Greenwich Pen Women, a branch of the National League of American Pen Women, is a non-profit organization of women artists, writers, and musicians. We offer mutual support and exchange of ideas to encourage and inspire excellence in original creative work.
Late Summer Viewpoint by GPW Deb Weir*
*Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie (Ohio). The population declined, so this is used as a Townhall, Library,
Catholic Church (8 am every Sunday) & Protestant Church (10 am).
The 30 remaining children are flown to the mainland for school every day.
“That old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air … Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.”
― Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose
>> Please meet new member Colleen Hains featured in our Spotlight, below.
Note from our President:
I am sitting on my porch in early August, watching the gentle rise and fall of many tiny sparks, the glowing plankton of the skies: fireflies. The NY Times article I read a couple of weeks ago commented on the disappearance of such pleasing phenomena due to pesticides, herbicides and the banishment of leaf litter from perfect lawns. How sad! As summer reached its height, we all breathed in the acrid smoke from endless forest fires in Canada. (Or tried not to.) My neighbor drove down from upstate New York along the Hudson through a veiled landscape. Rising black and leafless in the haze of smoke, the ranks of dead ash trees, victims of the emerald ash borer, resemble a veritable Apocalypse. A different genus will hopefully replace them. When it was hot, it was really hot. The bigger picture: the oceans are warming. In places the water in Florida reached one hundred degrees. The sharks are swimming north. Even the tilt of the earth is changing. What can any of us do? The problem is so vast. So, this is a small plea to do what you can for the earth. Just pick one thing. Something you can manage. One thing at a time.
Focusing on writing, the publishing industry is in such a state of flux that unless you are a known author, it is SO difficult to get published that the Indie route seems best. That route is littered with expensive reviews, expensive advertising, and wholesalers who sell to various buyers, but not to all, and who can be inflexible about discounts and pricing your book. We will hear about this market and how best to navigate it from the writer Jan Yager on November 9th at 7 pm courtesy of the Perrot Library. It is free to anyone wishing to attend. The subject is her new publication: How to Promote Your Book: A Practical Guide to Publicizing Your Own Title. Books will be for sale. Her last book was on self-publishing, How to Self-Publish Your Book.
Art is looking forward to an exhibit, Greenwich Pen Women: Points of View, at the Round Hill Community Church under the auspices of Mirella Hajjar’s Beaux Arts Gallery from September 10th to November 2nd. A reception will be held September 17th. We anticipate a summer of accomplishment!
We welcome new members: Susan Shapiro Barash, Elizabeth Burleson, Heidi Matonis and Rachael Workman (all are Letters) and Colleen Hains (Art). There are several other new applicants “in the wings.” Thank you, Rosemarie Anner, for all your work!
The Fall Get Together will take place this year on the third Saturday of October at Grace Farms, New Canaan when the fall colors (we hope) will be at their height. Roberta Seret will host us with a tour at noon and a forty-five minute walk for those who are interested. You may purchase lunch at the facility at 1 pm. As part of our partnership with the Perrot Library, Diane Morello is looking for volunteers to run book talks. She has sent around a proposed list of books. Please respond directly to Diane.
Two last notes: Barbara O’Shea has been active in assembling a handsome new card advertising Greenwich Pen Women, who we are, and what we do. Kathryn Shorts has shepherded a small velvet-lined box through Michaelangelo of Greenwich, an engraved presentation gift to Carolyn Majewski for her many years of service to Greenwich Pen Women. Please see photo.
A few more weeks of summer and we welcome fall! There are many interesting events coming up on the GPW calendar. Take a look!
GPW President Leigh Grant
Spotlight, on new Member Colleen Hains. Welcome!
“To publish how long I have been painting certainly shows my age. I know it has been over 40 years, and I am an oil painter. I was introduced to oil painting by Rayma Spaulding, a Hudson River Valley painter, whom became my mentor.
My goal has always been to capture the meaning and feeling of what I am trying to paint. I thrive to create people on canvas because the different faces fascinate me. I love to paint animals because their eyes make me melt. (I have four pets of my own so I have very cooperative subjects.) I enjoy painting landscapes because there is so much color to play around with, but I also enjoy the understanding of the place itself, i.e. my backyard, a scene that a friend took through their camera eye, or a Cape Cod remembrance. Painting is a healthy escape for me.
I am fortunate to say that I have never derived so much joy from anything as I do from painting. I love to share that joy by teaching others.”
Colleen Hains has also studied art at the University of Connecticut. She owns and operates Art Masters of Silvermine, which is a creative venture that focuses on teaching children, autistic adults, and Alzheimer/dementia/seniors the joy of art.
Colleen has hosted and chaired over 30 art shows. She welcomes friends and family that come to see her work which provides further motivation for painting.
Colleen is currently running an oil painting portrait project called “Women Over 50 in their Natural Beauty”. This show will be introduced in June 2024, so stay tuned..