Monday, October 24, 2011


… an innovative company that designs unique and creative, visual and verbal media for luxury brands.  This web design, marketing and public relations company is the brilliant brain child…& I do mean BRAIN… founded by Kat Podmolik after several years at the top in the corporate world, making full use of her marketing expertise, design aesthetic and keen business sense.  Kat decided it was time to branch out on her own with branding her specialty along with a focus on solid internal business operations.

With offices in both Los Angeles and Chicago, Kat jets back and forth to meet the needs of her clients in both cities. I think you can tell by this picture how HAPPY I am to see her!  Kat is our’ Renaissance Woman’…wise, witty and totally awesome.


Coincidentally, wonderful Carol Soucek King, award winning author & design journalist came by to pick up her ‘Duchess’ Christmas cards in order to get a head start on her huge mailing list.  (Sorry I can’t give you a sneak peek.)  Carol writes a beautiful personal message on each card so this is not too early to get started.  I was thrilled these two amazing people could meet!!!


In the ‘Can You Believe This?’ department….Carol brought back a box of the most delicious cookies ever from JAPAN.  I had to show you the box…it’s so cute!


And here’s the star of the Christmas card….’Duchess’ herself.  Is she not the most beautiful dog ever?  And sooooo smart!!!


A final hug………..


And off they go!


Lunch time.  Kat is so funny….she said I even have my own paparazzi!



Space Loft Six

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Tags: marketing branding

Thursday, October 20, 2011


… a most talented, enthusiastic group of artists so when Marsha Ramos asked me if I would do a demonstration for them I gladly accepted.  If you’re on Facebook you know all about Marsha, a former mayor of Burbank, she is at the forefront of every and I mean every worthwhile cause….she’s my hero!

O.K., so I did my introductory talk in which I tried to explain that basically I’m a very shy person.  This always gets the biggest laugh!  Anyway, it’s important to stress to artists that there’s no such thing as perfection, just the striving after, and our job is to just enjoy the journey.


First a Poppy


How a Peony is just a Poppy on steroids!


Time for a group hug.  Sweet and talented Lisa Caddel is seated on the right.  Lisa, a talented artist in her own right is President of the Association.  Be sure to check out her website


And now the happy winners of my demo paintings:

Left to right:

Marsha Ramos with Bamboo

Claudio Del Carril with Chinese Orchid

Jamie Butterworth and Peony

Nancy Bearce and the Poppy


I was delighted to see Nancy Bearce, President of the Sunland Tujunga Art Association where I happily demonstrated and held two workshops.  Nancy was so kind to rhapsodize about my book, ‘The Ch’i of the Brush’.


Can you believe Marsha framed her painting the next day!!!

Claudio Del Carril and Lisa Plemmons Harrison Caddel will have an artists reception on Saturday, October 22nd from 2-5pm and their exhibit ‘UNIQUE & UNEXPLAINABLE FORCES OF NATURE will be at the GEO GALLERY, 1545 Victory Blvd. Glendale through November 11th.


ClaudioandLisa info

BAA show

BAA Show Info

For more information:

Sunday, October 16, 2011


…..are actually trained to get jobs, amazingly great jobs in their chosen fields after graduation. 

Case in point is the current exhibition in the NAN RAE GALLERY showcasing the work of alumni of the Graphic Design Program.


This display case shows off the designs of Steven Everhart, a 2007 grad, and his spectacular work for all things “MONK”.001

I’m a huge ‘Lord of the Rings’ fan and here’s 1998 grad Duy Nguyen’s brilliant work for ‘Fellowship of the Ring’.


‘The Reporter’s’ 1st place 34th Annual Key Art Award for DVD/VHS Packaging was taken home by Amy Sowers, a 1997 grad, for her tremendous designs for ‘Schindler’s List’.


Is there a bigger cult favorite than ‘The Big Lebowski’?  Probably not and here’s 1998 grad Duy Nguyen’s ‘Limited Edition’ for the book and CD.   A must have!


Monica Bucknam (2000) hit it out of the ballpark with this strong graphic design for the movie ‘ de Lovely’.


Another Monica Bucknam…this time for ‘Peter Pan’ and you can see how versatile she is.


Jennifer Logan (1996) designed this poster for LACMA’s Costume Ball.027

2007’s Jeff Stevens came up with this riveting image for ‘Reasonable Doubt’.


What’s this?  WOW, a book created by Brian Herbst, 1995 Alumni.  Book Design Publication: ‘Minimize: Graphic Design in the Age of Sustainability


Wonderful, wonderful………….


With Sue Vessella, Chair & Professor of Graphic Design.  Sue is adored ‘den mother’ to all the Graphic Design  students.


There’s so much more to see but for now, one last hug and time to go. 



For more information:



7500 Glenoaks Blvd.

Burbank, CA91501

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Have You Ever Been Sent a Garden?…

… now I can say I have and it’s truly awesome! When I walked in the door I thought I was in the wrong house, a Four Season’s hotel  or the florist had sent the amazing creation to me by mistake.  As I stood in the doorway, mouth ajar, Nikka informed me that the beauty set before my eyes was sent by Judith Nelson and Eileen Ogle.  So O.K., lets take a poll…who are the kindest, most thoughtful, caring, generous, brilliant people ever?  And, smartest for sure… as these two are definitely my ‘go to gals’ for just about everything…helping me out on so many things from hips to furnaces to beyond!!!


