Tuesday, May 21, 2019


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


'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!

Monday, May 6, 2019


What a thrill to witness the incomparable Plácido Domingo star in an opera so dear to his heart. Growing up behind the scenes of his parents zarzuela company, Domingo knew first hand this exciting Spanish form of musical theater.  Composer Manuel Penella when creating this opera imbued it with the spirit of zarzuela and how wonderful to have it brought back to LA Opera after 25 years!

Sweet Patricia's birthday was in April but I thought this would be the perfect way to celebrate...and it was, even before we entered the Ahmanson!

Originally I planned on an early dinner at Kendall's Brasserie but then it seemed the Founder's Room would be more celebratory and it was.  Great fun having Chris Johnsten join us!

Then to make it perfect, Carol Soucek King and Joycie Fickett joined us at intermission.

Time for one last memory...

It's thrilling to be in the presence of greatness and when Plácido Domingo is referred to as 'a wonder of the world' it's not an overstatement.
There are only four remaining performances, May 8th, 11th, 16th and 19th so make sure you don't miss this once in a lifetime experience!
I wish you joy!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019


On December 12, 2017 on nanrae.blogspot.com I wrote a blog about 'DEBBIE KORBEL ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE' and said "This may be the most important blog I've ever written".  That has not changed.

What can I even begin to say about someone who can create unimaginable works like this horse. 'WILD' is formed with bits and pieces of detritus. (The blue pieces are resin.)

You just have to experience it in person which is what I did seeing her exhibit
Brewery Art Colony
660 South Avenue 21 #3

'Metamorphosis' is one of my favorite pieces.  It lingers in your minds eye long after you experience it.

The poem written on it says,
"I see your lips moving
But I can't hear a sound
I am lost in the cathedral
Of your eyes

Bravo Debbie!

For me, Debbie is a true exemplar of the term 'artist'.  Unschooled in art and starting at minus zero... from classes in Brush painting she segued into sculpting.  Horses in particular.  Using found items that speak to her these amazing creations come into being.  Her anatomical skill is staggering and the impact of her images and poetry take the viewer to a new and completely different place.  So perhaps we could say that an artist is a soul who embarks on a journey of discovery.  Discovery about themselves, the world and their place in it.  A soul that needs to create, no matter how difficult the journey.

Debbie has said "Ideas are like a river, you just dip your cup into it". That said, Debbie's river is ever flowing.


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.