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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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.