Thursday, August 1, 2013


……is absolutely the best summer movie….tons of fun and great cast…..Helen Mirren was fantastic and Mary Louise Parker’s dead pan wry humor was perfect!


Laurie & I BOTH had a large popcorn and I did quite a bit of damage to mine.


Time for dinner at Frida’s in Americana.  I wanted a Mango Margarita but got a slushy instead.  Spoon anyone?


Well Cheers Laurie if I can keep from spilling this ‘thingie’ all over the place!


Chicken & cheese Enchiladas were good but the shrimp ceviche was the best! (No picture.)


PBS had the most wonderful special on Siberian Tigers.

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Then class on Saturday was fabulous with 14 happy painters doing the most beautiful Koi/Carp paintings!



Kathy did a wonderful Ink painting…….


And I’m still thinking about Colleen’s…this is soooo marvelous with the rhythmic fish cavorting amongst the lily pads!  Love it!!!


Kathy came back from her vacation in Italy just the night before class and brought me this delightful gift from Corfu….imagine!


Lisa came by to discuss ‘art stuff’


Le Pain Quotidien is new at Americana.  Great for breakfast, brunch or lunch.  Love the delicious pastries, handmade organic breads and the authentic artisanal dishes!


So French!


The neighbors grape vine is happiest in our garden……………….This crop looked perfect with the latest William Sonoma catalog…..let’s make wine!


Mom loves the Miso Salmon at the Cheesecake Factory…..009 ….and I love the Mango Key Lime Cheesecake!


This one was good too!


For next time….


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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.