Saturday, July 9, 2016

WE LOVE THE 4th of JULY.......

…Perhaps it’s eating ice-cream on the deck watching the fireworks……..IMG 4148 ….but secretly I suspect it’s the grilled cheese sandwiches I always make.  Piled high with cheese, bacon and tomatoes and grilled with a ton of butter.  Everyone throws artery caution to the wind!

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It’s really all about the bacon!IMG 4131Mom loves them….

IMG 4137…and so does Charles!

IMG 4150Before the ice-cream a little watermelon to cleanse the palate….

IMG 4151We can see the fireworks at the Starlight Bowl….

IMG 4245Universal City…..

IMG 4255…and Dodger Stadium not to mention all of the illegal fireworks going off all thru the valley!

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Then it was time for some silly stuff!

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Next year, if you don’t make plans please do come join the party!IMG 4161

 I’m so grateful for Mr. Yoshida who came all the way from Santa Monica for me, his only customer on this side of town.  He brought the exquisite Juniper back into it’s glorious condition as when Jeffrey tended to it.  Mr. Yoshida also worked on the Black Pines and gave me some excellent advise on their care.  He’ll be coming back twice a year to make sure everything stays tip top!  Thank you Mr. Yoshida!!!

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 Kita could tell Mary Beth pulled up to take her to the park….oh joy!

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 Don’t you love this shirt!!!

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I was delighted to have Precious Maggie come to the studio to work on a special project!IMG 4044

And super excited to get the new Wolf stovetop!  Down with Viking!IMG 4002

 Awwwwww………….so happy!

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 I had a special invitation to see a technical/dress rehearsal of 'Grey Gardens The Musical' at the Ahmanson and Amy was able to join me.

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 Isn’t this fascinating?  All the various directors have their islands of computers set up where the audience would sit for a performance.

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When we saw a ballet dress rehearsal at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion it wasn’t nearly as complicated. That was great fun however because the director was speaking in Russian and Amy could interpret for me!IMG 4126

One of the many interruptions….IMG 4101

 We had the best seats in the theatre.  The first of the special boxes on the side.  Lovely Natalie stopped by to say hi.

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After that we were really famished so off to Din Tai Fung where we hit it just right and had no wait…..First…Must have Mango Boba!IMG 4114Then the usual suspects.  Pork Dumplings, Garlic Green Beans and yummy Cucumbers!

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Work started on the area around the elevator.  What a horrible job cutting down and then digging out the roots of the old Bamboo.IMG 4024

 And it was so very hot…..

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The project is coming along beautifully and next blog I’ll have some wonderful photos to show you.  In the meantime, beautiful custom hand made paper just arrived from China and I’m excited to work on it.

IMG 4348May your week be filled with productivity and excitement!

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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.