Saturday, March 31, 2012


……whose work is represented in more than 600 corporate, public, civic, museum, university & private collections WORLDWIDE!

This amazing sculptor, painter, designer & teacher has even done major projects listed under ‘Concept Design & Studio Production Experience’ on his website.  You will be astonished at the scope of this gifted artist’s work.

Have you ever wondered how major art installations in public places are conceived and developed?  Wonder no more.

I was privileged to receive a phone call from Ron Pekar to see his latest commission before it was to be delivered to the installation site the following day.

Just imagine how overcome I was to see two magnificent 16’ stainless steel olive trees, stately yet somehow warm and human.

O.K., back to the beginning.  Ron was commissioned to do a major installation for the 2nd floor garden terrace of the new Roy & Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, CA.


In this video, Ron discusses how the concept of the trees came into being. Also, it’s fascinating to understand how the leaves were individually cut by a laser and then welded onto the trees.

Here we have more on the project and the presentation that was made to Barry Wolfman, CEO of the hospital along with the Art Committee to get final approval.

In the middle picture to the right you can see Ron on a ladder working on the branches.


Ideas…..ideas….and more ideas…..Isn’t it fascinating to see the research and development of this wonderful project?


Working on another commission.


Traveler, supervises everything.  This is the original clay model for the bronze installed at USC last year. (Remember I blogged about that.) You can watch the fascinating video ‘The Bronzing of Traveler’ on Ron’s website listed below.


Here’s the other tree with Traveler in the distance.  Sort of like a sentinel guard don’t you think?


For more information:

Sunday, March 25, 2012


… the most prolific artist I know….. fulfilling Malcolm Gladwell’s premise in ‘Outliers’ that you have to put in at least 10,000 hours at your craft to be good/great.  Gayle has done that and more with a body of work that spans a lifetime of travel to every corner of the globe.  Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?  Been there, done that along with such a myriad of adventures you’ll just have to go to her website to see them all.

Holding one of the many books she’s illustrated, Gayle is standing in front of 50 (correct) of the exquisite, hand made antique brushes she found in a Beijing flea market.  These unique brushes, some jade, bamboo, ivory, cloisonné, or porcelain are made of deer, rabbit, wolf, sheep or goat hair and were highlighted in a watercolor series.  As I often love to say, no animals were hurt in the making of these brushes.  Feel better?

I would say Gayle’s oeuvre consists of series of paintings such as ‘Travel Treasures’ from around the world, ‘Highlights of Los Angeles’, ‘Tuscan Pottery’ and so on.  These vivid watercolor paintings express Gayle’s sheer delight and joie de vivre in each and every experience she has had. 


I wish I had taken a close-up of these watercolor tins Gayle had custom made….a smaller version rides along on planes, trains, ships or perhaps even camels and elephants (I wouldn’t be surprised!) Remember I said Gayle is the most prolific artist meaning she is ALWAYS PAINTING or sketching!


Working on a current series depicting the rice fields in the Philippines.


I have to comment on the striking necklace and earrings,……did I mention Gayle is also an accomplished jewelry designer who makes pieces as stunning and dramatic as she is?


I’m not being prejudice but do think Gayle’s selection in the ‘Master’s of the American West’ exhibit at the Autry was the most captivating.  And, may I add that other artists have agreed with my selection.  I know one isn’t supposed to comment on the frame surrounding any artwork but Gayle has devised a unique signature Lucite frame that instead of dominating her artwork as most do, always enhances it.


It was great fun seeing the show.


Gayle’s goal is to “see, feel and paint the world” and I do believe she’ll accomplish just that!!!

For More Information:

Thursday, March 22, 2012


…..Ever wonder why the contents of these orange boxes are such objects of desire?

Click the link below and wonder no more. 


Monday, March 19, 2012


…..What can I say……………When I got the invitation to attend the Rolls-Royce ‘Ride and Drive’ Event at Hotel Bel-Air  I suspected it might be tons of fun but I had nooooo idea!!!

Coincidentally, it was Tomiko’s birthday so what better way to celebrate than lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant there.  No matter the dessert, you have to have a candle!


Marcus, our delightfully charming server…..


Hmmmmmmmmmmmm this one is rather nice.


Or maybe this one…………………Yes, I like white!


Behind the wheel and adjusting my side mirrors.


Come on in………


I think I’ll put a down payment on this ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’.  We’ll discuss the car later.


I may not leave this ‘mini condo’. Could I possibly look more content?


The lovely Alyssa, Product Advocate for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.  Ever since she was a little girl she loved cars and wanted to sell them.  Imagine that!


Tomiko had her turn at the wheel.


O.K., Tomiko come on, you have to get out now!


After our test drive of the ‘Ghost Extended Wheelbase’ we returned to the hotel lobby and plunked down on a sofa with treats in front of us.  The sandwiches to the left were so yummy (I had about 5 …O.K. 6….come on, they’re small!) and to the right was a tray with delicious cheeses.


