Tuesday, May 8, 2012

ELEANOR CLIFT…one of Washington’s most respected journalists…..

…..was the guest speaker at Woodbury University’s ‘President’s Roundtable’ for ‘A TALK WITH ELEANOR CLIFT FROM “INSIDE THE BELTWAY” to the 5 Freeway.’

This most respected journalist writes about politics and policy in Washington and her column ‘Capitol Letter’ appears each week in Newsweek.  Eleanor is a favorite panelist on ‘The McLaughlin Group’ along with being a prolific writer.  Of note; Two Weeks of Life, Founding Sisters, Madam President and War without Bloodshed.  The last two co-authored with her late husband Tom Brazaitis.  You can also follow Eleanor on MSNBC, The Daily Beast and CNN. This insightful, pioneering woman mentioned Patte Barham seen to the far left.  There will be more on Patte at the end of this blog. Eleanor’s son Eddie, Dean of Woodbury’s School of Media Culture & Design is on her right, seated next to Patte Barham.


The ever amazing Rose Nielsen, Woodbury University Senior Development Officer and wife of President Kenneth Nielsen. Patte’s just to Rose’s right.


Happy me with hero Eleanor Clift and yes, if you’re wondering, the ‘Clift’ is as in brother-in-law Montgomery Clift.  I took note especially as I had just seen Richard Chamberlin in ‘The Heiress’ and can we ever forget Montgomery’s performance in the film?  The answer is no.


For more information:  www.eleanorclift.com


O.K.  Now a little bit about the awesome Patte Barham, trailblazer extraordinaire, a member of Woodbury’s Board and President’s Executive Committee.  From the Los Angeles Times, Patte has been “ a war correspondent who filed reports from Korea’s infamous Pork Chop Hill and is co-author of investigative books about the controversial deaths of Marilyn Monroe and legendary mad monk Grigori Rasputin.  Now Patte Barham says she’s ready for the biggest challenge of her life: uncovering the lost crown jewels of the czar of Russia.”  And yes, along with weekending at Hearst Castle with William Randolph, Patte rode horses at her family ranch above the boulevard that bears her father’s name!

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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.