Friday, May 11, 2012


…….We’re all delighted to know that the Pasadena Playhouse is fully in the black and able to present outstanding plays such as the ‘Heiress’ under the fine guidance of Sheldon Epps, its Artistic Director.


It was a lovely evening…....


But first, a birthday celebration for Michele Dedeaux Engemann, Chair of the Pasadena Playhouse Board.  This  ‘Woman of Distinction’ for both Los Angeles and Pasadena along with her many civic involvements was a Brush painting student of mine many years ago at The Huntington Botanical Gardens along with her precious mom Helen Dedeaux.  I adored Helen and as she lived close to me, spent many an enjoyable afternoon with her talking about this and that and our take on life.  I miss her terribly.

Can you imagine they had Lilacs at the reception.  I LOVE Lilacs!


Back to the play.  Richard Chamberlain gave a brilliant performance, as chilling as Montgomery Clift in the movie, as the villainous Dr. August Sloper, father to retiring daughter Catherine.  His performance was so malevolent you could have cut the tension in the audience with a knife!  We were all drawn in and totally invested in this young girls plight.


Opening night food and festivities…….


Opening nights are so much fun…..



Word has it that the Pasadena Playhouse Premiere Gala honoring Michele on May 19th will be a stellar ‘Black Tie’ event! 

For more information:

Development Office: 626.921.1156013

Thank you Valerie for a most delightful evening!


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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.