Champagne anyone?  I don’t think we had more than three glasses, maybe four, and then there was the wine…but I lost count.  Coffee came for the ride home.  I shouldn’t even tell you this….it’s the main reason why I would never take a cruise……Every five minutes, a server came by with some delectable tidbit including about 7 slices of Wolfgang’s amazing pizza!  I’m certain that I waddled out of there because each time food was presented to us….I said YES!


Even the ladies room was a treat!


For more information:

Sunday, March 18, 2012


…….In her excellent book ‘The Artist’s Way’, Julia Cameron (along with Mark Bryan) suggests taking one’s self out on a date and that’s exactly what I did because no one wanted to go with me to the Willie Nelson concert at Disney Hall.  Can you imagine?????

I was able to snag the last ticket for this sold out show but it was way up in the nose bleed section so when I went to the p/u window I asked if there happened to be anything closer and boy did I ever hit the jackpot.  I think I wound up with the best seat in the house!


So excited, I arrived early to have a relaxed dinner  and then went back to the W.N. merchandise table so many times the saleswoman said “Are you back again?”  My indecision resulted in not making a purchase at all.


I went into the concert hall as soon as they opened the doors and was able to watch all the peeps saunter in.


Almost time…..


Willie’s son Lukas and his band ‘Promise of the Real’ opened for him. The crowd was getting impatient and shouts of ‘We love you Willie’ were heard.   Lukas also performed a solo during Willie’s show and I can report that he’s quite the guitar player.  Harmonica player Mickey Raphael is to the right.  Legend has it that Mickey joined the group (hung around for a whole year) and one day Willie asked a band member, “Hey, what are we paying him?”  “Nothing.” was the reply.  Willie said, “Well then, double it!!!!”IMG_0948

Time for sister Bobbie to have a great honky tonk solo!


This gal was so excited throughout the entire show…..she kept bobbing up and dancing about…..


That’s it folks…………


Calm down everyone…………….


Bye bye Willie!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, March 17, 2012


………This is back in February.  I can tell because this harness hasn’t fit for some time.

Anyway, here’s our usual stance at the edge of the driveway…………waiting, waiting, waiting for someone, anyone to come by and play. IMG_0760

It could happen from either direction…..


Wait….I think I hear something…..could it be….yes, yes, it’s the trash collectors!




Friday, March 16, 2012


……I thought I had posted this as it’s from late in January.


……… there anything more wonderful?  I so look forward to watching the Wisteria come into full blossom each year.  Those wonderful barren branches that twist and turn about winding their way to new areas to grasp on to.


Springtime and the little pod shapes appear on the new growth vines.  They show no indication of what is to be and then slowly….. the petals open with the last to open at the bottom of each cluster. 


The leaves won’t appear until the blossoms are almost finished.


Did I mention the divine fragrance?


The bees are as excited as I am…...


If you look closely you can see about three stages of the clusters.


This ‘Cup of Gold’ is the most amazing shrub ever.  During construction of this side of the house, the ‘plant’ was placed on the driveway with the roots still intact.  How it survived for over a year that way is beyond me but it did and is even more glorious than ever.  The cuttings really take so just let me know if you want one.


Guess what I’m off to paint……..

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


… Santa Ana has such spectacular special exhibits that when Ann asked me if I’d like to go to the ‘WARRIORS TOMBS and TEMPLES’ exhibit I jumped at the chance.  As Ann is now retired (but active as ever in all manner of civic duties) and living in California City, the logistics and date were somewhat of a challenge.  We finally settled on the final week of the show and Ann picked me up for the hour’s ride which gave us a chance for  great fun catching up.IMG_0851

I loved seeing all the school children….IMG_0852

Some in uniforms…….


Here’s a group getting corralled ……no easy task as they waited in the lush mission-style courtyard with its fountains, shade trees and colorful flowers not to mention the singing rocks!


The signage was superb and the additional use of a head set helped immensely with all the information one had to absorb.


The timeline of the Qin, Han and Tang Dynasties


From the terra cotta army of Qin Shihuangdi


Another view…..


We loved this life-sized horse unearthed from the same tomb compound




Although numerous, the Han figures are much smaller than the Qin warriors, suggesting that the Han rulers symbolically demonstrated restraint & frugality.




Strike a pose Ann….


Lots of domestic animals but we loved the horses most of all!


A teacher lecturing her charges.


Another magnificent horse.


And again…..


Dig this gold dragon!!!




O.K., time for lunch!

TANGATA, the restaurant at the Bowers is one of the Patina group….need I say more?


I’m so happy, why is that man scowling?


Yummy choices………..


Hi Jessica…………more bread please………


This took the idea of a cobb salad to a whole new level.


Thank you so much Ann for the delicious treat.(Oh, did I mention the creme brulee?)  And for the great pleasure of your company!!!


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.