Saturday, March 24, 2018


...would be at the top of my list of amazing women that I know or have known.  I'm quite proud to say I have all of her exquisite books published by Rizzoli, the first being 'EMPOWERED SPACES' which is arguably my favorite.
It's in this book, 'Empowered Spaces', that Carol shows us several homes where this is markedly true.  Hers of course is included and if you've not had the privilege of visiting Carol in her home, may I suggest you attend one of her Salons on the Spiritually Creative Life.

It was at a recent salon that I had the joy of speaking once again about the metaphor of 'SUMA THE ELEPHANT' that little book I was fortunate enough to illustrate.  Suma, being captured by monkeys at an early age never realized that she could be free and we get to think about the strings/things that are keeping us from being our very best selves.
Dr. Dean Carlson wrote an inspiring poem based on the days subject. 

We're sailing on the sea of life, facing obstacles in our way
As we command our vessel, what will be our compass day by day?
We must express our true identity, it is all we really possess
Each person divinely implanted, with power to heal and bless.
We each have something special to say, no one else can say it just our way.
Our purpose: To add to the pool from which all may drink
Together sharing life's wisdom, single strands woven to one force
Greater strength within this union, the sum acquired from our common source.
Limitations, they're just illusions, threads masquerading as chains that bind.
See through these limitations. be kind.
And so, we travel through life's purpose, hand in hand much stronger than alone.
Arms embracing one another, until our journey finally brings us home.
Dean LeGrand Carlson ©2/17/2018
Lyric inspired by the writing of Carol Soucek King, MFA, PhD, Hua Amwa, Native American Spiritual Leader, Nan Rae, Artist, Motivational Speaker 

We were delighted to hear Dr. Carlson sing his composition for us.
Carol and I shared another special evening thanks to two tickets she had for the L.A. Opera's focus on John Neumeier, legendary Director, Choreographer and Designer for Orpheus and Eurydice.
The interview was held on the 5th floor of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and we enjoyed a delightful time of lovely refreshments before sitting down for the interview.

The California Art Club has monthly meetings along with a delightful luncheon at the University Club in Pasadena.  This past Sunday the guest speaker was artist extraordinaire, Peter Adams and we were enthralled listening to him.

The interviews are always conducted by Chuck Kovacie who does an amazing job.
Afterwards, Sweet Patricia and I went to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena and while strolling in the garden, saw the walkways were blocked off to protect a family of migrating geese who had decided to visit the museum.  Caught this one on the roof!

What a lovely day as spring rapidly approached.
Sweet Patricia stopping to visit Rembrandt's portrait of his son Titus. We took a time out to watch the movie of Simon's life, focusing on his becoming a collector at the age of 40.
Then it was off to Parkway Grill in Pasadena for dinner, completing another of our 8 hour marathon days.
The bread tower of power!
Ahi tuna....
Being bad....

The Amazing Lisa B. and I celebrated her birthday at Bistro Gardens and of course, as it was HER birthday, she gave me a gift.  A gift of garnet earrings she had purchased at Greiger's way before we met and she's for sure that Charles himself sold them to her.  She said the earrings were a gift from Charles. Awwwww.............Can you stand it!
I immediately took the earrings to Michael, the best jeweler in L.A. and he designed this ring, the base of which is Charles wedding band!
On to more lunches, back at Bistro Gardens with Mary and Keith for a Sunday brunch...

Lunch with Gallery owner Maryam and profound inventor Farnaz who never ceases to amaze me.
Tea time with Sweet Maria at Tea Rose Garden in Pasadena.
Dinner with the amazing Michele Hall at Bistro Gardens.
Now for my favorite thing...Class in the studio and being so proud of Kathy.
And of course, the awesome class at the Huntington Botanical Gardens!
Sooooo proud!
What are friends for?  Why to bring over all the fixings of an amazing dinner and cook for you.  Maggie of course, is the best friend ever!
Afterwards we had a spa night starting with masks of green goop from the Dead Sea brought back from Maggie's archeology trip to Egypt.  This was followed by some Beverly Hill's masks, lots of creamy stuff and more fun that you can even begin to imagine.  Thank you dear Maggie...You're the best!
I'll wind this blog up with a magnificent quote from Winston Churchill seen at the end of 'The Darkest Hour'.
Reach for joy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


The Broad Museum in downtown Los Angles has perhaps the most extensive exhibition of Jasper John's oeuvre that we will ever see.  Be prepared for an exhausting tax on your intellect as this is not something to stroll through blithely.
Be forewarned, although the museum is free, you will need to get a ticket ahead of time.  Even though this was a week day there were droves of people waiting in line to get in.  Actually there are two lines, one for those with tickets and a second for the poor souls who didn't think ahead.  And all these people happy to be here on one of the rainiest days in Southern California!
I'm going to show you some of the information about Johns but I highly recommend if you go to the show that you get a headset as it will be impossible to comprehend everything without one.
Flag 1958
While a flag is 'something the mind already knows' we have to keep in our minds the thought that this was a new, provocative artistic vocabulary in the '50's.  John's dreamt he painted a flag...and then the next day...he painted one!
Along with the 'flag paintings' the 'Target' series are among John's seminal works.
Target With Four Faces 1956

Target 1961

This work, cast in bronze, shows a Savarin coffee can containing paintbrushes.

The 'Infinity Mirrored Room' really disoriented me and I only stayed for a moment.
'OTIUM', an open kitchen, contemporary restaurant next to The Broad is one of my happy places! A 'foodie paradise'!!
Does anyone else just get high seeing things like this?
This red French Beret was so cute I had to take a photo!
I always love driving past Frank Gehry's magnificent structure, Walt Disney concert Hall!
Stretching past my understanding, walking through the door of unknowing may feel uncomfortable but always brings great joy!


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.