Monday, February 16, 2009


...and it will benefit the West Valley Food Bank. So said Carolyn Weisz who, with artist friend Denise Hufhines came up with the plan to have a wine tasting, dinner and auction followed by more food and yummy deserts.

Carolyn and husband Dr. Jeff hosted and guests were told to bring a bottle of wine which was then encased in Renolds wrap and placed on a table. We were given sheets of paper with the numbers of the bottles and instructions to taste and rate. I could easily see that this was brilliant planning...after all that wine tasting...we raised a lot of money!

We had been told to bring a 'White Elephant' item from home that we would want to 'get 'rid of'' and also something on the 'nice' side.

Denise explains how the auction works:

The auctioneer (Dr. Jeff) was to hold up an item like the 'lovely' dancing puppet. You could either bid on it yourself or bid for someone else to receive it. That's when it got really hysterical. If you didn't want the item, you'd have to raise the bid to give it to someone else. It's hard to describe but if you want to give such a fun packed party to benefit either a food bank or some other worthy Denise!

You'll want to know more about Carolyn, Denise and
her hubby Donald. They are all wonderful students of mine and this happy picture was taken at their joint, sold out art exhibit!

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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.