Monday, June 10, 2019

BRUSH PAINTING IN CAMBRIA

It was wonderful to hear from Professor John Seed who remembered me from a class of his at Art Center years ago.  John asked if I'd be interested in doing a demonstration and workshop in Cambria.  How could I say no!

I demonstrated Brush painting for four hours at the Cambria Historical Chinese Temple at Greenspace's Creekside Reserve on Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend which was part of Cambria Heritage days.

It's a rather small building so people had to be let in in shifts.

Here's Chance, the most interesting 40 year old in a 10 year old body.  I absolutely loved meeting him and what a conversation we had.  He loves Tulips and every year his parents take him to see the exquisite tulips in the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens near Amsterdam, Holland.  Millions upon millions of blooming flowers make one feel adrift on a sea of flowers.  I was thrilled to be there when visiting Amsterdam for a Van Gogh retrospective. I should have known better than to ask Chance what he wanted me to paint for him.  Yikes...Tulips, my least favorite flower to paint, mostly because they are quite stiff and it's hard to get something lyrical on paper.  In any event, Chance was thrilled that I dedicated this to him and now he's framing it!

With Professor John Seed and Pamela Lee who drove in from Templeton (a few miles south of Paso Robles).  Ada, Pamela's precious mother, took calligraphy classes from Shantien 'Tom' Chow in my studio in 2016 and I adored her.


Pamela brought her copy of my book 'The Ch'i of the Brush' that she purchased at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts for me to sign.


For the workshops at the Cambria Center for the Arts, I usually teach just one subject in each class with an occasional second subject something to have fun with but because it was just going to be a one time event, I wanted to give everyone an overview of Brush painting.
Somehow we covered three subjects, Plum, Bamboo and the Chinese Magnolia with an hour for each! It was great fun and hopefully everyone enjoyed it.  As you can see from the photo, everyone did wonderfully!

Time to break for lunch...but wait...would I do a second workshop?  Fortunately I had enough supplies and lessons for all.

Thank you awesomely brilliant John Seed for remembering me and bringing me to Cambria, a trip I will not soon forget. And special thanks to Greenspace, The Cambria Land Trust, the Allied Arts Association and the Cambria Center for the Arts.

John gifted me with his latest book, 'My Art World' that I could hardly put down.  For anyone even remotely interested in the contemporary art world this is a must read! You'll get the most interesting info about so many luminaries in the art world.

Goodbye lovely Cambria until our next visit!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

CELEBRATING MY BIRTHDAY AT THE VIRGINIA Robinson Gardens ANNUAL EVENT



Was so much fun! I was asked to demonstrate my Brush painting and I couldn't think of a finer way to spend the day.
So many flowers everywhere....

Amy and I shared the 'China' room which had also been the office for Ivo, Mrs. Robinson's Majordomo.

Here is one of Amy's exquisite creations for the room. Floral arrangements from Le Jardin Privé always stand out because they're created with love!

Dear Carol Soucek King has wanted to take me out for my birthday but when I suggested she attend the garden event she thought that would be perfect and it was!

Amy and her dear friend Lilia.

Sweet Lilia brought a birthday cake for me.

Is someone filming me?

Listening to the pianist in the living room was so inspiring...

I painted at least 6 different subjects...



And at least three Wisteria paintings...

What a wonderful, inspiring day and then I came home to this exquisite creation from dear Eliza and Tyler...

and beautiful yellow roses from my friends at The Huntington Botanical Gardens!

So much beauty added to this creation by Le Jardin Privé sent by my friends at Harvard.

May all your days be fragrant!

Monday, May 13, 2019

THE VIRGINIA ROBINSON GARDENS TOUR AND SHOWCASE ESTATE

'OH! NATURALE' is this coming Saturday, May 18th!  It's not too late to get your tickets at robinsongardens.org for this amazing event held yearly in Beverly Hills.  The most creative and talented designers, florists and brands along with the historical background of the estate, make for an  inspiring day.  There will be a fashion show and delicious luncheon catered by 'The Kitchen for Exploring Foods' plus amazing vendors on the transformed tennis court.

In April Amy and I went to the Estate to do the 'walk thru' for participants.  There's always a delicious spread set up for everyone and you know that I for one am most appreciative!

Amy's beautiful flowers will be on display and for sale for the 4th year and I will be demonstrating Brush painting for the first time!  This is the room we will be sharing.  When Mrs. Robinson entertained guests with her legendary parties, (which was continually) this was the room where her exquisite china collection was housed. I so hope you come visit us.  I promise you an amazing day!

I don't want to forget the Brush painting classes that always bring me such joy!



On to a pre-Easter celebration with dear Patricia.

I always have to remind myself how utterly enjoyable it is to eat al fresco on the patio!
  
I went from thinking of having an open house for Easter to taking Nikka to the Athenaeum to see all the amazing food and decorations and we were so delighted to run into one of my very favorite couples, dear Lulu and Herm, her awesome hubby.  They're soooo cute!

Also, I didn't want to miss the Easter Bunny!

Next stop was the Langham, a sentimental favorite, for massive amounts of food!

The view from our window table in the Royce restaurant. Can you see the fun train in the background?

To make the day perfect we stopped by Reilly Manor.

It was absolutely delightful to be interviewed for the 'Artist of the Month' by beautiful Jean Trebek for her inspiring website insidewink.com  I'll be sure and let you know which month!

The Harvard event in Santa Monica was quite interesting.  A special thank you celebrating scholarships.

I hadn't been to Walt Disney Concert Hall for ages so it was a real treat to be there when Salonen conducted a program of Debussy, Ravel (with a piano concerto for the left hand masterfully performed by Igor Levit) and Respighi.

Dear Carol was my guest at the annual 'Operation Walk' luncheon at the Annandale Country Club and she was so impressed by the awesome orthopedic work Dr. Dorr and his amazing team do that she signed up to be an 'Angel'!



Lunch that week with amazing Tania was at Bistro Gardens, one of our favorite places.

Sweetest of the Sweet Patricia and I celebrated her birthday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for the opera's opening night of El Gato Montes: The Wildcat but then I already blogged about that.

As I mentioned, it was made extra special having dear Carol and Joycie join us during intermission.

Artist Gayle Garner Roski (gaylegarnerroski.com) invited jewelry designer Conchita O'Kane, myself, writer Lisa See author of 'The Island of Sea Women', PBS SOCAL Executive Producer Maria Hall-Brown and writer Carol Soucek King to her studio and tour of her home which is a collector's delight!  Afterwards we were treated to lunch at the Lakeside Golf Club.

Gayle shows Lisa See (lisasee.com)her latest book. To see more about Gayle, check out the blog I did on March 25th, 2012 about visiting her studio.

After Saturdays Brush painting class Erin and Justin stopped by to pick up Kathy and surprised me with this beautiful orchid.  Kathy takes the absolutely best selfies!

For Mother's Day dear Amy gave me these exquisite flowers...

and then treated me to lunch ...

Afterwards we saw the most delightful movie...'The Hustle', a hysterical remake of 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson.

O.K., so perhaps there was also a little pre-birthday celebrating in there somewhere....

Wishing you treats each and every day!


Introduction

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.