Wednesday, October 24, 2018


... a stunning LA Opera performance,
which was the perfect way to celebrate dear Carol's birthday.
It's always wonderful to hear the pre-concert lecture and this one delivered by brilliant conductor James Conlon was no exception!

A lovely time in the Founder's Room during intermission.


Here's the thing, everyone loves Carol Soucek King so Curtis McElhinney, master videographer ( and I conspired to do some celebrating of Carol the day of the Salon.  My assignment was to get the cake...

It was quite complicated keeping this a secret until Yoshi could present it to Carol...

Curtis came through with the perfect tiara and scepter. Happy birthday dear Carol.

Carol & I went to Kylin Gallery in Beverly Hills for their new gallery's grand opening......

....with a ribbon cutting by Beverly Hills mayor...
Julian A. Gold, M.D.

...celebrating the work of artist Yoshio Ikezaki...

Here we are with Yoshikawa, artist extraordinaire, creator of amazing sculptural waterfalls.

Special thanks to amazing Lynne Tucker at Pro Travel who made my weekend at the Peninsula extra special.

My initials on the pillow cracked me up!

Waiting for a westside buddy to share brunch...

It was also the perfect time to celebrate dear Clara's birthday at the Belvedere. 
Now this was a really creative birthday candle presentation.
A hollow chocolate egg that looked like a Faberge egg!

On Sunday it was tea time in The Living Room with precious Patricia!

I'm always so proud to give a shout out to beautiful Lissi Kaplan's exquisite hand painted china with it's special pattern just for the Peninsula!

Speaking of about this ostrich one!!!!  Marsha Ramos, my template for effecting the planet for good, brought this beauty over for me to decorate for a fundraiser for Burbank's Family Service Agency's annual  'Imagine a City' Auction & Gala.

Sweet Amy, master of this sort of thing got corralled into doing the egg for me.


Nikka went to the event and got a zillion raffle tickets so she could get me this.  Of course, doesn't everyone need Minions?

Time for a special Brush painting class in the studio for sweet Leea and her adorable friends!

They even brought this amazing lunch!

Carol knows absolutely every architect in L.A. so I knew she would be the perfect person to invite to a Founders update on the Music Center's Plaza renovation. Sure enough, here she is pressing the flesh with old friend Bob Hale, the architect for the project.  Bob is Creative Director at Rios Clementi Hale Studios.  Check out their stunning work at

It will be wonderful!

I was so happy to attend the event honoring Dr. Larry Dorr & 'Operation Walk'  at The California Club.

....lots of yummy tidbits!

...and food too!

On to Julienne's, my happy place, for a delightful lunch with Nancy Baxter from the L.A. Opera.

And my favorite time of all?  Any Brush painting class, this one's at The Huntington Botanical Gardens.  Teaching brings me such joy!

My wish is that you always walk in your joy!

Bye for now!

Monday, October 22, 2018


What a great day!

After parking the car Nikka and I were shuttled to the event, passing so many interesting buildings on the huge  Universal Studio's lot.

I've been to these before so I was prepared to go crazy seeing all the animals.  The most fun ever was once in Beverly Hills where the small animals were caged off in an area for the little kids to play in. Of course Charles gave me the assignment of going in with them and catching a chicken for a photo opp.  Have you ever tried to catch a chicken? 😂
First stop Freckles, the sweet cow....Yes, she's real.

Next the area holding the precious lambs, goats, ducks and ducklings plus one very little piggy! You could no longer get in there and play with them. (Also, it was a much smaller setup.)

The ducks really have attitude.  Good for them!

How often do you get to pet a Llama?

Next we got a bunch of raffle tickets...

There were food stations set up in several places and lots of seating everywhere.  The food was delicious...I had a tamale and the best rib ever plus one yummy salad I had to get extras on! There was some custardy thing with fresh corn that was sensational!  I passed on all the fantastic deserts...

After that I felt like Blue, the 500 + pound pig! I get why George Clooney had one of these!

We weren't quite sure of this were we.....

Good idea!

What's wonderful is that only female animals are sent to the various countries and then the recipients are to give the first offspring to another family.

I was even less sure of Orlando, the water buffalo, after being cautioned not to pet him but so happy to remember all our sightings of them in China!

Buck, the steer, was much more accomodating.

The 'Year of The Pig' is rapidly approaching and Moby is ready for his closeup.

Hey, I almost missed this....How is that possible?

Nikka got to feed the lambs...It's a little slimy but thrilling!

....and I petted just about everything in sight!

Later on we sat down on one of the many bales of hay and listened to the auctioneer....

They had a brilliant setup ...Select volunteers had iPads and went about when you raised your hand and locked in your credit card right away!
Just a thought....You can get all manner of animals from chickens to an ox or how about a whole ark for $5,000.  What a great birthday or Christmas gift for any animal and people lover ...this little lamb would be so grateful!


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.