Monday, June 30, 2014


………has been dear to my heart for as long as I can remember.  Sandie Girl notice my ‘Winnie the Pooh’ book in the studio and commented about it.


Happily I said that “Pooh Bear’ has traveled through life with me and how much I love him….This was overheard by Diane Dennis who shocked and amazed us ……her husband Peter being THE official voice of Pooh! In fact he was ‘Pooh’s Ambassador Extraordinary’ having done audio recordings of the complete works of all the Pooh stories and that was what brought them to the States from England! Diane always carries a CD or two with her and gifted me with one. Now how amazing is that!!! Eileen, another Pooh addict, couldn’t wait and ordered the complete set on line during class. After class I went on line to the only official Winnie-The-Pooh website which is licensed to ‘Peter Dennis’ by the Pooh trustees….. where you can order all Pooh recordings. Even more delightful, all the CD’s have original E.H. Shepard drawings on them.


Can you even imagine how excited I am?  Diane brought the 10 Complete unabridged Stories and 44 Verses that I had ordered to class the following week!  She also brought this delightful pamphlet ‘A Short History of Winnie-the-Pooh & Friends’ written by Peter….oh joy!


I worked in the studio all afternoon and guess what I listened to????

“Isn’t it funny

How a bear likes honey!”

Here’s lovely Diane with Ava during class on Saturday.


And for more class ‘cute’…..Laurie Pie with Kc.


Ava noticed a little bug on the top of a cabinet and as promised, he was captured after class…


…..and released into the garden to live his little buggy life.  I just hope he doesn’t eat too much!


I must backtrack at this point.  On Monday I met Lizzie Girl at Panera Bread in NoHo for lunch.


As we share a deep love of Pooh, I gave Lizzie the CD from Diane (knowing I’d get the complete set in a few days.)  She was delighted and I felt wonderful. After lunch we saw the best, best movie….’Chef’ and loved all the fantastic food porn!



And so goes the week…’May you always be playing!’

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


…… is located on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, CA. Many of you will remember the Dec. 2010- Jan.’11 exhibit in the ‘Shumei Hall Gallery’ showing my gifted students Brush paintings.  Jane Imai, one of the founders, was so very kind to us that when she asked if I would participate in the celebration for ‘Pasadena’s 100th Birthday Party’ I was delighted to say yes! Here’s lovely Jane at the ‘Shumei Arts’ table, set up to greet guests at the Pasadena Museum of History on Sunday.


My table was perfectly sized with lots of room for everything and I quickly set up. 


Thoughtful Jane brought yummy sandwiches and refreshments for us.


The Shumei Arts Council also sponsored a table for Origami that was very popular and many cranes were created! On September 19th thru November 19th 2014 there will be an Origami Exhibit at Shumei Hall Gallery featuring three of the most renowned Origami artists in the country. Don’t Miss it!


Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘10,000 hours’ theory always serves me in good stead as I know the routine by now after way more time spent than that!  I had dozens of sheets of paper in manageable sizes and for each person coming to my table I would paint a Bamboo branch.


I guess you know what comes next.  I would hold the persons hand and we’d do 5 leaves and then ask if they would like to try it themselves.  What fun!  Everyone loved it and after they completed their masterpiece I put a red ‘Happiness’ mood seal on their painting.  Oh joy!!!



One visitor was so enthralled she painted Bamboo culms and all! With these cuties watching!


Here’s Wafic Khalil, Editor in Chief, from  I’m not quite sure what was going on here….but he had so much fun he interview me later. If you go to: I’m the 4th photograph as you scroll down.


In between peeps I worked on this. It was a good way to show everyone how to do leaves but not so good for the composition!


Time for birthday cake!  Remember I said it was a celebration of Pasadena’s 100th!


And Ice Cream……


This girl was soooooo adorable! The Historical Society hired her to spread joy about!!! Don’t you love the shoes???


