Monday, May 11, 2015


I first met Lissi Kaplan at Carol Soucek King’s when Lissi did a book signing for her little gem ‘The Power of a Teacup’.  The little photo seen in this picture taken in my studio is from a charming luncheon Lisa Bowman & I had at Lissi’s that cemented our friendship forever.  You can see my very favorite LK piece….. The teacup & saucer with the little bird motif.  Read the book & find out about that.

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I blogged some time past about a trunk show and book signing Lissi had at the Montage Hotel when Carol was able to go.  This time it didn’t work out for Carol and we truly missed her. 

Driving to Beverly Hills I wanted Amy & Lisa to sit in the front as they have something amazing in common. (Besides being the most loving & caring duo on planet earth!)

Maya Plisetskaya, was THE prima ballerina with the Bolshoi Ballet and Amy adored her.  Get this….our Lisa danced with her and the Bolshoi at the tender age of ten when the company was in San Francisco.  You can just imagine all the ballet talk on the way to Beverly Hills.

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I’ve shown you the exquisite tea service porcelain Lissi does for the Peninsula Hotel's teatime but did you know she also does all the pieces for the Montage?  Here I am with Lisa, Amy & the amazing one herself…Lissi Kaplan in the Gift Shop of the Montage.

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Each exquisite piece is lovingly painted and fired by Lissi!

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I know you want that vase…..

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Amy’s in heaven….so am I! Meanwhile Lissi & Lisa are canoodling….they have a lot to catch up on!

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Amy was fascinated by the images for Lissi’s tiles.

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…..So was Lisa and there was a lot of conversation about them……Oh did I mention we were served Champagne?  Amy still has hers...

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This adorable little munchkin is Lissi’s granddaughter Harper who declared everything 'absolutely beautiful’!

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Let’s have some music…..

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All of the staff are so very proud of Lissi and we were given an education on each and every piece!

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The exquisite tea menu with Lissi’s artwork revealed on parchment with a golden tassel!

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Lissi wrote this beautiful piece for the back of the tea menu.

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This is the pattern she created for the Montage Hotel.

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These teapots are amazing... besides being so beautiful they’re functional as the lid does not fall off when you pour and the tea stays hot in them!

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Here comes trouble…..

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We were delighted Lissi could get away for a bit and join us!

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This little fellow was enjoying a Montage kind of day……He’s so Beverly Hills. Note the pink pillow!

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I don’t know where to begin about this fellow.  Could he be any more bored?  Why?  He’s a service dog.  What is his ‘service’ you ask?  Why it’s to keep his owner calm and stress free.  Only in Beverly Hills!

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May you have a carefree 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.