Tuesday, July 29, 2014


…..is becoming a tradition with ME being taken out.  Shouldn’t it be the other way around??? ……..Just saying….. Anyway, I’ll drink to that!


It was so good to see Lauren…..we’ve missed her…..


Foodie Sandie picked ‘Alta Eats’ tucked away on the Altadena/Pasadena borders.  This place is so cool they don’t have any signage or address in front. It’s such great fun to discover new places that have young and inventive chefs!


I have a theory that you can always tell a good/great restaurant by the quality of their bread and theirs is terrific!


Pate anyone?


The ‘table’ also got Bacon Wrapped Dates…..sooooo good! Lauren & I got the Scallops & Sandie got the pan seared Duck breast  which was amazing.  Dr. Jim chose to order half a cow…..it’s his B-day!  I was taking bets on his ability to finish it.  I should know better.

I forget what this was but lets just call it scrumptious!


And for lovers of all things chocolate…..


After dinner we headed back to Reilly Manor.  Sandie showed me the amazing Christmas stocking she is needle pointing for grandson Jakey.  He’ll be three by Christmas and this will be completed.


This is so intricate & exquisite…..I wish you could see the details….




A world of thanks Sandie Girl for such a treat & memorable evening!

Backtracking to last Sunday when Tomiko and I saw ‘The Third Person’ at the Laemmle in Pasadena. This was absolutely the strangest movie, hard to follow but with great acting and wonderful scenes of New York, Paris & Italy.  Weird but I loved it.


Afterwards we went to Roy’s…..


…..and had ‘ringside’ seats…..gosh I love this!


Maui Wowie Shrimp Salad


If you want lots of different, wonderful tastes, the ‘Canoe Appetizer for Two’ is the thing to get.  Tai Peanut Chicken Satay, Vegetable Spring Roll, Szechuan Ribs, Spicy Tuna Roll and Kim Chee & Shrimp


The following day…..I was hungry……..

Lunch with awesome Laura Shannon and lovely Christina, her BFF from grade school……


Can you guess where????


We couldn’t decide which dessert was the most scrumptious……


O.K., did you guess Bar Verde?  Not a tough quiz now was it????  I had to try on Christina’s movie star glasses….


Came home to Trudy walking Willie….In addition to her duties with Kita, she’s baby sitting this little fluff…..


Trudy always has doggie treats in her pocket and Kita has her begging routine down…..


Lizzie came over the next day and we worked on two Landscape paintings.


The first was a Landscape begun in Henry Li’s workshop.  It was quite a complicated scene but Lizzie had such beautiful areas in it we had fun bringing it all together and later I mounted it.


The second painting was the first Landscape subject that I have everyone start with and Lizzie finished it up.  Also mounted.


Had to show you this beauty.  A Thunderbird classic at Tony’s Automotive when I went to get gas.



Saturday’s class in the studio was so much fun and everyone did beautifully!



Thank you sweet Diana for the lovely orchid….I have just the place for it!


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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.