Sunday, June 16, 2013


…..were the dances of choice for ‘DANCE DOWNTOWN’ at the Music Center Friday evening.  Saw lots of cowboy boots as a lot of people seemed to have gotten the memo.


Tomiko & I were on our way to Kendall’s Brasserie…. and once there the menu had to be studied (although I think we have it memorized).


The Chilled Tomato & Cucumber soup with Avocado, Mango & Tiger Shrimp is a must have always……


…’s so good but the Sea Bass was incredible!


I get so sated & bleary eyed that I always forget to photograph the desert.  A Baked Apple Tart with Vanilla Gelato & Caramel Sauce was hard to share. You’ll just have to imagine….

Then it was on to the Ahmanson for ‘The Scottsboro Boys’.  This ‘minstrel show’ with music & lyrics by the brilliant (Chicago, New York, New York, Cabaret) John Kander & Fred Ebb, was based on the tragic but true life story of nine young black men wrongfully accused & sentenced to life imprisonment in Alabama.  They were pardoned 80 years later but I suppose that was of little good to them.  As bright as the music was I found it to be too sad.


O.K., back to work.  At this point in cataloging my work, Nikka is completely surrounded as she makes entries in the lap top.  We’ve got a great numbering system going but I suspect it will be tweaked as time goes on.




….and more….


….puppy’s wondering what on earth we could be doing for so long…


It was definitely time for a ‘Habit’ break!


I like to kid myself that a ‘lettuce wrap’ is fewer calories and therefore it’s O.K. to pig out on their delicious fries!!!


Sweet potatoes are good for you….right????


Tonight it’s Kentucky Fried for Father’s Day….oh boy, I’m in trouble now!


Mom loves their chocolate cake!


I need a nap!

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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.