Tuesday, March 17, 2015


……began with Sandie Girl picking me up at mom’s to begin our grand adventure.  Off we Went to Oxnard with a stop first  to see Melissa and Nicks home in Port Hueneme.   It was a beautiful drive…..

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Almost there…..

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I loved seeing my painting of Wisteria that  Sandie and Jim commissioned as a wedding gift for Melissa and Nick.

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Did I love this kitty cat more?  You decide.

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Kitty was just like Kita….loving to be rubbed and petted until you’re quite exhausted!

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Now I have to tell you that this young couple is by far the most creative, talented and enterprising pair.  Do yourself a favor and check out Melissa’s blog at www.houseattheharbor.com for so many wonderful ideas.  I’ll be showing you a few.  Best of all, Melissa tells you how to do everything so economically!  Can you believe they made this wonderful treehouse bed for Jakey?

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Not only did they make this amazing crib that will eventually convert into a full bed, Melissa painted the charming stencils in this wonderful nursery soon to be occupied by Noah.

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O.K., if you have a photo that’s more precious than this I’d sure like to see it.  Here’s Jacob A.K.A. Jakey showing me his Ninja Turtle outfit.

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Foxy’s pretty cute too!

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Sandie Girl wrapped the presents for Melissa in the cutest way.  The baby shower party theme is Pooh Bear and sweet Diane Dennis supplied the Pooh paper!

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The little sunflower says ‘Veggies from Rabbit’s Garden’!

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Let’s hear it for the cupcakes.  Sooooo good! I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!!!

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We love presents…...

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And cooking at the stove and playing in a big box and…….

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Jakey soon commandeered the Pooh Bear I got for Noah…..

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Let’s open that tower of fun…..

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Here’s the wonderful blankie I already showed you when Sandie came over last week…..Wonder if I’ll have to remind her about mine.

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Sandie Girl with Kate, our hostess…..

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Hey, I thought we were leaving.  Honestly, I have never seen so many toys….in both homes…. it was just like being in a toy shop and here it was hazardous for adults as there were toys literally everywhere!

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Time for grown up toys…...

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I’ll take this one…..

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Sandie & I had stopped at the Mandalay Beach Resort in Oxnard…..

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Always wonderful to see the ocean…..

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Time for a little R&R poolside…..

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A surprising number of boats docked nearby…...IMG 6324

It was too late to fulfill our mission to bring home strawberries…...

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This was the second stand we tried…..all sold out (the next one was closed)!

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So home we headed……thank you Sandie Girl for a perfect day!

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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.