Friday, May 1, 2009


After four printings and six years, I was able to purchase the rights to my book ‘The Ch’i of the Brush’ from Random House.  Little did I dream that ‘self’ publishing would be so very complicated and might I add expensive.  It made me appreciate Watson-Guptill all over again!

After obtaining the ‘files’ I found out that the size of the book had to be modified by 1/2 inch to conform to the specs. of Lightning Source’s file setup requirements.  (Lightning Source in Tennessee was chosen because they offer ‘Full Distribution Services.) That meant going to  Bookcovers in Florida to reformat and then proof reading every page both at the file modification stage and then again when Lightning Source received the files to make sure margins hadn’t ‘moved’ and that the pagination was correct.  (Wow, the words you learn!)  Next came the Library of Congress# and the ISBN# which both had to be changed.

book-cover The whole process was much more complicated than expected or described here but after several months it all came together and we are now on with the new edition.  Charles is sending the PDF to Amazon so that you can ‘look inside the book’ as on the Watson-Guptill edition.  EVERYTHING IS THE SAME and I’m delighted with the end result.

If you have the book and if it’s been of help to you, a review on Amazon would be soooooo appreciated!  Just click on the second listing for the book.

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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.