Thursday, December 29, 2016


…began joyfully with Clara and Penny treating me to lunch at the Peninsula's Roof Garden.

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One of my favorite things there is this adaptation of a Root Beer Float made with Ginger Beer!  Delicious!!!IMG 9371

Thank you dear Clara and Penny for the delightful time and the very special gifts!IMG 9373

Well I was right there at the Spa wasn’t I?  And I needed to relax, didn’t I? A massage was called for….right?  Right on all the above.IMG 9375

 Now I ask you, what’s the point of getting all relaxed and then driving back to the Valley on Coldwater during rush hour traffic? Correct?  No point.  Besides, after a good massage one can hardly walk let along get dressed and drive so dinner in the Relaxation Room was in order. (Besides, I had brought a good book to read.)

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 It was already dark outside as I headed towards home but not before I stopped to admire the Peninsula’s beautiful Christmas trees!

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 The next day’s class at the Huntington was wonderful as always and we had great fun getting ready for the Year of the Rooster!  Of course that was after a brief time of torture studying the Chinese Orchid! 

IMG 9450We had a sugar high at lunch as everyone brought Christmas treats to share.  Here’s Dear Maggie’s wonderful tray of home made goodies.  She’s amazing!

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Dr. Eileen came over with Christmas treats and had a great time teaching Kita to behave.  We’ll just add her name to the list of folks who came before her with the same fine intention.  I must say she did a good job and that’s due to her having horses and many dogs in her life! 

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 Oh well…… much for behaving!

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 Yeah, you’re good now…….

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 Christmas eve finally came, the table was set, gifts out and ready to be torn open and dinner was being prepared. I just didn’t hang the stockings on the chimney this year.

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 Vicki turned her back so I was able to get to the stove and stir a pot…..

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 Mary Beth, Kita’s trainer, always sends this wonderful basket of fruit for Christmas.  This year it arrived just as we were about to sit down for dinner...

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 Love you darling….Merry Christmas!

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 Mom made a huge effort to be with us and we were so grateful!

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 You can see parts of the fruit basket are missing.  The strawberries dipped in chocolate are amazing and along with the chocolate covered pineapple were the first to go.

IMG 9652May 2017 bring you countless sweet things and joy always!

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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.