Thursday, March 21, 2013


…….is definitely in order after 2 day at CarMax and the DMV.  Did you know you can’t sell a car to CarMax without current DMV registration stickers which you cannot get if the ‘vehicle’ hasn’t passed the smog test?  You did? Well, you’re a smarty and you should have told me.  I’m now sufficiently exhausted after chasing back and forth and decided to think about the very pleasant days prior to this hassle that started by Martin’s driving the car down and shy Nikka driving him home.  Thanks to you both.


Bye, bye car….or so I thought yesterday.


On my 2nd trip to CarMax, Nikka & Vicky had to bring Charles in Nikka’s car so he could sign umpteen things (with my help) and we had to celebrate after at ‘Habit’. This was all before I knew nothing could be accomplished. See how happy we look?


So, back to wonderfully pleasant things.

Class in the studio on Saturday was great fun…..12 of us celebrating Mimi’s birthday!


Nikka brought up the ‘surprise’ cake.


It was a meringue…..


Make a wish…….


Time to discuss greeting cards………..


Nikka will turn Sandie’s beautiful painting into a wonderful card along with the great ‘Bunnies’ done by Dorothy, Sandie’s talented mother.


During our lunch break Lauren showed me the amazing photographs she took on her most recent travels.  This is in a market in Butan.


The Himalayas from Lauren’s plane.


Thank you Kc for the cheery Daffodils. They are still brightening my day!


After class it was on to Rusnak where they enticed me with a gift offer.


Finally, time to meet Jim and Sandie for a relaxing yummy evening at Bashan on Verdugo Road in Glendale.


Our amuse-bouche………


Lovely Carpaccio appetizer for the table.


My sturgeon……. (Jim had the same)…..


Sandie’s porkalicious dish………


I refused to share my Panna Cotta with anyone….it’s a favorite!


Cheese assortment for the table……


Next morning, said hi to Scrappy on my way to meet Tomiko.  I see this fine fellow all the time at Brand park.  Don’t you think he and Kita would make a lovely couple?????


Tomiko at the entrance to Panzanella Ristorante.  I wish you could see her killer shoes!!!!


We were guests of Lynne Tucker at the Pro Travel event.  Hi Lynne.  (I have no idea what you’re telling me but thank you sooooo much for the delightful treat!)


What else would you expect on St. Patrick’s Day????




Lunch….because I didn’t eat enough the night before………..


Lovely appetizer…………..


My salmon…..forgot to photograph the salad…..


Tomiko’s yummy beef…………….


Again….Panna Cotta….wow, did I get lucky or what!


I had some flourless chocolate cake too….this is really getting out of control.


Our next stop was Bloomies where I met Sophie and fell in love. 


Awwwwwwwwwww Sophie….you are the cutest.


Not enough eating so I stopped at Porto’s and took ‘stuff’ to mom.  (For me too of course.)


The Wisteria leading to the studio is going crazy…beautiful and so fragrant.  It’s heavenly.


Wisteria then had to be the subject at  Wednesdays class at the Huntington…….along with the praying mantis and Tigers!!!!  Some combo!


I saved the cutest for last….Here’s our Kita in the April issue of Women’s Health.


I know, you’re wondering….what about the car?  After all that I’m donating it and will have it picked up at CarMax tomorrow.  Whew!

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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.