Sunday, December 21, 2014


 ……the sky has been ‘blossoming’ since the rain!

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Calligraphy class with Shantien ‘Tom’ Chow is always a wonderful way to start the month.  He gave the most interesting talk about why Calligraphers like to use those unweilding large ‘Soft’ brushes.  Because they are so difficult to handle, there’s a lot of unpredictability involved.  Happy accidents that turn the work into art!


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We always love it when Dorothy brings one of her magnificent landscapes. This is ’Sea of Clouds.’  Tom & I are trying to convince her to use larger mats.

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Violet needed sugar and the yummy Marzipan from Miss Judith did the trick!

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All of this is well and good but what about Christmas!!!

Nikka, it’s time to trip the tree...

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Nikka found this wonderful star for the top and surrounded it with our angels.

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Thanks to thoughtful Eileen we have a wreath to hang…..finding the perfect spot took a group decision and hanging it was pure teamwork.

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Wait ‘till you see what else we did with that wreath!  It’s a surprise…...

It was great fun working with Lizzie Girl on her Christmas card.  She selected a precious little bird and it came out wonderful….sooooo happy!

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Someone please tell me why Kita loves to take the moss out and toss it about meanwhile ingesting some and causing problems of another kind.  You get my drift….IMG 1027

She’s hoping someone will come and rescue her from her ‘time out’!

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Now here’s a cute gift idea…..Happy Feet ‘As Seen on Shark Tank’!

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 Did you get to crush any leaves?????  Soooooo fun!!!

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Foodie alert!  I’ve discovered the most amazing place in Toluca Lake……Olive & Thyme.  If you love Joan’s on Third you’ll feel right at home here!

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 Debbie & I met there for lunch and stayed until closing!

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The following photo’s will give you some idea of what I’m talking about!

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To cap the day, making it absolutely perfect, awesome Amy came by with exquisite creations for mom & me!!!

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Serendipity brought me to Bloomie’s where artist Enzo Selvaggi was hand painting designs on the Jo Malone boxes……

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It was great fun!

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My wish for you…..

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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.