Friday, September 9, 2011

IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TO PINKS on LaBrea in Hollywood…..



….the only question is….. ‘What’s keeping you’???  For 62 years, Pink’s has been known as the ‘Hot Dog to the Stars’ and it’s impossible to go there and not stand in line for what seems like an eternity….especially when the line snakes around, back and forth as all the while you salivate.

Now it’s a long story why Tomiko and I found ourselves at Pink’s with only $11.50 between us and only broken ATM’s nearby.  Don’t panic says I…we can both get a dog if we pick wisely.  Order we did and while standing in ANOTHER line to pay,we spied a colossal dog with all the trimmings and started moaning….WOW…what is that!  Some fellow had just ordered two and the server said it was no problem if we wanted to change our order.  Yes, yes we greedily replied as we decided it was big enough to split.

Once inside we happened to sit down next to that nice fellow and his girlfriend and he proceeded to ask me why on earth didn’t I get 2 Dr. Brown’s Cream Sodas to go with.  Oh says I, that’s my very favorite drink of all but we only had $11.50.  Now can it get any more pitiful than that?  I doubt it….rather like ‘Please sir, may I have more porridge’!  Well, you probably figured out the rest of the story…that great guy got up and bought us 2 Dr. Brown’s!!




Note, NO credit cards and they do not have an ATM!!!


See,it’s really colossal and more than enough to share!…..

For more information:

707 N. LaBrea, La.

Friday, September 2, 2011


……was the perfect place to celebrate my assistant Nikka’s birthday.  She’s positively the best, best I ever had… smart and always one step ahead of me so her new promotion to ‘Office Manager’ is well deserved!!!


Nikka with little ‘sis’ Emma



Vicki and Charles all happy from the yummy dinner.



Charles is crazy for risotto and you can see his plate to the left,enough for any devouring fan of same.  I had a taste and it was great!



The birthday girl after blowing out her candle…she felt positively ancient leaving her teens and hitting 20.  I mean really!  The chocolate volcano made up for it a little.



Nikka, Emma and Vicki



This was pig-a-licions.  A perfect brownie with salted caramel ice cream…...heavenly and all MINE!

For more information:

Amici Trattoria

783 Americana Way

Glendale, CA 91210



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.