Sunday, December 22, 2013


…..and the wonderful thing about blogging is being able to look back and see all the extraordinary events that would otherwise just be a blur like those speeded up traffic video’s. It helps to be fully present but having a photo and some notes makes sure nothing gets tossed into the ‘sea of forgetfulness’! Then too, there are events worthy of being shared and I had more than my share this week.

The yearly brunch at Rose & Ken’s is always meaningful as it’s a time to ‘catch up’ with people I rarely see. It’s good to have a reminder to keep in touch with people we care for and making sure they know it! Driving there with Joan is a bonus in the ‘catch-up’ department.


What struck me the most?????  Blondie, their two year old Golden who started the day like this…


….and ended it like this….


…..No kidding, she didn’t move at all and I suspect it’s because she had too much of this…Perhaps I should get one for Kita.


…..After stopping at mom’s I dashed off to Pirch for some last minute gifts and discovered the chef’s in the back who gladly ply you with food….which was just what I needed after that BIG brunch!


Tuesday Clara and I were to be at ‘Eliot Project’s’ first collection hosted by Gratus, a Beverly Hills boutique on Canon.  Clara decided to have dinner at Mastro’s which is right down the block.  Well, I thought I had entered a man cave…’s a toss back to the fifties (shrimp cocktails?) when real men ate real meat!!!!  Women were outnumbered about 10 to 1.

O.K. Clara, go ahead…. let’s see who can finish this carnivore's delight after you just had a crab cake and I polished off two marrow bones.  Help!!! (The mashed potatoes were Clara’s idea….I’m innocent!)


I wasn’t kidding about the marrow bones but forgot to mention the Caesar salad.  Gosh you’d think we were going to dig ditches somewhere! Kita was delirious with the bones and with the extras the server placed in my ‘doggie bag’. 


Back to what really matter’s.  Eliot Project’s is the brilliant creation of Elizabeth’s son John-David along with his partner, designed to create chemo port accessible FASHION clothing with the purchases used  to fund art classes for cancer patients and survivors.  This is done through developed to empower through the creative process.  Do yourself a favor and check it out…I promise you you’ll be inspired.

Here’s Lizzie with son John-David who I must add is a Harvard University Fellow and not the movie star you’re thinking he might be.


And here’s yours truly with Lizzie….gosh I love her!


Meanwhile, Clara’s checking out the boutique…



048 And here’s some of the amazing fashions….



Crowd scene….


The big disappointment was to have missed Miss Judith and Eileen who left early to bring care and comfort to a needy friend.  They are truly my templates for being a friend. Next day ….class at the Huntington where I was barely able to demonstrate these Koi (Carp in China) as I was feeling like a hibernating bear after Mastro’s!.


And of course Thursday evening it was time to bring a yummy dinner to mom and Nikka.  I always try for something different but as it was pouring the only choice was giving the car to the valet on Brand and then walking thru the Americana condo lobby to Nordstrom for Bar Verde.  (The still don’t have the plaque at my booth so I sat at the bar.) Can you see the TWO hamburgers the fellow next to me devoured? WOW, talk about carnivores.


Hiro Christoph, the manager was there…’s always fun to see him…..


…..and he brought me a complimentary Ahi Tuna Poke while I was waiting……I was stunned but quite happy about it!


Friday I went to Chinatown to pick up Tony’s amazing work (why didn’t I take pictures of it?????? Bummer…… and also deliver Lynne’s beautiful work to be framed and mounted.  It was the very last day Agnes would accept any art work and how we will all miss her.  I told her the class would love to take her to lunch when she settles into her ‘retirement’.

I think Saturday’s annual class Christmas party was so special it should have a separate blog…..sooooo…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.