Monday, December 29, 2008


...when we were at the home of Rose and Ken Nielsen (President of Woodbury Univ.) for a Christmas brunch for Woodbury supporters.

To digress, amazing Rose is senior director of development for the School of Architecture and she has been the driving force behind its new Julius Shulman Institute cataloging some 70,000 slides!

While in their beautiful backyard, Charles was entranced by the hummingbird's darting to the Nielsen's feeders. Well, we have hummingbirds in our yard and they flit around like mad but somehow this was different. ASAP, CLP went on line and ordered a feeder. Who knew?

By coincidence/serendipity, I sat next to a 'birder' at Hildegard Lindsay's Christmas luncheon and we got to exchanging info. I for one told how delighted I was by the book kept at the front of the 'Boathouse Restaurant' in N.Y.C.'s Central Park where visitors come to record their observations of birds and other Park wildlife in the "Bird Register". Entrancing!

For this information I was traded the fact that you have to wash out the hummingbird feeder at least once a week. When ours arrived, we had a major discussion on how much 'syrup' to make, how long to 'boil' it and my input that hanging a hummingbird feeder means assuming a certain amount of responsibility for the well being of a fragile and trusting creature.

So, here it is, up and not quite full (my suggestion). The hummingbirds are feasting on all of the flowers in our little garden so I suspect they are saving our feeder for reserve.

All this to say we wish 2009 will be filled with ABUNDANT SWEETNESS for you.

For more information: for books on Julius Shulman's oeuvre

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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.