Friday, February 24, 2017


….at the home of incomparable Valerie Foster Hoffman, Hostess with the Mostest.
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California Art Club Executive Director Elaine Adams, wife of Peter Adams the plein air artist extraordinaire!
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Our beautiful hostess whose grandfather painted the remarkable copies of Pinkie and Blue Boy…..
Fullsizeoutput 15188I’ll show you some more of the lovely table areas. Here one in the library,
DSCN4297Well maybe just a little more….
I love these two….Martha and Scott!DSCN4275
Does this photo make me look fat?IMG 0801Lady Vanessa said NO!IMG 0799Exquisite flowers by Amy at Le Jardin Privé!
IMG 0780I wish you lovely evenings filled with love and laughter!!!

Friday, February 17, 2017


 ….and no one expresses it more fully than Miss Judith who is the template for doing good and friendship!  As an Executive Advisory Board Member of the ‘Iris Cantor UCLA Women’s Health Center', Miss Judith includes me in her list of guests for the annual ‘LUNCH WITH THE SCIENTISTS’ at UCLA.  During this joyful event, young scientists present their exciting research projects in Women’s health.
IMG 0615The money raised by the Executive Advisory Committee has led to $20,000,000. in funding.  Awesome!
Thank you Miss Judith, I ‘m honored to be amongst the myriad of friends who adore you!
IMG 0611Here’s Sweet Eileen, another kind and caring soul, always ready to lend a hand where needed.
IMG 0609I know I shouldn’t have but dessert was soooooooo good!
IMG 0620It’s all the more time to be mindful and fill each moment with joy!  My number one joy….my students!!!
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Class in the studio is always a great joy!IMG 0436
You know the Huntington is dear to my heart and it’s always a joy to connect up with Cris Lutz!
Fullsizeoutput 14895There’s a new menu at the Rose Garden Tea Room and it’s wonderful...
Fullsizeoutput 14896We had to ask what this was but then all you smarties knew….correct….a Gooseberry!
IMG 0458To carry on the luncheon theme….lunch at the Bistro Garden’s with cousin Carol….
IMG 0464More eating…this time at Din Tai Fung with the one and only Lisa B.  Who gets the last Pork Dumpling?
IMG 0536I’m quite proud to say I introduced Lisa Girl to Mango Bobba Slushies and now she too is addicted!
IMG 0538That was so much fun why not do it again with Monique Schenk, my awesome architect! (We had Bobba’s later!)
IMG 0551Trudy was a student of mine years ago, until she and hubby Paul moved to La Jolla.  They came up for a visit and wanted to go to the Tam O’Shanter.  Amazingly it’s still in business and actually crowded!
IMG 0570Afterwards we went toThe Improv Theatre on Vermont to be amongst the 40 or so people it can accommodate.
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Just ‘cause I love this photo!
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Michael and Hildegard Lindsay have been dear friends for ages.  Michael, an advertising genius, got the idea for a comic book years ago that would unfold the idea of how, in the future, a robot could become president of the United States.  His illustrations, done at that time are finally in book form and it was presented at Vroman’s in Pasadena.IMG 0592
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Class at the Huntington Botanical Gardens, as always, could not have been more fun!IMG 4696
After class Nikka and I stopped at Din Tai Fung for an early dinner and of course….Strawberry/Mango Bobba slushes! Then time to pick up Kita at dear Trudy’s!
IMG 0607Wishing you everything sweet and delightful!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Marsha and Stu, my Snowbirds from Chicago, winter in Newport Beach and my assignment is to find new and interesting things to do.  This years adventure began at The Broad and here you see the Jeff Koons installation ‘TULIPS’ hence the name for the third floor gallery.
Tulips - Jeff Koons
The Broad houses  2,000 works collected over a 50 year period by Eli and Edythe Broad who are among our modern day Medici’s, patrons of the contemporary art world. Of special interest is knowing only 10% of their collection is on view at any given time and the rest are held in ‘The Vault’.  More on that later.
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Since the beginning of time, well at least the Paleolithic period, man has expressed himself through painting.  The Lascaux ‘Cave’ paintings in the Dordogne region of Southwest France is proof of that.
Without the support of major patrons, most of what we know today as great art (I refer to all art forms) would be lost or never would have come into being.  The question arises then not so much what drives men to create but what drives some to collect and not just collect a few works but become a modern day Lorenzo de Medici, the Magnificent, called by Machiavelli the ‘greatest patron of all.’ The Broad collection while quite extensive might be outdone by Herb & Dorthy (Vogel) postal worker & librarian who crammed their 1 bedroom apartment in N.Y.C. with 4,000 Minimalist & Conceptual art pieces all on a postal workers salary!  Their collection is now housed in The National Gallery of Art. All this is quite something to think about and you might be interested in seeing the documentary on ‘Herb and Dorothy’.