You all know I’m a big dog gal but although it’s hard to believe, I had a little Scottie years ago.  Whenever I  see a ‘Westie’ (West Highland White) I go about as crazy as when I see an Akita or St. Bernard.  Amazingly there were two different Westies that day and I saw another two driving home. Can this fellow be any cuter? (Well yes, when his tail is up but I missed that shot.)


It was a wonderful day and I couldn’t wait to tell you all about it!

Shumei Arts Council of America

2430 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107


Tuesday, June 24, 2014


…….so that means eating until you’re close to passing out… starting with the usual deli spread from Nate n’Al’s. This photo doesn’t begin to show you everything and I’m just weak looking at it!


While we wait for mom and Nikka to arrive Ronald works on getting Kita to sit. Don’t be fooled, this obedience didn’t last long.


It was Father’s Day and Charles enjoyed the celebration.


Thank you Vicki, Nikka & Emma!


Ronald is the family historian and he usually grills mom for details.


After dinner this is Ronald’s usual position. Didn’t I already mention the ‘passing out’ part?


Kita had had it by then too, especially as she had been cordoned off.


Time for a movie.  This one was deja vous all over again but possibly one of the best Tom Cruise movies. All I can say is I’m glad I didn’t see it in 3D.


Is it time to eat yet????? Dinner next day at Bar Verde in Nordstroms, my favorite haunt.


Hiro, the wonderful manager stopped by to say hello.  He still doesn’t have my plaque up.


A little food porn….Ahi Tuna….sooooo good!


And I LOVE this desert.  A fruit cobbler with ice cream…again, sooooooo good!


Well, I knew it was inevitable that we go to the Cheesecake Factory the next day.  Oh the thought of all this food is making my head swim. However, this was really good.  (For the table.)  Some sort of avocado roll. Ronald had already grabbed one.


I had the Tai Chicken Lettuce Wraps….sooooooo good!


Ronald had the Cubano and actually ate both halves of this sandwich!  I helped him out with the wonderful sweet potato fries!


Nikka had a Club sand. and mom a Cobb salad.


We look like semi-normal people don’t we?


But no….like piggies at the trough……it was inevitable….after all, it is ‘The CHEESECAKE Factory’ isn’t it???


I staggered out of there and went to ‘Doll Face’ which was such an amazing experience I’m going to do a separate blog about it! Thank you Kat for this amazing treat!!!


Class at the Huntington was the following day and Pam showed us a painting she had scroll mounted in China now that Agnes is no longer available.


And later this beauty was seen in the parking lot.  Any idea of the year???


Thursday evenings I take dinner to mom’s but this week couldn’t stay.  Lisa B. had invited me to a meeting of the ‘Book Publicists of Southern California’ at Sportsman’s Lodge.

Here’s beautiful Lisa, just back from adventures in France.


We met so many interesting authors.


During dinner we had a chance to talk to William Sewell.  A security expert and long time veteran of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Bill’s been all over the world and his mystery thriller is more real than not!


And his follow up book….


We learned a lot from the three speakers and especially John Phillips who’s on KABC from Noon to 3:00


Saturday’s class was so much fun with precious Ava, Armin’s daughter joining the group.  She left me a ‘keeper’ voice mail saying how she hoped I would accept her as a student even though she is only 12.  So delightful!

006 Kathy brought in some of her terrific oil paintings and we loved seeing them. Ava had a great time photographing Kathy’s fine work!

010 We painted Sunflowers, Lavender and Landscapes.  Busy day….here Colleen works on a Landscape.

025 Did you know that Diane Dennis’s husband Peter was the official voice of ‘Pooh’? We found this out just by chance when Sandie noticed my ‘Pooh’ book and Diane heard us. I am thrilled to know about these CD’s and have ordered a boxed set on

026 After class, Sandie Girl, Dr. Jim & I went to see ‘Jersey Boys’.  Don’t miss this one….the music is soooo great!

043 I guess I really don’t have to tell you we went to Bar Verde after the movie now do I?


Awesome Chef Lauren stopped by & we exchanged contact info.  I love her!

066  Let’s end this too long blog with a picture of the laziest dog in the world. Gosh Kita, can’t you even get up to play with that toy?



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.