Sunday, July 5, 2015



The week was off to a perfect start with Lisa H. coming over…….She’s on to me……no fair taking a photo when I’m taking a photo! 

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 O.K. then, I’ll take a photo of my Cappuccino!

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 …..and the machine.  I love my Nespresso and the foamer is the best, best.  I was surprised to see my hands reflected in the machine.

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 Everyone could benefit from this book.  It’s about seeing ART in everything you do!

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 Thank you Lisa B…..I’m getting to this one as well.

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 Meanwhile, Kita stands guard waiting for the possum.

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 Alice and I met at Bloomie’s and had a delightful time catching up……..Thank you dear Alice for the treat!

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 My must have….a Strawberry Smoothie!  Sooooo good!

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 Gotta love this!

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 Bloomie’s had been advertising a huge sale on Kluft mattresses and I was sooooo tempted even though the last one I got there is only four years old.  All I can say is they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

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 That night I met Laurie Pie at Gelson’s on Laurel Canyon to be taken to a surprise destination for my birthday.  Yes, birthday…..I think there’s one more celebration coming up in two weeks.  Funny!  Anyway Miss Pie took me to Vibrato Grill/Jazz, Herb Alperts premiere jazz restaurant up on Beverly Glen Circle.

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 These four fellows are ‘The Tramps’ and were a throwback to Sinatra and the Rat Pack!  Great fun!

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 Laurie and I decided that this cute gal on the saxophone was absolutely amazing and great fun to listen to & watch!

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 Even the bread basket at Vibrato is cool!

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 We each had a roasted peach salad with burrata cheese.  Soooooo good!

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 Laurie opted for a dozen oysters…...

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 ….and I had scallops…..

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Now that I’m a wine expert, after much contemplation, I ordered a Pinot Grigio.  The orchids are a gift from Vibrato to birthday celebrants.IMG 1157Happy Birthday to me!

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 Thank you Laurie Pie for an extraordinary evening I will not soon forget!

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What day is it?  It’s grilled cheese with bacon day that’s what!  I used pesto for one of the inner bread slices and the other was coated with Maille’s Old Style Whole Grain Dijon Mustard.  Do I need to mention the ton of butter?

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These beautiful heirloom tomatoes were a must for inclusion.

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Besides being Grilled Cheese Day it’s also the 4th of July!

IMG 1187Mom and Vicki take a selfie…..

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But I decided to take my own photo….Gotta love mom’s ‘flag’ pin!

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We watched ‘The Music Man’ while waiting for the fireworks at 9:00.  That’s about the best 4th of July movie ever!

My phone just does not co-operate when taking photo’s of the fireworks.  Too bad as this year they were the best and we have a great view from the deck for Dodger Stadium, Universal Studio and the Starlight Bowl.  In addition, there was a lot of free wheeling fireworks all throughout the valley.

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I used to have to give Yuki valium but Kita is totally unperturbed by the noise and more interested in catching that possum!

IMG 1276Wishing you a week of fun and frivolity!

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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.