Friday, January 29, 2016

JOY at the HUNTINGTON.....


I always look forward to all of my classes but this past week at the Huntington was an explosion of JOY!  There were 19 students and we painted Camellias. 

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…….But first, because there were quite a few new students, I did a review of various brush strokes and the proper brush to use for each.

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By the time I remembered to take a group photo, class was over and half of the students had left…...
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 I met mom and Nikka at Americana later for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.  Nikka took this photo of mom and it’s one of my all time favorites.  Thanks Nikka!

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 The next day I was back at the Huntington Gardens with Amy for a private  'Downton Abbey' tour and high tea for the Fellows Committee.

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We were privileged to hear Catherine Hess, Chief Curator of European Art, talk about objects in the Huntington’s collection that were originally owned by the actual Downton Abbey Heiress, Lady Carnarvon.

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 Amy took some great photos…..

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Turns out this woman was quite scandalous and this portrait was featured in the movie ‘The Hamilton Woman’. (Just a little factoid for you.)FullSizeRender 2

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 ‘Pinky’ by Thomas Lawrence in 1794

FullSizeRenderAnd of course the famous  ‘Blue Boy’ by Thomas GainsboroughFullSizeRender 3

So many treasures…...FullSizeRender 2

Afterwards we all walked over to the Rose Cottage Tea Room where we were treated to a High Tea in the Herb Room.

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 I think this was my second helping…….

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 I was delighted to see this framed painting in the Herb Room of Camellias, our subject for the month.  Call that serendipity!

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Just time for a quick stop in the Gift Shop where Marta delightfully showed us where my Monkey cards are displayed.

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Amy notices everything and it’s a joy to share in what she spots.  Case in point, these little berries on the ‘Marina Strawberry Tree” that I would have completely missed!

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We’ll also have great fun painting Monkeys as it’s their year!  Lizzie Girl did a great job and I wish I had taken a photo of her work.  This was my demonstration painting.

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Later, I met Sandie Girl and we saw ‘Brooklyn’ but first….a tour of Reilly Manor to see all the amazing renovations they’ve done.  I especially love the master bath with this oh so interesting window treatment and the plants Sandie strategically placed.

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The grandkids room is a real winner….

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Off to Arc Light in Pasadena for the movie and two large tubs of popcorn as neither of us had lunch.  (Great excuse!)IMG 9699

Time for dinner at Tokyo Owako.  I’m not quite sure what this was but it looked nice and warm with lots of yummy stuff!IMG 9714

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 I figured out this was the Ladies Room.

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Next morning I met the beautiful Tina Marie for brunch at AOC in West Hollywood.

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I only mention that because they have the best French Toast on the planet and of course a side of bacon didn’t hurt. I polished off the bacon with no help but we split an omelet that surprisingly needed great help. Six hours later we staggered out wondering how anyone could sit that long on their all too hard chairs!

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Well, one must follow their heart and Kim is leaving us to go back to his love in the Philippines. That truly throws a monkey wrench in everything what with Sir Charles and mom.  Somehow it will all work out.  We’ll miss him and his entertaining outfits!

IMG 9720I’ll close this blog with a reminder to love everyone ‘till their buttons fall off!'IMG 9767

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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.