Tuesday, September 22, 2009


…is quite a fascinating thing to do!

Felicia (daughter of Dee Dee, my sweet and precious friend from grade school) and her sister-in-law flew in from Pleasanton for a one day Brush painting class and brought a captivating scroll !!!


Mary and Felicia


Me and Dee Dee


The Insightful Scroll

I couldn’t get the words out of my head and then one day I noticed a branch starting to appear from a Cymbidium that has bloomed months ago.


Each day the branch grew farther & farther and then buds started to appear then slowly, one by one, they unraveled their beauty.

When I can fully wrap my mind around this I’ll let you know…in the meantime…



Saturday, September 5, 2009


…is how our server described the cuisine at ‘PALATE’ the most amazing Glendale restaurant (on Brand) we stumbled upon.  (Octavio Becerra is the chef/owner and you might remember him from Splichal’s Patina Group.)

We suspected we were in for a real treat upon hearing that the butter was churned ‘in house’ as well as the meats being cured there.  Every element of the meal was truly sublime and an added treat was going to the back room (also crowded) to check out the communal dining area with it’s marvelous wine store.  You can also buy some really yummy cheese as well!



In case your wondering, the service was impeccable right down to the attentive valet service.


For More Information: Palate Food Wine

Friday, September 4, 2009


…because you really had to see this one.

Mom and I were  going to see ‘Monty Python’s SPAMALOT’ at the Ahmanson Theatre and I was surprised and delighted to find a wonderful parking spot right next to the 3rd level escalator.  Well, the surprise was on me as the escalator was out of order!  What to do…people were milling about and most climbed the stairs.

“Wait mom…I have an idea…let’s ask one of the parking attendants to get a wheel chair for you.”  Better than that, we commandeered a little cart that sat two plus driver (tightly) and off we went when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a real gem.  You know, the sort of contraption you see people riding around the golf courses  that seat at least four!  Hey, let’s take that one… and off we went.  One driver, mom, one attendant and myself sailed out of the parking lot onto the main street, drove to the corner turned right…up a block and right again to the valet section of the Music Center.  What should await us but two young men with wheelchairs!  With mom safely ensconced in her chair I’m thinking…it’s 101 degrees and we’re still a block away, the show starts in three minutes and so into the second chair I plopped.  Off we went and I shouted “Let’s race…come on…we’ll win!”  Do you know we were not only wheeled into the Ahmanson but taken to the elevator…real red carpet treatment!  It was amazing and the funniest thing ever (well almost.)spamalot

Oh…back to Spamalot…it’s the most irreverent hysterical show ever and we were seated the moment it started!

For More Information:



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.