Saturday, March 28, 2015


…..make that cymbals and assorted delightful instruments……and lovely little girls dressed in festive Iranian costumes.

IMG 6584It’s all about Nowruz, the Iranian celebration welcoming spring and the New Year.  Our dear friend Reza Kahn is the Executive Director of Farhang Foundation a non-religious, non-political, not-for-profit foundation that celebrates Iranian art & culture in Southern California.  

Amy had done the Haft Sin table for the celebration in Mission Viejo in Orange County.  It was an 8’ X 8’table overflowing with a  heavenly profusion of spring flowers!  The Haft-Sin includes seven items that begin with the letter ’S’. In english they are: wheat symbolizing rebirth, wheat germ sweet pudding symbolizing affluence, dried fruit from the oleaster tree to symbolize love, cloves of garlic for medicine, red apples meaning beauty/health, sumac berries for the color of sunrise and vinegar to represent age/patience.

Other items are sweets, lit candles for enlightenment/happiness, a mirror for cleanness/honesty, decorated eggs for fertility, a bowl of water with an orange representing the earth in space, rose water with magical cleansing powers and most fun of all….. a bowl of goldfish for life/the transition of Pices to Aries.

Here’s Amy’s amazing creation!

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On Sunday Amy & I went to LACMA to enjoy the festivities there.  We were missing Lisa Bowman terribly as originally she was going to join us but the best made plans…..


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Amy had done 23 of these arrangements for an event at LACMA the previous day.  So happy to see they were still being used!

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We had tickets for the Official Nowruz Program in the Bing Theatre that featured the world premier of ‘The Sounds of a Persian Spring’ by Zohreh Jooya.  Amy did a bouquet for Reza to present to this brilliant singer which we left backstage before watching the performance.

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The Djanbazian Dance Academy dancers.

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 Presentation of the bouquet to Zohreh Jooya by Reza Kahn.

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Along the way we met delightful Patricial Ruiz, a childhood friend of Reza’s who came to the event with her dear mom. We love this sweet girl!

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I have to show you this cute girl…Reminds me of all the darling young people we saw in Japan…..can’t wait to go back!

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You know I can’t resist a cute puppy!

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Here’s the Haft-Sin table at LACMA

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Time to raffle off some prizes….

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O.K., I’m hungry….Off to Joan’s on Third.

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Everything is soooo yummy but we settled on splitting the Chinese Chicken Salad which is always a winner and the Short Rib Sandwich.

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 This is really trouble……very, very rich.

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Beautiful Georgia was there with her mom and dad and we immediately fell in love with her...

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Thank you Amy for the Lobster Roll I took home….what a great late night snack…me bad!

Wishing you fun times!


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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.