Wednesday, May 4, 2011



…..after three very long months that seemed like a year!  The Brush painting class is now in the TEACHING GREENHOUSE as the Ikebana House is being restored.  This is all in preparation for the Japanese Garden’s 100th anniversary.  There will also be a restoration of the pond system, work done on pathways and the installation of a tea house and garden up by the scree slope.   Very exciting!002

Then after class, it was delightful serendipity to see Kathabela Wilson, poet, artist, jewelry designer extraordinaire and one of the sweetest persons to ever grace our beautiful blue planet.  Kathabela with her husband Richard,a math professor at Caltech, have the most amazing special poetry events.  So numerous and interesting, I really think you’ll do yourself a great favor by asking to be on their mailing list.  The current one has so much good stuff on it that it would take till forever to list it all. One such event is the Poets on Site, The Poetry Tour of the 40th anniversary exhibit, Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA.  You will be amazed at how many wonderful cultural events are going on right in our midst! Richard is also a brilliant flautist and gives concerts hither and yon.  His website is packed full of interesting info.



Sweet Susan Rogers with delightful Kathabela on the right in her ever present charming flowered hat.

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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.