Friday, March 16, 2012


……… there anything more wonderful?  I so look forward to watching the Wisteria come into full blossom each year.  Those wonderful barren branches that twist and turn about winding their way to new areas to grasp on to.


Springtime and the little pod shapes appear on the new growth vines.  They show no indication of what is to be and then slowly….. the petals open with the last to open at the bottom of each cluster. 


The leaves won’t appear until the blossoms are almost finished.


Did I mention the divine fragrance?


The bees are as excited as I am…...


If you look closely you can see about three stages of the clusters.


This ‘Cup of Gold’ is the most amazing shrub ever.  During construction of this side of the house, the ‘plant’ was placed on the driveway with the roots still intact.  How it survived for over a year that way is beyond me but it did and is even more glorious than ever.  The cuttings really take so just let me know if you want one.


Guess what I’m 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.