Thursday, January 7, 2016


……we said a final farewell to the fantastic ‘15!

I was delighted to see one of my paintings illustrating the class announcement in the Huntington’s Calendar. 

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Time to say goodbye to my Christmas jamies for another year…….

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I met sweet Amy for lunch before she left for the Dominican Republic.  You know the rules….Amy joins Nikka and Tomiko in the ‘Please don’t take my picture’ department! Anyway, we had time for a quick bite at Recess Eatery and these don’t look like it but we ordered scallops.

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Fortunately Lisa doesn’t mind or at least she barely protests…..We met the next day at Recess….

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Where I also saw Awesome Noemi, Chef Sevan’s incredible mother…..

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Chuck picked Lisa up…long story….cars you know…..I was glad to have the chance to see him. Aren’t they the cutest couple?

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 Next stop Whole Foods which I am beginning to dislike immensely.  This is a slab of Prime Filet Mignon.  Whatever posed me to get it I do not know.  Sandie Girl gave me some ideas but referred me to our Martha Stewart…Linda Valenti.  (I love saying her name.)

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 Vicki insists that we have 13 pieces of round fruit for the new year.  This reminds me of when we were in Spain and were told to eat 12 grapes at midnight!  Or at least that’s what we thought we were told!

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 Warning!  Do not get this ‘Brie en Croute’ from Neiman Marcus, otherwise known as Needless Markup.  It arrived soggy and it was only downhill from there as you can see.

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 Dinner was ‘acceptable’ as I had wanted to keep it simple…..(You know what word follows after that!)  The roast was too much money for too little flavor.  I like mine raw, carnivore that I am and the rest of the folks prefer to kill their meat before consuming!  Love mushrooms and cranberries, the creamed spinach was O.K.  I need better glasses as I got a box of Near East Couscous instead of Rice Pilaf.  Vicki wanted to make the Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes and then we had grilled sliced tomatoes with grated Parmesan on top. 

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 All’s well that ends well and it did!

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 Mom enjoyed the ‘Crackers’ and all our silliness after dinner.

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 Nikka was so sweet to apply the Chanel lipstick Amy got mom.

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Mom stayed past midnight and we all cheered in the New Year!IMG 8672

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 Vicki was with Otto on her day off. Aren’t they just the cutest?

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  Jana and Ivan’s New Year’s Day open house…...

The food was yummy but disappeared rapidly as you can see…..

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 Our hosts, the handsome couple…..

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 Michele Hall and I had planned to go out for dinner after a brief stop in the studio…..

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 We enjoyed sitting there and talking so much that it occurred to me….why not order food in!

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 'Gourmet 88' to the rescue and it was delicious as always!

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 Moving on thru the New Year Tomiko and I had a bite at Bar Verde at Nordstrom’s before a movie….

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 Don’t miss ‘The Big Short’…...

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 This little white powder puff of a dog, a cute Bishion Frize, was hanging out at Americana.

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 Kita could not believe her good fortune to get two amazing hikes with Mary Beth and friends!

IMG 8738May all your days be as joyful!  Happy New Year!!!

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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.