Sunday, April 6, 2014


Toshogu Shrine with Yomeimon Gate in Nikko designated as national treasures or Important Cultural Properties.  (A mixture of Shinto & Buddhist styles.)

Meiji Shrine....( a Shinto Shrine).

The Snow Monkeys in Yudanaka.  I took the day off but word is that everyone loved this.

The Great Buddha of  Kamakura on the grounds of the Kotokuin Temple.

The Tsurugaoka-Hachimangu Shrine, also in Kamakura.

The Hase Temple of the Jodo sect.

Hakone Open Air Museum.

Hkone Woodblock Museum.

The Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, the Ryoanji Rock Garden, the Ninjo Castle Sanjusangendo Hall and Kiyomizu Temple....all in Kyoto.

Kongobu-ji Temple, Daito pagoda, Okuno-in and the Tokugawa Mausoleum....all visited by the hale & hearty travelers during the gale on Mt. Koya

Oh Horacio there are so many stories.....

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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.