asked, “Why plein air?” she answered, “because I feel alive when I’m outside and the world has so many messages to give us.”

A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Mady also studied at the School of Visual Arts, Westchester Community and Skidmore Colleges. Following a long, successful advertising career as creative director and graphic designer in some of advertising’s Top Twenty advertising agencies, she decided to pursue her first love: oil painting.

 

Featured Art: The Watchkeepers

 

The Watchkeepers photo

“The Watchkeepers,” photograph by Jane E. Allen, Huntstville Branch (Alabama)

 

 

One day, Jane and her husband traveled down a dusty country road in Weumpka, Alabama. As they neared Lake Martin, they discovered an isolated burial site near a church. 

The inscription and poignant epitaph engraved on the granite included the words “A Child of Innocence.” The words “Our Angel” were tucked inside a heart in one corner of the stone. Praying hands and a kneeling angel were in other corners. 

A ceramic Dalmatian, bear, deer, a stonewashed cherub, and a wrought-iron nymph were scatted about the surface of the grave, as if keeping watch over the site. Allen, captivated, photographed the unusual array of compelling objects.

Allen became a letters member in 1984 after winning writing contests sponsored by the Montgomery Branch. She added the art qualification to her membership after several of her photos won awards and were published.

“After retiring in 1994, I finally had the time to enjoy the outside world and its fascinating subjects, she says. “Sometimes, I write a poem and snap a photo; at other times, I capture a subject with my camera and then write the poem.”

 

Featured Art: Gallery Hopping

 

Gallery Hopping embroidery

Carol Nipomnich Dixon, Connecticut Pioneer Branch  

Gallery Hopping, embroidered assemblage on felt, 13-inch square, framed

 

Statement from Carol Nipomnich Dixon: I have been drawing, painting, photographing, and experimenting with mixed media collages since I was a child. I like to think that the child in me still appears in the art I do, along with more mature “soul”, feeling, intelligence and wit, expressed through color, texture, shape and composition. For me, art needs to convey a personal, original point of view, along with strong visual elements and well-executed techniques. My inspiration comes from my own experiences and emotions, nature, varied cultures, historical eras, and art over the ages, ranging from Ming Dynasty squares to paintings by Klimt, Kandinsky and Krasner and collages by Schwitters. My most distinctive works are my small embroidered collages, which often incorporate contemporary papers, original photos, and found objects into traditional stitchery. I also owe a debt to my Russian-born paternal grandparents, my grandmother who taught me to embroider and my tailor grandfather who gave me fabric remnants from his shop.

Featured Art: 19th Century Lady

 

19th Century Lady painting
Patricia Daly-Lipe, Jacksonville Branch, Florida
19th Century Lady, oil, 26 by 30 (includes frame)

 

Statement from Patricia Daly-Lipe: The portrait is based on an old photo of a friend of my grandmother (on my mother’s side). However, I do not know who she was. I was intrigued, however, with her look. So much can be read in those eyes.

 

Featured Art: Confetti Mountain

 

Confetti Mountain painting

 

Katie Turner, Central New York Branch

Confetti Mountain, watercolor on paper, 18 by 24 inches

 

Statement from Katie Turner: Exploring abstract patterns formed by nature is part of my interest here. The simplicity of a rugged landscape balanced with hard crisp edges speaks of internal relationships to me.

 

Featured Art and Poem: Garden of Ethos

Garden of Ethos painting

Oil on canvas (90 by 50) by Dianne Lynn Benanti, Palm Springs Branch, California

 

Dianne Lynn Benanti is a self-taught artist who creates large scale contemporary works as well as traditional portraits. Besides being an artist, she composes music and has written a children’s book. She highlights NLAPW on her website, and says, “I’m very honored to be a part of such a great organization.” Her art, book, poetry and songs can be viewed at www.benanti.com.

Carol Mann is a poet and author in the Palm Springs Branch. Her poem was inspired by Diana Benanti’s painting of the same name.