Up close….


And more…



How high does this creation go?016

Almost forgot this part…017

And all this beauty to wish me a wonderful October!

It’s said that ‘gratitude is the memory of the heart’ and I say amen to that!!!

For more information:

John Glebocki

A TOUCH OF ROMANCE Unforgettable Flowers

14325 Ventura Blvd.

Sherman Oaks, CA 91423


Saturday, October 8, 2011


…..than Valerie Foster Hoffman!  Think Auntie Mame, Perle Mesta, Martha Stewart and throw in a dash of Cleveland Amory and you’re just beginning to get the picture.

Here she is in the library of the beautiful home she shares with husband Eugene, assorted dogs, cats, birds, fish, oh almost forgot the chickens….and staff galore who are really family for the Hoffman's!

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First came the invitation for a simple ‘Autumn Evening’ at the Hoffman's celebrating the fall harvest.  The dinner would consist of “the joy, bounty & gifts of autumn”.  O.K., so let me set the scene…cocktails and hor d’oeuvres by the pool……

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Valerie entranced by Chris Slatoff, a gifted sculptor who in recent years has focused on religious themes.  Along with major commissions, Chris teaches at Art Center and conducts a summer workshop in Italy.  Fluent in French he could be our renaissance man!

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Chris is in the background (right) talking to Paul Rusnak.  Hope he got a commission!!!314414_10150831195065183_634160182_20947654_1731516887_n

O.K., I guess you spotted me with Daphne Cates, my miracle friend I blogged about a couple of years ago.  Daphne survived a 18 wheeler that ploughed over her car while driving home on the Grapevine. A helicopter flew Daphne out and it was all over the news.


It was difficult for me to tell Yuki she wasn’t invited.


Moving on to the exquisite garden area for dinner.  Tables were set with fine china, crystal and such for at least 100 guests.  I lost count.314414_10150831195075183_634160182_20947656_2130091586_n

I sat next to Chris Slatoff with Lisa Cavelier and hubby Bruno  also at our table.  Lisa was Nancy Regan’s travel coordinator and has done an amazing job as the Managing Director of the California Art Club.  Her husband Bruno works for Elaine Adams, Peter Adams wife, in her art gallery, American Legacy Fine Arts.  Now to tell you what a small, small world it is, I met Peter in the ‘70’s when I studied briefly at the Lukits Academy of Fine Arts…Peter later became personal apprentice to the renowned artist.  I thought Peter was just an impeccably fine person at the time and I’m delighted to say my opinion hasn’t changed one bit!

This doesn’t begin to show how magical the garden was with all the twinkling lights and beautiful table settings with flowers galore on each.



Now all you foodies out there, I know you’re waiting…waiting…but suffice it to say there was everything and anything your heart could desire to eat and all delicious beyond description.  Special emphasis of course was on the fall harvest. Isn’t the main attraction always the desert?  Well, again, there was everything from chocolate cake, to pies, cookies, baklava,…I could go on and on but my fav was the delicious mind blowing Apple Crisp made by Helga Elsesser, Valerie’s amazing assistant. Helga was kind enough to share the recipe…It’s from the the Barefoot Contessa and don’t forget to serve it with gobs of vanilla ice cream! 

Remember when I said there were about a hundred guests?  Well, as the evening cooled, Helga handed each and every lady present an exquisite pashmina shawl to wear and then to take home!  Staggering isn’t it!

Woops, almost forgot…when the valet brought my car I looked inside and said, “This isn’t my car” as there was a beautiful long stemmed rose, a bag of candy and a magazine inside.  Hey lady look again..that’s right.more treats!!!

For More Information:



Saturday, October 1, 2011



It all started with Laurie Burton’s B’day that we celebrated during class  last Saturday.

Nikka, my super duper assistant, had instructions to bring the cake up to the studio at 12:45 (lunch time).  We pulled off the surprise and all sang Happy Birthday to Laurie!!!


Time to cut the cake Laurie…we’re waiting!!!029

Mom followed with her B’day on Sunday …..

Awwwwww…………….so sweet!004

Time to party…the balloons are here!!! 011

Hey Vicki, is that slice big enough?  (Not really!!)021

Then Tuesday it was dinner at the Jonathan Club.  A B’day treat of Rose and Ken Nielsen,President of Woodbury University.  Although I’m invited, I feel like a fifth wheel as those three spend the evening (same thing last year) jawing about Nebraska.  I nod off.

Finally, the CAKE!001 

Mom in her element.005

We thought it would be funny to take a picture of Ken carrying mom’s purse!!!009

…..Sir Charles B’day yesterday!!!

Martin & Nikka got the banners and balloons up with Yuki supervising.007

More balloons…………..010

Where’s the cake?


Oh, presents first.027


Yuki gave up on getting any cake …after much begging she was forced to eat her own dinner.005

This was soooooo much fun!!!



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.