Monday, March 20, 2017


 …..a treasure right in out midst.
IMG 0965This was really brought home to me when Marsha and Stu, my longtime friends from Chicago, were so impressed by all the ‘Gardens’ has to offer, they made a lovely donation after their visit. I wonder, if perhaps because we live here we take it for granted and maybe it’s time to give the Gardens a second look.
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Spend a day in the Chinese or Japanese Garden, two of my favorites (surprise?) or really look at all the magnificent artwork the Huntington has to offer.  Did you know that people come from all over the world just to see Pinky and Blue Boy?  While I mention that, 'The Blue Boy' will be restored beginning in the fall of 2018 and we will be privileged to watch as the restoration takes place.  That should be fascinating! Fortify yourself with a delicious lunch in the new café 1919 and continue your exploring.
Be sure to mark your calendar for the amazing Rose Garden display in April and May.
I so hope that a new visit to the Gardens will inspire you to make a donation so that this fine treasure will remain for many to enjoy.  Perhaps you might even wish to become a Huntington Successor...IMG 0939 and guess what…..parties and special events will be yours!!!
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Of course, you know the foodie part is for me….
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I always love seeing awesome Cris Lutz…...IMG 0956
…and I’m in total and complete awe of Laura Skandera Trombley, President of the Huntington Botanical Gardens, who always handles everything with such grace and ease.
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You’ll even learn inside info about many art treasures such as 'The Lady with a Plume'.
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IMG 0972When I’m at the Huntington and see groups of children able to tour and see things they might never have the opportunity to visit I am always so touched and gratified…..this is something that I hope will never be taken for granted. Just imagine, a tax deductible gift of just $250. and  schools in the San Gabriel Valley can pay for a bus to bring students to the Huntington, many of whom have never been to an art museum or introduced to botany..  Check out
It’s been a continual joy for me teaching Brush painting at the Huntington these many years and seeing how lives are continually expanded discovering the wonder held within them.
IMG 4696Wishing you a joyful day spent at one of our greatest treasures, The Huntington Botanical Gardens!

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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.