Thursday, August 31, 2017

SAYING GOODBYE AND FINDING JOYFUL MOMENTS

 Planning the celebration for mom’s beautiful life at dear Valerie’s, the one and only 'Hostess With the Mostest’!  Valerie has kindly agreed that her home would be the perfect setting for a fitting tribute!
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Josie, Valerie’s Chef Cuisinier will be in charge of the menu….IMG 3966
Now that’s settled, it’s time to be out and about.  First stop, the home of the late Sally Forrest, a star in the 40’s and 50’s.  Her estate is now owned by niece Sharon who invited me and Nikka for dinner and a tour.  This is in the screening room.IMG 3374

Along with the other guests I get to heart the history of this grand Beverly Hills estate……ahhhhhhh Hollywood!
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And now, a few notes on the piano George Gershwin played.
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Thought you’d like to see the ‘partner’s desk’ of the Warner brothers…...
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Back home and loving Maria and Bridget…..they’re just toooo cute!
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I’m working on re-inventing my Domestic Goddess…..
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Classes in the studio are always enjoyable.  Most likely the most fun for me!
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Here’s Maria again another day with darling Cecelia…..more joy!
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Come over anytime for a spot of tea…...
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 Now this was really domestic.  Something I had not done in eight years!!! A dinner party in honor of newlyweds Maryam and Kert.  So this is the dining room!  Bring out the Old Imari and the Baccarat….we’re ready to party!
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Adorable & oh so lovely Alexis with Dave, her Prince and the newlyweds….Kert and Maryam!IMG 4077
 Now here’s a threesome I adore and anytime with them brings me complete and utter joy!!!  Marine and sister Eliza with dear Amy at Prosecco Tratorria in Toluca Lake.
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 I was completely and utterly surprised and delighted when during the lunch break for class at the Huntington Botanical Gardens, student Ralph Komai sang a poem he wrote for me to the tune of State Fair.
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 This tops the list of joyfulness!!!  Thank you dear Ralph!
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 Not only that but Ralph sent these exquisite flowers in honor of my mom……Soooooo touching!
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 How about cute brothers Jose and  David  who joined the Huntington class.  They did wonderfully and I’m so proud of how they really paid attention!!!
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 Now this was an inspiring and fun two days.  Student Joe flew all the way from Chicago for a private two day workshop with me.  He too paid great attention and like a sponge picked up everything I taught.
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 A special thank you dinner for  David for all his hard work on the studio entrance and also special thanks to dear Eileen for all her help at mom’s! At Prosecco Tratorria….Aren’t they the cutest couple???
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 See how domestic I’ve become.  I made all these treats when dear Patricia came over………..
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 It’s been ages since we’ve seen Krista and Brett and they’re way behind on their dog walking responsibilities….come on you two….Get off the love boat and walk Kita!
IMG 3880Dear Maggie came over with yummy treats from Julienne’s…...
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And  Laurie Pie came over with her delicious chopped salad and famous garlic bread….
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 I had lunch with Lovely Lisa Bowman (AKA Lisa Di Vita) to celebrate the publishing of her incredible book ‘The Shattered Peacock’.  I had recommended it as a great summer read but now that Labor Day is rapidly approaching read it just because it’s one great book! Available on Amazon.com
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 Dim the lights and light the ‘wishing’ Sky Lanterns to celebrate Nikka’s birthday…..with a belated lantern for Emma!  It was rather windy that night so we had a bit of a problem getting airborne and had to go to the deck...
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 Lovely flowers from dear Amy for the birthday girl….
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 Sandie Girl gave Nikka the cutest needlepoint….Hello Kitty of course………….
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Special thanks to dear Kc who brought this delicious home grown 'French Tomato Tarte' to the studio class with special thanks for the ‘extra’ which I devoured after class.  Sooooo good!
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 Bet you thought I forgot our anniversary…..
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 Sandie Girl didn’t and Laurie Pie checks the flowers out….
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 Lots of flowers for mom.  These were from Reza and done by the one and only Amy at Le Jardin Privé………...
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 More……...
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This says it all…………….IMG 3787May you enjoy each precious moment!



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

AND THE BEAT GOES ON

 That’s right, doing the birthday thing one more time.
IMG 3332Dear Clara treated me and Amy to a grand luncheon at Jean Jacques in the brand new Waldorf Astoria on Wilshire in Beverly Hills.
IMG 3317O.K., the following is for foodies only:
The assorted bread was so amazing we asked for a refill!
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 In front of Clara: A Dungeness Crab Cake with Sugar Snap Pea Remoulade and an Ahi Tuna Tartare with Crushed Avocado & Radish, Ginger dressing.  In front of that, Crispy Sushi of Sea Trout, Chipotle Emulsion & Mint (The rice was fried and oh so yummy.)
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I had Parmesan Crusted Organic Chicken with Artichokes, Basil & Lemon ButterIMG 3327
Amy’s Black Cod with Asparagus & Spiced Herbal Broth and a piece of Clara’s SalmonIMG 3328
 Clara’s Sesame Crusted Salmon with Sautéed Potatoes, Black Olive & Passion Fruit.
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 To all my Facebook and Instagram friends you watched Andrew teach me how to thrown down any big ol’ guy that tries anything!  I was laughing so hard it got in the way of my Kung Fu mastery!
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 At American School of Martial Arts, Grand Master Don Baird demonstrates how the masters do it!!
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 Time to bend a little rebar…anyone?
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Awwwww…..Bunny, Grand Master Maria, Nikka and Bridget…..Soooo cute!IMG 3009
 Back to work …..I interrupted Nikka’s Photoshop class with Sweet Lynne & Kc to share a video on the 14th Factory…...
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Afterwards I was treated to a delightful birthday celebration at Bar Verde!IMG 2918
 After a month of cleaning out the office it was time to hit the studio…..all this is from one file drawer of lessons…...
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 Too much organizing….time for a joyful break with dear Lizzie at Bloomies!
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 We finally found the lights for video shoots.  Hiding in one of the closets…..thought they were umbrellas!
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 At Lovely Marine’s for a pre 4th, 4th of July celebration…..I arrived early before the crowd….
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 Yes I had a burger and two tacos…..does that make me bad or only BIG!
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 Lovely Marine and her adorable, talented sister Eliza with yours truly….
IMG 3164Eliza and Tyler…..are they the cutest or what!!!
IMG 3149On to the Reilly’s for Jim’s brother Billy’s birthday celebration.  Sandie Girl made a world class German chocolate cake!  Soooo good!
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 Sandie with son Tim…..Not quite sure what all the wires were for but I love this photo….
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 Time for the Parker’s to celebrate the 4th!  Kita was ready to party!
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 Of course it wouldn’t be the 4th without my grilled cheese sandwiches loaded with  bacon ‘cause it’s all about the  bacon!
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 Yes, we are so cute!
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 I must say the fireworks from the deck were absolutely the best this year with the exception of these which were a bit too close for comfort!
IMG 3307Wishing you a grand, celebratory summer!

Introduction

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.