Monday, March 3, 2014


I’m from Chicago…need I say more?  But just to rub it in that all Angelino’s are softies, this from Tom, our resident Master Calligrapher.” I was raised in Hong Kong where there were typhoons & heavy rains.  The school busses were always asked to open the windows so they would not be blown into the ocean.  Needless to say, the kids on the busses always got soaked!”

When there was a break in the weather, Kita got to go out and greet the mailman.


Meanwhile…..I started work on a very large scroll.  This was Monday’s progress.


A trip to Pavilions was a pleasant surprise because they’re going in the direction of Whole Foods.


This is the store that’s a block away from the Equestrian Center.  Three guesses who these are for.


When there was a break in the weather Mary Beth came by for our little pony’s romp in the park. Only trouble is she never wants to get back home.


It was so beautiful that afternoon.


Then the rain came back and Vicki devised a get up for Kita….this wasn’t easy.


All set?


O.K., out you go!


Sweet Lynne came by (Yes, in the rain.) and brought wonderful Yellow chunks from Agnes. Thank you dear Lynne! Kita always expects a Greenie from Lynne but settled on the Lickety Stick!


Gamboge X 3.


We played ‘grown-up’ and had tea!


By the end of the week I had finished the scroll and enlisted Kim’s help in hanging it in the studio. (Told you it was large.)


Still on a rainy day schedule so there was lots of indoor soccer playing.


I was referee but had one eye on a favorite, ‘Happy Feet ll’.  Love this little guy!  Especially when he sang at  the end.


Nikka took a wonderful photo of Tom and the Calligraphy class on Saturday.  Note to self:  Ask her how she got that great wide shot.


Meanwhile, I drove to Sierra Madre (in the rain) to meet precious Lisa who had the most amazing surprise/gift for me.  First dinner….


Thank you dear heart….there are no words….


Wait till you hear/see what happened in my next adventure.

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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.