Saturday, October 1, 2011



It all started with Laurie Burton’s B’day that we celebrated during class  last Saturday.

Nikka, my super duper assistant, had instructions to bring the cake up to the studio at 12:45 (lunch time).  We pulled off the surprise and all sang Happy Birthday to Laurie!!!


Time to cut the cake Laurie…we’re waiting!!!029

Mom followed with her B’day on Sunday …..

Awwwwww…………….so sweet!004

Time to party…the balloons are here!!! 011

Hey Vicki, is that slice big enough?  (Not really!!)021

Then Tuesday it was dinner at the Jonathan Club.  A B’day treat of Rose and Ken Nielsen,President of Woodbury University.  Although I’m invited, I feel like a fifth wheel as those three spend the evening (same thing last year) jawing about Nebraska.  I nod off.

Finally, the CAKE!001 

Mom in her element.005

We thought it would be funny to take a picture of Ken carrying mom’s purse!!!009

…..Sir Charles B’day yesterday!!!

Martin & Nikka got the banners and balloons up with Yuki supervising.007

More balloons…………..010

Where’s the cake?


Oh, presents first.027


Yuki gave up on getting any cake …after much begging she was forced to eat her own dinner.005

This was soooooo much fun!!!


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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.