Friday, January 27, 2012


……as high as one of Tyrus Wong’s exquisite kites since he graced my studio with his sublime presence.  Tyrus is my hero, the ultimate Chinese Brush painter with a truly great soul……this artist extraordinaire is a National Treasure!

I first introduced you to Tyrus on October 13, 2008 in my blog ‘BRUSHSTROKES in HOLLYWOOD’ when we went to the benefit for Pamela Tom’s featured documentary film about Tyrus.

I next wrote on October 25, 2009…….

‘TYRUS WONG… a NATIONAL TREASURE’ showing you one of the happenings the 4th Saturday of each month at the Santa Monica beach when Tyrus unfurls his amazing flying art constructions.  They’re kites but actually more than that and have to be experienced.

Tyrus being assisted by daughter Kim. 




Erik Friedl’s short film ‘FLIGHTS of FANCY’ was posted on ‘MORE of our NATIONAL TREASURE’ on December 6th, 2009.  This video is a must watch and will make your heart sing!

Tai Ling and her father Tyrus Wong 051

Can you see how delirious I am?


Sunday, January 22, 2012


…..first off one needs the proper accoutrements…Spa Dog ‘True Lavender’ shampoo and a good nylon scruffy!


Start at the front…and work your way back….



More shampoo please…..007


Let’s go over this area again…..029

Now underneath…..



Rinsing off…..030

Almost done…..



More on the fluffing and puffing in a bit…..039

Over 650 people have watched this on Youtube……CALL MY AGENT!!!!

Almost dry…..


Woops, forgot about under there…..


Are you done yet?


Oh…..come on……


Hey, I can be good for only so long……


Film at eleven……

Have you called my agent yet?

Monday, January 16, 2012



…..I finally got to ride by myself in the back.  My goodness there’s a lot going on out here.007

Can you see me seeing you?


I think I’ll memorize this route.026

Are you talking to me?


That’s right…I’m a good dog.032

Coast looks clear……proceed ahead.034

Why is that fellow smiling at me?043

Do you want to play?


I saw Dr. C. today…she certainly is nosey.

Why are you people always looking back there?


This is getting humiliating…stop it!!!


Are you finished?076

This is Spike…he didn’t stop yapping…drove me crazy!


Clementine was a lot quieter but still a nervous wreck…come on fellas….what’s the big deal?


My mom loved this photograph so we had to pose for her.


Sheila was so happy to see me again..I confess, it’s mutual.083

O.K., enough!084

Hmmmm….bet I could drive this thing.


I’m going to need a bigger car.


Friday, January 13, 2012

The Blessings of Less

By Sr. Lenora Black, OSB

‘SPIRIT & LIFE’  January – February 2012

(Click to enlarge)




Tuesday, January 10, 2012


….was the theme for this year’s La Canada Flintridge award winning Tournament of Roses float.  This fantastic idea for the 34th self-built city float came independently from Pam Wiedenbeck, my amazing Huntington Botanical Garden’s Brush painting student and the current president, Ann Neilson.  What synchronicity!  Their artist, Jacob Maitless, did the rendering based on the concept and  “a lot of input from the peanut gallery”.

Before I show you the float, here’s the Stealth bomber flying over the house on it’s way to the Rose Parade.



In the time it took me to go from the patio to the TV in the kitchen, it was flying over the parade route.  (Maybe 40 seconds!)010

There it goes………..picture courtesy of KTLA 5.


Throughout the year, it was so much fun to have Pam tell us about the progress on the float during our Brush painting ‘lunch breaks’.


Pam built the two birds on the front of the float and about 2/3 of the cloud structure.  This was all steel pencil rod covered with window screen and a polymer coating.  The shapes are then painted and decorated.  Did I mention Pam is a terror of a welder?!!!


Pam was also the float driver.  Her training consisted in driving the bare chassis in the La Canada Memorial Day parade, two Pasadena Tournament of Roses test drives, moving the float for decorating, driving convoy to Orange Grove, driving in the parade, driving convoy home, and finally taking the float to Memorial Park in La Canada on Saturday, January 7th.  Pam told me, “It was an experience that I would repeat in a heartbeat.  However, if I never hear Frank sing ‘Come Fly With Me’ again, it will be too soon!!!”


Thursday, January 5, 2012


Mom was first to greet me!056

My folks welcome me! They seem very excitable!


Hugs from Vicki…122

Nikka plays too..


Carol do bring Duchess to visit me…..040

Rose, I hear this was your idea….thanks for the crate!058

Time out…which ones the stuffed animal?067

I hear Sheila is a big Akita fan…


Dr. A.  gives me the O.K.016

Emma joins the team…….031


Kc, my new best friend….IMG_0865

Colleen too…


Add Lynne S.IMG_0892

But Violet, I’m an American Akita…


George and Olga love me….


Laurie wants to put me in the movies…..


I think it’s my tummy that she loves….


I call this ‘Baby Girl meets Sandie Girl’098

I’m clean again, thanks to Vicki…


Rose, is Sophia making a peace offering?020

Emma says I’m getting too big to do this…136

Paul, next time you come over bring Dakota…


Dr. M., are my nails too long?092

Ivan, I love dancing with you…


Jana, you are the best ever….I love your cooking!074 

Does this pose make me look fat?106

I’m quite the pro now at playing catch!

Mom, may I come over to see you when I have all my shots?


Sir Charles, that crown becomes you!156

Rex, take me to Hermes next shopping excursion.  They’ll love me in the Bev.011

Lauren, I’ll be bigger than your Chocolate Lab and Vreanna won’t be able to hold me then.


Kathryn, do you recognize me from last time?100

Here’s my cat pose Vreanna.086

Michaela I think you’re even cuter than me.


Now girls, don’t fight over me…wait your turn.023

Oh Rex you’re back.  I can just fit in that fine Hermes bag.


Jay, I hear you got a Saint Bernard.  Now that’s what I call a dog.  My mom had one and says I look just like a S.B. puppy.  Right Lucas?021

Martin I can’t wait for you to go walking with me!



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.