Wednesday, October 9, 2013


…….Laurie Pie’s came first and we decided to celebrate at the new Nordstrom’s in Americana. Their restaurant, Bar Verde is amazing!!!


Everything was so yummy and I made sure we had a booth that looks out at the kitchen. 


So fun!


Don’t even ask!

005 Then it was mom’s turn……Nikka had to go to the Cheesecake Factory to get a candle as they’re not allowed at Bar Verde.  Apparently they don’t have a license for them but an exception was made for mom.


Along with well wishes from the servers….


Dear Amy had made an exquisite floral arrangement for mom and I stopped by to see it….


….and have a cup of tea…..


…..and fall in love with Mia, her adorable pooch…


Mom was thrilled with Amy’s creation….


….and her ‘Queen for a Day Roses’…..


Beautiful flowers from Vicki, Nikka & Emma…


And lots of chocolate…..


Next day dear Alice came over for lunch and a visit in the studio.  I was delighted to share the news that I’m on the board of the newly created Suma Center, a non-profit whose main goal is preventing bullying in the schools.


…..Finally on the 30th it was time for Charles birthday!


……Peggy sent a card she had made for Charles 50 years ago…..


…..Make a wish!!!!


To be continued……

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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.