Tuesday, November 15, 2011


…..has the fullest schedule of anyone I know.  Besides her enthralling, fact filled novels….’Dreams of Joy’ being the latest in a long list of #1 best sellers…. she is either away on a book tour or lined up to lecture locally.  I say all that to give you some idea of the difficulty in scheduling a luncheon as I often ask her ‘Do you have a personal life at all?’

The ‘ticket’ to this gathering was a history and or intense background in things Chinese.

Artist Gail Garner Roski…. (yes, as in the Gayle Garner Roski School of Fine Arts/USC)…. & Dr. Rozella Knox who had 2 or 3 times previously invited Lisa to speak to the VIP auxiliary of the Assistance League of Southern California.


  With the table limited to nine women (including Lisa) who shared this commonality the field was really narrowed and I thought this must be how the Algonquin Round Table was!

Seated from lower left:

Betty Wang who recently arranged Lisa See’s presentation/book signing at the South Pasadena Public Library.  It was a huge success!

Dottie O’Carroll, Executive Director of Advancement, USC School of Architecture who has traveled to China many times as part of her responsibilities with the American Academy in China/USC (founded by Dean Qingyun Ma).

Artist Gail Garner Roski

Lisa See with our beautiful hostess, author Carol Soucek King.  I am so proud to have all of Carol’s exquisite books on design.  My favorite being ‘Empowered Spaces’. Carol’s ‘Salon’s’ bring the most interesting people in various fields together to make this beautiful blue planet a better home for us all.


From the top right:

Yours truly…

Dr. Knox who just retired from her longtime family practice in Glendale leaving a ton of very sad patients!

Shouning Li, wife of architect Qingyun Ma, Dean of USC School of Architecture and founder of MADA s.p.a.m. architectual firm headquarted in Shanghai.  Shouning Li is a brilliant architect in her own right & is Senior Project Manager for Capital Construction Development/USC.  WOW!  The two of us had a delightful talk about Brush painting!

Author, teacher and lecturer Carolyn See.

It was especially meaningful for me to have a chance to visit with Lisa’s mom, Carolyn See, a woman I have admired for many years.

Carolyn See


In re-reading my well marked treasured copy of Carolyn’s book ‘MAKING A LITERARY LIFE’ Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers,  I noticed the inscription……

“For Nan Rae!

For Gilbert’s Sake’!


Carolyn See

You may remember Gilbert Leong was an early patron, mentor and most of all, dear friend.  I miss him greatly.  I wrote a blog about Gilbert’s chairs in my studio on August 28th of this year.

David Sutton, chef extraordinaire!010

For you foodies out there……


In the ‘It’s a small world’ department. There were so many China connections.  Lisa did a great deal of research for her latest book (she is a researcher par excellence) in Anhui Province where Richard King’s US/China Business Institute is headquartered.

What a memorable day. I’m inspired and off to paint!!!

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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.