Monday, January 12, 2015


…..began with Rosanne Sachson (in from Portland) phoning me at 7 A.M. to make sure I’d be at Carol’s Salon by 9:30.  O.K., maybe that part wasn’t so perfect as many of you know I’m not exactly a morning person.  I did manage to arrive promptly at 9:30 to be greeted by this charming group. 

IMG 3126Carol graciously grants me parking privileges or I’d be somewhere under the bridge at the arroyo.

IMG 31999:30 to about 10:00 is the social ‘hour’ where everyone mills about, eating and catching up with one another.  (That’s when I usually straggle in.)  Some of you may remember when I spoke (twice) at the Salon …….a true high point in my life.

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Birthday cake for Ron Fields….

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Here’s the little trouble maker herself….my 7 A.M. caller….. Rosanne mentioned that she & I were present at the very first Salon which was 19 years ago….

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Great fun seeing Sally….

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Carol introduces the days speaker….Artist Sandy Bleifer

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I suggest you go to Sandy's website to learn of her artistic journey…..fascinating…..especially when she ventured into paper sculptures for a project dedicated to Hiroshima.

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I love this photo….besides the charm of the umbrellas, it shows Carol saying goodbye to everyone as she always has done….it’s so delightful.

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Next stop…..Rosanne followed me to Valerie’s for lunch……After a tour of the garden, the chickens, the bees, Rosanne gave Valerie a tutorial on the correct way to open a bottle of champagne.  The Video is on my Facebook page.

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Prince Emmanuel wonders what all is going on….IMG 3205

Meanwhile, Lady Vanessa and I had a moment of bonding…..

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Did I hear lunch????

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Death by chocolate.  Although this was the very best chocolate cake ever, it was a daunting challenge!IMG 3223

At this point I needed a nap but Rosanne headed off to Koi on Fair Oaks in South Pasadena……

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The salesgirls are all deliriously happy because instead of bonuses they get a yearly trip anywhere in the world they’d like to go!  Sign me up!!!IMG 3245

That’s sooooo you….get it!  (She did.)

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Rosanne chats it up with Linda Davis, owner of Koi so we got to peer into the ‘back room’ to see this coming seasons clothing.

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Special wrapping for Rosanne’s gift for Valerie.  Two standard poodle ornaments, one with a pink bow, the other in blue.  Can you stand it???

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I’m going to show you some of their amazingly creative windows….

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I love the little rubber duckies on top of this one’s head….

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They re-cycle everything and the skirt here is made up of lemmon bags.

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After stopping at mom’s to show her the cruise photo’s I finally called it a day….a perfect day and I wish you the same!


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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.