Sunday, February 2, 2014


……is always such a wonderful adventure on many levels. One of which is that she’s a world class foodie and I’m a certified wanna-be foodie.  Because of this I usually let Clara pick the restaurant and accordingly, we’ve had splendid experiences.

In order to acclimate me to Japan Clara suggested we go to ‘Nobu Matsuhisa’ on La Cienega.

Further investigation on Chef Nobu’s website finds he ‘always puts something special in his ‘food-my-heart’ or KOKORO, communicating his ‘Kokuro’ in every dish he makes’.  His inventive style is known as ‘Nobu Style’.  Robert De Niro is a partner in Nobu in the Tribecca section of New York City. “Surprising dishes that are edgy, unexpected and exciting”.

Clara & I arrived at exactly the same time ready for our big adventure. Even arriving early with a reservation we were told we had the last available table!


After studying the menu I knew it was best to leave the ordering up to Clara and she had a wonderful discussion with our server wisely  settling on the chef’s recommendations.  This is called ‘Omakase’ or ‘Chef’s Choice’. We toasted to that.073

Note:  The following will be of interest only to foodies or foodie wanna-be’s such as myself. First  was a Japanese version of an ‘amuse-bouche’ and  it was absolutely delicious! Heartfelt thanks to Clara for describing every dish we had. This was a Vegetable Hand roll wrapped in seaweed.


A Sashimi of Scallop and Yellowtail arrived.  Aren’t they beautiful?  You have to just close your eyes and let them melt in your mouth.


Most interesting dish of Monkfish Pate (correct) with Caviar.


A new style of Sashimi with Salmon.


Fried White Fish.  Isn’t the presentation awesome?.


Black Cod with Miso….copied by so many others but presented in an exquisite manner here.


Sushi of: Japanese Snapper, Tuna, Albacore, Sweet Shrimp, Grilled Eel.  Loved every morsel with the exception of the raw shrimp.


Clara you’re a Master of the Art!


Warm Chocolate Soufflé Cake with you know what!


Clara photographs the Coffee Jell-O.


As I drove away, nearly blotto from the amazing dishes, this group was outside the restaurant.  I put down the car window and snapped away…..In Japan, kimono’s won’t be such a rare sight!


Thank you Clara for yet another grand adventure!

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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.