Tuesday, August 26, 2014


……..beginning with Charles and my anniversary on the 19th. (The 19th on the 19th!) Emma printed up this card for Charles and he signed it.




We all went to Bar Verde……surprised?


I love my darling Charles!


Next day was class at the Huntington and Jessica brought me a moon cake….so I guess that means summer is over!


That night, when I plunked myself down on the living room sofa…..the TV screen was green!!!  Everyone and everything…green with Laurie Pie coming over the following Monday to watch the Emmys!  Oh dear…. Bright and early I went to Costco and finally found a parking spot in spite of all the digging and construction they’re doing. 

042 At that point I just wanted to get the whole thing over with so I picked out a 65 inch Samsung LED Smart TV with all the bells and whistles….it even has 3D glasses and a keyboard. Smarter than me for sure…. Help! On the way home I spotted this magnificent creature at the stables on Riverside drive.  Had to park the car and take these photos.



His name is Atticus and he’s a jumper getting ready to compete during the dressage competitions at the Equestrian Center over the weekend.  Wish I had time to see that!

047 That night mom, Nikka & I went to The Cheesecake Factory which only served to remind me how much I love Bar Verde. 


To make it all better we stopped at Sprinkles, the new cupcake & ice cream shop at Americana.  Cupcakes to go (including some for Kita) and ice cream to devour immediately…..sooooo good!


Kita loved hers…..


Friday David, our locksmith was here doing major stuff after he & Kita did the dance.

082 T

David helped Kim get the old TV into my room.  Oh, did I mention, the color came back to it after I go the replacement.  What in the world is going on here????  Oh well, at least now I can watch Sponge Bob Square Pants in larger than life living color at all hours….


New set arrives……Kita supervises….


I had the most wonderful time on Saturday with the amazing Elaine at The Peninsula in Beverly Hills.


Cheers everyone!


One of the reasons I love coming here is the joy of seeing Lissi Kaplan’s china…..it’s soooo exquisite!


Let’s hear it for the good stuff!!!


Snoopy understands why I must photograph all food…


Michael Ploetz, the Director of Food and Beverage at The Peninsula, gave us a little going away gift!


That same day was also Nikka’s birthday and I had told her to take the day off.  That was BEFORE Vicki told me there was to be a surprise B-day party for her here!  There aren’t enough words or time to describe the antics I went through getting her here in the afternoon and then keeping her until everyone arrived….what a task!!!

All’s well that ends well so Happy Birthday Nikka!!!



Gourmet 88 of course!


We watched Red Obsession, a film (Netflix) about what the wealthy Chinese are doing to the prices of French wines.  Fascinating!

097  Watching it on the new TV  mom says it’s too big and way too bright and I need to move the sofa back….back….further back….

What say you puppy?


I wish you beautiful blue skies and puffy white clouds!


Monday, August 18, 2014


…….last Sunday celebrated all things Japanese! It was such a great pleasure traveling to Japan with them this past spring as they are wonderful observers and bring their joie de vivre to everything!

Have you seen the scroll they commissioned for their serene Tatami room?  Creating this for them was the most pleasurable experience and I’m thrilled they’ve enjoyed it!


Charlie shows off his beautiful ‘Yukata’ purchased in Japan.  It’s a casual robe only to be worn in the home! Isn’t it wonderful???


Must photograph food!


Bonnie describes how she obtained the amazing calligraphy written by monks at the various shrines in Japan.


It was so good to see Lynne….she had gone over and above in helping me plan the trip to Japan.  It took a year but we did it!  If you ever need travel advice & help, contact Lynne at lynne.tucker@protravelinc.com

Elaine, the delightful woman talking to Charlie has a translating & interpreting services company which is a terrific thing to know about. www.lazar.com


Bonnie and Charlie took the most amazing photographs in Japan and they were all on a continuous loop for us to see….I think the Snow Monkeys got the best rating!


Time for Yoshi and Yumiko to sing Chasing the Dragonfly. But first….Bonnie, strike that gong!


You’re looking at the bravest pup on planet earth! Cosa, Bonnie & Charlie’s rescued terrier, was attacked by coyotes in Joshua Tree and has lived to tell the tale (no pun intended). Many stitches later and relieved of the Cone of Shame, he’s all better and enjoying the party!


Then it was time to see mom and give her all the party details.  Later that evening Olga came over for tea.  It was delightful  spending that time together, catching up and hearing about their European vacation….especially the Tuscany part!


Lisa B. wanted to see the LACMA show (from Van Gogh to Kandinsky) so off we went.  If you’ve missed this I so hope you get a chance to go!  It’s fascinating to see the time line for various art movement developments and to understand it never was about painting a ‘pretty picture’.  The artists were quite cerebral and always in a quest wanting to express new ideas. Can you read this text?  It’s really hysterical!


Here’s a few more paintings….





O.K., enough art stuff…let’s have lunch!  (Priorities you know….)

On the way we spotted a ‘Google Street’  car….I tried to snap it looking backwards from the car….can you see the little red dot???


We arrived at Joan’s on Third….a foodie paradise! Paper to wrap your cheese in….a real find…keeps it fresher longer.


Down to business…..make a selection…


We split the sushi of the day and a Chinese Chicken Salad. Someone looks happy!  Who could possibly eat a full order? (Orangina always reminds me of France!)


I just want you to see this Burrata w/Prosciutto…I’m still dreaming about it!


‘Castle’ is a Bowman family affair & it was great fun to see this billboard…


Next morning I was right on time to meet Lizzie Girl at Panera Bread in No Ho….only problem….my car wouldn’t start!  Don’t believe it when they tell you Jaguar roadside is all you need….I won’t bore you with the details but suffice it to say I re-signed with the Auto Club. Lizzie saved me a seat at the Laemmle and I just made it in time to see the beginning of ‘A Hundred Foot Journey’.  We loved it and this wonderful movie made everything all better. Don’t miss it!

056 Driving home I keep getting this sign and the car wouldn’t stop beeping at me.  Hey, I’m the one who should be beeping!

058  The next day the car wouldn’t start again so off it went to Rusnak….they delivered this loaner.


Back to Bar Verde with mom & Nikka…..I do love that place! Chef Lauren has a way with seasonings & I’m always so happy when she’s in the kitchen!


When I picked up my car this ‘42 beauty was in the showroom.


088 We learned a lot in class Saturday……everyone had a chance to discuss which areas they have difficulty with such as knowing where to connect the leaves.


Thanks Kim for the after class treat!


Have a frappuccino great week!


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.