Tuesday, March 17, 2009


…because they’re no longer safe!  We’ve discovered the true meaning of ‘Action Painting’ with master calligrapher Shantien ‘Tom’ Chow.

IMG_1434Using the largest brushes we could find the adventure  started by splashing milk onto a large piece of Double Shuen paper and here is Priscilla demonstrating.

TIMG_1430he areas hit by the milk will be more resistant to the Ink and interesting textured areas then appear.

We know that form is established by an aesthetic that was set forth centuries ago expressing objective truth that is universal.  But now we’ve  taken it to hyper -drive.

IMG_1415 Tom with Stacey












Diana in action  IMG_1424 








Beverly, Tom and Diana with ‘Reality’ … what a concept!



Of course mine was ‘Ch’i’…(or ‘Life Force’) but you’re not surprised.


To assist in accomplishing all of this ‘Gone, Gone, Gone’ (Done Moved on) from the Grammy album of the year ‘Raising Sand’ with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss was turned on full blast.

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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.