Current Member News
On February 3 at 7 PM Leslee Ashe will be doing a Perrot Memorial Library presentation on her book: Out of the Shadows: The Henson Festivals and Their Impact on Contemporary Puppet Theater. Asch worked from Jim Henson and The Jim Henson Company for over twenty years. Out of the Shadows is the first to focus solely on his love of-- and impact on-- puppetry as a vital contemporary art form, an important and previously unexplored aspect of the Henson legacy. You must register for this ZOOM event.
Maria C. Friscia’s digital photography, A Rose Within was accepted into the 41st Annual Photography Show at The Carriage Barn Arts Center in New Canaan. Until February 27.
Doris Mady will have six paintings on exhibit this month: two (Meadow Symphony and Lavender Fields Forever) at the Rowayton Arts Center (Feb. 7 - March 6), 145 Rowayton Ave., for the “In The Garden” exhibit and four (At Rest, Yummy!, Quiet Harbor, and Tickling The Shore) at the “Small Works” exhibit appearing until Feb. 26 at the Art Closet Gallery at 70 King Street, Chappaqua.
Margaret Esmé Simon has had her pastel Where Do We Go From Here accepted into the National Association of Women Artists show “The Resilience of Grief”. The show will be online from February 1 – April 30. Access is through their website: www.thenawa.org/events/
Connie Newton Stancell’s painting, Canyon Rhythms XVI is included in the Katonah Museum Artists Association All Member Show 2021. This is a virtual exhibition only and exhibition dates are until February 23. View the exhibition: kmaaonlinegallery.com and click on the link to the exhibition. Follow her on Instagram at: Art by Connie Newton Stancell.
Greenwich Pen Women finalized the 2021 Book Discussions with Perrot Memorial Library. Five named books, plus a Greenwich Reads Together entries in 4Q21 (TBD). They are as follows:
Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson
March 22, Monday (virtual)
Facilitators: Lynn Garlick and Adrienne Reedy
The Overstory, by Richard Powers
April 26, Monday (virtual)
Facilitator: Laurie Heiss
The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
June 14, Monday
Facilitator: Diane Tunick Morello
Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars, by Joyce Carol Oates
September 20, Monday
Facilitator: Barbara Ehrentreu
4Q21: Greenwich Reads Together, TBD
February Theme: How I Became Me
Rosemarie Anner -- I have lived many lifetimes in my journey through the decades. Some paths were of my own choosing, and some were the only ones I could have taken. Yet a constant thread ran through each voyage: Writing.
I have always been interested in writing and was attracted to the role of an editor from my earliest years in grammar school. I launched a newspaper in eighth grade when my English, I thought, was as good as my first language, Italian. As a debater and editor of my high school paper, I became interested in topics beyond my immediate experiences. Editor of the college newspaper and literary magazine was followed by a professional career, including 21 years at Greenwich Magazine. Along the way, I married my first love and had five children. I am a grandmother today and still happily married to my first love. Regardless where a path led, I never stepped away from the creative responses fueled by the keyboard. I still write and publish, in English, of course.
©2021 by Barbara Ehrentreu
How I Became Me
I was always different
My hair curly – not straight
Though, I colored in the lines
No one knew the real me
underneath the quiet girl
who seemed to be in the world
But was on a tangent in her mind
When I lost the only one who truly knew me
Whose light shone on my life
I realized though alone I had my friend
writing kept me going
Fiction and poetry massaged my soul
as I struggled to find another connection
Then I met so many writers
and poets whose thoughts mirrored my own
I knew I had found my world
in the art of writing and the people
who every day bring their thoughts
to the world for connection
As I did first in private and then
in public and finding many
who applauded these quirks of my mind
And I embraced the truth of my difference
Maria C. Friscia -- Growing up in a small mountain village in Italy, admiring the picturesque countryside, formed the foundation for my love of nature. Scenes reminiscent of my past inspire me to investigate natural forms with my paint brush and to reflect on life’s purpose.
In 2011 I entered one of my landscapes, Vista from Saguenay Fijord, Quebec, into my first juried exhibition and won 1st prize. I felt validated as an artist. This moment inspired me to continue exploring the natural world around me and helped me grow to become the artist who I am today.
Linda Hortick © 1/1/2021
As I look back over the years I think what kind of a footprint did I leave on earth? Was it big or small, light or heavy? Where did I go? How far did I travel to become me?
When I think back to my youth I remember the ocean and jumping into the high frothy waves by the seashore. A youthful abandon while enjoying the elixir of life. I walked on the beach in my bare feet feeling the rough grains of sand between my toes.
Looking up at a blue sky with seagulls flying overhead, I had nothing to worry about but enjoying the air and the sunshine. What a treat it was to be young and carefree. I did not realize how heavy my footprint would get as I traveled through the years of my life.
Sometimes I ran away from things, sometimes I ran toward things. Sometimes I just stood in place.
The rhythm of life called me. I answered by changing myself to fine tune what I wanted to be. I adjusted to becoming another person. A duplicate me but better I thought with my new experiences.
My footprint changed again. Still me but different. Am I finally the person I wanted to be? Some of my old footprints are disappearing as I move through the seasons of my life.
Oh, to be that young girl again jumping in the frothy white waves in the ocean and walking on the beach feeling the grainy sand between her toes.
