Sunday, December 28, 2014


…..started out with a movie (Exodus) 

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and dinner at Bar Verde with Laurie Pie.

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While meeting Flame, this adorable senior Belgium Shepherd along the way.

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Going home I thought a casting call went out for the largest Santa…..The white area you see is the roof line of the house!

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I’m so glad I got to see Amy’s tree.  Next year, have her trim yours!

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Mary Beth loved hearing how our Christmas card came to be thanks to Eileen Ogle and her wreath giving!

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Thanks to Amy’s table decorating & Nikka’s flowers, we’re ready to party!

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It was wonderful having lovely Denise over to share Christmas with us….

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We had time to chat and then mom and Nikka came…..

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We started off with a Brie en Croute (apple pecan) from Neiman Marcus.  Oh my, it’s all warm, creamy, cheesy goodness.  (It arrives frozen and you have to bake it in the oven.)

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Back to the table where some of Santa’s helpers are having a bit of fun and frivolity…..

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Can you believe I didn’t cook????  First time ever and boy was I glad.  We ordered just about everything from Gourmet 88 and it was absolutely delicious! From the BBQ spareribs and fried shrimp for appetizers to the main dishes… yumminess!  You can see the Christmas Crackers which we popped before dessert and as I was the conductor, with a years practice, found the group to be vastly improved from last years chaos.IMG 1776

After all that gluttony, dessert was simple…….fruit and ice cream.

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 This ice cream is my new favorite.

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Charles loved all his presents…..IMG 1784

I especially loved my cards….Nikka finds the best, best and they’re usually musical!IMG 1794

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Bravo everyone!

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Emma gets a high five from Kita on the evenings celebrating!IMG 1814

We send you all our love wrapped up in wishes for a beautiful year to come!!!IMG 1760

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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.