Thursday, June 5, 2014


With memories of our trip to serene and perfectly amazing Japan, Bonnie, Charlie, Miss Judith, Eileen and I went to LACMA for the first installment of ‘Chinese Paintings from Japanese Collections’. 

144 But first lunch at Ray’s, a Patina Group restaurant at the museum.

House Charcuterie Plate


Bonnie’s selection….

151 Pam and Wilbur had already seen the exhibit and sent me some great notes along with the use of their ‘mono-glass’. Many of the works are considered ‘Important Cultural Property’ three were ‘Important Art Objects’ and one, a 14th century Yuan dynasty image of two eccentrics sitting in the shade of a pine tree to symbolize spiritual freedom is deemed a ‘National Treasure’ by the Japanese government. It was a great privilege to see these important works.  In addition to the awesome paintings, the scrolls they were painted on were exquisite. Zhang Ruitu’s landscape was exhibited along with copies of the work painted by Japanese artists. One a close copy and the second much freer.

Afterwards we headed to the Japanese Pavilion to see there amazing collection of Netsuke.  Here’s my favorite….’Two Geese Kissing’.


Cuter still….Bonnie and Charlie!


Well I did say “Adventures’ didn’t I?

Yesterday after visiting with Clara at Kathy’s wonderful showing of her work (in a separate blog) I mentioned to Clara that I just couldn’t decide whether to go to a movie or do a pop in at the Music Center.  I’m a huge fan of Placidio Domingo as he’s such a fine soul along with being an awesome talent.  Clara said, “I think you should go to the opera!”  So off I went and was able to get a first row center seat to see the most awesome performance ever.

281  Besides the music of ‘Thais’ being one of my favorites the sets were so grand and I was close enough to the conductor to touch him.  (Decided against that one.) Took this photo just leaning over the protective screen. Whether it was to protect the orchestra or the front row patrons is debatable!


Afterwards, a relaxed dinner at Kendall’s Brasserie.  This trout looks like a hot mess but it was delicious!

287 Two extra special grand adventures for my birthday month!

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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.