Leigh Grant -- Like everyone else, there are a lot of “becoming me” moments
in my life, both planned and inadvertent. The “becoming me” moment I've chosen is “becoming me, the writer.” The fork in the road arrived when I was an illustrator. I was contacted by a small publisher to illustrate a book on The Twelve Days of Christmas in the context of 18th century England. The paintings I produced after studying Hogarth and other painters of the period turned out to be, in my mind, the best I'd done. When the small publisher asked me to leave a border for children to color in, I left. Following a convoluted submission process, I finally arrived at Abrams with the paintings. The editor asked me to write up my research. “If you can't write, we'll do it.” I wrote it up and he said, “You can write.” Consequently, a new writer was “born.”
Sarah Darer Littman -- How did I become me? Funny story: it took being hospitalized for a suicide attempt at age 38. Okay, that part of the story isn’t all that funny. It was the worst time of my life, but turns out it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I “had a great fall”, just like Humpty Dumpty, but unlike the King’s horses and King’s men, I was able to put myself together again – stronger and healthier, but even more importantly, in touch with the parts of myself that I’d submerged because I was living my life to please everyone else. Things like my creativity, and my dream of being a writer. Therapeutic journaling in that hospital reminded me of all that. I promised myself that I would get a book contract for my 40th birthday present to myself, and sold my first novel two months after my 40th birthday.
Doris Mady -- I, like all elementary schoolers, was not allowed in school hallways without a Hall Monitor who would accompany us to our destination.
However, one day Mrs. Hirsch, my 1st grade teacher, liked a drawing I did and sent me, unaccompanied, to Mrs. Hallowell’s 1st grade class. It was a straight line through the cafeteria, the gym, and then Mrs. Hallowell’s but seemed like a very l-o-n-g way, alone.
When I returned I recounted Mrs. Hallowell’s reaction. Which was nice. Then Mrs. Hirsch hugged me against her very ample bosoms and said, “Someday you’re going to be an Art Director!” I was so embarrassed! I thought I would smother against her. I hadn’t a clue what Art Director meant except I got attention, applause and praise...so from that day forth, I walked with resolution to become an Art Director (whatever that is?!).
I’ve been an Art Director for 55 years.
Diane Morello -- I needed one more course at University of Connecticut at Storrs, and I took a chance: I enrolled in a class on writing, journalism and publishing. I was smitten. For nearly four decades I applied my writing skills to magazines, newspapers, websites and businesses on topics as varied as international tariffs, Florida real estate, personal computing, future jobs and social trends. My know-how took me to Hong Kong, Taiwan, England, Italy, Singapore, Australia, South Korea, India, South Africa, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and much of the U.S.
When I hit my 60s, I wondered: What will I do when I grow up? That’s when I came across Joel Runyon’s Impossible List: Don’t settle for what’s possible, aim for the impossible. I skipped my bucket list and crafted my Impossible List: Retire early, write and publish a novel, visit all 63 US National Parks, move to Santa Fe, skydive, drive to every state in America, open a book store, publish my photographs, run a 10K, and get back on stage. Whether I achieve all the items on my Impossible List is immaterial: the list gives me fuel. It’s a promise I make to myself to turn my dreams into achievement, health, spirit and joy.
Lee Paine 12/31/20
The Pieces That Have Stayed
How I Became Me -
so strange to think upon!
Started the day I was born -
twill go ‘til I am gone!
Hewn of New England granite,
that years have chipped away,
I’ve made life of what is left
of the pieces that have stayed.
As more pieces fall away,
I’ve learned to let things go.
The inner core is as tender
as newly fallen snow.
What is left at every stage
Is ME in every case.
At the end I’ll be a puddle
Of memories seeking grace.
Heather Sandifer -- This a plaster cast I made in summer camp when I was about 8 years old. Although very imperfect, I still get the same thrill of discovery I did then when I create art. I graduated from the New York Botanical Garden program with a Certificate in botanical art but my experiments with botanical prints and monotypes edged me away from pen and ink and detailed watercolor paintings. My new way to make art involves a true collaboration between me and the plant - just like this first plaster cast. The thrill of this initial discovery and anticipation has never left. Neither has my love for plants.
Connie Newton Stancell -- I was born in Vermont and grew up on my parents’ dairy farm in Massachusetts. My Mom, a school teacher, was passionate about her extensive flower and vegetable gardens. Mom’s gardens’ vivid, glorious colors and textures are etched in my heart. Studies for my BA at UMass Amherst (my major was German) included an art history survey course which ignited my interest in art and art history. After my semester of independent study in Germany, a college girlfriend and I traveled to many of the major cities in Europe and immersed ourselves in their culture, history, and art. Soon after my graduation, I began working at my first job and immediately started taking drawing, painting and sculpture classes in Boston, evenings after work. Many of my early paintings were florals and I still paint some florals time to time as I continue my art journey and explorations.
Deb Weir -- I was three years old when I decided to break windows. I started with the plate glass picture window in the living room. It took several tries with a hammer using increasing force until I finally gave up and just threw the hammer through the window. Shards flew everywhere and created a hailstorm of glass. One piece cut my hand and I bled.
My mother was furious and spanked the daylights out of me. I screamed that it was unfair for a mother to spank a bleeding child, but she disagreed! When it was all over, I felt terrible that mother was so angry and had to clean up my mess. I decided to stop breaking windows, beating up my little brother, and biting my playmates. Just for good measure, I even stopped biting my tricycle.
But I’ll never stop breaking glass ceilings!
When buying a new tube of paint: Open the tube and lubricate the grooves by putting a little petroleum jelly on them. Twist cap back and forth a couple of times. No more sticking caps.