Thursday, February 6, 2020



On the very first day of 2020 I ran into Tammy Huang and her hubby at The Langham in Pasadena.  Tammy reminded me that I had donated lessons to last years 'East Meets West' Parent Education Club and would I do the same for this years benefit?

To discuss this further, Tammy brought Annie Brassard, President of the organization and Melissa, Annie's talented daughter to the studio.

Of course I was delighted and sent my special thanks for the tickets!

January 26, 2020, the big day arrived and it was time to party at Almansor Court in Alhambra.

Time for some Lion Dancing!

Seeing this brought back the most wonderful memories of the "Journey of the Imagination' trip I led to China in 2008.  We had a wonderful party at the house afterwards to reunite everyone and I had
Si Fu Thompson Chen, Chinese Martial Arts Master bring his amazing Lion Dancers as a surprise to everyone!  We even had a huge copper drum and cymbals!

Back to the 'East Meets West' charity gala....

I was so happy  to have such a wonderful talk with Gretchen Shepherd Romey, Mayor of San Marino.  Sweet Annie Brassard introduced us!

I'm quite gratified that my donation for a group party in the studio along with another item for classes raised almost $2,000.

What a wonderful way to begin the new year but let me go back to the previous Sunday when precious Lucia Moskal (who was also in the 2008 China group) had the most amazing birthday party.

That's right, Lucia had the Director's Room on the 4th floor of the Santa Anita Race Park for all of her California friends to have a 'Day at the Races'. ( Lucia now lives in Boston!)

There was the most amazing buffet spread just for us with everything your taste buds could desire! I took pictures before they had finished setting up.

I went back for more bacon!!!

Next, tips on betting as we had our own private betting stations!

Not to brag but I did win 3 races. (Beginners luck!)

Next time I'll wager more than $2.00!

Back to the party.  Lucia had the 6th race named after her.

Even better, her horse put her in the winners circle!

Time for cake...

Sweet Lucia and daughter Andrea with Santa Anita's trumpeter.

Thank you precious Lucia for this memorable day and for the wonderful calendar with your amazing artwork!

My one New Year's resolution is to try and get to more exhibits in 2020.  What about you?

I don't seem to have the same problem with chillin' with friends.
Tom and Maggie...

A delightful 'catch up' time with dear Pam...

Our great neighborhood dinners, this time at Sweet Maryam and Kert's...

I've been designated group photographer!

Way too many lunches and dinners at Santuari...

Thank you Miss Judith and Eileen for taking me to this terrific place....

I was honored to give a talk for the China Society of Southern California,

Understanding Chinese Art

A journey discovering the Gentlemen Scholars or Literati of ancient China and their connection to the Abstract Expressionists of the West will be the topic of discussion for Artist Nan Rae. We discover qualities in their character that led to the creation of some of the most profound artwork known to man. Understanding their Living Ideas brings clarity to the understanding of these paintings of mind and spirit and how to connect to them emotionally.
Also discussed: 
  • The Importance of Ink 
  • Understanding Space 
  • Why copying Calligraphy 
  • Importance of Bamboo 
  • Symbolism Life as an art form 
  • Ni Tsan 
  • Silent Poetry Shan Shui and so much more!
Thank you Bob Lee for giving me such an amazing introduction and for inviting me to speak again!

Please let me know if you'd like me to send you a copy of my talk.

January was the month for private classes in the studio.
Here's Alise from Penn.

Rebecca from Maryland....

Brian is in the group classes but felt he needed some one on one....

Brian is also in the Landscape class in the studio & at the Huntington.

Three cheers for the Huntington Class which always brings me such joy!

May 2020 contain all you could wish for and be a source of continual joy!


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.