Friday, August 24, 2012


……was the theme for another sensational party hosted by amazing Valerie.  Foodies take note of this menu!


I wish I had gotten a better picture of beautiful Valerie but honestly, I was concentrating on the lovely table she designed for her guests.  From the exquisite centerpiece, to individual gifts, candles, and of course….chocolates….it was ‘Valerie Perfection’!!!


I so enjoyed sitting next to the awesome Elaine Adams and having a chance to talk.  (Take note of the nutcracker….a sign of what was to come.)


Angel….yes, that’s her name….and it fits….was delightful….


Gretchen & Valerie share a moment….


Hi everyone…….


O.K., group shot….notice the centerpiece was removed so Angel could get a better picture of us..… Gretchen, Valerie, Carol, yours truly and Elaine.


The peaches and Burrata were soooo delicious as were the candied walnuts….Oh, the lemon oil was a wonderful touch in the Vichyssoise which was made from cauliflower.  That reminds me, if you microwave a head of cauliflower until it gets very tender and then put it in the food processor with 1/2 & 1/2, butter, salt & pepper….it comes out tasting just like mashed potatoes!!!  Bet you didn’t know that!


I was the only one who had their lobster shelled…..that way I could get right to it….


Here’s Angel’s…..


I don’t know why I missed taking a picture of the sublime desert….Maybe too much lovely wine!

Thank you Valerie for another perfect evening!!!

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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.