 

 

The Garden of Ethos

 Carol Mann, Palm Springs Branch

 

together we gather in the garden

worried, contemplative

stoic, sad

our world view guiding our thoughts

our life experience

bonding us

 

sisters they call us

bearers of the oral story

of man and his tradition

of beliefs in a god   or not

 

teachers they call us

bearers of society’s mores

culture, the written word

 

mothers they call us

bearers of children

nurturers of body, soul

family guide in crisis and joy

 

daughters they call us

our mothers’ students

learning ways to cope

to keep dreams alive

 

wives they call us

joined in ceremony

partners through life’s

trials and uncertainties

 

But mostly they call us women

governors of our own destiny

strong, problem solvers

ever emerging

 

they call us women

finding strength in our sisters

in times of sadness

finding strength in our sisters

in times of great happiness

finding ways to go on…

Always

 

 

Featured Art: Water, Water, Everywhere

Bonnie J. Smith, Santa Clara Branch; textile, 74 x 63

Over the years, Bonnie J. Smith watched as the California drought lowered the level of the San Luis Reservoir in Merced County. She wondered if she would ever again see green grasses growing around it or water lapping up the sides of its vast bowl.

Finally, rains started and never seemed to stop. Highways, rivers, salt marches and homes flooded. Smith was excited to see how well the reservoir held up under the torrential storms.

It was a glorious sight to see so much water! When the rains let up, she knew the water would eventually make its way through the Santa Clara Tunnel and Conduit, through the Coyote Pumping Station in the Santa Clara Valley, then finally to her home.

The idea for her textile artwork, “Water, Water, Everywhere,” sprang from her being a witness to such an abundance of rain in a land of drought.

Featured Art: Spring


Spring by Anne Yates

Anne Yates, Portland Branch, Oregon

Acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas, 8×10

Anne Price Yates is a West Coast neo-impressionist artist working in oil, acrylic, and watercolor. She was drawing people by kindergarten and received encouragement and recognition of her talents from teachers very early on.

She studied at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh from fifth grade. By age 12, she was experimenting with oil, acrylic, and casein paints. At 14, she was among the youngest of 16 students selected to research, design, and paint four large backdrop murals for a Medieval and Renaissance Arms and Armor exhibit at the museum.

As an art major at Florida State University, Yates focused on figure drawing and portraiture.

After painting with a plein-air oil painting group in Provence in 2000 and 2001, her focus shifted to landscapes and her style evolved toward impressionism. Monet, Sisley, Pissarro, and Wolf Kahn have influenced her work.

Featured Art: Passage to the Past

Watercolor, 24×18

Geri M. Davis, Columbus Branch, Georgia

Geri Davis’ life is dedicated to creating, promoting, teaching, and counseling with art.

She has taught art for over 40 years. Many of her students have incorporated her philosophy of art into their personal lives: “Know your subject well, plan your journey, then enjoy the trip.” 

At age 52, Davis returned to college and got a master’s degree in counseling and human development. Her specialty is using art in a therapeutic manner.

Davis has served as NLAPW Georgia state president and vice president, branch president and vice president, and programs chair. 

Featured Art: Forgotten Treasure

Mary Lou Griffin
Diamond State Branch, Delaware

Forgotten Treasure: Grandma’s Bedroom Chair 
Pastel, 8 x 10

Grandma's-Chair by Mary Lou Griffin

 

I never got to know Leocadia Wielgorecki, my mother’s mother. She died several years before I was born. I only heard stories about her from my mother and my older brother and sister, as my grandmother lived with them. However, I am the one with her bedroom chair sitting in my basement.

Leocadia Wielgorecki

Grandma Leocadia Wielgorecki

That chair has traveled from state to state and house to house with me for many years. It sat tucked away in a basement corner until it was time to move again. I had great intentions of refinishing the wood and recovering the seat and pillow and using it — but that never happened. Even if I had restored it, I have no place to put in my downsized home.  

So here this chair sits, sadly looking at me when I am in my basement studio. Somehow, I cannot just throw it out. It’s one of the very few things I have that belonged to Leocadia. And besides, I grew up with that chair. I have memories of my dad sitting in it and changing his shoes after work each day. I remember my mom picking out that printed fabric to recover the seat and pillow. It’s not a fine piece of furniture. The fabric is faded, and the seat has lost its ruffled skirt. It’s seen better days, but it has history.

So, on a recent weekend, I decided to pay tribute to Leocadia, my parents, and “the chair.” I did this painting of it. It’s not a painting I would expect someone to buy. The chair is tired and worn. But by painting it, I somehow feel I’ve given it a new life just the way it is.

— Mary Lou Griffin