Wednesday, March 30, 2011




But let’s go back to that beginning.

In 2009, Kathryn Sample, USC’s gracious First Lady, conceived of the most fitting tribute to honor her husband Steven Sample when he would retire in May of 2010 as President of USC after 19 years of outstanding leadership…dramatically boosting the university’s academic prestige, financial resources and civic engagement.  It would be her commissioning of a life sized bronze of ‘Traveler’, the schools beloved mascot, and who better to award the commission to than world famous sculptor Ron Pekar.

This life sized bronze of the noble steed would be ever alert, looking toward the beloved Tommy Trojan bronze on Hahn Central Plaza at the University Park Campus.

The Tommy Trojan bronze was sculpted in 1930 by Roger Noble and bears the qualities of the ideal Trojan on its granite pedestal: Faithful, Scholarly, Courageous and Ambitious.  


The magnificent clay model of Traveler on its journey from the Pekar studio to the Adonis Bronze Foundry in Alpine, Utah.

You’ll be delighted to hear that the ‘real’ Traveler traveled in his ‘HRS LIMO’ to the Pekar studio where Ron did a number of drawings of the famous steed capturing the horse in this pose of heroic stance!


Here’s a better view of the model for Traveler on it’s way to Utah!


Now Traveler is forever enshrined with Tommy Trojan returning his faithful gaze.

This photo courtesy of my dear friend Tomiko Varga whose son Emerick is a first year student at USC. Her darling rescued dog ‘Brownie’ is keeping Traveler company.


A glimpse of Ron Pekar’s studio


And finally, the famous sculptor in his studio.  Ron’s works are represented in more than 600 corporate, public, civic, museums, universities and private collections worldwide.

For more information:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


…..has the most delightful members and I was recently privileged to speak to over thirty women of this lovely and receptive group. Afterwards my assistant Nikka and I were treated to the most delicious Asian luncheon prepared by ‘The Kitchen for Exploring Foods’.075

President Sally Rives, shown to the right, introduced me in such a fine way I could almost become a legend in my own mind! On my left is Jeanne Anderson in whose beautiful home the meeting was set.  You’ll be interested to know that Jeanne is also President of the ‘Friends of Robinson Gardens’ as they celebrate the Gardens centennial year.

I thought it would be interesting to the ladies to know how much they have in common with the Gentlemen Literati scholars of ancient China who prized their gardens and were so inspired by them.

On a personal note, I was certainly inspired by Jeanne’s home as I have never seen so many exquisite orchids in a private residence….each one more beautiful than the next and oh what treasures from her travels in the Orient.


Here I am again with Jeanne and you can glimpse her extraordinary garden seen behind us.


As I mentioned, lovely Sally Rives is the President of this charming group and she is as warm and kind as any one could possibly be.  It’s a joy and honor to know her and you can probably tell that by the expression on my face!

For more information Google the Beverly Hills Garden Club and check out….


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.