Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Came Early ...

... in the studio last Saturday. Everyone was gathered around my table with big smiles to greet me and they gave a joyous shout of Merry Christmas! There were hugs all around and then it was time to paint. We had a wonderful day sharing various treats with Christmas music playing; we painted and partied and trust you did the same!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


...and all thru L.A.

I wondered and wondered

how best to convey...

wishes and wants and my whole laundry list

straight to the source of good old St. Nick!

On Dasher, on Dancer head straight to the door

of Valerie and Eugene's and search no more.

For there in the house all twinkling and bright

is all that you'd want to do Christmas just right!

Carolers were strolling in their costumes so fine
as guests were treated to find food and good wine!

Presents galore for each lucky guest

and finally my wish for St. Nick was at rest!

Phyllis, Valerie & yours truly with Vicki & Carol

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Tyrus Wong.  Erik Friedl sent me this link and you will enjoy every moment of it.  Using a 2,000 year old kite making process, Tyrus forms a Centipede and then we see it flying.  This is definitely a must watch.


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.