Monday, May 18, 2015


……began with meeting the brilliant scholar and knower of all things Japanese….Anne Alene at Euro Pane in Old Town Pasadena for a confab over brunch. 

IMG 8879

A fun time while we work on the trip to Japan in November.

IMG 8882

This Frittata was as yummy as it looks.  Interestingly they used zucchini for the top and bottom.

IMG 8881

Then it was off to USC Pacific Asia to catch the 12:30 lecture to the docents by Dr. Kendall Brown, Art History historian specializing in Asian Art. This was for a new exhibit, ’The Tiezudingzhai Collection of Japanese Paintings’.  

IMG 8895

’The Arts of Japan' is a small but mighty exhibit of Japanese scrolls in the Chinese manner and Dr. Brown’s talk covered the Literati paintings of the wren wren whose major themes were ‘collective individuality' (think about that for a while). It was like listening to myself over these many years.

IMG 8900

This little gem featured Mi dots.  Now where have we heard about that!

IMG 8903

Anne wrote the text for this label and several others.

IMG 8904

This was quite possibly my favorite.

IMG 8906


IMG 8907

But how can I pass on this work in the manner of Ni Tzan.  After all, he’s the first artist we study in our Landscape classes.

IMG 8909

IMG 8910

Thank you Anne for a memorable, enriching time!

IMG 8889

And thanks for the cookies I became so addicted to in Japan!

IMG 9031

Then off to Valerie’s.  The hostess with the mostest!

IMG 8917

Valerie never does anything ‘small’ but I asked that my party be intimate with just Carol as that is how I initially met Valerie.

IMG 8919

Well O.K., Lady V. and the big guy… animals all.

IMG 8931

Besides the dogs, cats, fish and birds, Valerie’s tending to bees now.  Whoops, didn’t mention the chickens!

IMG 8936

Time for some bubbly…..

IMG 8937

Wonderful conversation…..

IMG 8938

Oh my. This table got the most likes on Facebook!

IMG 8952

When I said I wanted an intimate afternoon, I had no idea it would be so glamorous!

IMG 8954

See what I mean?

IMG 8956

But first, Carol has a moment with Lady V.

IMG 8959

Beautiful presentation for…….

IMG 8961

…….delicious corn chowder!

IMG 8965

My mom said to be sure to get some eggs from Valerie (remember I mentioned chickens?)  Well, they all went into this exquisite Cheese Souffle created by Josie.  Chef Extraordinaire!

IMG 8966

Sauce anyone?

IMG 8967

Let’s hear it for the cake.  After all, it’s all about the cake!

IMG 8972

Josie with Aaron, her delightful and oh so smart son!

IMG 8980

Did you see all the Flora Danica in the last photo?  Oh my.  Each piece, created for the crown heads of Denmark is hand painted, unique and botanically correct.

IMG 9012


IMG 9014

See….lots of presents but only two eggs! How I thank you dear Valerie for this extraordinary, memorable afternoon!IMG 9029

Time for Carol to take Duchess for a walkie as she had patiently waited in the car for so long!

IMG 9026

Kita wishes you lots of fun ‘walks’ this week!

IMG 9040


No comments:


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.