Saturday, January 28, 2017


….hosted by Lyn Campbell at the Los Angeles Country Club was just as sensational as the guest of honor, the Hostess with the Mostest, lovely Valerie!

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Our delightful table favors….

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I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship and mentioned it in my last blog. It seems that the hallmark of an authentic person is their ability to maintain friendships over the course of their lifetime.  Well, when it was time to toast Valerie, there was almost a contest as to who has known her the longest and I think the winner was someone from the age of twelve on!  Remarkable.  Everyone admires Valerie as she hung the moon and it was a joy to hear about her acts of loving kindness and generosity through the years. Get the Kleenex ‘cause you’d puddle up!


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It’s all about the dessert!IMG 0354


Valerie presented Lynn with an exquisite gift wrapped with two of the most beautiful Magnolia Blossoms.  Real, yes, real ones!

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I have to give a special thanks to Diane Jenkins for sharing her photos with me .  Diane has used my painting ‘Moonlit Roses' as the focal point in her master suite’.

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Vanya, Valerie’s sister, was so delightful and it was great fun to be able to see her daughter, Boyden, in from Washington for the special occasion!

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With beautiful daughter Vanessa!DSCN3723

Boyden, Valerie’s niece, daughter Vanessa and sister Vanya.  All so beautiful!

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Vanessa’s adorable sons showed up to celebrate!  With Auntie Boyden!

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Let’s open the presents.  I thought the hand painted bench with the chickens was adorable & most appropriate as Valerie has chickens and bees!  I’ve been a recipient of both!!!

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I think this is appropriate, don’t you?

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How about that beautiful gift bag?  Wonder who it’s from???

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Well maybe, in the end it’s all about the shoes…isn’t it???

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Wishing you lovely, joy filled days and lot’s to celebrate!

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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.