Saturday, November 1, 2014


… a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that empowers cancer patients and survivors through the creative process.  They offer a variety of artistic and inspiring classes, ranging from painting and photography to dance and writing and everything is free of charge!  I’ve blogged about them before and hopefully you have decided to support this worthy group.  For now, let me give you a little more background as to how this amazing organization came into being.

John-David Perry is the founder and you’re thinking…hmmmm…Perry, that sounds familiar.  Yes indeed!  John is the son of our dear Lizzie A.K.A. Elizabeth, and when she went through her cancer journey John-David was inspired to start this non profit knowing from the inside out what sufferers most need.  Healing through the creative arts.  John-David, a Harvard University Fellow, armed  with his Masters in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon used all of his training to not only create this wonderful vision but he has gathered the most amazing support team around himself and this brilliant concept!  I tell Lizzie that John-David is a people magnet and that’s exactly so and what’s needed to pull something like this off.

Now here’s a really amazing vision… in find a need and fill it!  John-David and his team have designed a line of clothing with clever openings for chemo ports so that the patient does not need to disrobe for treatment!  Awesome right???  The clothing is part of a new for-profit company, THE ELIOT PROJECT, and a portion of the sales proceeds will help fund ELIZABETH’S CANVAS art classes.  Even more awesome!!!

All day Wednesday supporters and survivors showed up at a beautiful estate in Beverly Hills for a photo shoot and to be interviewed for the campaign which will introduce this new clothing line.

I met Lizzie at Bloomies in Sherman Oaks and armed with two smoothies, off we went.

Lizzie selected this top to model right off and I’ll show you more of it later…..

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I nabbed this scarf and had such fun with it… I’ll get the photos next week and show you my escapades. (Note the smoothie!)

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Can you believe I was told I didn’t need to get hair and makeup done?  It’s true! Mostly because I was just modeling that scarf!

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These three are the cutest…part of the INTELLIGENCE group, a firm that creates formidable brand strategy, identity design & websites, packaging and P.R.   And oh so many things….they are really cutting edge.  

I hope you check out their website

They’re at 7176 W. Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles.  

Any questions?  They interviewed me and I bet they were thinking ‘How do we turn her off????'

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Here’s Lizzie being interviewed….

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Part of the Elizabeth’s Canvas team hard at work…..

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John-David….always working!

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Notes for one of the designs….

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O.K., everyone….pick your garment...

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Lots more to choose from here….

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Lizzie got talked into makeup (which I honestly didn't think she needed) as after all, she’s the raison d’être of the whole thing!

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O.K. Girl….do your thing…..See why this was such a great shirt to model?  It really shows how port accessible it is.  And sooooo comfy!

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O.K., lets see what we’ve got so far...

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I love theses photos of Lizzie and John-David……I get happy just looking at them!

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Moving on, here’s Bob, a cancer survivor with his lovely daughter….

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We had a chance to talk to him later and what a fine gentleman…he got hit with a double whammy including breast cancer.

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And the models kept coming….

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I want to introduce you to the amazing photographer Kate Hauschka who spent the entire day tirelessly working on this shoot.  She has a gifted eye and the patience of a saint!


International Photographer


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Let’s remember what is most important of all…..

A Cause to Create


Be sure to check out the website, don’t miss Elizabeth’s touching story and why not order some farm made soap for Christmas gifts while you’re there.

Enjoy each precious moment and take in all of life’s beauty!

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Up Close!

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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.