Sunday, June 5, 2011


… Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena when Carol Soucek King and I arrived…thinking we were EARLY for Lisa See’s book signing!


We were so happy to be greeted by Elizabeth Gill Lui and Betty Wang.  Elizabeth is a true renaissance woman,fine art photographer, author and educator with a graduate degree from Harvard.  When she presented me with an exquisite, limited edition of ‘SECOND WONDER’… a jewel of a book written by Keya Guimaraes,  her equally brilliant polymath daughter…. I was honored beyond words.010

People had been gathering for hours to hear Lisa See, New York Times best selling author talk about her new book ‘DREAMS OF JOY’.  As always, it was a joyful event as Lisa’s myriad of fans, myself included, eagerly await her every word.  Somehow, Lisa patiently signed close to 400 copies of her book, taking the time to inscribe something personal and meaningful in each.  She’s a wonder!


Honestly, I don’t know how she does it as this  was only the third in a series of 43 book signings across the country.  Aren’t you exhausted just reading that?


Really, the line went on FOREVER!


Receiving an official distinction award from a State Representative.

F.Y.I.  Tyrus Wong, another national treasure was there…if you’ve read my previous blogs about him (‘Tyrus Wong is a National Treasure’ posted 10/25/09 and ‘Brushstrokes in Hollywood’ posted on 10/13/2008) you know he’s now 100 and still flying his extraordinary kites once a month on the beach in Santa Monica….another not to be missed event.

I managed to wolf down a humongous slice of the famous fresh strawberry and whipped cream cake from Phoenix Bakery.

For more information:

google Tyrus Wong

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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.