Back to The Broad.  Although the museum visit is free, ticketing can be problematic as you have to reserve quite a bit ahead  and invariably stand in line for your entry time.  The current exhibits on the main floor are ‘Creature’ with the largest piece being Thomas Houseago’s ‘Giant Figure-Cyclops’ which you can partially see in the photo below. Another is Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Infinity Mirrored Room’ which you have to line up again for in order to get a time to view. (Only one person allowed in the room at a time.)
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 An escalator travels upwards to the third floor gallery where first you enter the ‘Tulip Room’.  As you ascend, you have no idea that you’re passing through ‘The Vault’.  More on that later.
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 I was taken by this Barbara Kruger work, ‘You are a Very Special Person’ because of the text that I want to shout out to everyone!
The Broad Museum
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Now this Conceptual piece by Jenny Holtzer, ‘Inflammatory Essays, 1979-82 is huge.  Offset posters on vertical rows of colored paper, each repeating the text from top to bottom of its row. You may find it interesting, depressing, truthful, shocking or just as it’s title, ‘inflammatory’! You be the judge.
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On to Jeff Koons…..IMG 0178
 A dog is a dog or something like that.  Draw your own conclusions.
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 Actually the architecture of The Broad is an artwork in and of itself!
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You may remember I call student Monica my Cy Twombly and wouldn’t dare to change a bit of her amazing style.  However, the works of Twombly that I have responded to in the past were absent here.
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 Marsha is not only a patron of the arts but also a well respected docent in Chicago.  Here she ponders the famous Jasper Johns ‘Flag’.
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 John Baldessari is in the ‘Sol LeWitt’ school of thought.  Just give detailed instructions and have someone else create the work. Hmmmmm...
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If you take the stairs down to the first level you’ll find you are in the center of ‘The Vault’ where there are two levels of windows through which you can view the vast collection in storage.
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If you’re still on the fence about Conceptual Art I have a wonderful book to recommend. ‘ART and PHYSICS: Parallel Visions in Space, Time & Light’ by Leonard Schlain.  Dr. Schlain develops the theory that artists in their time are prophetic and builds a strong case for that idea.
From The New York Times Book Review: “In eighteen years as an art critic I have not encountered more provocative, insightful writing about art."
Another must read if you have a mountain of time and a colored marker is, 'THE VOICES OF SILENCE' by André Malraux. (Translated by Stuart Gilbert)
Ah, this looks pretty ‘conceptual’. I wish I had taken a photo of the 100-year-old Barouni olive trees on the plaza next to the Broad.  So magnificent!
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 We’re hungry!  'Otium Restaurant' is right outside but I must give you fair warning.  Although the food is wonderful they ran out of just about everything we wanted to order.
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 Oh well, we managed to sustain life.
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On to the music!  Carol invited me to a lecture by James Robinson, the Director of the opera ‘Abduction From the Seraglio’ which opened Saturday evening.  It was held at The California Club and as we were driving there we were so hungry and started dreaming about the clubs yummy meatballs.  As soon as we walked in a young woman approached us with a tray of….wait for it….meatballs!
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 Sated we moved on to the discussion.
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 James Robinson, Director of ’The Abduction From the Seraglio’,  speaking with Christopher Koelsch, Pres/CEO LA Opera
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 Thank you dear Carol for a fun, informative evening!
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 Next day the Final Dress Rehearsal for 'The Abduction From the Seraglio’.
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 I invited Amy to go with me and as usual, this is about as close to photographing her as I can get……Talk to the hand! She’s holding the Production notes & synopsis.
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 Time for the Bella Voce Society Dinner…...
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At the Bella Voce Society dinner I sat next to Ellen Sondheim, quite possibly the sweetest woman in the entire world…make that the universe!  She is so in love with husband Harry that they acted like honeymooners.  It was a joy to be with them!
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I wish you great joy in every precious moment!


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.