Monday, June 27, 2016



….…..for so many people and there’s no exception at the Parkers!  However, Sir Charles gets treated royally and makes our hearts glad. The Bistro Gardens on Ventura Bulevard is a lovely place to celebrate!

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But first there were presents….

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I posted a favorite photograph of my father on Facebook….

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Next day I met Lizzie Girl at mom’s and off we went to Pasadena in that 100 degree plus weather….

 A Birthday lunch at Settebello’s…...

IMG 3894Then thanks to Lizzie’s noticing it, one of the most awesome movies ever at the Laemmle!  A HBO Documentary ‘The Music of Strangers’ telling how Yo Yo Ma got musicians from all over the world to work together to create new and exciting music. They’re called ‘The Silk Road Ensemble’.  It was so heartfelt and I hope everyone sees it.  If you don’t catch it at the Laemmle I think you can order it on Netflicks. We needed a lot of Kleenex and a large popcorn!

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Time to catch up with Rose and Joan at Prosecco Tratoria in Toluca Lake.  IMG 3914We all had Whitefish which was delicious as always...

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But I could not pass up having this as well!IMG 3915I’m thoroughly disgusted with Viking products as I’ve had to replace the dishwasher, oven and now the stovetop.  Note to self:  Do due diligence and don’t be impressed by names.  Jean at Pirch always takes such extra special good care of me and there’s always a yummy treat waiting.

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Off to meet Nikka and mom at Cheesecake where the first thing to order is a Mangoe Smoothie… good but needs Boba!

IMG 3929Something was definitely off as we had to send this hot mess of a Nacho dish back and Nikka’s shrimp went back because we found out a new chef had used brown sugar instead of bread crumbs.  The server kept saying brown sugar was in the recipe.  Ha!  What about the customer is ALWAYS right???

IMG 3934Measuring for the new stovetop….

IMG 3951I think I need a new fridge in the studio as well…What on earth is going on?  Is this an appliance meltdown???

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 It’s always so wonderful when Olga comes over and we’re able to catch up over tea and cookies with this evening lasting ’till midnight!!  This amazing hand painted little bowl was brought back from Peru for me.  The detail on it is extraordinary & I can just picture the very, very tiny brush!

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 Here’s one of my demo paintings from class on Saturday in the studio…..Chinese Magnolia in case you can’t tell!

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 I was famished after class so Nikka and I headed straight for Habit Burgers and got the very best ever.  The fries were amazing!

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 Too bad Baskin Robins is right next door!  Pralines and Cream….Oh soooooo good!

IMG 3972Wishing you a sweet week!

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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.