Monday, June 25, 2018


What could possibly more joyful than a baby shower with the anticipation of
                                              new life, new beginnings!
                                      Beautiful Poolak, mother to be.....
Farnaz you did the most spectacular job...
Maryam and I had a wonderful time!
Amy and I went to The Music Center Foundation's Summer Celebration
The event was held at The Mullin Private Automotive Collection where antique French cars are on display.

It was quite an evening!

As always, the Salon at Carol Soucek King's home was filled with the most interesting people all doing amazing things to make life on our planet better.
Thank you dear Carol for opening your home and your heart!
Farnaz and I went to see Maryam's Seyhoun Gallery exhibit in Santa Monica.....
A Tribute to Masoumeh Seyhoun, her father and world renowned architect and artist.
All this talent is one family...Here's Maryam's brilliant cousin, artist Jason Noushin.
I love this painting of his!

Yours truly with delightfully charming Princess Francesca Gioia Drommi.

Afterwards Farnaz and I went to Shutters on The Beach for a late dinner.
I know, this should have had a candle in it!
Precious Molly Girl in town briefly, leaving her nest in Mexico and inviting me over for lunch and some catch-up time!
Since I'm on the subject of lunch (surprise) how about this lovely table set by Her Loveliest, dear Maggie!
I was knocked out seeing that I brought Maggie a book in line with what she had been studying.  Amazing and truly joyful!
Well Father's Day was coming up so Maggie and I decided to return to the Royce at the Langham to enjoy their amazing buffet. This was just the area for starters....
Yummy Prime Rib awaits at the end of this area...
A lovely way to spend an back to the diet!
Rosie in from Pennsylvania and a special private class in the studio...
Twentyeight students in the Brush painting class at the Huntington Botanical Gardens!  We had so much fun.  Yes, it was JOYFUL!!!
Joan,Shirley and Gwen, the three amigas.  Delightful new students for the studio's Brush painting class!
So many moments to find joy but in keeping with the baby shower at the start of this blog, I've been so thrilled to watch as these precious doves hatched and grew right at my front door.
I'll close with this photo of the fledgelings!
I wish you joy!

Friday, June 15, 2018


.....because with the get a candle and with the candle you can make a wish for the person you're with!
This year's birthday started early, just about at the beginning of May.  Dear Patricia picked me up and drove to the beach where we both waded into the ocean and had the best time ever.

Included was a conversation with this seagull.
 Next we were off to Moonshadows in Malibu for lunch.
 But wait...there's more......the cake!  What great fun we had in the Polo Lounge and I think the entire staff joined in!!!
Thank you lovely Patricia for the most memorable of days!
Now how cute is this!!! Kc brought this adorable note and the most fabulous cupcakes ever to the studio class!  Thank you dear Kc!
Laurie Pie presented me with another exotic plant but no instructions for it's care.  We still haven't done the B-day thing but hey, I was seven months late for hers!
The May class at the Huntington was so much fun, as always...
It was a special treat to have Jim Folsom stop by!
The added surprise of a Frango Mint  birthday cake baked by the one and only Adorable Lulu was as they say 'The frosting on the cake!!!"
Thank you dear Lulu...You really are the cutest!
Awesome Maggie planned a delightful evening at A Noise Within......

....and was a conspirator, keeping me out late so Nikka could finish her birthday surprise and was it ever a surprise! First, the cake!  

And yes, we had cake at 1:00 A.M. and then I was told there was something in the office. Now what on earth could this be???
Can you imagine opening that huge box and having all those balloons pop out?  Nikka had a special theme going on and if you ask...I'll tell!
Precious Diana Ming Jeong and Lee Powers, her handsome Prince gave me these beautiful flowers...Can you tell they're designed by Amy at Le Jardin Privé?
Nikka thought I needed another cake!
On May 18th, my actual birthday, it was off to The Peninsula Hotel with Amy for what turned out to be a three candle day. Cake number one at The Roof Garden....

Then it was off to the spa....
Dinner in The Belvedere gave me the second candle...
Then it was off to The Living Room to be serenaded by their pianist and have the third candle!
Kert and Maryam get ready to photograph the surprise birthday cake at their house held by Dave & Alexis.  What a fun evening along with Izabela and Wayne. 

Here's the cake....See the candle?
Thank you Maria, Bridget and Nikka for the party time at Chado's in Pasadena.
WOW, two candles.....That called for singing Happy Birthday twice!
A day at the beach and lunch at Nobu's.  Is anything better?
With another candle!
Thank you dear Clara for a perfect day!
For a good time call Silvet.....She is so much fun you won't stop laughing! Lunch with her and Amy at Gale's in Pasadena was no exception.

Two cakes, two candles and did Silvet ever light up when it was desert time!  We could have skipped lunch!
Well, why not keep the celebrating going.  Super fun on the patio with Bridget, Maria and Nikka!
And yes, a delicious Peach Birthday cake, candle and all!
I've decided you can't top a candle atop a chocolate Mochi at Din Tai Fung so even though there are two more candles in my future this year I'm closing this blog with a big thank you shout out to dear Lynne and Kc for the most hysterical time ever.
If you've been counting there were 14 candles and that's a whole lot of cake and wonderful wishes for my beautiful friends!


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.