Tuesday, April 17, 2012


…..is the most amazing Brush painter and master calligrapher.  I’m delighted to be able to have ‘Tom’ teach a calligraphy class in my studio on the first Saturday of each month.

This past Saturday was the opening reception for Tom’s most recent exhibition at the Huntington Beach Central Library.


Just walking up to the entrance of the library I could tell something pretty spectacular (besides Tom’s work) was inside.  It’s the most extraordinary library I have ever seen, nestled in a beautiful 60-acre park.  There are indoor fountains surrounded by a spiral ramp, a gift shop, a large area with hundreds (thousands) of used books for sale, a theater for Broadway plays, jazz concerts and more, a computer lab and on & on.


Here’s Tom describing some of his calligraphic pieces.  All of a sudden he sees me….

I wish I could have photographed the upper two paintings without a reflection.  They are both of magnificent dragons!  Tom said the bottom right is him when he’s angry.  (I can’t imagine Tom ever angry.)


A little chit chat with Tom and a hi to Kc who was my partner in crime for the day.  I can’t remember when the sky looked so glorious all day long and we even got a great view of the snow capped mountains.  It was wonderful and I so thank Kc for driving…she’s really good at it and sooooo much fun!!!

Tom’s describing how he used ‘blobs’ (my term) of color to create the flowers.

Taken from inside the Art Gallery area


Kc & I decided this was our very favorite.  Again, I couldn’t get away from the reflection.  The use of space, the contrasts between the fully opened Wisteria and the new growth areas & the perfect vines and tendrils all combine to make this a perfect painting!


This is extraordinary and only looks easy….it’s just masterful.


Can you see the little sparrows at the base of the bamboo?  So delightful!


Tom ‘midst his fan club!


To be continued....we’re off to Monterey Park!

For more Information:

To contact Tom: touchofthebrush2010@hotmail.com


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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.