Sunday, December 28, 2014

CHRISTMAS DINNER at the Reilly's......

…..rounded out the celebrating.  It’s always something I really look forward to and the fun and frivolity is matched only by the great food.  Seems that all the guests are ‘accomplished foodies’ and bring a favorite dish to the party.  (I managed to bring myself!)

The stockings (an array of Sandie’s awesome needlepoint) were hung by the chimney with care…..but the fire’s on so Santa beware!

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The tree bright and sparkly with presents to bare…...

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O.K., enough of that.  Let’s get on with the food…...

Sandie Girl did the most amazing salmon rub…..

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Instructions were given….

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Along with directions for the appetizers…..The blue cheese goes onto the cracker followed by a honeycomb drizzle which is then topped by a candied pecan…..soooo good!

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Meanwhile Jim was explaining his new ‘Rabbit’.

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Is this a beautiful table or what!  So elegant…..

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Bob contributed the squash/corn soup.  Pancetta on top of goat cheese made a perfect combination.This was so delicious I had to get seconds.  Piggy piggy! 

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This salad, made by Linda with it’s Roquefort dressing, was so refreshing I had to get a second helping atop my entree.

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So out of control….

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During dinner Jim gave one of his famous quizzes and the group got a B-.  The question that was for the five and under group was a puzzlement.  Does anyone remember ‘Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”????

After dinner there was the opening of the presents……Linda didn’t want to return the amazingly soft throw made from Bamboo!  Could not believe it!!!

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Sandie and Jim went to it like that five year old I mentioned….no offense folks….

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Another Linda taking a picture of me taking her picture.  Sound familiar???

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Well, I didn’t get a photo of everyone but promise to do better next year (if I’m invited back).  I had to be home by nine and so I missed the absolutely hysterical charades that  I do love so much!  Bummer…..

Next day, class in the studio and everyone did beautifully.  I am so beyond description proud.

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It was great fun and that is what I wish for you in the coming year!

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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.