Monday, May 25, 2015


……began my birthday week.  (I know what you’re thinking……and yes, there has been a bit of partying going on.)

It was also this little girls birthday and she was thrilled to pieces to celebrate at the Peninsula!

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Clara you’re sooooo cute…..

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Clara’s friend compiled this wonderful book of their time in Japan together….

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So professional!IMG 9243


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It even has the food they ate!

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Could anything be served on a more beautiful plate?  I think not.  Of course you know our gifted and lovely Lissi Kaplan does all of the china services for tea at both the Peninsula and Montage Hotels (among others).

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Thank you Clara for a perfect day & the gift of your friendship!

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Great fun to see Lissi's photo & china in the Peninsula’s Gift Shop!

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Another photo of my exquisite birthday flowers from dear Amy!

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I am surrounded by beauty in a garden of love!IMG 9284Birthday morning pre coffee!

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Thank you darling Charles.  I love you so!IMG 9319

Hugs for precious Amy!

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Bourbon Steak was the restaurant of choice to celebrate with mom!IMG 9363

‘The table’ gets these yummy fries!

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Tuna tartare for me…..

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…….and marrow bones.  (Kita loved them!) Petrossian in West Hollywood does these the best so note to self:  Go back there!IMG 9373

Make a wish...

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Love you darling...

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 Birthday lunch the next day at the University Club in Pasadena. (There’s a yummy fish under all this.)  Trying to be good I passed on dessert.

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 When I arrived home this darling couple walked by and so of course I had to ask….’Want to walk our dog?’  You know the rest of the story.

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 Class at the Huntington the next day was a lot of fun painting the Plum and somehow I got it into my head to do a moonlit Plum.

 I don’t suggest this at all as you’re just asking for trouble!IMG 9446

I think someone donated their ’bug’ collection to the Huntington as there were trays and trays of them in our classroom.  Some so large you could name and put a leash on them.  Many beautiful, mostly horror show variety.  Let me know if you want me to post them on the blog…enough requests and I’ll do it!  IMG 9440

 O.K., so here’s Brett, Kita’s new love interest trying to get her back home after a romp in the park.  She adores him!

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 And the celebrating continues with my dear Lisa Bowman.  Did you know that she sang at our wedding?

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 Yes Lisa, you did finish that big bowl all by yourself! Although I opted for the smaller version, it was so good I wanted more!

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I had used the valet parking at Pirch so after lunch at Granville’s we went there.  Lisa’s holding up a deck of gold (correct) playing cards!  Along with a cappuccino in the other hand.IMG 9515

 Time to check out the progress in mom’s condo.  The floor is in, cabinets all finished and just waiting for the caesarstone counters & appliances.

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 Josh was enthralled….entranced….enchanted by mom at Cheesecake.

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 Yes, we were delighted to participate in  Not too late…Phone 1-844-446-6673 to donate.

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 I love Harry!  'Harry’s Hair Design' 846 West Glenoaks Blvd. Glendale 818-246-6797

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 Danny Chen’s workshop in the studio was wonderful.  I’m so proud of everyone!

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I wish I had a photo of everyone’s beautiful work!
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Thank you Tony for the wonderful birthday box of delicious See’s candy!

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 Nikka & I finished up our work in the office & then headed off to the Embassy Suites for dinner with mom & Vicki.  Their theme was ‘Movie Night’/

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As long as I have my Voss water I’m happy!

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Next days workshop with Danny Chen was Mandarin Ducks!

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Po Chu really enjoyed the class!

IMG 9719Good job Pam!

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Kathy was hard at work…..IMG 9735

…..As was Clara!IMG 9696

Meanwhile puppy had a nice walk in the park with Mary Beth.

IMG 9684Wishing you blue sky’s……...

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And flowers every day!IMG 9428


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.