Spring 2022: Jane B. Howard, Vero Beach Branch

Jane B. Howard sees herself as as a connector of people. “My lifelong goal has been to try to bring an appreciation and knowledge of all the arts to my many students and friends,” she says. She has captured photographs from all over the world.

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Winter 2022: Robie Benve, Central Ohio Branch

paintingRobie Benve was inspired to paint “Nutcracker at the Ohio Theatre” to represent holiday cheer and family traditions, capturing the excitement and lights in a semi-abstract style. The painting, in turn, inspired fellow Pen Woman Brenda Layman to write a poem.

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Fall 2021: Nancy Nesvik, Pensacola Branch

Painting of a treeNancy Nesvik created “Rooted in Place” in response to a project by her Pensacola Branch asking  each member to express something of her experience during the pandemic. She had managed to escape confinement by visiting the Grand Canyon and was captivated by a lone tree clinging to the precipice “with spindly roots gripping deep through cracks in the granite.”

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Summer 2021: Mai Yap, Coral Gables Branch

paintingMai Yap knew she wanted to be an artist when she was only 5 years old. Born in Panama to Chinese parents, she developed a style of art that blends the balance and perfection of Chinese millennial traditions with the vibrant colors and energy of the tropics.

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Spring 2021: Nan Hass Feldman, Wellesley Branch

Oil painting by Nan Hass FeldmanNan Hass Feldman’s works are stylized, yet recognizable, vibrantly colorful, intricate, playful, enlivening, and upbeat. She enjoys interpreting everything through her screen of selective seeing, playful detail, heightened color, and bits of fantasy.

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Winter 2021: Doraté Muller, Vero Beach Branch

Doraté Muller has been painting for more than 40 years. Her inspiration arises from her personal belief that there is a “higher self within us.” She says, “I strive constantly to grow in touch with the one within myself and to let her express herself through my brush.”

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Fall 2020: Diana de Avila, Sarasota Branch

“Gravitational Pull” art
“Gravitational Pull,” fractal art

Diana de Avila is one of only 340 people in the world to have Acquired Savant Syndrome (a person who has suffered a traumatic brain injury and afterwards emerges incredibly talented in art, music, or math). Her remarkable and explosive digital artistic ability emerged, seemingly out of nowhere, one balmy summer evening in 2017.

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Summer 2020: Lisa Rose, Vero Beach Branch

“Sunset at Lady’s Island,”
soft pastel

Lisa Rose was recently introduced to pastels as an art medium — and became inspired by the beauty of the natural landscape, marshlands, seashore, and woodlands. This has led to the creation of her art pieces with a delicate blend of representational art and a bit of abstraction.

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Spring 2020: Phoenix Marks, Fort Lauderdale Branch

“Blazing Sunset Over the Smokies,” photography

Phoenix Marks, Fort Lauderdale Branch president, attempts to fix the extraordinary beauty of nature in time — using photography as her art. An award-winning conservation photographer, she has spent years taking photographs in national parks throughout the country.

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Winter 2020: Catherine Moreno, Golden Gate-Marin Branch

“Chinese Garden,” oil by Catherine Moreno
“Chinese Garden,” oil on panel

Catherine Moreno is fascinated by abstraction, three-dimensionality, motion, luminescence, color, shadows and reflection. Water in motion or in any state is her favorite subject.

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Fall 2019: Amy Patterson, Columbia Branch

The Sentinel by Amy Patterson
“The Sentinel,” oil on canvas.

Amy Patterson’s work focuses on abstract forms and the layering of paint mixed with cold-wax medium. Texture remains an important aspect with her exploration of found materials coated and pressed into the painting surface.

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Summer 2019: Patricia Dennis, Santa Clara County Branch

“Pillar Point Sunset,” photograph

Patricia Dennis isn’t bound by the expectations of “purists” and occasionally embraces the technology offered by Photoshop to enhance her images.Recording emotion and beauty in images and sharing her awe with viewers fuels her passion for photography.

