Friday, February 19, 2010


…at the Dallas airport.  His flight to L.A. was cancelled so no weekend visit.

Peggy, John’s wife and Charles’ daughter was here for the annual Food Bank Conference.  Peggy is the Development director for the East Texas Food Bank and we’re sooooo proud of the great work she does!  After her stay at the conference’s hotel, Peggy checked into the Parker B & B.  I’ve already blogged about the inflatable mattress in the studio!

Peggy BerryPeggy Berry has served as the Development Director since January 2000. She has a background of over 15 years in donor development and fundraising with nonprofits. Mrs. Berry’s work at the East Texas Food Bank has increased the donor base of support from less than a 1,000 donors in 2000 to over 17,000 donors throughout 26 counties in 2007. In 2005, she 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. The capital campaign also led to a major gift to establish the East Texas Food Bank Foundation. In addition to her duties at the East Texas Food Bank, Mrs. Berry is a leader in numerous community and professional organizations. Mrs. Berry earned her Bachelor's Degree in Business from The University of Texas at Austin. Mrs. Berry earned the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation in 2007. Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education, demonstrated fundraising achievement and a commitment to service to nonprofit organizations. Initially, candidates must pass a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a fundraising executive.

Contact Peggy at

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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.