Wednesday, September 1, 2010


…..with an Episcopal Chaplain who said that his definition of faith is to be present in the moment/situation.  That was an eye opening statement that got me thinking about why I was so very moved at Judith Nelson’s recent birthday bash.

There we all were, over two hundred happy campers who have all been the beneficiaries of Judith’s being ‘present in the moment’ with her friendship.  It was humbling and awe inspiring.IMG_1224

This delightful painting greeted us as we entered the grounds of college roomie Marsha Bohr’s ‘French chateau’.IMG_1226

Beginning to mingle and below is guest of honor, our Miss Judith in the middle with effervescent Marsha to the left.IMG_1232

Dr. Charles Rosenbaum is engrossed by wife Isabel who I will love forever and delightful Marsha.IMG_1233

Someday I will have to write a blog about the amazing Min Lush who thanks to Judith has become a dear and precious faith filled friend who continually gives so generously of her time and heart. 

Min is the most knowledgeable person on real estate and her lectures throughout the state are continually sold out!!!IMG_1234

This was so amazing…Judith wrote “I regard the people connected to me as treasured gifts’.  And ditto to you we say!!!  The tree had various branches showing where we all fit in.  One from being Chief Counsel at Teledyne,a cute branch for ‘The Tuscany 12’…12 friends who as the title suggest, had a memorable journey to Tuscany.  And so on….IMG_1236

See if you can find Charles and me in this (one of two) collection of friends who share in their awe of Judith.IMG_1238


The band was sooooo much fun!!!IMG_1241

Even as a confessed foodie I can’t begin to describe the food….and the impeccable service.  Wine?  The finest California has to offer, carefully selected and truly running over!!!IMG_1243

We were given free range of the house and ‘facilities’ with the exception of the ‘forbidden room’ which I may be arm twisted to divulge.IMG_1244As each guest left we were handed a beautiful long stemmed rose by “The Girls with Roses”, The Valettes, Ltd.


at the tea house in The Garden of Flowing Fragrance at the Huntington Botanical Gardens.  If you haven’t been to Suzou this exact copy of a scholar’s garden there is the next best thing.IMG_1215

Seen left to right are lovely Carol Soucek King, dear Tomiko Varga, Annie Papreck King, Ph.D., with her mother Sally Papreck from Missouri, and her sister… lawyer Susie Papreck Wine (she and her husband Matt recently moved to the Irvine area) the hostess with the mostest, Valerie Foster Hoffman and yours truly.

This was the first time I had the pleasure of meeting delightful Annie (daughter in law of Carol and Richard King) and her sister and mother.  They are all as wonderful as their photographs suggest!  Wonderful Annie was teaching English lit(concentrating on George Bernard Shaw, Gilbert and Sullivan (takes me back to my Interlochen days) and Oscar Wilde) at USC where she met Dr. Jeff King, philosophy professor and one of the world’s leading philosophers of language…(WOW) they were married four years ago and now both teach the same subjects at Rutgers University in New Jersey.  Aren’t we just in awe of brainiacks!!!



make your day!  What a dear friend she had been since our first meeting when I did a Serigraph for the Pasadena Jr. Phil’s.IMG_1223

Jim & Sandie Reilly invited me….

To be their guests at Bashan’s for Dr. Jim’s birthday.  Hey guys, shouldn’t it be the other way around?  But remember, I did say I’m a foodie so I was in heaven.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY JIM!!!!IMG_1143

I FIRST MET DIANE KARPEL in the ‘90’s…..


…..when I had three booths at The California ART EXPO and Diane and her husband Jeffrey had a company called ‘Lease Art’.  Diane had stopped by my space, we chatted and struck up a friendship.  Each year I would send a Christmas card with the notation “we have to get together”.  Well, after years of that Diane sent me an e-mail saying…”You keep saying that but we never do”.


Well, I certainly changed that…..Diane came over to the studio, we lunched, caught up on so much and I’m happy to say have stayed in close contact since.


Here’s Diane at ‘Aroma Cafe’ in Studio City with one of her amazing pieces.  She has this marvelous series based on their world travels….and I do mean travels…they have been everywhere except the moon and I suspect that’s on the list!



….they always have the most amazing thank you parties for the contributing artists.  These two pieces have been selected for the new Stroke Center which will be completed in 2011.




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.