Monday, November 26, 2018


November is always the month for the Brush painting classes to work on Christmas cards and we all had so much fun at the Huntington Botanical Gardens doing just that!

Sweet Lulu surprised me with an amazing cake with a design of the mailer for the class exhibit at the Crain Art Gallery, along with a touching card signed by all the exhibitors.

Brush painting student Ralph Komai was a student at Caltech when Richard P. Feynman won the Nobel Prize for Physics.  He wrote a charming article recently for the Caltech magazine about his experience drawing a Snoopy cartoon about Feynman in 1965.

The class in the studio decided to focus on Christmas birds along with the Poinsettia.

Sandie Girl brought her 11th completed needlepoint Christmas stocking to class.  This delightful one is for Noah. Bravo!

How cute is this!  Diane took a photo of Kita and then made this paper collage of her!

On to the birthdays!
Amy & I celebrated her special day at Petrossian's on Robertson in West Hollywood.

It was a total surprise for Amy and I was delighted that their once a month caviar tasting dinner was so close to her birthday.

The wines they serve with each course are amazing.

Let's have some Happy Birthday cake!

Lovely Lisa Bowman celebrated dear Amy with a fabulous tea at The Langham in Pasadena.

We liked it so much there that Amy & I went back to celebrate some more with that Petrossian caviar!

After a delicious lunch.....of way too much food except for hibernating bears...

And more cake....

We waddled in to the bar area to recuperate with some tea...

But wait....It's time for Amy to celebrate Clara at Matsuhisa where we ordered just about everything on the menu!

Time for cake!

I wondered why our server wanted to take our picture with his camera!  Isn't this the best idea ever...

More celebrating with a lovely luncheon at Valerie's for Carol...

Everything was so delicious, especially this exquisite cheese soufflé' awesome Josie prepared...

I'll have some of that....

The birthday girl.

But wait...there's more....I really surprised Laurie Pie with tickets to the opera for her birthday...

I can't say I understood Phillip Glass's 'Satagraha' and for an introduction to opera for Laurie ...well...

There were two intermissions so we were able to snack and discuss everything in the Founder's Room.

I hope every day is a celebration for you!


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.