Tuesday, September 30, 2014


…..just look at this exquisite arrangement by Amy www.menuahflowers.com. How did I comes to be so blessed!

IMG 0647

….and how you may ask did I come to be the possessor of such beauty?  Dear Amy brought these two exquisite arrangements to me that had been part of her floral display at the Castaway in Burbank earlier in the day.

IMG 0644

It’s probably best to begin at the beginning and so I shall.  Amy was one of the vendors for an event at The Castaway high up in the Burbank foothills with a sweeping view of L.A.  

IMG 0639

The theme was weddings and there was a fashion show of bridal gowns in which two of Amy’s bouquets were featured.

IMG 0618

IMG 0583

IMG 0627

…..and vendors with cakes….

IMG 0628

….and other such ‘stuff’ a bride to be would need.

Here’s Amy alongside a banner taken from her beautiful daughters wedding.  Absolutely stunning! Amy is holding another bridal bouquet.

IMG 0574

Here’s the two beauties, Amy with daughter Marianna, both as sweet as they are beautiful.

IMG 0598

This is a section of Amy’s display so you can get some idea of what it looked like….

IMG 0582

A closer look at the ‘Candy Station’.

IMG 0581

Amy with Alex her PR guru.

IMG 0621

And that dear friends is the story of the floral largesse.  May your week be filled with beauty!

IMG 0637

Sunday, September 28, 2014


…..but before that special day there was a lot to do.  Monday afternoon Jane Windsor-Marowitz came over to discuss next Sunday’s tea for Lisa See.  Jane’s company, www.anyoneforteacatering.com will be handling the food and beverage department and sweet Amy www.menuahflowers.com is doing the flowers.  We had a lot to co-ordinate!  But first, a little something to snack on as we do have our priorities!

IMG 8401

IMG 8401  Version 2

The next day dear Lisa came over so we could get caught up.  It’s always a joy to see her but I confess I’m going to miss reading her inspiring art blog every week.  You can find it on her website www.artbylisaphc.com by clicking on ‘Affirmative Blog’. She’s decided to pause for a while saying adieu on September 22nd and hopefully will re-group! Whoops, more snacking!


IMG 8405

And it’s always a great day when Lizzie and I meet for lunch at Panera Bread ….mored snacking….and then a movie.


IMG 8408

After Panera Bread we go to the Laemmle  No Ho7 and this time saw….’This is Where I Leave You’ giving it a 5 Popcorn rating!  We both loved it….you’ll laugh, you’ll cry….you’ll just enjoy this terrific ensemble cast and snappy dialog.

IMG 8410

Now I confess, I’m not doing a great job of scheduling because after I left Lizzie I had to be at Providence Saint Joseph Hospital.  Not exactly my favorite place but as they ask me to donate art every year  I like to stop by for the artist’s reception they hold.  Besides, there’s always good ‘snacking’.

IMG 8428

Remember my blog about Ron Pekar….the artist who did the bronze of Traveler for USC?  It was great fun to see him...

IMG 8443

…..and many of you will find this work of mine quite familiar.

IMG 8446

Please….no more photo’s!…..I must go snacking!

IMG 8418

Marsha Ramos is probably the most amazing woman I know as she is continually on every committee, foundation, group….the Chair for the American Lung Assoc. in CA, on the CA Air Resources Board...anything and everything that helps people and all this in addition to running her huge company Geosystems, Inc., Geotechnical Engineering specialists.. saving the planet and taking care of her beautiful family.  Artist Jamie Butterworth is to the left of Marsha and was going to share her talents as a jazz singer  that evening.

IMG 8432

Lot’s of other peeps but I did manage to drag myself away after a decent interval...

IMG 8412

Finally….September 25th, mom’s 102nd birthday!!!

Nikka was so precious, getting mom the most amazing balloons, a birthday stack of cupcakes, flowers and candy….soooo sweet! We had ‘FaceTime’ and all sang Happy Birthday!

IMG 8504


IMG 8481


IMG 8474

Well, I guess you know by now it’s either grilled cheese sandwiches or Gourmet 88 Chinese food for special occasions.


IMG 8524

Chinese won out….

IMG 8529

Sooooo good!

IMG 8530

Where’s the cake!!!

IMG 8537

From Vicki, Nikka & Emma.

IMG 8541

Charles approved!

IMG 8560

Kind hearted lovely Amy came by with one of her creations designed especially for mom!

IMG 8573

We decided it was perfectly mom to a ’T’!

IMG 8576

Another birthday on Saturday…this time it was Laurie Pie and she wanted…..wait for it...



Kc made this delicious three berry tart.  Raspberry liquer with current jelly glaze a marcapone center and pate sucre crust.  Sooooo good!

IMG 0567

Make a wish Laurie Pie…..

IMG 0561

IMG 0564

After all that fun and frivolity, Nikka & I worked in the office until 9 P.M. trying to solve the equipment problems…..we’re still working on it!

Here’s to a better week!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2014


…..major PC problems, printers that don’t want to print and a scanner that has pooped out. We found that out trying to scan the large works piled up behind it!037  The remaining PC files have to be transferred to the iMac……love Apple!  Hopefully by the end of the week all of this will be resolved.


Class at the Huntington Botanical Gardens was wonderful. 

007 I tortured everyone with the Chinese Orchid and then we played with the Matilija Poppy and had great fun.


We love Dr. Martin Moradian who takes care of our footsies…..even making a house call for Sir Charles.

002 While Kita keeps an eye out for Chiracco, making sure he trims everything correctly.

003 Just so you don’t think I’ve backed off in the Foodie Department, check this out. Waiting for our table at Bourbon Steak at Americana.


Got to love this!

006 003

For the table……

005 Every since Sandie Girl told me she was getting an aged steak for Dr. Jim I’d been thinking of the same….my carnivore instincts were all atwitter!

But first a very unusual Caesar Salad…..




Perfection & I was able to talk Nikka into trying ‘rare’ meat!!!


Lobster mashed potatoes…..sooooo good!


Time for dessert….would you believe this is bread pudding?  It’s soooo carmelly good!


Not stuffed enough I tried something from the sweets cart.  Can you figure out what?


So sorry, I’m so stuffed I thought this was my car!


Anyone could make the same mistake….


By Friday we were so famished working so hard in the office there was only one thing to do…


And for a diversion, here’s Kim’s shoe pick of the day….Nike AirMax 90’s


All you cat lovers missed a great workshop with Danny Chen, visiting artist from Canada.



Kathy’s beautiful painting.

 IMG 8361

Must have dumplings!

IMG 8369


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.