Saturday, May 3, 2008

Two Day Ketsup!

We are starting to speak strangely as demonstrated by today's title.
(I forgot to tell you that we had also gone to Tiger Hill while in Suzhou.) Yesterday morning we coached back to Shanghai from Suzhou just in time to make the #1 Silk Factory by noon to see a demonstration of silk rugs being made and then shopping for same! Mongolian Hot Pot lunch was downstairs and then it was off to the Yu Garden where we had to run the gauntlet thru the hoards (still a national holiday) with vendors beckoning on either side, entreating you with their calls of 'hello, hello'. We gratefully arrived at the Yu Garden and felt like Stendhal who passed out seeing so much beauty in Italy.
After shopping, Jeffrey our delightful guide, gathered his flock. To the arirport for a 2 hr. flight to Guilin. The airlines are marvelous and make everything easy for weary travelers. Checking in at Guilin's Bravo Hotel took just moments & by midnight the weary travelers were settled into their rooms.
This A.M. (day 7) we were up at 6:45 to catch the 9:00 cruise up the Li River to Yangshou. Unforgettable and extraordinary, this journey has no equal. The paintings we have studied came to life before our eyes. Lunch was on the boat and then we were in Yangshou. The old, old fisherman with his Commerands wanted $1.00 for this picture which we soon found was the going rate for photo opportunities. Michael found a great seal shop and Stacey & Lauren had carvings done by the 'master'. We took the coach back to Guilin, seeing beautiful rice fields & water buffalo as we went. Next stop...all out at the Guilin Art Museum where we were gifted with a lecture and 'explanation' of Chinese Brush painting!!! After a 'Bamboo' demonstration we circulated to see the artwork & Lauren, trying one of the brushes did better Bamboo leaves than the demonstrator. I'M SO PROUD. Dinner in the hotel ....most of us had foot massages by experts and then we have a wakeup call for be continued. Please look at this entry again tomorrow when we promise to have the pictures attached. For now, it's time to get some shut eye.


Eileen Ogle said...

Nan - can't fully express how much so many of us are enjoying your journals & photos fm China. It makes us feel we're travelling along w/you. Thx so much. Eileen (JRN's roommate)

Anonymous said...

Nan, you've made the trip so real to all of us who remain armchair travellers! Loved seeing Judith drawing. Now we'll know she has drawings to show us despite any protestations to the contrary! The trip down the river looks glorious. Looking forward to all new posts. Thanks for letting us be part of the trip from afar. Cathy C.

macattax said...

Helen Buckley, Mary Carolyn and Mary Ann just reviewed all and send thanks to the leader and greetings to Judith, Ellie and John. We will be sharing with Shirley later.


There is no avoiding the pull of the internet, the blogs, the YouTube imaginings. It's as if we're all 'On the Road' with Jack Kerouac each in our own world of meanderings. When we tell someone to 'get a life' it might be a bit difficult when you're dragged into other people's 24/7.

I've come to realize two foundational principals, there are no accidents and everyone has a purpose. More and more I'm desiring everyone to come into a full realization of their purpose as we all find our way on this little jewel of a planet.

For me, as a professional 'Western style artist', I stumbled into Chinese Brush Painting after a trip in 1980 to Monet's home/garden. Seeing all of his collection of Japanese woodblock prints was an ahh haa moment for me and when I returned to the States I started painting in the Chinese manner and never looked back. The first year was extremely painful for me as I felt that I should be able to master the technique since I was a 'trained' artist. Not a chance ... that just gets in your way.

Now, after teaching close to 3,000 students and having my book 'The Ch'i of the Brush' published by Watson Guptill, I can say that every one of my students does better their first day than I did my first year! Why? Because I insist that they leave their critical parent outside and just enjoy the journey, respecting the work that they do. I never let anyone throw anything away because that just ingrains frustration and defeat.

We really only begin to learn when we stop and figure out how to 'save' a painting. It works every time.I am so proud of my students, their receptivity and eagerness to express themselves is a continuing blessing for me.So, back to finding your purpose. Perhaps it starts with realizing 'it's not about me'. It so easy to want our needs met and to filter everything thru this attitude. When we realize that we're here to be of benefit to every life that we touch the universe really provides the ways and means.

The best part is that it's really exciting to not have yourself on your mind all the time!I'm re-reading a wonderful book about authenticity and in my next meandering I'll tell you about it. In the meantime I'd love to hear about your journey and am here to answer any and all questions about Chinese Brush Painting.