Monday, July 1, 2019


...and how absolutely wonderful it is to just play.  To not be concerned about outcome but just delight in the process, enjoying the adventure.  Of course, if we can remember the brain needs to build a large file, muscle memory, then we can be patient.  I've painted Peonies a certain way for years and in Saturdays class in the studio decided to just play and everyone loved it.  We all expressed on paper what our hearts wanted to say.

Thank you dear Kc for the two absolutely delicious fruit tarts that disappeared way too quickly!

I loved the birthday candle!

Earlier in the month we worked on Wisteria and found a new way of expressing it as well.  Know the rules....then throw them out!  Picasso would be proud!

The Magnolia's are blooming now and so sublime they're inspirational.  Perfect subject for the class at the Huntington and especially because we had Sakura Poster White.

The second Wednesday of each month is devoted to studying Eastern Landscape in the studio.  It's fascinating to see the world in a completely different light, learning about centuries old ways of expressing nature.  I'm so proud of Tony and always love seeing his work completed and framed.  Bravo!

LA Opera's production of La Traviata was sublime.  True art in so many forms, Art Deco set design by Marta Domingo, flapper costumes and of course the amazing singers.  Soprano Adela Zaharia was magnificent asVioletta.

Great fun seeing Valerie at The Spotlight Awards at Disney Hall.
In the garden for treats and cocktails pre performance.

The Spotlight is a scholarship program empowering students by emphasizing preparation, courage, critical thinking and perseverance.  Categories are in acting, ballet, classical and non classical instrumental, voice, jazz and non classical dance and voice.

After the performances and awards, supporters were treated to a wonderful dinner.

Parvin has elevated the art of dining.

Dinner at Tom Backer's, bon vivant man about town and knower of all things art related with Maggie.  Here they are with Don Bachardy's portrait of Tom.

Followed by a business lunch with publisher Benjamin Darling from Laughing Elephant...Subject?  My next book!

Happy Days by Samuel Beckett at the Mark Taper  was not so happy so no more will be said except that Diane Wiest was amazing.

Marsha Ramos, former Burbank mayor,  is my template for doing good and I honestly don't know how on earth she can be involved with as many organizations as she is and all with aplomb.  It was delightful seeing her and Councilman and former mayor, amazing Bob Frutos, at the opening party for SKINBLVD an all inclusive beauty spa.

One could say this is also an art form.

Stephanie you could not be cuter.  I'll take a Selfie with you any day!

It's special fun going to LACMA after it closes.

Dinner first at Roy's and then a special lecture by Insoo Chu on 'The Faces of Korea Calligraphy'.

This was in conjunction with the current exhibition 'Beyond Line:  The Art of Korean Writing'.

If you're even remotely interested in modern art, you'll be enthralled by John Seed's first hand account in his latest book 'My Art World' available on Amazon.

This may not be art but it sure is adorable.

May you always find joy!


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.