Sunday, June 15, 2014


……beginning with meeting Lynne Tucker, student and our amazing ProTravel friend at Panzanella Ristorante in Sherman Oaks for a luncheon sponsored by ‘World of Regent Seven Seas Cruises’.


Tomiko went with me to this last year but refused this time around saying she was on a diet! Didn’t gain much weight on this salad.


Well, maybe the potatoes were a no no but the salmon was delicious!


I talked Lynne into getting the Panna Cotta instead of the chocolate creation but it wasn’t as good as Chef Kaley’s. I guess this part was trouble.026 Lynne & I talked about going to Japan in the fall of 2015 to see the fall colors.  Interested?  I could go back next week!

After stopping at mom’s, Tomiko met me at Americana and we saw ‘Maleficent’ (no popcorn) and loved it!


O.K., being good so far it was time to pop into Bar Verde for a drink and sharing their yummy chicken tacos with cilantro. (They’re small.)


Glad I taped the Tony’s….it’s always a great show & fun to see what’s on Broadway. This was a way cool take off on ‘The Music Man’.


Next day I went with sweet Amy to see a window she designed in ‘Shabby Chic’ style in Toluca Lake.


And then we had a ‘sit down’ with Alex who is now managing Amy.  I told him he best do right by her or he’d have me to contend with.  (Scared myself!)


Surprise!!!! Amy took me to Prosecco for my B-day.  Awwwwww……………….Thank you dear Amy, you are so precious!


Let me ask you, have you ever had someone from your past life do a pop in?  Well I did, the very next day.  Sweet Melanie is all grown up!  Eeee gads…..the last time I saw her she was a little girl and she, her brother & parents would spend Thanksgivings here oh so long ago.  Melanie has been living in Australia, got her Masters in saving the world and is doing all sorts of ecology stuff saving the world one tree at a time. So cute!


It was a great joy to reconnect!


And the beat goes on…….I guess Toluca Lake is calling to me.  Another in the distant past category…..Can’t remember when I last went to ‘Mo’s’ it was so very long ago.001

That’s where dear Alice wanted to meet for lunch….


I tried to behave and ordered a salad but the avocado & garlic bread were my undoing.


I remember when Martin first came to work for me.  He couldn’t have been more than 12 but qualified for stuffing cards into the poly bags.  Now he’s all grown up and headed back east on an internship after just graduating from Otis School of Architecture and Design.  We’re so proud.  Here’s Martin telling me about a book he created ‘A Walk in Echo Park’.  It’s soooo cool!


I absolutely must have this one, ‘Cat in Confinement’ and hopefully it’s on it’s way to me.


Needless to say Kita was overjoyed to see Martin as he used to walk her.


Hope you get a chance to see this beautiful arrangement welcoming summer at Americana!


I just finished ‘The Bees’ and was totally enraptured throughout.  I can’t remember when a book has so completely captured me and hope you get it TODAY!  I guarantee a thrilling read.  Imagine, connecting with a bee and with her life in the hive.  It’s a captivating ride!


And here’s a precious treasure, an ode to friendship.  Thank you dear Jean!


When Nikka was here on Friday we got totally out of control but in a yummy way!


Maybe it was the influence of the moon that night….


Cuteness was spotted the next day at Americana and as I’m completely ashamed of myself I didn’t take a picture of the soft cone now available at Godiva.


If you haven’t already seen it, ‘22 Jump Street’ is a laugh feast.  Laugh out loud that is.  Loved it!


Even the credits are hysterical as they did 23 Jump Street & on up!


I wish you a fun week filled with love and laughter!

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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.