Tuesday, March 6, 2018


I look forward to doing a blog solely devoted to Christopher Slatoff who is not only a brilliant sculptor but a true universal man. Nikka and I plan on going to Christopher's studio when our schedules converge but in the meantime I wanted to introduce you to him. Slatoff's formal education included a year in France at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and the Faculte d'Letres of the Universite d'Aix- Marseilles.

Sunday is my day of rest, rest that is if I can get through the New York Times!  Charles used to kid me that I told someone I didn't read the L.A. Times (just the N.Y. Times).  I guess that could sound elitist. Oh well, truth is we both read it.

Back to Sunday. There was a special presentation hosted by the California Art Club at the University Club of Pasadena.  'INSIDE THE ATELIER: CHRISTOPHER SLATOFF, a Conversation With CHUCK KOVACIE'. By the way, Chuck is a brilliant interviewer!
You can see from this slide that Christopher never does anything small!

Fuller Seminary is right across the street from the University Club so afterwards everyone walked the short block to see Christopher's moving devotional, liturgical sculpture piece.  It is way to deep and moving to go into detail here so I just suggest you see it for yourself.
Note to self:  Take time to think of 'otherworldly' things.

Cutie Patricia is third from the left.  We had originally planned one of our marathon days at Bistro Gardens for 8 hours of 'girlie' talk but this interview came up instead.
It was time for lunch and where better than The Langham for lunch poolside.

Inspired, I was seeing art in everything......

After a couple of hours it got rather cool so off we went to the bar area and a nice cozy spot by the fireplace.
Was that when I realized my ring was missing?

Note to self: When people tell you things.  PAY ATTENTION. 

Valerie had cautioned me weeks ago about not taking my rings off when I wash my hands.  Of course I didn't listen and did exactly that at the University Club.  Some people learn the hard way.  Just saying.  It was still a joyful day and we nearly beat our record of 8 hours!.

Awesome Carol Soucek King asked me to go with her to watch a Master Class with the amazing Susan Graham, featuring members of the L.A. Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  It was fun to be in the Founder's Room seeing it filled with only chairs and not tables to relax and feast.
I was fascinated watching Susan coach the young opera 'stars' and it reminded me how they will continue receiving daily coaching during their entire lives.

Note to self: Study, study, study and learn, learn, learn.  Always expanding to make room for joy.

Of course it's always nice when there's food too!
I got this book for Maggie as she is the only person I know who would/could appreciate it.  Bingo...I was right!

Note to self:  Read things outside of your wheelhouse from time to time.  You might find new worlds opening up to you.

You're probably wondering when I'll get back to lunches & dinners.  Well, one I never want to miss is with Farnaz, my doctor/inventor friend who always inspires me.
Another source of continual inspiration is my precious friend Lisa Di Vita, A.K.A. Lisa Bowman, author of 'THE SHATTERED PEACOCK'.  (You'll remember I did a blog about the fantastic book signing in the studio not that long ago.)
Lisa was giving a talk about her book at Carol's Salon on 'The Spiritually Creative Life' and so went another Sunday.
It's always such a diverse group of 50 or more interesting people at Carol's.

Note to self:  Don't just hang out with people who share your expertise/interests.

If you want to know the secret of what brings me the most joy...it's my students who never fail to make my heart sing!
The class at the Huntington is so much fun it's a miracle we get any work done.
Here's cutie Lulu who is so creative and always knocking me out with what she does.  This jacket she painted is a good example of that.
And of course each and every student in the studio class is dearer to me than words can say.
I'll close out this blog with the reminder to myself....Don't forget to dance.  Especially to Bruno Mars
'Uptown Funk'!

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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.