Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CAN YOU IMAGINE...'s a birthday party for you but you give everyone else a gift!
That's exactly what Valerie Foster Hoffman did as all 35 guests received the most delightful 'Chimes of Pluto' wind chimes. I placed mine at the bottom of the stairs leading to the studio so everyone can make a joyful sound as they enter.

This lovliest of parties was at Cal Tech in the Library at The Athenaeum. We also got to see the Albert Einstein Suite (so I feel much smarter now).

Here are our hostesses for this beautiful birthday luncheon:
Seated from the left, Carol Soucek King, Valerie the beautiful birthday girl, Joyce Hameetman and Valerie's lovely daughter Vanessa. Standing from the left are, Gayle Garner Roski, Virginia Kazanjian and Valerie's charming sister Vanya Foster Rohner.

Gayle Garner Roski should sound familiar to you as she is an amazingly talented, award winning artist.

For more information please go to:

Thursday, January 22, 2009


...that I move my hands about so much. What music am I conducting?

Delightful, talented Jana Tether did the video work and set up to put me on 'YOU TUBE'. It was great least for me... as Jana did all the work. The first video is an introduction to the studio and if you can stay with it, I finally mention our Calligraphy classes at the end.


Be sure to Google Jana Tether for more information on this amazing young woman and check out her book, 'And God Created Human: A Collection of Scenes and Monologues'. It's 5 star on Amazon.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

... we have to hear Reverend George Regas at Carol and Richard King's monthly SALON on the SPIRITUALLY CREATIVE LIFE! And off we went ... on time too but there was nary a seat in the packed to overflowing house. How grateful I was when Richard retrieved a chair for me from the office.

To quote Carol's announcement, "One of the most compelling voices for peace and justice in the United States today, Rev George Regas is a prominent leader in the interfaith nuclear disarmament movement. An orator of uncommon brilliance, he spent 28 years as a rector of one of the largest Episcopal churches in the United States (All Saints. Pasadena) leading his congregation in its opposition to the Vietnam War, the escalating nuclear arms race, the covert Central American wars, and both the Gulf War and the Iraq War. He has done much good work in Southern California, including founding an AIDS service center, a homeless shelter and a medical program for uninsured children."

It's inspiring to hear a powerful voice saying, "hope is viable and peace is possible if we reaffirm our common humanity". Rev. Regas said, "When Carl Sandberg was asked what the worst expression was he answered, "Exclusivism" meaning... just because we have conviction, we can not become arrogant, as the One we call God is greater than our understanding about God.

To want to be exclusive is poisonous leading to revenge, violence and war. More importantly, we must go deep into our own personal truth and become authentic so that we may relate to one another in a positive way". The Dali Lama said that practicing compassion is more important than having more Buddhists. Finally, when we look at Michelangelo's painting, 'Hell' we observe truth that's seen too late. Quoting Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, "The world of tomorrow belongs to those who gave it its greatest hope."

To Learn More: www./

Regas Institute
595 E. Colorado Blvd. Suite 400
Pasadena, CA. 91101
but a sudden urge to straighten out a shelf in the garage swept over me. It started off with dusting various bottles of 'emergency' beverages and moved to the center of the shelf where there was a big box marked ... XMAS!

Now I must have seen that every day but somehow it never registered that there might indeed be 'XMAS' decorations within its confines. Sure enough, a treasure trove of Stat's 'day after Christmas' goodies from? Three years ago? Perhaps four!

The price tags were still on everything and I've had more fun adding to the trees even if it's only for one day as Stacey will be putting all the toys away Monday and Tuesday. HAPPY DAYS AFTER CHRISTMAS TO YOU!


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.