Monday, June 12, 2017


 ….Where to begin.  Perhaps I’ll tell you about Yoshida Hideyuki, a gifted Japanese gardener who specializes in trees and who I gratefully connected with through the fellow who re-did the Bamboo. Yoshida-san is in Santa Monica and I was most grateful to hear him say he just ‘felt’ he should help me even though it’s far afield for him.  The main concern is this cypress that needs an actual bonsai trim twice a year.  The idea is to ‘create spaces the birds can fly through’!
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 A little work on a pine….
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 Yoshida-san asked if I had a gardener & was shocked when I answered in the affirmative.  Apparently the work is not being done properly…..
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 Ahhhhhh………..well done!
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 I’m trying to decide what I like best….The proper care of the trees or the amazing Japanese treats Yoshida-san brings me.
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 The best leaf Matcha tea…...
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 At ‘Chang’s Frame’ on Telstar in El Monte.  May is amazing and I take all large works there to be mounted.  I was so inspired by the new paper from China and using monster brushes that I did over 9 large paintings in May.
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 Thank you May.  You’re the absolute best!
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 Soooo happy!
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 After having our mail stolen more than twice I decided action had to be taken…...
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 Our mail monolith…...
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 And you thought the deck was finished…...
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 But wait…there’s ants…….
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 At least the electrician finished correcting all the damage Kita did in the garage…...
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And David finished this door area in the studio…..IMG 1852
 But wait…It’s Kita the Akita's turn.  She was limping….
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 Everything looks good so we went home with pain pills….
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 But next, allergies, possibly the cause of her limping...more pills and cream in her eyes…..
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 O.K. now puppy???
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 Looks like it as she’s up to her old tricks….
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 Meanwhile Nikka started a series of Photoshop classes for Lynne and Kc beginning with scanning their artwork…..
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And oh yes, this is how I ended May….with a post-it from Nikka!
IMG 2409This wonderful idea to keep in my car came from dear Jana.  Because we’re all concerned about giving cash…next time I’m stopped I have at the ready a bag with new, necessary items.  Soap, towel, toothbrush & paste, a comb, razor, etc.IMG 2821

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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.