Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shabu with Shibat

Shabu Shabu at the creme de la shabu on Sawtelle with Shibat. 
This is a stock picture, because I was too busy eating to take photos. You just dip that meat there into the boiling vat in front of you and stuff yourself.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Wolf painting made for a friend.

And just happened to be listening to SeaWolf last night while painting.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Work in Progress

This is a portrait I'm working on. This little kid has cerebral palsy and was unable to walk without being held up by his father (the hands in the photo).  

I'm painting from a blurry picture that I took at Stung Meanchey, the city landfill in Phnom Penh. It was almost dark and kids were everywhere laughing and jumping on me. Nader was talking to this kid's parents. They lived directly on the dumpsite in the first lean-to bordering the landfill.

You can see it with the tires on the roof.

Sreyka is their neighbor’s daughter. She’s sitting on the slat bench outside their house. I wish I could adopt Sreyka; she's the most amazing kid - such a fiery rebellious spirit.  

The child that I am painting was actually really surly. Nader and I took him to the hospital two months after this picture was taken. We were hoping to get him fitted with leg braces. That was quite an adventure; I'll save that story for when I finish the portrait. 


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Birthday to Shibat

Today I would like to make a toast to one of my most favorite people in the whole world. 
Happy Birthday!
I'd give you both of my kidneys if you needed them, dear Shibat. 

Shibat was an activist during the civil rights movement in Los Angeles. Sometimes I feel like I was there because his stories are so vivid. Isn't that what the generations are supposed to do - pass on history? He started a community organization with a friend of his that has helped generations of youth get involved with the community (and stay off of drugs and out of trouble).

He now works as a chiropractor, acupuncturist, and natural healer in Los Angeles. He's the best at what he does, because he never stops learning. He has been a great mentor to me, and I am honored to know him.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I'm an AUNT!
 Her name is Evie! Welcome to the world little one.
I'm going to be such a good aunt! My family said I already seem like an aunt because, for some reason, they equated my scarves with aunt like behavior. So I shall wear my scarves, have tea parties with her, do puzzles and paint with her, bring her exotic gifts from far and wide. And call on all her birthdays. My lofty goals...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Rabindranath Tagore

Fireflies by Rabindranath Tagore

A few years ago a dear friend of mine lost her mother who had been sick for some time with cancer. She sent out a clipping of her mother's obituary a few weeks later and with it included a quote from Rabindranath Tagore. It reads:

“Death is not extinguishing the light; 
it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” 

Isn't that the most beautiful, poetic way to describe death? Especially after so much suffering. If you believe in an afterlife, as I do, what a simple way to view the end of this life, as the dawn of a new day.  

My friend happened to visit this summer. She spotted this book, Fireflies, at a thrift store and later gave it to me! I can't describe what a profound book this is. I highly recommend it. Every little poem is so simple, yet so full of wisdom. 

"While God waits for His temple to be built of love, 
men bring stones."

"My heart today smiles at the past night of tears 
like a wet tree glistening in the sun after the rain is over."

"Life's errors cry for the merciful beauty 
that can modulate their isolation 
into a harmony with the whole"