Friday, February 21, 2014


…….but first…..Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Totem’ in Santa Monica.


Hi Clara….you’re so cute!


So much fun!!!


I might as well tell you right off that the rest of this blog is all about food.  Clara, my #1 foodie friend and I sort of get dreamy eyed and rhapsodize over a great meal and boy did we ever have one.  We had parked at ‘Shutters on the Beach’ so it was great fun walking to Totem and back to Shutters for dinner.  So many interesting sights along the way and at night it was fun to see the Ferris wheel all lit up.


And this couple was amazing!


Back at Shutters on the Beach


For foodies only…..Our seasonal market dinner.

Roasted Beets with capers, heirloom apples, Burrata (this was heavenly) and organic watercress.


Grilled Octopus & Pork Belly.  I confess, I’d never had octopus….I know, it taste like chicken.  No it doesn’t, this was sublime….served with a raw artichoke salad, arugula & black garlic.


Oooooohhhhhh sooooooooooooo goooood!

Grilled Mediterranean Sea Bass with glazed market carrots, Harissa & asian pears.


Clara told them it was my birthday (not) and so a candle arrived with the most over the top desert.


Wait for it……



Wait for it……


Wait for it….

A salted Caramel Sundae with candy popcorn, chocolate brownie pieces and caramel ice cream.  Well worth the wait!


Thank you Clara for picking such a perfect place and wonderful day!

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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.