Friday, May 1, 2020


...I'm pretty sure it contained Easter.  That was on a Sunday but then...most days feel like Sunday.

We've gone fully online live and in person both for Instagram, Facebook and most importantly...classes.
It all started in early April when we began making videos of all class subjects.  Of course we needed a storyboard.

We needed to get new equipment...Better cameras, lights with filters and an overhead mike...

The filming takes about three days for each subject and then several more days of Nikka editing.
Nikka also followed the video instructions to make sure everything was easy to understand for the viewer.  At this stage of our work reset, all filming was done in the studio.

Along with this there has been a steady stream of book inscriptions and shipping for "WHAT IF...We Have the Power to Change Our Lives", my new book that was officially published on April 7th and made available worldwide on Amazon.
A world of thanks to Judith Rochelle Nelson, my template for doing good, for ordering 100 copies of "WHAT IF..." to send to her beautiful network of friends!

Office Dog Kita inspects another days shipment.

Early in the month I did a live talk with followers of @NanRaeFineArt  on Instagram.
It was great fun saying hi to everyone around the world.  Malaysia, Singapore, Russia, Japan, Dubai, Germany, Italy and so many more.  I'll be doing another live chat on Instagram with Benjamin Darling, my publisher at Laughing Elephant, later this month.

Around the middle of April we had the first live online class with Wisteria being the first subject.  Office Dog supervised the setup that now had to be in the office instead of the studio for the best reception.

Ten days later we had a second live online class for painting Bamboo and for this one we had an additional camera and worked out some of the sound issues. The story board was still needed to make sure all elements of the subject were covered and in good order.

Nikka keeps on top of everything while we go live.

Happy me!

After the live class, the video is checked before making it available to students.

We continue to film process videos for Instagram.

The last week of April I had a live online conversation on Facebook with Benjamin Darling, my publisher at Laughing Elephant Books.

So, all that happening in April with me never knowing if it was Sunday, Tuesday or perhaps Friday!
I wish you peace.  Stay safe!!

Saturday, March 21, 2020


It was great fun supporting awesome Eliza Krpoyan when she moderated "What She Said' at the 'W' Hotel in West LA. Hundreds of women, and some guys too, turned out because of Eliza!

Didn't I say it was great fun!  Here with Lovely Marine, Eliza's precious sister!

Eliza you are just toooo cute!

On to the Music Center for a 'Spotlight' event with dear Amy.  How cool that they issue free parking!

Checking in at the Artists Entrance.

This was the Spotlight Non-Classical Dance Master Class with the one and only Jacob Jonas!

Sooooo cool!

Brilliant Jeri Gaile, Director of the Spotlight Program.

Time for yumminess at Kendall's Brasserie.  Amy and I eat like we may never see food again!

The first Monday in the month means it's the China Society dinner and lecture at the Golden Dragon. Here's just one of the jillion different dishes we're served.

We were treated to a wonderful lecture by the Huntington Garden's Katie Chiu on the architectural elements in the next phase of the Liu Fang Yuan Chinese Garden.  So interesting.

Thank you everyone who bought my new book 'What If...' I missed a few photos...

So cute, the Ch'i of the Brush along with 'What If...'

Thank you Bob Lee, President of the Society....

It's always a joy when Sweet Lynne comes by to have Nikka scan her exquisite work for prints and greeting cards.  I'm beyond proud of her.

Thank you dear Lynne for not only getting the new book but for rhapsodizing over it.

Did someone say lunch?  What a delightful time with Chris Johnsten and Kimberly Stafford from the LA Opera at Cascabel Restaurant in Toluca Lake.  This is a new discovery and I absolutely love, love love this place!  It will be first on my list when we can get out and about.

Yes, you're correct...Guacamole with candied Bacon...oh my!

The very best lobster tacos ever!!!

Another 'Spotlight' adventure with dear Amy.  This time the Ballet Master Class with brilliant Mikko Nissinen, the Artistic Director of the Boston Ballet.  This was absolutely thrilling!

Photo op...

Back to Kendall's Brasserie

My penultimate outing was thanks to awesome Valerie Foster Hoffman who invited me to 'Art of the California Club' with James Irvine Swinden, President of the Irvine Museum.  It was wonderful seeing artiste extraordinaire Peter Adams who is quite active in the Club's acquisitions.

I was so delighted to have Valerie gift everyone with my new book 'What If...'.  We had the books gift wrapped in my wrapping paper from Ling Design in England.

Valerie checks to make sure everything is perfect for her guests.

I know, it's all about desert!

Outside the California Club waiting for my Uber...

O.K. everyone, here's my very last, ultimate outing.  Valerie invited me to a luncheon given by Marie Gray and Kelly, her stunning daughter honoring Valerie in 'Grayse', their Newport Beach Fashion Island shop.

Yes, I polished off the whole thing! Me bad.

There were beautiful models and I did manage to do some 'shopping'.

Say cheese...or Grayse!

Soooooo fun....thank you lovely Valerie!

Remember, you can still order in cake!

Be well and stay safe...Wishing you 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.