Monday, June 9, 2014


……in Pasadena to launch the book tour for her latest novel ‘CHINA DOLLS’.  It’s just a good thing I got there a couple of hours early to save seats for Carol Soucek King and myself.  We had been there for the launching of ‘Dreams of Joy’ some three years ago and were well aware of the capacity crowd that would gather.  It’s beyond comprehension that Lisa has written nine books since the New York Times best seller ‘On Gold Mountain’.  She also did the libretto for the opera and with her cousin Leslie Leong* curated the exhibit at the Autry Museum.  What wonderful memories.

* Leslie’s father, Gilbert, was the architect for the East West Bank and one of my early patrons as well as a dear friend.  I still miss him!

Anyway, back to Vroman’s.  Here’s Carol holding up my copy of China Dolls along with ‘The Bees’ a book I’ll be telling you about later.


Carol knows the most interesting people and it’s always an adventure  and  such fun to be with her.

022 There were over 300 people at Vroman’s  and everyone was enraptured as they listened to Lisa.


At one point I was so moved I needed Kleenex!!!!


There was food of course and I took pictures (of course) but as it was much later when I finally got to the tables, it was dwindling. Loved the Spring Rolls.



It was terrific to have a chance to visit with Tai Ling and Kim, Tyrus Wong’s wonderful daughters there to support Lisa. It’s a huge family on her father’s side and I imagine quite a feat to remember everyone.


Kim got China Dolls for Tyrus for Father’s Day.

052 After so much chit chat I managed to be the last person in the very long line to have Lisa sign my book.050  I also got ‘Interior’ (the only one I missed) just because Lisa refers to it as the runt in the litter.


The rest of the week was pretty quiet…..’A Million Ways to Die in the West’ was a big disappointment.  Glad I didn’t get popcorn!


But going to Whole Foods always picks me up….


This little Cocker Spaniel begged to have Kita come out and when she did the rascal tried to bite her.  Wish I had a photo of the dog with a clump of Kita’s hair sticking  out of her mouth.  Kita just stared at him as if to say ‘Are you kidding me?  I had more than you for lunch!”


Not to digress but who else loves it when you get a double Yolk?


I missed Martin who stopped by to show me his artwork from Otis.  He just graduated and I’m so proud of him.  Special thanks for the treats Martin.


Now what is a week without cute stuff happening.  I came across this group at the same service station where Kita had her moment in the sun. They’re from the New York Film Academy. The darling blonde is Sophia Rose, actress, musician, businesswoman & recent graduate of the school here to help out her best buds.



How could I resist joining in??? Getting ready for my close-up!




Moving on, Kita got all beautiful at the spa!


Then it’s time for Calligraphy with Santien ‘Tom’ Chow.


I was soooooo happy to see sweet Bridget again!


Don’t forget to get some Peonies at Trader Joe’s….They’re just here for a short time & oh how glorious!!!


I think I’ll do a separate blog about this wonderful event.


To be continued………

1 comment:

Carol Soucek King said...

Dear Nan -- Your term "quiet" for a week containing your ever-flowing teaching, creativity and exploring other wondrous happenings is quite an understatement ! And MY week was MADE by sitting side-by-side with you at Lisa See's booksinging and lecture at Vroman's. I immediately went home and ordered it on Richard's Kindle -- and he was enthralled ever since until coming to its conclusion yesterday. But at least now I will be able to read it -- and also want to order Lisa See's Interiors, which you purchased at Vroman's as well. It is her one former book I have not read, and even though Lisa charmingly called it "the runt of the litter" -- based on its book sales when published compared to her books' usually immediate Best-Sellar status, I know that anything by this brilliant friend of yours cannot be anything but fascinating. -- Looking forward to three years from now, when Lisa's current book-in-progress is again debuted at "our" Vroman's! -- Love to you and appreciation for all you do, including your inspirational blogspot! -- Carol


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.