Monday, August 4, 2014


… was a great week….. beginning with Sunday’s event at Vroman’s in Pasadena.  Sweet and hugely multi-talented Black Belt (correct) Diana Ming Jeong invited me to a book signing for her awesome teacher Don Baird who is in the Martial Art Masters Hall of Fame.  More than a martial arts master, this universal man is a respected teacher and poet specializing  in Japanese poetry forms. He discussed and read from his book ‘HAIKU, The Interior and Exterior of Being…..revealing the Tao of nature and humankind as one’. 


I told Don later that his talk should have been recorded as it was so moving and deeply meaningful.  We need to connect more, to see more and to feel more.


Diana takes a picture of me taking a picture.


And here’s the cutie with Lee Powers, her BF….


The music of Argentina was featured in a concert outside of Vroman’s….



Have you seen ‘A Most Wanted Man’?  Phillip Seymour Hoffman was extraordinary and you realize yet again what a great loss his untimely passing is.


Monday’s grand adventure was a two hour lecture by Clare Kunny on ‘Expressionism in Germany and France, from Van Gogh to Kandinsky’ at LACMA. Special thanks to Susan Cherney of ‘Inside the Story’  for helping me get a ticket.


You have until September 14th to see this wonderful exhibit.


A Cezanne….


Henri Matisse…..



Paul Cezanne…..


Henri Rousseau……


……and so many, many more.





The joy of the afternoon was seeing these triplets being fed by their mom and nanny under the watchful eye of the mom’s BFF. The red is a section of the stroller for three!


Sooooooo adorable…..



I stayed and enjoyed the show for at least 15 minutes…..until the task was completed.


Just time to visit the Japanese Pavilion and catch part of Docent Priscilla Gibbs talk on the Japanese Tea Ceremony.


Leaving I saw the gardeners working on the pine trees, pulling off each needle, one by one!  Amazing!!!

160 Then it was off to ‘Joan’s on Third’….one of my favorite places….a foodie heaven!


I was really running late to pick up Kita at the ‘Spa’ so I got lunch to go….I mean really to go as I ate in the car while driving home! This was sooo French…..perfect bread with ham and cheese.


And the best Salmon roll I have ever had…..all finished….in the car….before I even left Hollywood!


I had seen how exquisite Laurie Burton’s trees and shrubs are so I ‘borrowed’ her brilliant gardener  Salvador to bring back to it’s Bonsai glory the tree Jeffrey had labored over for so many years.  It’s beautiful once again with room ‘for the birds to fly thru’!



Beautiful Lisa Bowman & I had so much to catch up on so it was off to….wait for it…

Wait for it…….

Of course, Bar Verde!


Meet Hugh Brown, the Regional Chef and Joby, the Regional Managerial Chef.  Someone please explain the difference between their titles!


After the Heirloom Tomatoes with Baratta…..

058 ……. we split yummy Scallops with Risotto made by gifted Chef Lauren Gregory… her!


And since Lisa insisted it was my birthday lunch (in July?) we had mouth watering Lemon Ricotta Sponge Cake.  Oh sooo good!!!


Have you seen ‘And So It Goes’ with Diane Keaton & Michael Douglas?  It’s worth going to just to hear her sing!!!

077 Special thanks to gorgeous Valerie for a lovely evening at The Beach Club in Santa Monica.


It was ‘Taco Night’ but we ate inside….

102 I was Valerie’s guest along with Sonia and Thierry Ete, founders of the Academy of Couture Art in Beverly Hills.

110  They are such a lovely couple and I think we could have talked thru the night….

img054 img055 I finally had to phone Vicki and tell her to just take the key, lock up and go home…..praying that Kita would be a good girl and not chew up the house! She was!!!


Tomiko & I went to see ‘Get on Up’ and loved it.  Oh that James Brown music….truly the Godfather of Soul! (I loved her shoes!)


022 Of course we went to Bar Verde later and split Tacos and a burger….

033 034 Saturday was Calligraphy in the studio with Tom and lunch with Grace Farag, my brilliant writer friend.  I don’t need to tell you where! This was either my 3rd or 4th time during the week at Bar Verde…could be an all time record! But the first time I’ve had the Ahi Tuna Poke and it’s wonderful!!!


…..and I finally saw ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’…..awesome animation….loved it!



016 017

And so went the week.  In case you’re wondering, yes, I actually got some work done as well!

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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.