Thursday, May 18, 2017


Sandie Girl and I love to celebrate our May birthdays together and this year was no exception.  What could possibly be more fun that playing with a two year old along with a 5 and a half nearly grown up???….(the half is important)
Off Nikka and I went on Friday to meet Sandie Girl and the Grandkiddies at Dinousar Farm on Mission in Pasadena.
Fullsizeoutput 15534Hi Jakey and Sandie Girl…..
Fullsizeoutput 15535Perhaps we should discuss Noah’s obsession with balls.  I repeat…OBSESSION!
IMG 2004The balls quite outweighed all dinosaurs and other assorted items although we did settle on a dinosaur later…..
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Meanwhile Nikka and Jakey have major big stuff to discuss…...
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Jakey settles on two dinosaur hand puppets…..Remember the ball?
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….and the dinosaur……..IMG 2033
 Almost forgot….It’s all about me.  Well kinda... so Happy Birthday to me!
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 Next stop Fair Oaks Pharmacy where I have always wanted to go.  It’s 100 years old and you step back in time when there were cute soda jerks and sweet fun stuff! Nikka and Noah while away the time coloring while we wait for our lunch!
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 With a time out for Noah to attack one of Jakey’s hand puppets! (In the friendliest of ways of course!)
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 Surprisingly, they make one of the most delicious Ruben sandwiches which Nikka and I shared but instead of showing you that…..Sandie Girl said I invaded these two war buddies as they enjoyed their walloping sundaes!  I merely said that I only took a photo of their treats! It was soooo cute.  Two really grown up men being twelve again!
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 Jakey didn’t want any ice cream until he got his hands on Nikka’s cone…..
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 Finally a stop at wonderful Bristol Farms for assorted goodies…...
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 Saturday evening Nikka and I were off to join in the celebrating for Grandmaster Don Baird’s birthday bash….. This was a very clever idea…must remember….
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 What a precious couple…….Check out their 'American School of Martial Arts’ in Burbank on Magnolia and also the new school in Lancaster!
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 You know I love these two….Randy and Bridget…...
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 Maria showed us this amazing photograph she took and I’m wondering how she talked that grasshopper into posing.  Kung Fu perhaps????
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 O.K. you two….break it up…..
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I guess we are kinda cute after all…..FullSizeR 3
 It was so touching to know Don was sending his wish out to all of us…...
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May you always have cake!
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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.