Thursday, August 29, 2013


………..were the subjects of Danny Chen’s second workshop in the studio.014  Gather ‘round everyone…………..


Danny suggested painting the Songbird first because it is the most difficult.

Here are some examples:






And a little chick…..023

Time to begin…’s Kc………


Po Chu….


Sandie’s really concentrating on her beautiful painting!


So is Lynne….


During lunch break Sandie showed some of the wonderful photos from her exciting  African adventure!

026 Nancy’s almost finished….


Sooooooooooooo busy!To the left is our other Nancy and Kathy is standing up to get a more powerful approach!


Absolutely great job everyone!!! (Elizabeth had to leave early.)


Heartfelt thanks to Danny for two fantastic workshops and to Kathy for bringing him to us!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DANNY CHEN Canadian artist extraordinaire RETURNS TO THE STUDIO…….

………for two wonderful workshops!

Saturday was absolutely fascinating as Danny demonstrated wrinkling the paper in order to create mountains, valleys and waterfalls. Here’s Danny’s example.


A closer look.


After wrinkling the paper in the prescribed manner, Danny begins to pick out the various shapes.


O.K. class……time to go to work….Po Chu gets some pointers. It’s looking good.


Who’s next?…..Violet’s really concentrating!


And Kathryn was really getting into it….

087 O.K. everyone, gather around for phase two…

062 Kathy’s taken classes with Danny in Vancouver and had been instrumental in getting him to us last year and now again this summer. Special thanks also for the treats Kathy, you’re always so very thoughtful. 


Time for a ‘Danny conference’….

076 Colleen really went to town and I love her painting!!!  Waterfalls and all….Magnificent!


Elizabeth and Danny had a super discussion…wish I could have overheard….


So did Lynne……073

This is Lynne’s finished painting…..Isn’t it magnificent!002 

After class Kathy’s ‘too cute’ progeny came by and we had so much fun!


I guess I left out the A.M. scene with my greeting everyone at the front door in my P.J.’s (the Panda ones of course) and Kita slipping past me to wreck havoc in the driveway….we/they finally got her but it was Kita 10, humanoids 0 for quite some time!

Great day Danny…


To be continued……

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Addicted to Cute Doggies……

…..and other fun stuff!

I showed you this fellow before but I love him so.


What can he be thinking?007

Would you believe….These two were being hand fed with a fork….

070 There, there Kita, you’re still my fav……


I love the way you sit and beg to go for a ride…202

Never giving up hope….


This cutie was at Centinella picking out toys…


I tried so hard to get wonderful pictures of Amanda’s great doggies but they kept eluding me. Bunny, her great Briard would never have her ears up when I went for it. This was the best I could do.


So cute….


Here’s Morgan….184

….and Sophia with Amanda’s artist friend…


Time out for a little kissy face…..

143 Tried to get all three together…..

173 Brilliant Marc was describing his hike up to an active volcano in Japan which later did it’s thing.  I don’t know Marc…..I’m just not as adventurous as you are.


And the star of the evening….Amanda’s awesome son Devyn who is as camera shy as his mom.


Time for a few nibbles and then off for home before I turned into a pumpkin.


O.K., maybe some more good stuff….


Tomorrow’s another day………….


…….with a few bumps here and there.  Mom is doing so much better, she has a visiting nurse everyday and insists on getting up at 8:00 to be dressed and made up for her ‘company’.  Other than that, I have instructions….’Absolutely NO visitors’!  My heartfelt thanks to everyone for all your love and concern.

On the way to meet Tomiko the other evening at Americana I saw this cool chalk art….guess it’s promoting the new movie about Steve Jobs.


I told Tomiko she should always wear this color…’s perfect for her!


Meanwhile, back at the ranch….woops, studio, we’re still cataloging and I suspect we have another month to go to finish up.


Nikka brought Ice Blended drinks from Coffeebean to sustain us thru the day.

198 Doesn’t this look yummy!!!!

199 Our wonderful Ann stopped by for a long anticipated time together…..all too short but oh soooo good.

037 Molly and Victor are back from their nest in Mexico and on their way to London on Friday.  In between they invited me over for a relaxed dinner and a chance to meet adorable Mandy (her husband is a comedian on a movie shoot in Alaska).  That alone sounds pretty funny to me.  Here’s Mandy who is starting a line of custom wedding invitations.


Hi Molly…… I can’t seem to figure out how to take a decent picture when there’s too much light behind the subject.  I know, tap on the screen….doesn’t work for me.


Thanks for the yummy dinner….


Victor, one of these days I’m going to get a photo of you smiling….it’s my mission….


Aren’t these Sunflowers perfect?  Do you know the gal in the floral dept. at Ralphs offered to cut the stems, wrap in cellophane and tie with a beautiful yellow bow.  They must be providing extra service while the store (in Glendale on Central) is being re-modeled.


Later that evening, around midnight, Kita was crying and pointing to the kitchen sink for water.  Now her trainer had told us not to give her anything after 9:00 or we’d pay the consequences.  Well, with all that crying I relented, gave her water, waited a bit and took her out.  Thirty minutes of ‘Get busy Kita’ to no avail and so we walked back to the house.  In the driveway, puppy started running around, trying to catch her tail and other ‘fun?’ things.  She refused to come inside and I started to literally drag her in.  Well, her collar slipped off and away she went…..first running around like crazy in the driveway and then out, into the street….up the hill and down towards the neighbors house looking for their two little annoying dogs.  I had high value treats on hand and would toss them at her but she’d just grab and go.  The last I saw of her she was heading down the neighbors hill….out of sight.  I walked back to the house and woke up Tess (weekend reliever) with instructions ‘quick, put on your shoes and come with me!!!’  Up the hill we went, then down the hill and no dog in sight.  I told Tess to call for her because for some strange reason Kita obeys her….no jumping or anything.  Tess called and sure enough….there came puppy to stand right next to her so I could slip the collar back on.  Now all the while, all I could think of was how I could ever explain to Charles, my mom, Vicki & Nikka, how I lost our dog!  Don’t you look at me like that Kitta, I’m not talking to you.


The next evening, exhausted from that foray,  I went to a dinner for Congressman Adam Schiff and I don’t have enough space or words to describe the home.  It was a lovely evening and tables were set outside between the entrance and the gated area…. enough to accommodate 300 or so guests. Does this give you some idea?


Here’s a nice shot….

083 Note to self:  Never put on one of those name tags….they just don’t co-ordinate.  What would Rosella say!


Elegant floral arrangements by




Precious Amy, beautiful inside and out.


Those of you who had lunch at ‘Favorite Place’ in Glendale know awesome Alissa who, along  with her hubby Sarkis, made every guest feel so welcome.  Alissa is quite the mover and shaker in Glendale and introduced the speakers for the evening.  Note:  They are looking for a location in Glendale to open a restaurant for evening dining only.  Any suggestions?


My tablemate was powerhouse Paula D. Commissioner for the Management Services Department, City of Glendale.  We’ve got a project in the works just from this chance meeting.


Back at the Huntington today we painted Cranes and everyone did splendidly!  Here’s Monica’s……I’m so very proud!


Upcoming….Danny Chen, celebrated Canadian Brush painter’s two day workshop in the studio this weekend.


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.