Monday, April 23, 2012


…….in Monterey Park was the location for a panel discussion on “Round the Clock: Chinese American Artists Working in Los Angeles” which was part of ‘Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980’ celebrating the birth of the L.A. art scene and sponsored by the Getty Museum.


The catalog, ‘Round the Clock’,  for this extraordinary exhibit was written by Sonia Mak, the curator of the show and moderator of the panel discussion.


We loved seeing Tyrus Wong’s fanciful ‘Caterpillar’ kite sailing way over our heads when we entered the museum. See and read about it below.


About the kites…………….If you haven’t already been….go to the Santa Monica beach on the fourth Saturday of every month for the thrill of a lifetime!


In my blog ‘I’ve Been Flying’ posted on January 27th 2012, I showed you Erik Friedl’s lovely short film, ‘Flights of Fancy’ where you could watch Tyrus making the kites and discussing his delightful adventures with them.


Here it is!!!  You can also see part of the ‘Panda’ kite ….another one that I watched ‘sailing about’ at the beach!  Same for the butterfly!!!  On October 25th 2009 in my blog, ‘Tyrus Wong is a National Treasure’ I told you about that adventure.


Sandie and Kc at the entrance to the show…




‘The Philosopher’ by Tyrus Wong


Here’s Pam Tom and her charming daughter Asia in front of these powerful horses by Tyrus… WOW!  I first wrote about Pam on October 13th 2008 when Charles and I went to the benefit party for Pamela’s documentary film on Tyrus, ‘Brushstrokes in Hollywood’. 


Here’s part of Pam’s film…….

Hey Kc turn around……


That’s better.




Next to the horses, this elegant little piece is my favorite!


Sonia Mak…(see Sandie back there?)


The panel from the left: Ron Miller, former pres. & historian of the National Watercolor Society; artist Milton Quon; Sonia; Charles Solomon, animation historian and critic; and Sullen Cheng, former exec. dir. & founding chief curator of the Chinese American Museum.


Hi Sandie R………………you make me smile!!!


Tyrus was a concept artist at the Disney studio’s and beginning with his legendary, ground breaking work on ‘Bambi’, continues to influence each generation of animation artists.

Both Disney and Pixar acknowledge the importance of Tyrus Wong to animation and his use of color to help represent the story has remains the standard.  In fact, when Tyrus was in his 80’s, Disney tried in vain to have this winner of the ‘Disney Legends’ Award’ return to the studio.

Those of you who have attended one of my Landscape classes know I stress the importance of all figures and man made objects needing to be represented on a very small scale with the mountains and nature maintaining their dominance. I was delighted to hear artist Milton Quon telling how this was evident in Tyrus’ work but it wasn’t until he went to China and saw the mountains of Guilin that he realized that is exactly the way it looks!!!

One last look before we go…..


Love to all you butterflies out there…..


Next we headed for ‘The Palace’ also in Monterey Park, meeting Dr. Jim, Sandie’s great hubby for a DELICIOUS Chinese feast!!!Thank you Sandie Girl and thank you Kc for driving all over the place.  What a day………

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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.