Friday, June 13, 2014


….was celebrated on Saturday.


Let me explain.  ‘ELIZABETH’S CANVAS’, founded by John-David Perry, is a 501 ( C ) (3) non-profit organization that empowers cancer patients and survivors through the creative process. Now does the name Perry ring a bell?  It should, John-David is the handsome, Harvard trained son of Elizabeth who you may be fortunate enough to have met in class.  ‘Lizzie’ is not only a survivor, but a thriver and the dearest person one could ever hope to meet.

After Calligraphy class, Miss Judith and I drove to the event where we just happened to meet up with Eileen who was arriving at the same time.  Greeted at the gate by Alvin, an ex marine who promptly spoke into his sleeve that there were three coming up. That just about knocked me out!


Up we went and ‘checked in’.


What a grand group of people…..Miss Judith commented that John-David is really terrific at networking and if the party is any example, I heartily agree! Hard to see him here…..thanking everyone for coming.

073 Here’s Eileen, Lizzie and Miss Judith getting into party mode.


I guess I have no one to blame after all the food photos I post on Facebook so when the brownies came around and everyone started chanting….”Nan, Nan, Nan” I had to accept the challenge.


Discussing a portrait of Lizzie. It was filled with symbolism.


Eileen and Joy, John-David’s beautiful sweetie.


O.K., now here’s the neatest guy ever.  Justin was John-David’s roommate at Harvard and is now a Harvard professor and major surfer dude riding the waves in San Diego during the summer. Note:  That’s his hair, not part of his beard….it’s hard to tell in this photo.094  Why am I telling you all this?  Because I hope with all my heart that you’ll visit and see all the wonderful things they are doing to make life more beautiful for so many people and that you will be moved to make a donation! Here’s a completed project at Harbor UCLA.  Elizabeth’s Canvas decorated the Harbor UCLA courtyard with tiles that contained artwork produced by the pediatric oncology patients in the ‘Adventures in Art’ class.

bench A

It’s soooooo wonderful!

both benches 

Again, please go to: and be a blessing!


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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.