Thursday, October 29, 2009


…it’s a grand celebrational, simply sensational PARTY!  You can imagine my delight in being included as I actually had the day clear (O.K., so maybe I did play hooky).

Back to the party…the Athena Circle invited the foremost designers in Los Angeles to interpret ‘A Festive Holiday Table’ at the California Club.  Lunch was yummy and Valerie’s table was a joy to experience.  As usual with Valerie, you never go home empty handed so our table was treated to beautiful crystal vases by Geary’s, a special CD honoring Michael Jackson (leave it to V. to find such a thing) and the cutest Halloween stuffed bears that I tried in vain to hide from Yuki.IMG_4769 We’re ready to party!

The guest speaker was Suzanne Tucker who gave a power point lecture on her new book, ‘Rooms to Remember’.  All I could think of was Carol Soucek King’s amazing design oriented books from ‘Empowered Spaces’ in ‘93 to ‘Unique Homes’ in 2006.  Next time you’re in the studio be sure to see my treasured books.


It was a special treat to see the ‘Table Top’ designed by Tommy Farmer as he did the exquisite flowers for our wedding.  Carol remembers we had an added touch of guests releasing live butterflies!



Carol & Valerie, Yours truly, Vanessa, Valerie’s beautiful and talented daughter & Shelly Ann Marks in from Houston


Almost stealing the spotlight was Kennedy, the adorable Yellow Lab puppy with his little ‘puppy in training for Guide Dogs of America’ jacket, letting us all know a most important job awaited him.

IMG_4786  Kellie Brimberry said it’s really hard to give these amazing dogs to their intended owners. (No surprise there.)  F.Y.I. Captain Sully Sullenberger the 3rd has been fostering these doggies for years and you can read all about him and the puppies on their website. Be sure to check out the puppy cam videos.

IMG_4782 Woops, alert, alert, dog napper sighted!

For more information:

Google Tommy Farmer

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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.