Monday, August 1, 2016

TONS of FUN.....

…..beginning with Maggie as we attended a cooking class at ‘PIRCH', one of my favorite, joyful places.

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Chef John made sure all participants had a station and a task….

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 Maggie polished up her knife skills with onions, tomatoes and a few other items….

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 How amazing was catching this on one of the ovens…..

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 I assigned myself the task of official photographer so you’ll have to ask Maggie what all this is….

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 O.K., I did chop the capers with a very little knife and grated the zest of the lemon…..

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 There was no way I’d get near one of these all too sharp knives…….

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 Maggie was in charge of the most delicious pasta sauce EVER!

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 Meanwhile, at the fresh pasta station…..

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 Final product for the sauce…..Again, ask Maggie for all the ingredients.  I know my capers and lemon zest are in there!

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 Sandie Girl, Chef John cooked the strip steak on the salt block.  I might remember the process if hard pressed…..

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 Oh sooooo good…..

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 More yumminess…..

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 Cutie Melody who is in the gift section at Pirch came by to say hello….

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Yes, happy and content…..and FULL!IMG 4841Until next time……..Remember to be joyful!IMG 4769

More fun.  Standing in the popcorn line before seeing ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ with Eileen, hubby David and Eileen’s cousin Nancy….IMG 4852

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 How cute are Eileen and David….

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 …and here’s cousin Nancy. I was treated not only to the movie but also to dinner at Wood Ranch…. Thank you dear hearts!

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Oh no. Not more eating!  This time at Prosecco Tratorria with Lynda…...IMG 4881

This was the second time I ordered this lucious Watermelon and Mozzarella….IMG 4883

 You’re probably not interested in the fish we had so I’m going straight to the Panna Cotta...

IMG 4890Joan and Vivian came over to discuss a talk I’ll be giving to their group and it gave me a chance to show off some of Lissi Kaplan’s exquisite hand painted china.IMG 4682O.K., back to the eating…..This time at La Grande Orange in Pasadena with Amy…IMG 6721…….to meet Lisa…..IMG 4746Nikka created and designed the most wonderful website for Tony Oliver.  Check it out at  Tony was so delighted….he sent Nikka these beautiful flowers!IMG 4756

Nikka joined the class at the Huntington thanks to Ralph who encouraged her to do so.IMG 4698

We worked on Cranes and Pine, Plum or Bamboo that could be placed in a Crane painting.  Someone saw doggies in my demonstration strokes for the Crane’s tail.  Is this turning into a Rorschark test?IMG 4706

Our adorable class……….IMG 4709

 Nikka & I were really tired and hungry so it was off to Din Tai Fung for an early dinner.  First…Must have Bobba’s….

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This is where to find the very best Pork Dumplings and Garlic Green Beans.  We also had another pork dish with rice that was sensational!IMG 4712Time for Maria and Bridget to have a Kita encounter…..IMG 4919

And then time for me to meet Molly Girl at the Arclight in Pasadena…..

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'Cafe Society' was pure Woody Allen and we loved it!….IMG 4935I got over a hundred re-tweets on this photo of Kristen Stewart, female lead in Cafe Society.  I Tweeted it because she was in 'Catch That Kid', which filmed here a couple of days and she sat & studied on our patio as a mere twelve year old!IMG 4944

 Kita wants to be adopted by David, Emma’s BF…….

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 To see some lovely artwork and just chill out….order this from Netflix….

IMG 4761Wishing you a world colored with beauty!

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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.