Sunday, December 21, 2014


… the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica was quite the evening! Sweet Lisa B. picked me up at mom’s and we were on our way, stoked to join the maddening crowd on the  freeway to somewhere if it would become a highway and not a parking lot!  We had planned to meet Amy an hour early but there we were….in a standstill on the #5!

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What’s that about the best made plans?  We decided to just meet Amy at the event…..

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How cute is this…..

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And here’s our dear Amy…..(It was cold out…I had to do it….those little creatures were shaved to make my jacket….right????)

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Who else would take a photo of people’s shoes?  Just saying…...Amy and Lisa’s shoes….

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The Three Musketeers….

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Amy made the glorious arrangements on each table….

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I wasn’t able to get a good photograph of this ‘special’ arrangement as it’s so magnificent one would have to take shots from a dozen angles to capture it.  Or have a decent camera besides the ever ready iPhone!

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Here’s our host….Reza Ardekani who’s in charge of all things Farhang.

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We were so happy to see Homa, Reza’s lovely mother…... back from Iran via Switzerland and Dubai.

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I was delighted to meet Patricia…she’s so sweet and we’re now ‘Facebook friends’.  Patricia and Reza are friends since grade school….how cute is that!

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Lot’s of food being passed around with me chasing after it…..if you didn’t catch someone with a tray by the time the contents got to the various tables you were out of luck..I see a hand going for it.  Lisa….could that be you???.

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Reza was the Master of Ceremonies and we were so very proud of him…Great job Reza and a special thank you for  shepherding us to those great seats when you had so much to look after.

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This group was so amazing……..IMG 1204

The percussionist was fascinating….

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Hamed Nikpay, singer and artiste extraordinaire was so soulfully great I ordered his CD ‘Spellbound’ on Amazon.  I was quite mad for the flamenco guitar of Alfredo Caceras as well.

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Afterwards there was watermelon in little cups and also cups of pomegranate seeds……great idea as it was so refreshing. The drive home was a piece of cake…Cake?  Where’s the cake?  Thank you Lisa Girl for driving and for the pleasure of your company!

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I got a yawn and half hearted greeting from puppy…..

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Remember always…..

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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.