Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I’m speechless (well almost) as it’s not easy describing IMG_4611 the ‘love feast’ dedication of the Valerie and Eugene Hoffman ‘Cafe and Waterfall’ at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center on Sunday.

invite-fountain A clue to how marvelous it would be was when we received the invitation created by renowned artist Gayle Garner Roski.

Grateful for valet parking, we munched on delicious yummies and imbibed just a bit…what a convivial group.  Carol Soucek King (Salon on the Spiritually Creative Life) gave the introduction and left no doubt that she’s a STAR of the first order as she described the amazing, multitalented and beautiful Valerie and her dear Eugene…philanthropist’s extraordinaire!

For a perfect ending, Dr. Richard King had us all say his wonderful native American prayer:

Do all the good you can,

In all the ways you can,

With all the means you can,

To all the people you can,

As long as you can.



Shelly Ann Marks, in from Houston for the event (Charles thought I was talking with Rachael Zoe)


Valerie thought of everything …IMG_4620 including the grand entrance by Traveler!


Dr. Richard King, Carol Soucek King, Elaine Adams (Ex. Dir. of The California Art Club and wife of the brilliant plein air IMG_4623painter Peter Adams), artist Gayle Garner Roski

For more information: Trooper-at-Fountain

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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.