Tuesday, February 20, 2018


...is not always easy but as I begin a new year I like to remember the things that bring me joy.

How about throwing a great party?  Maggie, an awesome hostess, had a shabu-shabu dinner that was the most fun.  Everyone gets to cook their own meal and after  awhile, cook for others at the table.  It turns into great fun!

Always enjoy your friends...

Let your friends do things for you.  Precious Amy made me soup!

Lulu sent me beautiful flowers from Le Jardin Privé.....Thank you dear girl!
As did Rex, our 'Man About Town'.....
Clean your space. (Thank you so much Connor for your massive help)
Soooooo much stuff for 'Helping Hands for the Blind'.
See some art.
Share a meal.
Watch Sumo wrestling!
Give or listen to a talk or lecture.
Share your work. Teaching brings me great joy.
(I'm so proud of Laurie Pie)
Learn new skills. (Everyone loves Shantien 'Tom' Chow's Master Calligraphy class in the studio.)

Love deeply.

See the ocean.
Be a 'high brow' now and then.
Share fun, learning experiences.  The cooking classes at Pirch are great even if you've cooked forever!
Remember to give thanks for our bounty and the hands that worked so hard to bring it to us.
Read a good book that stretches your mind.
Remember places of love.
Eat lots of sushi!
Play with friends.
Try to eat healthy even when rushed.
Don't forget to have treats!
Collect something...anything.
Get and give lots of hugs!

Honor relationships.
Remember to give.  I love 'Heifer International.'
SEE the sky.
Don't worry.

Remember to smile.
And for Pete's sake...get a dog!

May you always live joyfully!

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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.