Sunday, June 14, 2015


….was held at the Cartoon Network last Friday evening. I was one of 3 artists being featured in an art show/auction/rooftop dinner at the Cartoon Network benefitting Healing Arts at Family service Agency.

Adorable Monica Daga, my amazing student at the Huntington, is checking things out while Amy gets her special arm band indicating she will be a guest later for dinner on the rooftop!

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I was just delighted Amy and Nikka were able to go with me as they are beyond description fun! Neither one of them like me to take their picture and always run away when I have my phone in hand.  I had to insist this time!

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How wonderful to see Miss Judith and Eileen who are the templates for doing good and being a friend.  They consistently show up and lend their awesome presences!

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Time to look around at all the artwork donated for this deserving cause. I hope you read my previous blog about the Family Service Agency and all the good they do.

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Snacks and refreshments were provided…..

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Checking out the artwork….making bids….

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Thank you Dorothy Shepherd for your wonderful contribution.  I’m so very proud of you!

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Tom Warbuton, one of the greatest fellows you could ever meet, signing copies of one of his books.  Tom is an Emmy Award winner, creator/animator, Co-Executive Producer at Disney among his many accomplishments. What a privilege to be honored along with him.

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It’s always a joy to see someone really ‘looking’ at your work!

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O.K. everyone, settle down…..Marsha Ramos, Chairperson of the event has an announcement.

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Here we are... The three recipients of the 2015 Spotlight Award; Alice Asmar, delightful Tom Warbuton and yours truly  with dear Marsha.

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And later in the Burbank Leader.

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Back to work.  I’m thrilled beyond description to tell you that the 'Suma the Elephant' book and workbook will be used by the agency in their work with women and children in abusive situations.

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Let’s eat!  Dinner on the rooftop was sensational.  Absolutely the most delicious Mexican food ever….must get caterers name.

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Embarrassed to say I went back for a second tamale….

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Yummy, yummy stuff….

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Miss Judith and Eileen sat with us. Laurie Bleick, the devoted Executive Director of FSA is in the cream shirt to her left…Sorry I didn’t get a better photo.  Kudo’s to Zita Lefebvre who worked so tirelessly for months to pull this amazing event together.

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I did say Cartoon Network didn’t I?  The stairway’s walls leading to and from the roof are festooned with cute stuff!IMG 0261

That’s right!

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Oh Miss Judith I am so gratified that your bid won my painting.  It’s so lovely to know it will adorn your Ventura beach front home. THANK YOU!

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The Burbank Leader had a full page spread on the event and I was so happy to see Lisa in the picture as I didn’t get one of her that evening.

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Sweet Monica with her actress friend Jeana Wilson were also in the paper. Yea Monica!  Thank you for contributing such a beautiful painting.

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Had the winning bid on this one…..Wishing you Yogi Bear fun times!

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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.