Tuesday, July 12, 2016


On July 4th, NASA’s Spacecraft JUNO completed it’s successful five year journey to Jupiter to begin it’s elliptical orbit peering deep inside this huge planet telling scientists about cosmic leftovers that coalesced into our solar system…searching for our beginnings.


Dr. Adriana Ocampo was in town from NASA headquarters in Washington where she oversees this massive project to be at JPL in Pasadena for the momentous day.  Now who better than Valerie Foster Hoffman to host a dinner party in Dr. Ocampo’s honor?  No one!

Carol and I arrived early….

IMG 4282Prince wanted in on the party….

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Just look at this beautiful table poolside….

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Chef Josie treated us royally…..
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 Just a little peek at her culinary skills….

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Adriana shows me a ‘selfie’ taken at JPL during the celebrating!IMG 4294

 How can someone be that brilliant, kind and loving?  There’s probably a ‘cosmic’ answer to that one.  Here I am happily in the middle with dear Carol to my left (your right).


Well from planetary stars to ballet stars...

Jim Reilly had gotten our Sandie Girl tickets to the American Ballet Theatre's performance of the Firebird at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion/Music Center for her birthday so I asked them to meet  Nikka, Amy and myself in the Founders Room during the intermissions so we could all celebrate.  I gave Jim and Sandie strict instructions not to dawdle getting there as the intermissions are always way too short.

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Awwwww…………I love you Sandie Girl!IMG 6446

Nikka, Dr. Jim, Sandie Girl, myself and Sweet Amy…...IMG 4394

 It was thrilling to see the incomparable Misty Copeland!

Dance 1516 abt firebird2May you have a thrilling week filled with dazzling beauty!

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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.