Sunday, June 28, 2009


…when Peggy Berry, Charles amazingly talented and lovely daughter is able to come to town on business.  Peggy is the Development Director of the East Texas Food Bank and in that capacity has increased the donor base of support from less than a thousand to close to 30,000 which is  amazingly miraculous!  In 2005 Peggy led the ‘Freeze Out Hunger’ capital campaign, raising over $4 million dollars to build one of the largest cold storage facilities in the ‘America’s Second Harvest-The Nation’s Food Bank Network’.IMG_4316

Now I have to brag on Peggy’s daughter Anne sitting next to Peggy.  She was able to get a short holiday from her job at Johnson Controls in Dallas... where she works with ‘the big boys’ going toe to toe, selling huge chillers for stadiums and large complexes.  WOW, can she talk technology!

Here we all are At Roy’s in Pasadena, nearly passing out from their killer chocolate souffle.IMG_4322

Charles and Anne at the Huntington’s magnificent Chinese ‘Garden of Flowing Fragrance’ after seeing the ‘Treasures Through Six Generations’ Chinese Painting and Calligraphy from the Weng Collection.  Don’t miss that show and if you’ve seen it…go again!IMG_4338

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Monday, June 15, 2009


…Charles Lee DeMille is at work!

There’s nothing like a new video camera to inspire Mr. Parker.  At the moment we’re putting very short video’s on the website’s supply page.  Please do let us know if this is a help to you and what else you’d like to see.  Click on the box called “Details” on most of the brushes & gift set.

Lessons to follow…any suggestions?

Saturday, June 13, 2009


The back boundary of our property is a 35 foot cliff, straight down, topped by Oleanders. IMG_4302 This ever-blooming, evergreen now has a virus and is dying leaving us with a row of dead brush for fire season.  
Fortunately, young men come from Mexico to tirelessly do the hard work required to trim and dispose of brush.

Standing on branches over the edge, they machete the brush and carry it back onto our property to mulch.

A Bougainvillea hedge remains to keep us from the edge of the cliff.


Try to wrap your mind around the single word ‘Reality’ …IMG_4299

that’s what Beverly Hynds did in creating this amazing work.  She had decided to be very Japanese and change the scrolls hanging in her home seasonally. Here you see this summer’s presentation done with a huge  brush in sweeping expressive strokes.


Shantien ‘Tom’ Chow refers to Beverly as our beautiful star/actress as she well is!


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Sunday, June 7, 2009


…is the theme each year for the Departments of Water and Power state wide.  I’ve been privileged and honored each year to judge the Burbank high schools student poster submissions since the inception of the contest.  After all the participating cities submit their winners, the top twelve are chosen for a yearly calendar.


I’m happy to report that in past years,  several of our entries made it!  This year there were 80 posters to choose from which made my job quite difficult.  It’s such fun to see all the creativity and one made me laugh so hard, the graphic read “Save water…bury your fish!”  That took me a moment and then I got it…do you?  Another great one was the 5th place winner (the young man in the photo) who did a technically wonderful painting of Einstein with the graphic, “Water, What a Concept!”


…at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens on Tuesday for the much anticipated event with New York Times best selling author* Lisa See.

Over 500 people gathered together happily paying $50 for a private tour of the new Chinese Garden,  ‘Liu Fang Yuan’, IMG_4282…’Garden of Flowing Fragrance’ and then to hear Lisa in conversation with Julie Robinson plus everyone received a copy of her eagerly awaited new book, ‘SHANGHAI GIRLS’.

Overheard conversation: “It's so unusual for a writer to be able to both write well and speak as beautifully as Lisa does!”


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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.