Friday, April 22, 2016


….celebrated in the Living Room at the Peninsula Hotel.


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Awwwwww……Kathy you are so dear to include me in this very special celebration….THANK YOU!  Hi Clara!

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I always love showing off the exquisite china our Lissi Kaplan hand paints for the Peninsula.  IMG 1386

The ‘Tower of Power’…..IMG 1393

O.K. Kaley, make a wish!

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Although I was completely stuffed like a goose I headed off to Amy’s where she was having a bash and wondered if there was enough food!

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The Tres Leche Cake from Porto’s is eyes roll back yummylicious!

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Cheese!!!IMG 1660

Thank you Amy for including me in such a wonderful evening! You are the ‘Hostess With the Mostest’!

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Well, next day I was hungry so off to Bloomies to meet Lizzie Girl for lunch.  I think we meet as much for the Strawberry Smoothies as anything….

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Afterwards I had about the strangest encounter ever and wound up talking to my new friend in the cosmetics department for over an hour!

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Landscape class was wonderful!  I’m so glad I decided to start the classes again as there is serious interest in Eastern Landscape painting.

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Monica is usually in the class at the Huntington but she wanted to give Landscape a try.  This was her first painting of the day.

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When she finished, because she’s my ‘Cy Twombly', I told her to do the same scene but this time paint it as you FEEL it!  This has gotten so many likes on Instagram & Facebook.  I wish you could see it in person.

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 The Heritage Society was having an event at the Huntington Botanical Gardens so I asked Amy if she’d like to go with me. It was a fantastic Jazz concert by  trumpeter extraordinaire Ron McCurdy and his jazz ensemble, ‘ASK YOUR MAMA, 12 MOODS for JAZZ’  by LANGSTON HUGHES.  There were readings later by the four high school winners of the city wide poetry contest.  Very inspiring.

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 Laurie Pie had said she’d be at the Tea Room celebrating her daughters birthday so Amy and I sauntered over there.  No Laurie and later I found out the reservation was in her daughters name.  Oh well, we had a chance to see the magnificent Rose Garden in full bloom.

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 Come on Amy……we cannot look at each and every flower!!!  I’m hungry and want to go to Marston’s!

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 On the way home Amy started to back up a city block.  Wha….Turns out she had spotted a dog walker with three Greyhounds.  Charles and I had been interviewed to adopt a rescue Greyhound before we rescued our first Akita but were rejected.  Apparently our little yard was not suitable as we had no way to fence it in.  These are the most lovable of all dogs who are so very grateful for being rescued from their life of living in a cage and racing that all they want to do is lay about and be petted!

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 I think Amy should hang this painting of hers in the dining room.  Shall we take a vote?

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I’m closing this blog on a note of domesticity.  Perhaps it’s all the spring cleaning that started it…...

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 Anyone for Ferragamo’s?

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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.