Monday, August 6, 2012


…renowned Canadian artist, taught his unique style of contemporary Chinese Brush painting in the studio yesterday to 15 appreciative students!


Danny began by demonstrating how to create a magnificent Snowy Egret!


Time for the students to begin…..


Danny’s wife Hilda was a tremendous help, explaining Danny’s technique and offering suggestions….


Where to begin…..


Hilda coming to the rescue …


Kathy Wong graciously brought some of the art work she had completed in Danny’s Canadian workshops.  It was Kathy who originally suggested I host Danny in the studio.


We’ve got some serious concentration going on here….


Hilda is holding a completed, mounted Egret painting as Danny assures the class they will accomplish the same by the end of the workshop! I’m delighted to tell you that’s exactly what happened as I saw so many beautiful paintings …it was inspiring!


This will be Thursday’s subject…Shore Birds!!!


Everyone decided on a pot luck feast and dear Clara made a scrumptious flourless chocolate cake….what a yummy!


Kathy’s assembling her award winning Chinese Chicken salad…with home made wontons that are incredible and toasted sesame seeds……what a treat!!!  Special thanks to Kaley, Kathy’s amazing daughter who sent along her special chocolate cookies…what a treat!!!


Thank you Colleen for the heavenly PORTO’s treats.  They sure disappeared fast….


O.K., here’s phase one of Danny’s painting….


Now it’s on to demonstrating the background wash….


Happy students one and all….


Danny’s beautiful completed painting….


Thank you Danny for the beautiful gift….how very thoughtful of you!


Meet Jasmine, Danny’s precious daughter…. we were all charmed by her and so amazed at her perfect behavior!


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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.