Monday, July 22, 2013


…..directed and produced by Pam Tom has a completed ‘First Cut’ thanks to Kickstarter!!!  More on that later.  The amazingly talented, award winning  Pam is moving with hubby Ted and their delightful daughters Asia & Isabella, to New York, so friend Denise had a wonderful ‘going away’ party. Pam, a critically acclaimed producer & director, was the Senior Associate Producer of  ‘The Story of Mothers and Daughters’, an award winning ABC documentary that we had the privilege of watching.  What a beautiful film….. a 3 Kleenex (box) for sure as we all puddled up…..not a dry eye in the place! I highly recommend you Google ‘The Story of Mothers and Daughters’….I’m going to get my copy for sure….it’s that beautiful.


No matter who you are you’ll recognize yourself in some part of this truth telling film.


Mothers and daughters were still hugging after the viewing.


Denise’s home, nestled high in the Chevy Chase Country Club hills, is so warm & inviting from the moment you enter…..


I so love the ginormous oak trees, especially this one being climbed by two munchkins…..


Here’s a view from the porch….

081 All manner of drinks were in the charming kitchen…..


….but I especially loved this ‘Au Revoir’ Pam, Asia Ted & Isabella!


Of course you want to see the food….(sorry I neglected to take a photo of the dessert table….too tempting!)


Now, getting back to ‘Brushstrokes in Hollywood’.  I had not seen Tyrus since I blogged about his visiting my studio so can you even begin to imagine how thrilled I was to see him? (His wonderful daughter Kim is right behind Tyrus.)


At 102, Tyrus is still flying his kite creations the fourth Saturday of every month at the Santa Monica Pier (weather permitting). You can see one of his amazing kites in the opening of the trailer for ‘Brushstrokes in Hollywood’ and also be sure to read about the amazing Pam! 

It was pandemonium as everyone wanted to say hello to our national treasure….Tyrus Wong!


Finally, Tyrus got to sit down but then it was  photo opp. time! This one with hostess Denise.


Just to refresh you, ‘Brushstrokes in Hollywood’ directed by Pam, is the first in-depth portrait of the art, life, & enduring impact of Tyrus Wong the pioneering Chinese American artist & ‘Disney Legend’.


It’s been such a privilege to donate to this important work and so can you….and get a TAX DEDUCTION in the process. For its completion contact Pam at:

Note:  There will be a major retrospective of Tyrus’s work at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco opening on August 15th!  Who wants to go with me???


…..was ‘the’ scene for the toddler set’s social event of the year.

Rigby has been on planet earth for one year and it was time to party!!!

Tables were set with the totally appropriate and chic blue and white theme and of course every guest under the age of ten (and perhaps older) was given a cool beach ball with Rigby’s name printed on it.


Master Rigby was assisted in welcoming his guests by dad Stuart, beautiful mom Vanessa and delighted Glam Gram Valerie…….Note:  This photo was taken as Rigby issued directives to the group.


Rigby’s best bud said ‘This was the best play date EVER’!


Fittingly, there was reggae which is the number 1 choice of the toddler set.


…..and presents….

049    I came for the milk and cookies but had to settle for Curried chicken…..


….mini crab cakes….


….and sliders…..


Then the search was on as clamors were beginning to be heard…..’Where’s the cake!….Where’s the cake’! 


Found it!045

‘All right everyone, calm down’ Rigby said, ….’you’ll get your cake’……


I must say this was the best gathering ever so forget all those stories you hear about the wild parties of the ‘younger generation’.  Everything was done decently and in order and not a single tantrum to be heard.

On a final note, the young lady to the right is the most amazing ten year old.  As I listened to her recounting her trip to New York for a moment I thought I was talking to a twenty something!


Now to get the sand out of my shoes………….

Thursday, July 18, 2013

LIONS and TIGERS and BEARS…..oh my!

…..well maybe not bears as Sandie & Dr. Jim along with Lauren and Richard left for Africa Monday.  The latest report received was that although they arrived in Nairobi, Sandie’s bag was in Switzerland and Jim’s arrived in Nairobi b4 they did!  Probably due to a delay in Newark that made them miss the Zurich connection……..Tuesday they saw an elephant orphanage and a special giraffe sanctuary.

On the homefront, mom enjoys a day at the ‘spa’ with Vicki.007 

Mole Tasting at Frida in Americana


Addicted to Pinkberry!


Have I mentioned I’m addicted to Book TV on CSpan2 (weekends)


Time to puddle up.  Found this in the office.


Meanwhile, a little Cha Cha in the kitchen (or is that the Mambo?)022

Nikka’s turn…..may I have this dance?


Packing up a card order…….


….and still cataloging in the studio!


At Bloomie’s with beautiful Mary as she shows me the pictures of her trip to Haiti for Cross International. A great organization to donate to as they have absolutely the lowest overhead of any.


Our yummy lunch was Tandoori Sole with organic quinoa, couscous, grilled veggies & mint yogurt. And of course the ‘must have’ strawberry smoothie!


Another day, another yummy meal….the Sole at Amici….


Back again to Amici (in Americana) with Tomiko as she studies the menu.


We shared the Tomato Basil soup (always a winner) braised short ribs and for desert…..


These beautiful tomatoes are so good, like eating candy.  Alex, Tomiko’s eldest son, grew them and oh boy, I must have more!


All month we’ve been painting Lotus….the class Wednesday at The Huntington LOVED it! So much fun!!!

Pam gets the paper ready for everyone….


Lunch break….


One of many I’ve done this month……


Barbara is leaving us….going back to Texas with a promise she’ll fly in for classes.  She made this beautiful jade and cloisonné necklace for me.


Another remembrance….means ‘The chance that we met.’


….and this charming teapot that’s going into the studio….Barbara how I do thank you & miss you already!


Now here’s something that I loved….spotted outside Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena.


There are these large chalk boards upon which passerby’s enter their ‘one day’ wishes. Loved ‘Be able to have a dairy.’








What’s YOUR ‘One Day I’ll’?????????????

Kita’s is ‘Catch those little rascals from next door who come by to torture me.’


Bye for now……….


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.