Friday, February 14, 2014


…………….but not of the ‘Bowl’ variety.

Joan Marques, PhD,EdD, was the guest speaker opening the eighteenth year of Carol & Richard’s ‘Salon on the Spiritually Creative Life’.  (It had been my great pleasure…and privilege to be the speaker twice, once on ‘Suma the Elephant’.)


Joan was introducing   her new  book ’COURAGE In the Twenty-First Century…The Art of Successful Job Transition’.  I’m completely in awe of Joan and it’s a joy to be used as the illustrator for her wise and thought provoking books.

022  Joan and hubby William share a quiet moment before her talk.


During Joan’s insightful presentation I read excerpts from ‘Life is a Jewel…Haikus for Inner Growth’.


……and also from ‘101 PEBBLES to get you through the day’.


Carol’s beautiful tribute to Joan. I just got the iPhone 5s so my photographs will be 100% better! (Sooooooooooo excited!)


There were about 80 enthralled listeners and I managed a couple of shots.



Joan you truly are amazing!


Here’s Edward Lee Goldstein, author of ‘The Male Thing Explained’ and one of mom’s favorite peeps!


And of course I can’t leave out Duchess, Carol and Richard’s beautiful German Shepherd who was saying goodbye at the gate.


Remember I said ‘Super Sunday’?  Indeed!!! Next, after a stop at mom’s it was down to the Music Center to meet Marsha and Stu.  I had mentioned on Friday how I was determined to see Christopher Plummer at the Ahmanson….Marsha read the reviews and they drove up from Newport Beach to meet me.


The simple stage setting ( the lighting changed on it and from time to time various images appeared).


This was a one man show at it’s finest and for me, an experience of a lifetime.  Plummer was magnificent talking about all manner of things and employing several marvelous accents….even speaking in French.  There was a hoot & holler from the audience when he mentioned a particular bar in New York where he, Richard Burton & Dylan Thomas would get soused.  I’m wild for Dylan Thomas and have a recording of him reading ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ and play it every Christmas!  You can hear it on YouTube. Sit back with a cup of tea and be ready to listen to something truly wonderful.

111   After the performance we headed for Kendall’s Brasserie where I devoured a fillet with pommes frites….so fast there’s no photo.  I’m such a carnivore.

This apple torte is a must order so carmelly good.



Thank you Marsha and Stu for treating me to such a wonderful day! It really was SUPER!

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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.