Sunday, March 1, 2015



….as I was leaving Beckman Auditorium last Saturday evening.  Terrible deep down chills and a fever and wondering if I could even make it home.

 The great report is that after major self medicating and lots of prayer I was pretty much myself the next day.  However, not to take any chances I cancelled the Oscar viewing party event Amy & I had tickets for.  Amy made a 'soup of love' for me and came over…...

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…..and I made popcorn & we watched the Oscars on the large screen TV.  I in my jammies…..

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Kita had to get in on the action….

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You know how she loves to dance…...IMG 5188

O.K., settle down now….we’re watching the show…..

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So glad I saw Birdman with Lizzie girl!

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Monday I picked up my car at Rusnak.  Eden always takes good care of me and even though I did had to tool around in a loaner for four days, Rusnak picks up the tab for all but the insurance.IMG 5265

Just had to show you Emma who has cornered the market on cool….

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Tuesday Jane V., here from Harvard, enjoyed reading a beautiful letter I had received from Harvard Natural History Museum.  (They love our cards.) I’m delighted to report that they do very well also in Harvard’s Bookstore!IMG 5275

Fun time talking over everything in the world over lunch!

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And of course all things ‘Harvard’ with Sir Charles!IMG 5282

 Wednesday morning George (Martin’s dad) stopped by with Jasper and asked if we would like to taste test his home made bread.  Silly question…right?

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This was soooooo good. Nice and crusty on the outside and light and airy inside…… AAAA+ George!

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If you don’t have geraniums somewhere I guess the question is why not!  They’re just about the happiest flower and always if a plant could smile it would surely be a geranium!

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Time to head off to the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills where the trees were decked out in Chinese lanterns.

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….and inside….I think they need Amy’s touch!

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For sure!IMG 5301

Jane & I had a ‘spot of tea’ before the Harvard dinner and I was shocked they didn’t use Lissi’s service.  Plain white cups just won’t do.  I’m lecturing the server on that!

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Meet Juliette Lynch from Boston here to photograph all the goings on at the Harvard event.  She’s not only a photographer and multi-media journalist but an Alexia Foundation winner and a Carnegie-Knight Fellow.  Did I mention she’s tons of fun???

IMG 5311Taking a picture of me taking a picture!

IMG 5312The following is for all my foodies.

A better Caesar than at Parkway Grill….

IMG 5316Grilled Barramundi, roasted tomatoes, quinoa, basil & fennel confit with saffron sauce.IMG 5318


Milk Chocolate Creme Brûlée, fresh berries…...IMG 5319

Beautiful artwork everywhere………...

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The Chinese Lanterns at night were even prettier…..IMG 5351

I know I’ve mentioned before the ‘thing’ Kita and our mailman have. IMG 5366

The LA Unified teachers were picketing at the Music Center and may go on strike this coming week.  Let’s support our teachers!IMG 5372

Carol had asked if I’d like to go to the opera with her & Hildegard.  It worked out perfectly as I had made a mental note to try and catch the last performance of 'The Ghosts of Versailles' on Sunday. Remember I had seen the set and worker bees finishing up chairs for the set. But first….time for a quick bite.IMG 5377

We hurried thru dinner to hear the pre-opera lecture which is always so interesting and helpful.  This one had people literally packed to the rafters.IMG 5381

Mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne was there and spoke briefly.  You can barely see her white head.

IMG 5383Time for the performance of ‘The Ghosts of Versailles'!IMG 5436

Intermission and refreshments  in the Founders Room and then a little socializing.

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It’s not unusual to run into Peter Adams, artist extraordinaire, at the opera. Hildegard and Carol along with Russian artist Alexy Steel. IMG 5399Am I directing traffic or what?

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Creative set designs, stunning costumes and Patti LuPone as Samira was absolutely sensational!

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Back to food. Carrot Ginger soup at Recess Eatery on Brand……IMG 5437

Ahi Tuna …….IMG 5439

After all, all you really need is love!IMG 5446

Amy came over to work with Nika and ‘just happened’ to bring this exquisite floral creation with her!IMG 5451

Busy us so cold cuts were in order.IMG 5454

We had quite a bit of work to do and Kita started the meeting in her usual style!IMG 5468Class the next day and these peeps could not resist clowning around.  They were loving Amy’s elegant floral creation.IMG 5486The water had little bubbles on the petals that looked like tiny silver balls.  Amy opened each rose petal by hand. It’s fascinating!

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Chef Kaley made me yummy ‘Slutty Brownies’ and we could hardly wait for lunch to have some!IMG 5491

Kathy brought her recently exhibited work, ‘Lone Pine in Mist’ to show the class.IMG 5492

Everyone loved it and a big discussion followed…….IMG 5504

Settling down to work…..IMG 5523

We painted Cherry Blossoms and Butterflies!IMG 5525

Nikka and Sandie Girl had a conference….they’re already working on Christmas stuff!

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Saying goodbye to this painting and hello to the new week!  Wishing you a great one!IMG 5541

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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.