Monday, February 15, 2010


…right on cue as I reached the crescendo in my talk to the amazing women of ‘The Tuesday Reading Group’!  These lovely ladies who continue the congenial tradition of the group that began in the early 1920’s. img_30084331

Thanks to Daphne Cates, my ‘miracle’ friend for this picture.

You already know the Literati or Gentlemen Scholar’s are one of my favorite subjects…and that I love to rhapsodize poetic about them.

What a privilege to be the luncheon co-hostess with awesome Kathy Rose…recent ‘Philanthropist of the Year’ who most definitely deserves accolades as she understands the true nature of giving back.  And what fun we had in planning the luncheon menu!  Rain didn’t stop the 30 or so guests…each gifted in their own right.

A truly memorable day made even more so being in the beautiful setting of Kathy’s home.

IMG_0186Vanya Foster Rohner With co-hostess Kathy Rose and Vanya’s sister Valerie Foster Hoffman

IMG_0183Valerie’s lovely guests, Virginia Braun and Linda Bowling

IMG_0178Molly Siple is seated to my left and we were delighted she could join us.  The following day was the deadline for the must have book to be published by Rizzoli commemorating the 100th year of the California Art Club…plein air painters all.  Molly is the brilliant co-author with Jean Stern of the Irvine Museum! 





I’ve already told you about amazing Carol Soucek King whose salons on ‘The Spiritually Creative Life’ are not to be missed.



IMG_0179The wonderful seating area by the fireplace was certainly enjoyed on this rainy day!

Signing-BookFran Saoud, Kumi Takagi, Virginia Braun & Carol Richards

Heartfelt thanks dear ones for your lovely notes that mean so much.  And special thanks to Valerie Hoffman who takes even more photographs than I do and HERS are always GREAT!

Here’s a link to my talk:

More on Molly Siple at: 

For information on antiques:

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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.