Sunday, July 17, 2011


…..has been open to the public for years but it took my grade school friend Marsha Weis from Chicago to get me to the Weisman home to view this outstanding eclectic collection.  Marsha was always the smartest student and has remained so throughout the years.  After retiring from her law practice she became a docent at the Modern in Chicago and is always my go to gal on what to read see and do!

Anyway, Marsha made reservations for us as the Foundation is very strict on the number of people it admits at any given time and also on your arrival time.  We’ve both seen a lot of art thru the years but were staggered by the breadth, quality and depth of this man’s collection. Name any important artist in the 20th century and somewhere in the Weisman collection you’ll find them.

Marsha at the entrance as we began the tour.002

Getting ready to be a Botero model.



Where better to catch up than the Ivy on Robertson.  We seem to always land there whenever Marsha’s in town.


Inside at the Ivy.  A beautiful composition.


Oh, one other thing….while there is no charge for the outstanding docent led tour, bring $40. in cash for the Weisman Art Foundation catalog.  It’s a bargain and they don’t take credit cards.

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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.