Wednesday, March 26, 2014


.Tony T. is the best, best limo driver and I had a relaxed Sunday drive to LAX International. JAL gets my vote for the best, best airline and business class was never better. I watched three movies that I had been avoiding....Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave along with another I may mention in a future blog.  The food kept coming including Ben & Jerry's ice-cream.  The plane was a beautiful, brand new 787.....Kyoko Nakamura, the Cabin Coordinator (in white) made it a perfect flight!
I was met at Narita Int'l Airport by the Abercrombie & Kent representative (from Tonichi Travel) and breezed through customs.
Bonnie & Charlie, along with Pam & Wilbur & Boyd were traveling on Delta & we all went to the Hotel New Otani Garden Tower in Tokyo.
There was a delightful gift from Lynne Tucker (Pro Travel in Los Angeles) awaiting all of us. thank you Lynne!

I wasted  no time in getting cozy & taking this 'selfie'!
Rise &'s 3:00 A.M. & time to get ready for the 4:00 visit to the Tsukuji Fish Market for the fish auction.  Over 450 varieties of fish are received there each day but we were there for the important tuna auction!

The red markings were placed on the tuna by the buyers.
You can't imagine how busy it is....the tuna are flash frozen and buyers walk around inspecting them for their quality.  I have a viedo of the scene that I'll post when back in L.A. Scooters and trucks hurry along and you really have to watch where you're going.
Afterwards, a fun stroll thru the produce market.

Back to the hotel for breakfast overlooking this exquisite garden.

9:00 A.M. & it's off to the Imperial Palace's expansive gardens.

Next stop.....Edo-Tokyo Museum showcasing the politics, culture & lifestyles of the people from the city's birth to present day Tokyo.
Time for Soba Noodles before visiting the Sagemonoya Netsuke Gallery.  Judith & Charlie found some they could not resist.
We had dinner in a private room at Tofuya Ukai at the foot of Tokyo Tower.  It's beautiful beyond imagining.  
I can't figure out how to get many of the photo's from my iPhone to this iPad Air.....crazy new keyboard too!
Can you imagine this was just the first 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.