Thursday, June 9, 2016


….is going on here and the month of June will be a messy time street wise!

IMG 3476Phase one was removing the old pavement and next the cracks got gooped!

IMG 3511When I phoned the contractor to find out what day/days we’d be unable to pull out of the driveway I was told they have no clue and don’t even have all their permits yet!  Wha??? Your city works for you!!!

Amy and Marian came over to see if they could use any of the Chinese children’s books.  Marian is a wonderful collage & assemblage artist and found several that she can use in her amazing work…check out  We still have quite a few books left so please do come over and pick out some.

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Time to meet mom and Nikka at the cheesecake Factory.  This humongous plate of Nachos is for the table and may I say it’s soooo good we’re going back for more tonight!IMG 3461

I wasn’t stuffed enough so I ordered all this and those two got some shrimp dishes.  This is definitely out of control!

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After stopping for ice cream cones (correct) mom & Nikka tried on hats at Nordstrom. So cute!IMG 3467

The birthday celebrating continued with a yummy Strawberry Whipped Cream cake from Tina Marie and more singing….

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Fortunately on Saturdays there’s street parking so Calligraphy went on as scheduled. Adorable 91 years young Ada is sitting next to Tom and Johnny, her 93 years young BOYFRIEND is next to Miss Judith! Just too cute!!!IMG 3503

My Sweet Amy decided there was more B-day celebrating to do so off we went to the Langham in Pasadena.IMG 3528Getting a little better at selfies…..Note to self:  Remove glasses!IMG 6009

I always love going to that hotel and seeing the courtyard where Charles & I were married.  It was the Ritz Carlton then.IMG 3538

Just time for one last hurrah before starting my diet.  The perfect place was Bea Bea’s... a jam (no pun intended) packed 'breakfast all day' haven in Toluca Lake where their motto is ‘BREAKFAST IS EVERYTHING’. Sweet Lulu was game for going there but we actually had more of a lunch thingie and ate outside as inside you can’t even hear yourself trying to think!  Plan on a good half hour wait for a table if you’re lucky!IMG 3554I can’t think of a better way to close this blog entry so I’ll wish you lots of yummy treats where the calories don’t count!

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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.