Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DINNER at the REILLY’S …..

… always warm, cozy and utterly YUMMY and when invited I jump at the chance to join them.  On the way I couldn’t resist snapping this fellow doing what all dogs love to do….With Kita, if the window is open just enough she sees an opportunity to jump out and make friends with anyone and everyone!!!  Just ask trainer Mary Beth.


Timothy is Master of the Pan and getting those pork chops seasoned just right.


But first some pate and yummy dip……there is almost a stand off at the dip…..who drew first????


Checking the potatoes ……..


Adding the bacon was a stroke of genius and I got first dibs on it…..


Jim’s back at the pate……


Oh these were sooooo good………


The ‘Everything In It’ salad was wonderful with Green Goddess dressing…..oh the Jelly Beans you ask?????  Well don’t!!!


Count on Whole Foods to have a ‘No Trans Fat’ desert….you don’t feel quite as bad when you devour it.


Same for the Carrot Cake…….


We had so much fun we decided to meet up the next morning at Americana for the second showing of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ or, as I told the office when stopped for a check point on Brand the other evening, “I was coming from Zero Dark FORTY and no, I wasn’t drinking….He corrected my mistake and figured I just might be telling the truth….confused but not intoxicated.

013  Anyway, back to the mall at 10:30 A.M.….deserted.


And Pacific Theatre was deserted too….we got there early to make sure we’d get good seats.  Ha, it was a private showing.


Wish I got a better picture of this pup….he was the friendliest I’ve ever seen (next to Kita of course who’d go home with anyone.)


Back to Katsuya…..


Sandie’s Salmon……


Cucumber roll…….just in case you couldn’t guess…..


I love this (maybe ‘cause I had a Scottie!)


Next stop Barnes & Noble….. I love how folks are sitting ‘round all over…..books are here to stay…


And so ends a perfect evening & day…..

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

THE SANTA BARBARA MUSEUM of ART had a most important…..


‘THE ARTFUL RECLUSE:Painting, Poetry, and Politics in 17th Century China’.

60 paintings revealing the private world of the ‘Literati’, scholar-artists living during a time of turmoil…the collapse of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) followed by the Manchu-ruled Qing dynasty beginning in 1644. These ’gentlemen scholars’ withdrew instead of fighting and lived a life of reclusion, painting, writing poetry and discussing their life and times amongst a select group of peers.

Many of these paintings have not been seen outside of China and one large piece will return immediately, not traveling to a show in New York with the others.

Not wanting to miss this rare chance to see such important works a group of students and I traveled our own journey to connect with them.

It’s 8:30 and we’re almost at the Glendale Amtrak station….031

All aboard for Santa Barbara…..


Thank you Patrick for all your fine advise for our return ticketing!

Photo courtesy Pam & Wilbur


Lucia brought delicious Guava treats from Porto’s for everyone.  Thank you Lucia….so thoughtful!


I’m about to give Lucia a big hug for the Porto’s treats…….It was so special to have her on this journey as Lucia went with Charles and me when we led an art tour to China… ‘Journey of the Imagination’.  What wonderful memories.


I love it when the ocean becomes you journey up the coast.


Sooooooooooooo nice!


We’re missing Monica and Grace who drove up & met us inside…. Peter, Matilda’s brother is A.W.O.L. too..


Thank you Jessica for our trolley ride.  That was so sweet & generous of you to treat all of us!


You know this was sublime for me.


The Museum Cafe is definitely one of the best and we all had lovely/yummy selections.

Photo courtesy Lynne Photography 4 U (on Facebook) and 


Dear Luci, collector, friend and resident of Montecito arranged for museum passes for all and a docent tour.  Thank you Luci….love your red Chinese jacket.

Photo courtesy Lynne


My yummy cob salad.  Got this for the bacon, bacon, bacon!!! Too much time spent watching Anthony Bourdain.


The orange was a nice change from lemon.


Time and money to spend in the Gift Shop.  A dangerous place to be with so many great  temptations.


Me bad.  We weren’t supposed to take pictures but I had to show you the scale of some of the paintings.  This was one of my favorites.


Thank you Mary for the best docent tour ever!  You didn’t miss a thing and everything was said with such interest and delight in your subject.  We were all enthralled!  And thanks again to dear Luci for arranging this private, very special tour!


Pat, our delightful trolley driver….we caught her both going to and from the museum….


Getting tickets for the return trip.  It’s $9 less if you purchase from a ticket agent. This money saving tip courtesy of Patrick our train conductor. Go figure.  Makes no sense to me.


Weary but happy travelers…..


Can’t pass up a pooch!


All aboard!


Sunset is always glorious on the ocean……


Experimenting with the panoramic feature on my iphone.  Must get to the ‘Genius’ bar.


Wilbur and Pam, adventurers extraordinaire!


My gourmet selection for dinner on the train!

Are you laughing????


Back in Glendale……Night night……………


Note:  The amazing catalog/book for this exhibit is sold on

Wednesday, January 9, 2013



…… an 8 page spread…..

…....wait for it……


……..wait for it…….



……”What’s my line?”


….”Is that girl really necessary?”


…..”Are you getting the shot?”


“I forgot my line?”


“Where’s MY makeup person?”


“Do I get brushed….what’s going on here?”


“Listen girlie…Let’s remember who’s the star here.”


“I’m pumped…let’s go!”


“Nice meeting you too.”


“ Chris, we should have lunch.”


“How long do I have to wait?”


“What’s my motivation?”


“I thought you said I should look to my right.”


“Did you get the shot???”


“We stars understand each other.”


That’s ‘Women’s Health’….April issue!


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.