Monday, June 8, 2015


….. with Tomiko and dinner at the Water Grill downtown. But first Tomiko and I stop to see the progress at mom’s. The floors are in but everything else is in chaos.

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 While the contractor’s men are very good at what they do…they are absolute slobs in picking up after themselves and that’s an understatement.

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 Enough of that…on to the Water Grill.

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 For starters we split a lettuce wedge and just look at the size of the split!  Also, shared a beet salad that’s hiding in front of Tomiko.

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 I had Wild Columbian River Salmon.

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 Happy birthday to us!  This was also a belated second celebration for Tomiko as we did have a mini one at Recess some time ago but that just wasn’t enough.

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 Anyway, Happy Birthday to me!

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 Later Tomiko showed me one of the scrapbooks she compiles at the end of each year for the students.  Each child gets a personalized book and they are so amazing!

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A group photo in the book.

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 What the student did.

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 Monday awesome Anne Alene was in the studio to discuss all things Japanese. She is absolutely brilliant and in addition… a wonderful person!

IMG 9974I’m addicted to NHK television.

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 Marsha Ramos came over to pick up artwork for the Family Services of Burbank benefit on Friday at the Cartoon Network.  I think that deserves a separate blog!  Marsha and Kita had a special conversation at which Kita expressed her desire to greet Marsha as only she can.

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 Well, Marsha did say it was O.K.

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 Here’s the artwork…..I also donated cards and Suma the Elephant!

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 Everything quieted down and so Kita decided to have a heart to heart with Vicki.

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 Oh, why do I even go there…..This is definitely not the worst of it.

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 I know, I’ll go to my happy place…Pirch.  Had to exchange the range hood for a self ventilating one.  Who knew?

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 They are so accommodating and didn’t even charge me a re-stocking fee.

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 Love this place!

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 At Bloomingdales…...

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Later, dinner with mom and Nikka at the Embassy Suites.  Mom has to have her ice cream and everyone else must order it as well.  That’s the routine.IMG 0018

 Cute puppy at Ralph’s.  The day’s ’to do’s are  almost finished….

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 Had to watch ‘Gilda' on TCM.

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 Next day I suited up for meeting with the contractor.  Yes Shai, the cabinets need to be re-painted and please be more careful with my pen (he dropped it).  (A 2 day argument…..they look fine now.)

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 Should I even go there about the construction dust and why things need to be covered?  Shai, where’s your protocol?

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 It’s almost too, too much! Good thing mom hasn’t seen all this!

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 A bright spot was taking Vicki to Harry for a new ‘do’!

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 And later visiting the Koi/Carp at the Embassy Suites.

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Wishing you serene moments!IMG 0144


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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.