Monday, March 23, 2015

TANKA POETS on SITE and other fun stuff......

When I saw Kathabela last Saturday evening at the mixed media performance….. ‘Champagne Haiku Pour Deux’…..she invited me to a gathering of Tanka Poets on Site the following Monday.  If you thought Haiku was difficult, try writing Tanka.  Anyway, it was delightful being amongst the gifted poets, seeing Maria and Grandmaster Don Baird again and seeing all the treasures collected by Kathabela and Rick  through years of amazing travel.

Maria and Don to the right ….

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Rick Wilson is a brilliant physicist at Caltech and his lectures are in demand world wide.  This is a poster from a conference  held in his honor at Caltech. Note:  Rick is as kind as he is brilliant!

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Here’s a wonderful mixed media piece created by Kathabela; Tanka poet, creative artist and gentle, loving human.

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Kathabela with guest speaker Richard Gilbert, Tanka scholar  visiting from Japan.

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When I got home I saw there was an order for this print from a woman in Kansas… fun!IMG 6360

 Amy designed and created the most amazing table for Farhang Foundations Nowruz celebration in Orange County.  The table was 8’ X 8’ and fully covered with beautiful blossoms.  These Hydrangeas are from that display but Amy didn’t want me to post this on Facebook as she doesn’t think it’s beautiful enough.  I disagree.  What say you???

If you go to Menuah Flower Boutique on Facebook you can see Amy’s extraordinary creations.  Also, go to whenever you need to send exquisite flowers.IMG 6364

 Have you noticed the birds are beginning to sing again?  It’s nesting time!!!  This one loves the Loquat tree!

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 I hope the Wisteria is still blossoming next time you come by……it’s heavenly and oh that fragrance!

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 Wednesday Amy & I went to the Bella Voce Society’s luncheon.  We checked in at the private elevator entrance right next to Kendall’s Brasserie.  

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 There’s this amazing view of the Music Center’s courtyard from the 5th floor.

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 What fun to see Elizabeth, long time Brush painting student at the Huntington with friend Charlotte.

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 Oh my, this chilled spring pea soup was soooooo good!

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Foodie alert…..

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 Best cheesecake ever! So light and creamy!

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Time for the opera.  Amy loves this tapestry right outside the Founder’s Circle at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

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 We got to enjoy the final dress rehearsal for The Marriage of Figaro.  I do believe this was the first opera Charles & I went to.

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Wonderful sets……But please, no pictures!  ( I have a secret way of getting them!)IMG 6444


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Dinner afterwards at Kendall’s Brasserie with sweet Amy and Charlotte.

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 Yes, that’s raw meat…..must have!  Yummy Steak Tartare!  So sorry vegans…...

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 So good let’s do the salmon the same way…..

IMG 6458It’s always joyful to catch up with dear Alice!  My new favorite place is Olive and Thyme in Toluca Lake….a real foodie heaven that’s almost as good as Joan’s on Third.

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Yummy Panini…..

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Not sure quite what I think about this pup…he was right outside our table.  All two pounds of him!

IMG 6474Wishing you a colorful week!

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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.