Sunday, March 15, 2015


A weekend visit…that’s what!  First let me explain something all you foodies out there will understand completely.  Sandie calls me  from Bristol Farms or Whole Foods on the weekend and I vicariously enjoy the Reilly menu plans for the week.  They’re always scrumptious and we have great fun.  This week started out even better because Sunday morning Sandie stopped by to show me the blankie she had made for soon to arrive baby Noah, Jakie’s brother to be.

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I ooooed and ahhhhed so much Sandie finally got the hint and said she’s make one for me!!!!  (Don’t you love the bees???)IMG 5778

Off to meet Tomiko at mom’s…... she usually drives but as she had her son’s red truck….we thought better of it so I drove!

IMG 5851The Music Center had phoned saying there was to be something going on in all four venues so we’d best get there early to find a spot.  So early that there was time for coffee in the Founder’s Room at the Ahmanson.

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 Yes, that’s the one and only…Dame Edna!

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Barry Humphries takes a bow….IMG 5838

 Tomiko has decided it’s not so bad to have her picture taken!

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 With stylish Linnea Duval.  Check out her fabulous bags on  

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 We thought a relaxed dinner at The New Otani would be the perfect way to end the day.  Horrors, it’s now a Doubletree and they only have a coffee shop! Should have gone to Bottega Louie as originally planned.

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 The garden at the hotel  is a shadow of it’s former self…...

IMG 5850Afterwards I stopped at mom’s and told her all about the show.  Charles, mom & I had seen Dame Edna before and are great fans!  Thank you Tomiko for my fabulous ‘Dame Edna’ glasses….I shall try to wear them with great panache!

IMG 585710:00 P.M. and I know I shouldn’t but Sandie’s Apple Cinnamon Loaf from Bristol Farms was calling out to me. Thank you Sandie…I think!

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Monday morning and the chef is in the kitchen!IMG 5871

 Noemi is Chef Sevan’s mom….remember Recess Eatery???  We were discussing a book project of hers….

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 And later in the day my dear Lisa C. stopped by….

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 Through the strangest set of circumstances I was able to introduce Amy to Jeanne Anderson who is President of the Friends of Robinson Gardens and in charge of their  fabulous annual event touring the gardens and estate. For more information please go to   (A few years ago I gave a talk to the Beverly Hills Garden Club in Jeanne’s home…..small, small world!) Anyway, Tuesday Amy & I went to Robinson Gardens…..

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 Amy had just signed a contract to provide the flowers for the guest bedroom and bath. Sooooo exciting!

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Amy’s checking out the guest bath…..IMG 5906


What serendipity.  Docents from the Huntington Botanical Gardens were on a tour while we were there.  I was delighted to see dear Diane Dennis!  What fun!!!IMG 5935

 Amy so loved the gardens….surprised?

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 We had to celebrate so it was off to Bouchon….

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 I am so happy to have foie gras be legal again.  Honestly, I don’t think Amy shared my enthusiasm as I was delirious!

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But she was happy none the less…..IMG 5963

 Afterwards a stop at the Bouchon Bakery…...

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Time to sit in the Montage’s garden and eat macarons.  I ask you, what’s better than two meringue disks filled with luscious ganache????  Nothing!

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 We had to say hi to Miles before we left…..

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 Class the next day at The Huntington was wonderful….13 students painting Cherry Blossoms and Butterflies….

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 Afterwards I went with Ralph Komi to see the bench that was dedicated to his parents in the Bonsai area.  I blogged about this already and you might find it quite interesting.

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 Lizzie and I are addicted to the strawberry smoothies at Bloomies…..their restaurant, 57th and Lex has all manner of yummy things!

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The Nespresso coffee bar right next to the restaurant is a must stop for me…..IMG 6070

 I’m not quite sure what to say about this.  Kim got this tattz  that he said he’s been wanting for years.  It’s a Philippine symbol ( three stars and a sun) above a polynesian tribal symbol.  Kim says he’s going for a full sleeve.

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 There was one seat left at the American School of Martial Arts for the Champagne Haiku Pour Deux with Grandmaster Don Baird and Richard Gilbert.  Lucky me, I go to sit next to sweet Diana and Lee her main squeeze!

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 I so love this couple…..dear Bridget and rocker hubby Randy Weitzel.

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 Tanka Poets on Site’s Kathabela Wilson and brilliant hubby Rick.

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 Grandmaster Don Baird, wife Maria and yours truly.

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 May your every day be filled with wonder and delight!

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And Kale ‘cause it’s good for you!

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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.