Monday, July 18, 2016


…..has got to be one of my favorite things to do.  IMG 4430Perhaps it’s because all of the china is hand painted by my dear friend, beautiful Lissi Kaplan, with love and tender care.

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I always love describing the work of my amazingly gifted friend.IMG 4443

Adorable Patricia and I spent an enchanted afternoon until we realized the day had turned to dusk!

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Is there a puppy I can see without photographing? Here’s a stylish pooch who is enjoying his stay at the Peninsula.IMG 4452

 Awwww…..I so love Sweet Maria who visited the studio for lunch!

IMG 4474I had this Mozzarella Cheese with Tomatoes and Basil as an appetizer…..Good EVOO thanks to Miss Judith.  Sea salt and Balsamic Vinegar. Yummy!

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 Don’t miss ‘The Art of the Steal’ available on Netflix.  It’s a documentary about the city of Philadelphia and the Pew Foundation riding roughshod over the desires of Alfred E. Barnes who amassed one of the greatest post-impressionist collections in the country.

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 We studied Waterfalls in this months Landscape class in the studio.  Maria’s lovely flowers remain beautiful!

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I also tested two new ‘custom’ papers I ordered from China.IMG 4495

 Nikka posted the new Mood Seals onto  You can see them under ‘supplies’.

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 I was treated to lunch at Malbec by a friend with the L.A. Opera.This is Ahi Tuna although it looks like a slab of meat.  Amazingly delicious!

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 Is splitting this so very bad?

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Thank you L.A. Opera for this awesome CD!

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 Because I didn’t eat enough at lunch I met Nikka and mom at Cheesecake and polished  this off with a Mango Smoothie!

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 The Bamboo is planted but now the Deer Chaser needs to be re-connected.

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 The man in charge (Doing all the heavy duty digging and planting) was a fighter pilot!

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 Now that I’m in this domestic mode I’m delighted ‘Flipping Out’ is back!

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The lovely and most brilliant Lisa B. came over for a working lunch…..

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 Honest….we’re working!

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 As a matter of fact we worked so hard pizza from Pappa John’s had to be ordered!  (two of them!!!)

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Next day  Kita made new friends as she was waiting to see Dr. Aberman at VCA Animal Hospital (time for shots).

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This fellow was also waiting to see the vet but I suspect he had a case of hangover morning.

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 Meanwhile Nikka was in the studio with Tony Oliver and his wife Judy showing them how to manage the wonderful new website she created for Tony.  Check it out at 

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For Saturday’s class in the studio we painted Koi and Butterflies.  Mina brought her friend Marie from Washington.  We had so much fun I forgot to take a picture.  Imagine that!IMG 4548

 Our dear Ann was in town for just the weekend so we only had time for a short visit.  She loved the story behind this scroll commission.

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 Love you Ann!

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 I just had time to dash over to Americana to meet Sandie and Jim.  They were treating to “Finding Dora’.  How cute is that!

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 Along the way to dinner I had to stop for this awesome Long-haired Akita.

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 Wait up you two…..

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 Every restaurant we went to had a one hour wait for seating so back we went to Nordstrom’s Bar Verde.  They too were pretty busy but had mercy on starving us.  Thank you Sandie and Dr. Jim for the delightful treat!

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May your week be filled with happy times of friendship!

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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.