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Spring 2019: Usha Shukla, Diablo-Alameda Branch

Usha Shukla painting
“Flower of Life,” oil on wood panel

Usha Shukla’s images are ethereal and cosmic, with no physical references. They distill the intense colors, movement, and light found in nature. Shukla developed a unique process to create her large, vibrant, abstract paintings. Instead of using conventional tools like brushes and palette knives, she moves the paint on wood panels using an air blower.

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Winter 2019: Mary Belle Cordell, Fort Lauderdale Branch

“Iguana,” tile painting

Mary Belle Cordell goes outside the box to promote the art of china painting. She sees the world through vivid images and a riot of colors and textures. Her dreams inspire her artwork, as a kaleidoscope of colors, shapes, and themes.

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Fall 2018: Barbara Dunham, Pensacola Branch

“Asian Sunset,” mixed media

Barbara Dunham is a collage artist who translates her inspirations into mixed media. “The journey, the mystery, the spontaneity of putting the disparate pieces together, the intuitive process of letting the sum total of my knowledge and experience speak to me as I create — all the art I have ever made, seen, felt — all of this guides me along my path of exploration,” she says.

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Summer 2018: Lucy Arnold, Golden-Gate Marin Branch

Wings of the World painting
“Wings of the World,” pastel

Lucy Arnold is an award-winning artist who focuses on natural history paintings, including all sorts of butterflies, flora, and fauna. Her work also includes colorful cosmic abstracts, surreal digital photo montage, and book illustration; hHer art has been published as prints, cards, stickers, and book and CD covers, as well as in calendars, textbooks, children’s books, and art instruction books.

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Spring 2018: Carol Brolin, Santa Clara County Branch

Illustration from “Quack! Quack! I Want My Feathers Back!”

Carol Brolin seems to have always been an artist, whether on stage in the theatre or rendering her talent on canvas with a brush or on paper with a pencil. When it came time to decide which path to take as a career, she realized that the path to acting schools and acceptance into the field could mean major compromises with her moral beliefs. Creating illustrations, still life portraits, scenery, and landscapes won over as her true love in expressing her feelings and revealing her multitalented abilities.

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Winter 2018: Susanne Schuenke, Northeast Florida Branch

Susanne schuenke painting
“The Asian Lady,” oil and gold leaf on linen


Suzanne Schuenke’s fine oil paintings and watercolors resemble old-master technical quality and feature unique stylizations and rich nuances. Her works are exhibited in public, private, and corporate collections in the United States and throughout the world.

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Fall 2017: Vivian Ripley, Central Ohio Branch

“Oak Grove in Autumn,” watercolor


Vivian Ripley is an accomplished artist of varied subject matter‭, ‬and inherent in all her works is the beauty of color and how it is affected by light and shade‭. ‬She works in pastel‭, ‬watercolor‭, ‬acrylic‭, ‬and colored pencil‭ (‬sometimes combining media‭), ‬always striving to achieve beauty in each medium through her emotional use of color and tone‭.‬

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Summer 2017: Debbie Patrick, Golden Gate-Marin Branch

“Flights of Imagination,” pastel


Debbie Patrick alternates between pastels and oils, letting the subject, its texture, and the quality of light she wishes to achieve dictate which medium to use. She tries to capture subjects’ unique personality or mood, especially as reflected in their eyes. She began studying pastels with Guy Bernardo at age 14.

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Spring 2017: Linda Mitchell, Atlanta Branch

“Come Home,” painted quilt

Linda Mitchell creates beautiful, sensitive, narrative paintings that have voice and presence. Her work is unique and tells stories through patterns and colors. She was inspired by the craft of piecing together of fabric remnants to make a cohesive whole.

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Winter 2017: Pat Dicas, Birmingham Branch
Article featured in Winter 2018

“Brenna the Selkie,” oil on canvas


Pat Dicas works in oil on linen canvas, and my high-key paintings have a light all of their own. Her inspiration comes from “somewhere else.” It falls from the sky. It is sudden and surprising, connecting human beings from cave paintings to what is yet to come. 

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