Monday, October 16, 2017


 Well you saw the preparation for the celebration of my mom’s life so here’s the wonderful event starting with grand flowers from Amy at Le Jardin Privé!! Mom’s favorite color was yellow!!!
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 Valerie, our beautiful ‘Hostess With the Mostess’ helps Amy place all the arrangements.
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My dear and precious Lisa Bowman sang at our wedding.  No surprise there as she was one of the stars of ‘A Chorus Line’!  Lisa not only got the musicians for our celebration, she supervised their setting up! Watch for a photo of Patricia, our amazing singer, later in this blog…..IMG 4566
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 Here’s Valerie with her incredibly amazing staff, getting ready to provide delicious yummies for all the guests…..
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 The tables in the garden were so lovely, each having it’s own elegant china pattern and crystal goblets…..All the tables and chairs belong to Valerie….no rentals here.  That sort of tells you how used she is to pulling off an event such as this!
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This table’s china even had butterflies on it!IMG 2152Dear Josie, the best chef in the world (along with being the sweetest) ……..
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IMG 2168I don’t know why Andrew didn’t get photos of the tables laden with deliciousness…...
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Let the celebration begin!
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 Nikka was at the entrance to the garden with the basket filled with 100 butterflies waiting to be released with wishes…..Dear Clara is about to receive hers!
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Everyone received a butterfly still encased in it’s little box along with instructions to release the butterfly upon entering the garden.  This was crucial as they had to be set free before sundown in order for there to be enough warmth to fill up their wings to fly.
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Dan Brumer gets proper instructions!IMG 0048
 Nikka made sure she released one too!
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 I do believe Beautiful Susi actually had a conversation with hers….
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 It was such a joy to have dear Danielle, Jim Folsom’s #1 at the Huntington join us.  Danielle has been my angel there since 1994….imagine!
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Precious Bridget with her beautiful long flowing locks and fairytale pink dress is in the view to the seating area from the gardens extension which is home to delightful chickens and bees!  If you ask for some honey or eggs you just might get lucky.
IMG 6418Mary and Dr. Keith take it all in….
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 Bill Guy chats it up with Laurie Pie and handsome hubby Dan…...
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 Love this shot of Amy taking a photo of Lisa and her butterfly before it sails off….
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This photo of Precious Carol is so dear for me because of the memorable picture of her making a wish to her butterfly at Charles and my wedding….In the background you can see Olga and George talking with Farnaz.  Andrew….We needed pictures of everyone!!!IMG 0142
 And here she is.  Multi-talented Patricia who brilliantly entertained us throughout the evening.  Thank you Patricia!
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 Dr. Stan and wife Helene, long time friends of mom…..Helene said she wore that same outfit to mom’s 100th….I think there was something different for the 90th!
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 How can I even begin to thank these two.  Dr’s David and Eileen who did yeoman’s duty helping me at mom’s and always being there for countless other things….they are amazing, kind and loving!
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 These two cuties, Sue and Steve, are from mom’s building where they all formed a love connection.
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 I’m not even going to try to express how I love Marine and Aram my new heaven sent neighbors. They and their family are the loveliest souls one could ever hope to know.  When mom left us, Aram came to my house and asked if there was anything he could do….You just don’t forget things like that!  I just wish Marine’s adorable sister Eliza and Tyler her great guy had been in town!
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 Dr. Farnaz and I have shared many a meaningful evening and how wonderful to introduce her to Precious Patricia the sweetest of the sweet.  I so love them both!
IMG 0111Haaaaa……Long time student Ralph and somewhat new but already dear to my heart bestie Maggie sit it out for a bit with Prince, all fluffed and puffed for the evening….
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 If you’ve seen my studio it’s time you see my brilliant architect Monique Schenk with wonderful hubby Ron Vock.  We’ve remained friends and I love to remember how pregnant Monique was when the project was nearing completion and she had to climb the stairs…….I just wrote a letter to Gabby, Monique’s lovely mother, living in Switzerland, who remembers lunches with mom.
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 Kind and brilliant Michael and Hildegard,long time friends who also knew mom…….
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 Now this is something really special.  Grandmaster Don Baird, world famous owner of the American School of Martial Arts and also the Academy of Kung Fu in Palmdale, shares a moment with me.  I can’t begin to describe the high esteem he is held in by countless people…..
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 The three Amigos!  Lovely Bridget, Amy and Maria on the right.  Maria is also a Grandmaster, Don’s wife and partner in every endeavor!  How I love them all!
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 After this blog finishes I’m going to start one on Debbie Korbel, ‘Artist Extraordinaire’! Debbie says on her website, ,
"Or maybe making art is a bit of a compulsion, channeled into a healthier behavior than excessive hand-washing or collecting a giant ball of string. Or perhaps it is like an instinctual drive. Food. Sex. Art. 
Anyway, luckily I became a sculptor, and not a drug addict or a career criminal."
And just think, this awesome sculptor began her journey with my Brush painting class but more on that coming soon….Here’s Debbie with Ed, her ever so supportive husband and all around great guy!
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Time to look at another lovely table….IMG 0036
 Do I have to even mention how much I adore and respect Lovely Lissi, creator of the most exquisite hand painted china (remember my photo’s taken during tea times at The Peninsula?) with beautiful Valerie and ever stylish Angel.
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Oh my goodness, long time student and friend Kathy, another gifted artist, with great hubby David chat it up with brilliant Satinder and creatively adorable Lulu! Check out Kathy Wong Artist on Facebook!Fullsizeoutput 1688c
 Repeating myself, I wish we had better photos of the delicious food.  You saw the menu in the first blog.  There isn’t even a picture of the memorable chocolate cake and other dessert goodies….
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 Let’s hear if for some crowd scenes.  Can you find yourself?
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Here’s Andrew, our photographer who apparently was just having too much fun chatting it up with the guests.  Can’t say I blame him as Charlie and Bonnie are about the most interesting and interested people on planet earth.  They were with the group I led to Japan and added so much to it.  I’m also proud to say one of my scrolls hangs in their Tatami room.IMG 6680
 Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking….'Remembering Rosella, A World of Thanks’…
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 Time to give thanks to everyone who made the evening so memorable….
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 I bet they’re wondering when I’ll stop…….
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 This is the only photo I have of Dear Dr. Jerry and his precious Alice…...
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 Oh my….am I still talking?
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 Nikka designed two wonderful posters.  This one shows all of the lovely people who knew mom and in the center is her favorite Emerson quote which was also included in the gift boxes of cards designed with mom’s art work that were given to all the guests as they left.
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Of course we had to have a poster all about mom!
IMG 6702And here is my mother’s life-long favorite quote:
Finish each day and be done with it, you have done what you could.  
Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is another day, begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.  
The day is all that is good and fair.  It is too dear with its hopes and invitations to waste a moment on the yesterdays.
Ralph Waldo Emerson 


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.