Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Jamie Nichols, Violet’s dance teacher, is the Executive Director of this amazing event now in it’s 9th sold out year at the Alex Theatre. And as in the past, Violet treated me to an awesome evening!  Heartfelt thanks Violet!!!

073 Eight extraordinary dance companies were on this year’s program each amazing in their own right.  These budding dancers were anxious for the performances to begin!

080 For the first time,’tap’ was included on the ‘Celebrate Dance’ stage and it brought the house down!

To learn more: www.celebratedance.org


Here’s Violet and Kc during intermission.


And of course, as I’ve done before….had to get a shot of Kc’s toes….appropriate don’t you think?


But I digress.  You’re wondering about dinner. (Weren’t you?)  Far Niente is almost next door to the Alex so that was the perfect spot for us. Laurie and I split the delicious Lobster Bisque for an appetizer.

064   I shared the Sea Bass with Violet.


Hi Kc…you’re sooooo cute!

061 So that was how the week ended……here’s how it began.  The sky cleared up…..001

…..and it was time for damage control due to the rain storms.  Don’t ask me how the fridge in the garage shorted out (along with the security lights) but it did and we prepared for the new one.  (That is Maria did.) See the shelf over her head?  I neglected to measure for height and boy was I ever fortunate as it just fit.


However, the doors open on the wrong side.  I guess I really do have to pay more attention to these details.  Mostly I wanted to get something right away for my ice cream bars. The Vodka seems lonely without caviar!


We studied Plum in class and Kathy did two of the most exceptional Plum paintings I’ve ever seen. 


This is absolutely stunning, and I’m sure you agree!


Here’s another one.


And, not only did Kathy bring my yummy lunch……


…..but sweet daughter Kaley treated me again with my very favorite….Panna Cotta!  This was the best ever….loaded with beautiful fruit!


Trudy, Kita’s best friend, was also in class.  Just back from India, she had heard of the physical benefits of Brush painting!


Wait ‘till you hear about Sunday!

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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.