Thursday, May 26, 2016


 Sandie Girl and I are both May babies and so we like to do something special to celebrate together.  This year it was the Virginia Robinson Gardens 28th Annual Garden Tour. ‘De Colores, The Art of Botanical Seduction'

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 Pretending I’m with Frida Kahlo…..

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 ´This year Amy was chosen to do the flowers for the Living Room! Don’t you love her new name!!! ‘Le Jardin Privé'

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 I’m so very proud of you Amy.  Your work is magnificent!!!

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 What to do with a huge $25,000 Hermés Birkin bag?  Why plant peonies in it of course!!! (This in the room next to Amy’s.)

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 This wonderful sign was on the buffet table…..

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 Everything was sooooo good I went back for seconds…..

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Did I mention my shoes?  Rather Frida like don’t you think?IMG 2616

 Did someone say dessert?  I’m on my way…..

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 Too many choices…Me bad!

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 Had to check out 'Jo Malone' while in the pool area…...

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 Why did I eat those desserts?  I think I used to be thin….never this thin however.

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 Well Sandie Girl, Happy Birthday to us!  This was a great way to celebrate!!!

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 Waiting for my car I spied this area that reminded me of Monet’s garden!

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 Did I win the Le Jardin Privé lottery?  It appears so.  Thank you dear Amy!

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 Next day, some art at the Getty with Patricia…..

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 Except that we spent five hours eating and talking so….no art that day!

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 Time for the annual Heritage Society’s luncheon at the Huntington Botanical Gardens.

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 I was surprised, pleased and delighted to be seated at President Laura Skandera Trombly’s table. However, I started re-arranging the seating so Amy could be next to me.  How nervy can one get?  Nearly moved major donor Olin.  Eeeee gads!

Laura gave the loveliest talk about the wonders in the Gardens and I was stunned to hear her mention me and the classes that I teach there. Thank you Laura!

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 Sweet Cris Lutz announces everyone…..

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 The lecture was ‘Electric Fire, Tales of the Huntington’s Lightbulb Collections'.  Amazingly, this turned out to be fascinating.

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 Our attempt at a selfie!  Note:  Need more practice!!!

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This pretty much sums up all that I feel about the Huntington Botanical Gardens!

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 May your day be as bright and beautiful as these Matilija Poppies!

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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.