Sunday, November 22, 2009


…to order our Thanksgiving turkey, we stopped at Virgil’s Hardware (they’ve been in Glendale forever and have everything).

We parked at the door and were about to get out when we saw the most amazing sight ever…a big black mutt of a dog  carrying his leash in his mouth as he followed his owner!  Well, you really had to be there…we sat laughing so hard and thinking “this is a great movie scene”.

Later at check out, there was the dog, doing his best beg for cookies from the check out woman who apparently had been thru this routine many times before.  Just like Yuki, he jumped up, placing his huge paws on the counter and wolfed the treat down, then another, and another…….finally it was time to go and the owner said “gather up” and the dog did exactly that, placing the entire leash in his mouth.  What Charles loved the most was that the owner said “It was his idea”!

Friday, November 13, 2009

THE KATRINA DOLPHINS: One Way Ticket to Paradise

What an amazing tale of courage, survival and hope was told to ‘The Tuesday Reading Group’. a-123

Marion Jones &Marky Allen

hosts of the event at the Valley Hunt Club










Vanya Rohner,Halla Aguirre,Georgeanne  Irvine & her sister Ginger Bernard

After a lovely luncheon, we heard guest speaker Georgeanne Irvine, author of over 20 books, relate the mesmerizing journey of the dolphins from the Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi.  These beautiful mammals were shockingly washed into the Gulf of Mexico when a wall of water caused by Hurricane Katrina flooded their home.  Nearly two weeks later Elijah, Jackie, Jill, Michelle, Kelly, Tamra, Toni and Noah were discovered by search helicopters and then the massive rescue effort began.




Carol Soucek King & speaker Georgeanne Irvine



We sat on the edges of our chairs as Georgeanne told this wondrous story and later I was thrilled to purchase her magnificent book which details in enthralling words and magnificent pictures this hard to believe, miraculous tale.

a-121 Oh, you’ll be thrilled to know the dolphins are happily at play in their new home ‘Aquaventure’, The Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas!

This book, ‘THE KATRINA DOLPHINS’ would be  a wonderful Christmas present!  (It’s on display in my studio.)

a-120 Special thanks to lovely Anna Bjorn for her photographs.  Anna specializes in graphic design and residential photography. You can reach her

You can make a difference: for book info

Sunday, November 8, 2009


was treated to a real ZEN experience when Master Calligrapher Shantien ‘Tom’ Chow IMG_4804 painted two large scrolls on the floor of the studio’s reception area.  We were all mesmerized as Tom first wrote five Zen words.   Zen, Bed, Dream and Beautiful Lady.  When combined, the meaning is ‘A Zen Monk Dreams of a Beautiful Lady while Sleeping’.  The meaning is open to interpretation as it could suggest that Zen Buddhism is not about dogma or rules, but more concerned with true human nature and accepts reality as it is.

IMG_4797 The second scroll was a free and large interpretation of the word ‘TIGER’.  Using a huge Goat hair brush and expansive strokes, Tom perfectly captured the power and vigor symbolized by this character.  We were all enthralled and you can see both videos for yourself on

Special thanks to Charles L. DeMille who filmed this event for us.  Charles especially appreciated seeing Tom’s meditative approach in preparing the necessary materials.


Tom explains his robe.




Cookie Time Out








Inspired Will Mc Gaul and his marvelous calligraphy

Sunday, November 1, 2009


for the benefit of ‘MY FRIEND’S PLACE’ and ‘LOS ANGELES YOUTH NETWORK’. IMG_4757 Jana and hubby Ivan Tether (who’s on the board at My Friend’s Place) first told us about this wonderful organization that provides a safe haven for homeless youth in Hollywood.  Their mission is to assist and inspire homeless youth (of which there are so many) to build self-sufficient lives.  I do hope you will click on their website that I’ll list below!

IMG_4704 What a grand time we had beginning with the ‘adorable greeter’s who showed us the way to the VIP dining section on the Santa Monica Pier.  Then it was on to the Grand Chapiteau for KOOZA, this year’s Cirque extravaganza another not to be missed of their shows.



IMG_4701  Mom went with us and we felt like three kids as this show definitely delivers the WOW factor!

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.