Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Starting with the most over the top amazing Nowruz celebration at awesome Farnaz's!

 Precious Maryam......
I wish I had taken a better photo of Farnaz....we were having a fun moment with Poolak, her beautiful daughter.

 Clara treated Amy and me to the most beautiful afternoon at Nobu in Malibu.  For joyful, that has to be at the top of the list!  Just being so close to the water on such a lovely day was a real treat.  Of course the food can't be topped and the friendship is sublime!
 Hi Amy!
 Thank you dear Clara for a perfect day!
 Afterwards Amy and I went with Clara to pick up her beautiful Tesla.  What an amazing car!
 Another fun catch up lunch at The Athenaem with the Huntington's delightful  Cris Lutz.
 Then on to Easter at the Reilly Manor.
 Sandie's table was beautiful and looked just like spring.
 Nikka helped out in the kitchen while Sandie played with the plates!
 Thank you Yoshida-san for doing such a wonderful job planting all the roses.  It's no fun digging into granite!
 I was totally surprised to see my name on this wall at the Huntington.  Cris Lutz had to point it out to me at the Huntington Successor's Event..
 Amy and I had great fun there.....
 Of course the food and the amazing shrimp that were passed about...
 Special thanks to the brilliant Jim Folsom for all the many years of kindness to me.
 We heard a very scholarly lecture on William Blake.
 Time for lunch at Bloomies with Beautiful Mary....
 If you're a foodie and haven't been to Julienne's in San Marino I suggest you cancel everything and head on out there.  It's even more fun than Joan's on 3rd!
 So, what better place to celebrate precious Maria's birthday!
 Maryam was kind to come over and check out the Persian carpet Mr. Nouri delivered.....
 This was earlier in the day when I was selecting a runner from literally thousands of rugs.....
 Back to Bloomie's, Lex and 59th because Lizzie and I were in need of our smoothies....
 Kita really wanted a bite of Chef David......we could hardly get any work done....She's in love!
 Same thing with party planner Stephanie......
 It probably is all about the food and Dim Sum at Maggie's topped the chart!
 Later, John, one of the travelers on the special trip to Egypt, showed his slides and gave a thoughtful, scholarly talk on the trip.
 Time for dessert.  Maggie puts out quite a spread.
 That evening it was on to the California Club for the Opera League of L.A. Peter Hemmings Award Dinner.

 We were treated to performances by the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists.  It was absolutely thrilling.
 The next day (Sunday) Maggie brought visiting John over to see my studio and I gave John a lesson in Bamboo leaves! (Actually I had set the day aside to pack for Boston.)

It's Tuesday, my flight leaves tomorrow morning and I have no clue how or what to pack.  The weather in Boston has been awful, cold, snowy....you get the picture.  This will be interesting......interesting but always joyful!

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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.