Sunday, May 26, 2013


…..and it was the BEST birthday ever beginning with Amy bringing over this amazing floral creation.


Amy did all the stunning flowers for mom’s birthday celebration.  Here’s another view….


If you want an amazing floral creation call Amy at 818.625.5243 or


Beautiful orchids from Vicki, Nikka and Emma….(and also jammies)


Mom came over and Nikka showed her all my birthday wishes on Facebook.  She loved it, soooo cute!


Then it was time to look at all the birthday cards…


O.K., enough of all that….lets eat!!!!

Yummy Gourmet 88 has the very best Chinese food!


Time for CAKE….lets hear it for the CAKE!


Mom & Kita sharing a moment  together….”That’s it….oh a little to the right please.”


Later that evening Olga & George came over with wine and beautiful flowers.  It wouldn’t be a birthday without seeing them!


Sunday afternoon Amanda & Pete were here for a private class & I couldn’t think of a better way of spending a birthday weekend!


Lovely Amanda…..

074 We had SEVERAL cups of cappuccino with the best whipped milk ever thanks to Nespresso.  My favorite toy!


Mid week, Molly & I saw ‘Love is All You Need’ and I certainly LOVED this movie!


Along the way we encountered what the owner said is a Chocolate Lab but at 120 lbs., don’t you  think a Mastiff got in there somewhere???


Carnivore time at Houston’s….


Yesterday was class day and I was greeted by this beautiful ‘summer’ cactus from Laurie.001

Sweet roses from sweet Diana…..


Thank you Colleen, this will make a terrific dish lid!

010 And beautiful pearls with the most touching card from Kathy…note her wonderful artwork…


….and Kathy painted the most exquisite Peonies in class….


!It was a wonderful class, so soul satisfying and everyone did beautifully!


Party central said it was time to head on over to Gordon Ramsay’s at The London in West Hollywood.  Jim Reilly helped Sandie, Lauren & me celebrate!022 Sandie Girl I LOVE my little Panda…..thank you sooooo much!


Jim made sure we all got a birthday plate.  Thank you Jim, that was soooo thoughtful!

037 O.K., now the following is just for all you foodies out there so if you’re not so inclined I’ll say bye for now.

This was Lauren’s New York Steak & King Crab


Sandie is wondering if she’ll have to share her Trio of Blue Fin Tuna.  Yes Sandie, we will all share everything except for me……025

…..I announced that I wasn’t going to share my Bone Marrow Toast. (Being an only child I wasn’t there when that lesson was taught.) Can you see my Mai Tai???? That little stick had two of the most delicious dark cherries on it….020 

Here’s Jim’s Braised Pork Belly with Noodles, Clams, Quail Egg & Scallop.  We had seen this served at another table & wondered what it was.  Mystery solved.027

I’m not sure about this one for Lauren….Could be the Striped Bass with Creamy Polenta, Avocado, Smoked Tomato….I’ll have to ask.029

I think this was Jim’s Potato Gnocchi with Parmesan, Asparagus & Morels.  I got a taste of the Asparagus because it was wrapped in bacon & as it was my birthday and knowing my love of same, Jim offered me half.030

This was my Beef Filet with Duck Fat fries & Peppercorn sauce.  (And yes, I shared.)


Beef Wellington for the ‘table’.032

Did anyone say dessert?….Jim’s English Sticky Toffee Pudding was voted to be best.


Lauren’s Lemon Meringue Tart was second.


My Apple thingie was just too ginormous…...


Sandie’s Pineapple Cake with Caramel Sauce & Cherry Ice Cream!


So, it’s the end of a perfect birthday week and I’m delighting in so many beautiful memories….heartfelt thanks to all!

No comments:


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.