Friday, March 14, 2014


……..planned a perfect get together to give us final instructions for our adventure in Japan.  She had goodie bags for all the travelers.


….and sushi, tea and various munchies.


I love a tea party! ‘Old Imari’ was the closest I could get to anything ‘Japanese’!


The cutest part was Lynne’s dressing up as a Geisha.  We’re going to be able to do this in Japan…..make-up & all.  (Ladies only of course!!!)


When everyone arrived we settled down to bombard Lynne with questions and share travel information.  Everyone in the group offered suggestions and it was great fun.  (I even had ZEN music on.)115

Snacking and talking, my idea of a great time!


And here we all are…..excitedly awaiting our March 23rd departure for JAPAN!


Pam had suggested we’d get the best exchange rate at The World Trade Center so on Thursday Miss Judith, Eileen and I went downtown with a yen for some Yen!


Now who’s bright idea was this?  Good thing there’s an escalator!


We have arrived!154

Hand over your cash!


Russell was so accommodating!  He ran out of Yen and went to the ‘Yen Store’ and got some more for me.


While we waited in the coffee shop, Miss Judith managed to get me addicted to ‘Scratchers’ as she immediately had winnings.


It’s always good to sign off with food don’t you think?  Especially when it’s a yummy chocolate muffin from dear Amanda!!!


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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.