Tuesday, December 18, 2018


began with Carol Soucek King driving awesome Curtis McElhinney, myself and Suwako, famous authority on the kimono, on a delightful excursion to El Segundo. Why you may ask?
Curtis, an award winning documentarian (curtisvision.com), has been filming Carol and her Salon for several months and compiled a one minute film 'The King of Arroyo del Rey' to be shown at the 2018 ESMoA Film Festival 'MATRIARCHS'. Curtis filmed as we drove....


After the film we had great fun and delicious food at Sausal's.

On to The Music Center...

...to meet dear Maggie at The Mark Taper for a production of 'VALLEY of the HEART' which I found quite sad and depressing aside from history continually doing a loop on itself!

Time for good cheer at Kendall's Brasserie after the play...

Let the Christmas celebrating begin, starting with an invitation from dear Maggie for a lovely dinner at The Athenaeum with her wonderful friend Tom.

Do I look like a Christmas tree?

Now not so much...

Back to The Athenaeum for a delightful lecture on 'The Science of Snowflakes' by Kenneth Libbrecht.

Libbrecht was the 'Snowflake' consultant on FROZEN!

 I can't even begin to describe how delicious this was...

On to Palm Springs to do a workshop at Sunnylands, the awesome Annenberg Estate. Here's the view from the Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage.

But first, a light repast.😂

Class was wonderful and all of the participants did beautifully, even beginners!

Nikka and I had dinner afterwards at The Ritz-Carlton  with dear Lynne Tucker (of Pro travel) who lives in Palm Springs now and attended the class. It was so very good to see her!

Thank you dear Lynne for always having a treat for me wherever I stay.
Did someone say party? Birthday party?
Indeed! A surprise party for dear Violet at True Foods Kitchen.
Here's sweet Lynne, Nikka and Kc waiting for the birthday girl.

With Violet, the birthday girl! Can you see the birthday buns?

Time for LA Opera  and Hansel and Gretel with Maggie.  Great fun!!!

Tea anyone?  Looks like December is Maggie month.
Hiroko to the left is Maggie's Japanese teacher and Kathy to the right is Ralph's new friend.

Thank you dear heart for hosting such a lovely Christmas tea at The Athenaeum.

Let's hear it for the lunches...One has to eat...doesn't one?
With precious Carol O'Toole at Trattoria Amici...

My favorite peeps, Eliza, Amy and Marine at Olive and Thyme...

Molly Siple was in from Mexico and we talked forever back at Olive and Thyme...

Next day a wonderful class Christmas party in the studio...
Darling Kc knows she best bring these amazing salmon thingies as I look forward to them each year.

However, Tony's wife Judith made these bacon wrapped cream cheese & cheddar cheese stuffed Jalapeño pepper's that were eyes roll back delicious!!!

The next day, Michael from MA came to the studio with lovely daughter Cleo and pup Bean to work on his annual Christmas card.

Yea, with Nikka's help we did it before Michael caught a plane back to MA!

See...Definitely a Maggie month!  Here the Loveliest one hosted her annual Christmas party in her warm and inviting home.

Note to self:  You can get this salmon at Fish King!

The cheese tower of power was almost gone by the time I drifted to it.

meanwhile the shipping department is busy with Christmas orders....

No peeps, Nikka and I won't be on the float...just our names!

Wishing you the brightest season ever!

Monday, December 17, 2018


Tuesday, December 11, 2018


 Over a period of twenty years, 5,929 wooden stools from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing(1644-1911) dynasties were collected from villages across northern China.
I was overwhelmed seeing them and realizing their humble beginnings
and the lives they represent.

This exhibit, at the Jeffrey Deitch Gallery also has 12 ZODIAC works each comprised of thousands of LEGO bricks. We'll say goodbye to the Year of the Dog with this one....

...and hello to The Year of the Pig!

Those of you who have read Lisa See's book, THE TEA GIRL of HUMMINGBIRD LANE
 will be amazed at this TON of TEA made from one ton of compressed Pu'er tea.  (It smells wonderful!)
 Note the wallpaper, THE ANIMAL THAT LOOKS LIKE a LLAMA BUT is REALLY an ALPACA. The design is a series of surveillance cameras speaking to the new normal in our world.

The overarching raison d'ĂȘtre of Ai Weiwei's work is a reaction to the tens of millions displaced by war, famine and climate crises with the message that humanity is one.
This exhibit closes January 5th.
Along with this, you don't want to miss the Ai Weiwei installation LIFE CYCLE at the MAURICE and PAUL MARCIANO ART FOUNDATION on Wilshire Boulevard.

You've be awe struck seeing LIFE CYCLE...

To quote the movie Cinderella, "have courage and be kind."


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.