Sunday, September 20, 2015


I can’t believe I’m actually wearing a skirt!   In addition, there may actually be two dresses in my closet (I’m not sure)!! This is so unusual that Nikka, my irreplaceable Assistant, insisted on taking a photo….

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Curious?  Well, it was for the Grand Gala fundraising event ‘MOONLIGHT and ROSES’ at Robinson Gardens. Everyone had their photo taken upon arrival.  More on that later.  Here’s awesome Kerstin Royce with George, her Prince, having their photo taken with Timothy Lindsay who was awarded ‘A CHAMPION FOR GARDENS’ standing with Marguerite, his charming wife.

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I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the amazing Co-Chairs of this magical evening:  Patti Reinstein, Julia Klein and Kerstin Royce with a special heartfelt thank you to Kerstin for all her kindness to me!

“Definition of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” W. Clement Stone

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Timothy L. Lindsay, 'Garden Champion Award' recipient, is the Superintendent and guiding light of the Virginia Robinson Gardens in charge of the ongoing restoration, preservation and programming of this historic site and a kinder soul you would have to search far and wide to find. A true Renaissance man, horticulturist, preservation & restoration expert and so much more!  Thank you Tim for your many kindnesses to me!

“Gardening is the purest of human pleasures.” Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

“To forget how to dig the earth and to tend to the soil is to forget ourselves.” Mahatma Gandhi

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It was so much fun watching people looking at my painting……Couldn’t eavesdrop….wouldn’t be polite!

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Diane and Page Jenkins: I was so happy Diane’s bid won as she had wanted this artwork from day one and I always suspected it was created just for her!

 “Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.”  French Proverb courtesy of Diane

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I think Diane took as many photos as I did….

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Can you spot Diane?

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The tables were so lovely with beautiful pink wraps for the ladies should the evening turn cool.  How thoughtful!

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 I don’t know, one’s feet can only stand so much so I spotted a comfy spot and had the most delightful chat with Grant Snyder, charming auctioneer for the evening.  I so loved hearing of his epiphany at an orphanage in Africa.

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 The dreamy moonlit evening in the Robinson Garden….

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 Finally my foodie friends….the following is for YOU! Here’s the Amuse Bouche….A delightful Summer Mellon Soup...

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 Nectarine and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Mozzarella and Basil… refreshing!

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 Sustainable Stripped Bass en Papillote Twist…Lemon & Kalamata Olive Butter,Tomato, Fennel & Basil Confit, Marble Potatoes & Fresh Thyme.  Served in Parchment Paper Twist, Crispy Parsnips and an Asparagus Bundle.

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Chocolate Cake with Creme Anglaise and White Chocolate Moon (how clever).  There was also a Family Style Cashew Honeycomb Brittle in Dark Chocolate that was the most delicious sweet ever!IMG 3832

 I was delighted to sit next to Beverly Hills Mayor Dr. Julian Gold and Michele his lovely wife.  We had the most interesting conversation!

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 Now who doesn’t love a gift bag?  Everyone does and this one was wonderful!  An elegant box of Cartier note cards, a lovely silk scarf from Ted Baker of London along with one of his leather card wallets, a $150. Gift Certificate from The Stevens Institute for a custom made facial (I’m soooo ready) and a photo memento.

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 I was thrilled to have my photo with Timothy Lindsay and Marguerite, his lovely wife!

“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.”  Elizabeth Lawrence

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I must include Harry, the Gardens mascot!

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I wish you beautiful flowers every day and if you want exquisite creations who are you going to call?  Call Amy at Menuah Flowers: 1.818.625.5243

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1 comment:

Lisa Bowman said...

What a glorious evening.

You look absolutely stunning. You must wear skirts more often!!


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.