Tuesday, June 16, 2015


……yes, friendship…the most valuable commodity….a true treasure that blossoms as it is cared for and nurtured.  I am so grateful for my friends…beautiful flowers in my heart’s garden and grateful for all the love and care I continually receive…especially on my birthday which has extended well into June.  Words cannot express my gratitude to and for everyone who has made this birthday so memorable for me!

I’ve mentioned Olga so many times….meeting her and hubby George thru their son Martin who worked for us packing cards when he was still in grade school.  (I know….child labor laws).  Anyway, Martin is grown, finished with college and apprenticing with a big advertising firm in Boston.  Olga has become a treasured friend and we love our late night ‘tea time’ talks…alway unplanned, always warm and rich. Monday evening Olga stopped by and before we knew it …it was midnight!  I thought I took a photo but it turned out to be a video.

The next morning I was off to see beautiful Mary for a birthday lunch when the phone rang.  Lizzie Girl would be at Brand Art Gallery and ‘could I meet her’?  Are you kidding me? This can’t be happening.  There is no way I would miss a chance to see Lizzie and amazingly, the timing worked out perfectly.

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Done!  Off to Bloomie’s and beautiful Mary...

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Mary & Keith have a WOLF and I took this photo from her iPhone!  This is why I don’t think Kita is a large dog.

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Tomiko phoned….’Can you meet me for dinner?’  That’s when I knew the day would be the trifecta of friendship.  ‘Of course’ says I and from Bloomie’s went to Din Tai Fung for an early dinner before dinner with mom and Nikka.

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The dumpling makers wear masks now.  I don’t know about that…..IMG 0470

Mom was sooooo happy because the very next day she was going to return home!

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Muscle man Dvir and mom have the same birthday and bonded.

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Marcio takes care of absolutely everything in the building and I continually say they just do not pay him enough.  He is always kind and eager to help mom. Nick, standing behind mom manages the building and has been an immeasurable help throughout this ‘mess’.IMG 0495

The new range hood finally got installed.

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I just blogged about the Family Service Agency fund raiser at the Cartoon Network and the Burbank Leader ran a full page spread on it.  How beautiful to see four of my dear hearts in the photo with me!

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Sweet Monica Daga is a student of mine at the Huntington and generously donated a wonderful work of hers.  It’s was exciting to see her in the article as well!

11415464 10203456432606421 3347392062113199473 oLater that evening, Marsha Ramos, former Mayor of Burbank and leader of any and all things benefiting the community at large, held a fund raiser for Laura Friedman.IMG 0511

 Here’s Marsha introducing Laura who is currently a member of the Glendale City Council.

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 Dave Golansky, former Burbank Mayor of Burbank was also in attendance.

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 Yippee….Trudy’s back from her 5 week jaunt in Europe!  Kita’s besides herself while I’m busy digging into the delicious Swiss Chocolates!

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 Then a very special birthday lunch at Bistro Gardens…..more on that at another time.

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 Friday takes the cake! ( I’m still thinking birthday.)  I had tickets to the rehearsal for Rodin performed by the Eifman Ballet Company of St. Petersburg at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

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 Soooo interesting and Amy was able to interpret all the Russian spoken by the director and the Ballet Master.

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 But please……no pictures….

IMG 0541Awwww……come on Amy….

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 Surprise seeing Valerie there in the Founder’s Circle.

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 Finally….got Nikka & Amy to stand still for a photo!

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  Amy drove my car home and I waited at Kendall’s Brasserie for Tina Marie and another birthday treat!

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 Tina Marie had front row tickets for that evenings performance.

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 Happy us taking a selfie!

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 Intermission had us dashing up to the second floor for a light treat in the founder’s Room.

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 Friends of Tina Marie.  I have no clue.

IMG 0603Striking a pose…...

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 Friday evenings during the summer the Music Center has ‘Bring Your Own Dance Moves’ with live D.J.’s in the Plaza.  We walked about after the ballet.  So much fun!

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A gratitude journal could not be big enough to contain my joy for each and every person in my life…those pictured here and those seen in other blogs.

When we were in a private home in Japan last spring our hostess held up a kanji character and said “This is a moment in time that will never come again….treasure it!"


May you have many treasured moments.



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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.