Sunday, March 16, 2014


It seems like a month ago that Tomiko & I met for dinner (natch) at Bar Verde but it was just last Sunday evening. I think she has gotten tired of my taking pictures of her and whatever she’s eating so it was her turn.


Tuesday John-David came over and we discussed events for , a worthy 501 (c) (3) non profit organization that empowers cancer patients and survivors through the creative process.  They offer a variety of artistic & inspiring classes…all free of charge.  Check it out!


Next day Lisa came over & we had more business talk.


Stopped at ‘The Healthy Traveler’ in Pasadena for a measles inoculation.  Probably completely unnecessary….oh well.


Now I found this a most strange and interesting coincidence.  I met two dogs this week that are therapy dogs but not the usual kind.  They are for people with emotional issues.The first one was Emis, a Shiba Enu, (the smallest of the 6 original Spitz breeds of dogs from Japan)….similar but smaller (ha) than the Akita.  Emis is allowed everywhere with her master, especially on plane flights.


The second doggie was Boomer, a little Pomeranian fluff, also a Spitz, that reminds her mistress to take her medication.  Can you imagine?


Class Saturday was wonderful.  I used Kathy’s two magnificent Plum studies from the previous week as examples.


Hard at work!


Yea Violet!


It was also Kim’s birthday and Nikka baked him a cake (from the Cheesecake Factory)!


Kita reminded me to tell you she does clean up well and here’s the proof after a day at the Spa!


Trudy was delighted!


What a great week!

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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.