Monday, October 31, 2016


O.K. everyone, this is how it is!

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Having a fun time in the studio lecturing to a group of Brandise University supporters ‘The Brandeis Gadabouts’.  What a great group!

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It’s so wonderful to be surrounded by artist and writer friends.  My dear Grace is not only a brilliant, gifted writer but a wonderful go-to person for terrific books to read.  We had a relaxing day on the patio with a note to self: Do this more often! Thank you Grace for that and for the joy of your friendship!

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How does our puppy get so dirty?  No problem now that we have Liz, our wonderful mobil dog groomer.  This is way easier than taking Kita to the groomers.

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Take a good look because clean doggie doesn’t stay this way for very long.

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We go in depth in the studio Landscape class.  Last session was a study of Bada Shanren with a dollop of Picasso’s methods thrown in!.

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I can always count on Lulu for being inspired and doing painting after wonderful painting all from that ‘magic’ paint dish of hers.  It fascinates me. Here we strike a Vanna White pose!!

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Time for a play date with beautiful Susi.  We chose the Roof Terrace at the Peninsula Hotel and it was a perfect day for it although I was dressed for winter.

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Sooooo lovely!

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Just as a lark I decided to take advantage of the marvelous spa they have at the Peninsula.  What a time I had.  Got soooo relaxed I had to sit in the ‘relaxation’ area for almost two hours until I could walk a straight line!

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In the 'Living Room' this pup was charming all the ladies having a late afternoon tea.

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All set with gifted Lissi Kaplan’s hand painted china!

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Moving on… moveable feast, time for lunch with dear Jean at Sweet Salt in Toluca Lake.  So yummy!

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O.K., so perhaps I overdo it on the eating but it’s so much fun…..This time with dear Amy at Julienne’s……I could move in there!

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You just have to see this magnificent floral creation at the California Club designed with a heart filled with love.  Amy did it again!

IMG 8395May each day show you new 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.