Saturday, March 2, 2013


Just walking up to these beautiful blue doors you know you’ll be taken to a very happy place……and you are! This hilside home is filled with art treasures, memento’s of joyful events, and…..cats…..adorable cats that charm you right off the bat.  More on that later….

I drove to this wonderful home because…….


Miss Judith is on the Advisory Board of the ‘Iris Cantor-UCLA Women’s Health Center’ and I was to be her guest at the 7th annual ‘Lunch With the Scientists’.  Hosted by the Center’s Director, Dr.Janet Pregler, the city’s female ‘rainmakers’ hear presentations from the researchers who’ve benefited from their vision and largesse. It’s truly a double WOW event!!!


Here’s our dear Miss Judith with Dr. Pregler.


Foodie alert……


Interesting presentation of the salmon….a lovely broth….


Need I say anything????


Beautiful centerpieces……..


Yours truly with Aly Shoji who is #1 in charge of bringing this event together.  (She has also been a Calligraphy student of Tom’s in the studio along with Makoto, her precious mother.)


Wise and wonderful Eileen….




On the drive back…..#1 reason for living in California………………


‘The Royal Horse’ by Loet Vanderveen had been spotted by Miss Judith in a gallery five years prior to acquiring it.  You can imagine how this magnificent bronze would leave a lasting impression and so, five years after the fact, Miss Judith was able to acquire him.  And what a perfect setting with that beautiful background and lighting beaming down from above in the alcove.  I love this piece.  Actually I could spend a day photographing the many interesting treasures all with a grand story to tell.


Did I mention cats??????????????


Bye for now and thank you Miss Judith for a perfect, memorable 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.