Wednesday, May 3, 2017


 There’s still time to be enthralled by TOSCA at the L.A. Opera.
"A night of powerhouse singing and strong conducting... Sondra Radvanovsky brought down the house." - Los Angeles Times
Fullsizeoutput 15436Amy and I were spellbound by this classic Puccini tale and the bravura performance of the amazing Sondra Radvanovsky!  We caught out breath and sat back to relax in the Founder’s Room during intermission.
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 I nearly walked past Lisa See but dear Amy snapped me to attention.  It was great fun seeing Lisa and hearing about all her touring for her latest tour de force, 'THE TEA GIRL OF HUMMINGBIRD LANE'!
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 Perhaps I should back-track a little bit.  I was quite prepared for this performance having attended a preview of Giacomo Puccini’s masterpiece the week before.  Here’s Brush painting student Louise with the Opera League’s guest lecturer Norm Cadman.  Norm examined the composer, along with the opera and the dramatic themes of love, passion and treachery!
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 Along with all that we had video’s of Plåcido Domingo’s performance in the ’90’s….brilliant!
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Now for art!  Class at the Huntington was another joyful experience and we accomplished so much!IMG 5864
Afterwards Nikka and I went to Chiang’s in El Monte to have some ginormous Lotus studies I did mounted…..IMG 1703
 Who wouldn’t need a treat at Din Tai Fung’s after that???
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 All month the focus was on Wisteria and just look at Kathy Wong's exquisite work!
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 Kathy’s daughter Kaley knows my Panna Cotta addiction and made me six delicious treats….Thank you dear Chef Kaley!
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 I went with dear Diane to see Shantien ‘Tom’ Chow’s awesome Brush painting and calligraphy exhibit in Huntington Beach.  We would pick the day the #5 was completely shut down.  What an adventure finding an alternative route which Diane navigated brilliantly!
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IMG 1755I wish I had photographed everything!
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Tom you’re amazing!
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 So proud to have this fine artist teach calligraphy in my studio for over eight years!  He’s loved and respected by one and all!
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 Well, I couldn’t let much time go by without a lunch break now could I?  Happily treated by  Nancy Baxter from the L.A. Opera  at Heritage Eatery.
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 How lovely to talk about all things ‘art’  over smoothies with my dear Lizzie Girl at Bloomies!
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 Now here’s Sweet Lynne Sim’s exquisite Wisteria Brush painting from another Saturday class in the studio.  Lynne has no idea how amazing her work is.
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And how could I forget dear Angie, a new Brush painting student who is doing wonderfully!
IMG 1804May beauty fill your world each and every day!
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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.