Wednesday, November 11, 2015


……and this past week was filled with it!  But first Nikka and I were getting the video ‘Looking at Art’ up on YouTube.  This talk was prompted by several articles in the New York Times ‘Art’ section about the major sales happening at Sotheby’s and Christies.

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That day, the New York Times also featured old fashioned food in their Sunday Magazine section.  This really inspired me to get out the big, big jello mold for Thanksgiving.  I used to make a three layer concoction with a delicious maraschino cherry and sour cream dressing. How’s that for being a Domestic Goddess!

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Meanwhile, Kita got her ‘Therapy Dog’ vest so perhaps she can go grocery shopping with me for the big cookout.

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Even getting new tires turned into a cooking/foodie experience.  I was re-reading Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Medium Raw’ and the serviceman at the tire place came over to talk about all things Bourdain.  Can you believe???IMG 6223

Then it was off to my happy place…’Pirch'…to check on the price of a beautiful bathroom robe hanger Clara wants to use in her new home.  Of course I stayed for my cappuccino and apple.

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Ta da!  New oven day!

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Charles had great fun watching the proceedings…..

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I measured so many times but the space was too small.  Fortunately the side sections of the opening could be removed.  Interestingly, I still have not measured to see if the turkey pan fits inside!  WOOPS!!!  Let’s all just think positively.

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Of course Kita had to be cordoned off for most of the day….as this turned out to be more complicated than anticipated….

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To entertain ourselves we recorded mom singing a thank you to all of her Facebook fans! Look at the expression on the installation fellow.  That tells a tale….

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Later in the day…some of the electrical outlets would not work and Armen, the electrician, had to come over and save the day.

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He’s the nicest man and sooooo smart!  Thank you Armen!

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Ta da! 😃👍🌟✌️💞

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It even tells me to enjoy my meal even if it was just warming up my coffee!

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After being penned up Kita was thrilled to see Mary Beth as that meant a great walk in the park!

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Apparently there was an art happening going on so Miss Kita thought she should pose in front of one of the installations.  This shot may make the christmas card!

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Howard Moss from the L.A. Opera visited the studio where somehow peace and calm reigned.

IMG 6357I was delighted to be gifted with the new Placido Domingo CD…..

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…and a list of LA Opera’s 30th season.

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Thank you Howard for the lovely lunch at Ca Del Sol.  This was the best Sea Bass ever!

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That should have been enough nourishment for the day but it was Thursday and you know that’s the day I go to the Cheesecake Factory and get takeout for mom and Nikka.

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The next day Amy had a huge job to complete and Nikka and I stopped by to cheer her on.  She worked so hard and this week she is paying the price for it with a fever and just feeling awful.  Sooooo sorry Sweet Amy!  We love you! ❤️

IMG 6378One of the container ‘boxes’ Amy designed…..

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Vicki was helping Amy open the roses.  Each petal had to be opened by hand and there were hundreds of roses!!!

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Bye bye Amy…..we love you!  ❤️💖💗

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You are looking at Sandie Girl’s latest creation.  A year’s worth of beautiful needlepoint about to be turned into a Christmas stocking.

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Here’s some of the amazing detail...

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Then Saturday it was Calligraphy with Shantien ‘Tom’ Chow which everyone loves!

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Nikka and I worked so hard in the office all day that the only answer was a pizza to restore some level of energy.  So happy  for Papa John’s.  Can you believe we devoured this entire pizza???

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I wish you blue skies and happy days filled with joy!

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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.