Introduction

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.PLEASE CLICK ON 'COMMENTS' TO READ or REPLY

Saturday, January 22, 2011

BONO, yes ‘the’ BONO WROTE….

…..the most moving tribute to Sargent Shriver, one of my true heroes, on Thursday, January 20th in the OP-ED section of the New York Times.

“His faith demanded action…for the Word to become flesh, we had to become the eyes, the ears, the hands of a just God.  Injustice could, in the words of the old spiritual,

“Be Overcome”.  Sarge sang to Bono:

“Make me a channel of your peace:

Where there is hatred let me bring your love.  Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord.  And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.  Oh Master grant that I may never seek, so much to be consoled as to console.  To be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love with all my soul.  Make me a channel of your peace.  Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope.  Where there is darkness, only light, and where there’s sadness, ever joy.


Surely this must have inspired Bono, lead singer of U2, to co-found the advocacy group ONE and (Product) RED.

Now today, January 22nd, Bob Herbert wrote ‘THE LOSS OF A GOOD MAN’ also in the OP-ED section of The New York Times saying in part…”R. Sargent Shriver, one of America’s great good men….was the founding director of the Peace Corps and Head Start.  He created the Job Corps and Legal Services for the Poor, and gave us Volunteers in Service to America, which was the domestic version of the Peace Corps….affecting more people in a positive way since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

Bill Moyers said “a crucial component of the corps was Mr. Shriver’s deep commitment to the idea of America as a social enterprise…of caring and cooperative people.”

“Real courage, idealism, a commitment to service and a willingness to sacrifice – Sargent Shriver had all of that and more.”

 

Sargent Shriver, my HERO!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Private Tour…

…..at the Shumei Hall Gallery.

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(Esther) Yating Li, a PCC student from mainland China gives us the interpretation of calligraphy on Clara Yang’s scroll mounted landscape painting.

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Tomiko Varga,( Esther) Yating Li, Carol Soucek King, Emma and Nika Carrasco with Elizabeth deClifford

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Here’s Tomiko, Esther, me, Carol and Liz

For more Information:

www.shumeiarts.org

www.carolsoucekking.com

www.decliffordinternational.com

Thursday, January 6, 2011

THE NAN RAE GALLERY ….

…dedication day during Founders Week at Woodbury University.

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Speech…speech!

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Dr. Kenneth Nielsen, President of Woodbury University

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Judith Nelson my hero  and Eileen Ogle

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Standing: Hildegard Lindsay, me, Valerie Hoffman and Carol Soucek King

Seated: Michael Lindsay, Monique Schenk my architect and Mom

IMG_6046 Standing:  Clara Yang, Laurie Burton, Danielle Rudeen who has been my angel at the Huntington Botanical Gardens since ‘92 with Lisa Bowman and Molly Siple

Seated:  Me, Carol O’Toole and Susi McConaghy

 

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Cathy Colloff, Isabel Rosenbaum, Laurie Burton, Clara Yang and me

 

For more Information:

www.woodbury.edu

What a Joy to Present…

“JOURNEY of the IMAGINATION”

A group show by my amazingly talented students, now professionals in their own right.

We were privileged to exhibit at the most beautiful site possible, SHUMEI HALL GALLERY

2430 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107

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A brief description of Brush painting at the entrance.

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Tony Oliver and his painting Chattering Pines (2 red birds/pine branch)

I love this work!

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Luben Jordan, all the way from Palm Springs where he is successfully selling his work.

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To my left is Eileen Ogel and to my right, Judith Nelson…two of the most brilliant women who somehow always manage to be present in the moment, making the world a better place!

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My dear friend Olga Nachev, a brilliant artist who works at Nickelodeon and Martin,her talented and artistic son.

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How I love Laurie Burton who after years of acting and teaching directing at USC has now turned her awesome talents to Brush painting.

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Dr. Kenneth Nielsen, President of Woodbury University and his truly amazing wife Rose.

We were honored to have them at the exhibit.

For more information:

www.shumeiarts.org

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

INSTALLATION DAY……

…..for the ‘Journey of the Imagination’

exhibition  to be held at Shumei Hall in Pasadena. What a joy to curate this amazing work by such talented artists.

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Kc Camp discussing a technical point.

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Will McGaul, noted Interior Designer was a great asset in getting everything placed just right.

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Up we go!

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Aiming for perfection!

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Lauren Beyeler adjusting her work.  Note the white gloves!

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Inspection time.

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Perfection!

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The happy but exhausted artists.

From the left rear:Ralph Komai, Kc Camp, Luben Jordan, Violet Lee, Laurie Burton, Will McGaul, Colleen Bresnahan, Tony Oliver and me.

Front row: Dorothy Shepherd, Lauren Beyeler, Sandra Reilly, Lynne Sims and Jane Imai, the Executive Director of the Shumei Arts Council.

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT…..

…..and I was on my way to Lisa See’s house in Brentwood from the Burbank hillside.  For you two people in the universe who may not know of Lisa, she is the most prolific and powerful writer, author of  amazing books such as ‘Peony in Love’, ‘Snow Flower and the Secret Fan’ and ‘Shanghai Girls’.

 

I digress.

When I said ‘stormy’ I meant buckets of rain were pelting my car and as I ventured down the hill I realized that my windshield wipers didn’t work.  Narrowly missing a neighbor as he backed out of his driveway, I prayed that the service station down the hill would still be open.  Thankfully it was.

Greeted by a friendly “Hi Nan” I blurted out, “My wipers don’t work” as the mechanic reached in, flipped the switch on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STEERING WHEEL and…………….

 

It had been that long since I’d used them!

 

On to the freeway where for over an hour it was bumper to bumper and the drivers were past cranky.  Finally off the highway, I was on Lisa’s street and as my GPS was telling me I was approaching my destination, I was delighted to see VALET PARKING!  How thoughtful of Lisa….right up to the front door being escorted by the valet with his big umbrella so I wouldn’t get my white Burberry coat wet.  (The coat I never wear as I not only don’t want to get it dirty, I don’t want to get it WET!  The fact that it’s a raincoat is besides the point.)

Inside I’m warmly greeted… especially by a woman from London who assured me that I was not underdressed as I suspected because I had on the aforementioned coat!  Did I tell you everyone I could spy in the rooms ahead was fashionably dressed to the nines and beyond?

Two gentlemen had now approached offering me wine and the gathering crowd asked about my relationship to the hosts.

I briefly told them how Lisa’s uncle, Gilbert Leong, the architect of Pacific Asia’s courtyard and of East West Bank was an early patron, mentor and dear friend.  On and on I went until, stopping for air I asked, “And how do you know Lisa?”

 

Have you figured it out yet?

 

“Lisa who?” was the reply……………………………..

The best part was they were insisting that I stay (actually it did look like a wonderful party).

So, I’ve decided on a new career…nice neighborhood….on the weekend.just drive about looking for ‘valets’ in front of house’s!

 

You’ll find out in January why I was at Lisa’s.  In the meantime, do yourself a big favor and Google Lisa See!!!