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Creativity and Joy: The Dance of the Brush with Jean Shen and Students

  • Japanese Friendship Garden 2215 Pan American Road East San Diego, CA, 92101 United States (map)
"Cymbidium in Ink" Jean Shen

"Cymbidium in Ink" Jean Shen

Opening Reception @ Exhibition Hall
Friday, November 3, 4: 30pm – 6:30pm

$5.00 (includes JFG entrance fee)

Or RSVP with Emiko Scudder
(619) 232-2784

Chinese Brush Painting Demonstration
JFG Koi Pond
Friday, December 8, 12:00pm to 2:00pm

     JFG is excited to introduce the work of Jean Shen, a Master Chinese Brush Painter, and her students. Ink brush painting was born during the Tang Dynasty in China and developed rapidly in the Son Dynasty. It arrived in Japan during the Kamakura period. Artists express their concepts of nature and emotion through brush painting. Jean conveyed “Chinese brush painting and calligraphy is a dance without using your feet, but rather with the bamboo brush in hand.” The artists express their joy, rhythm, and vitality on rice paper. The exhibit captures the creativity and joy of the garden through its illustration of flowers, birds, and koi.
     Master teacher Jean Shen grew up in Asia and forty years ago introduced Chinese painting and calligraphy to San Diego - at the UCSD Extension, Athenaeum School of the Arts in La Jolla, and at her Dance of the Brush studio in San Diego. What she has given to her students is the freedom to find the unique style of creativity that isinherent in each person and develop it to the fullest. Chinese brush painting and calligraphy has become a life time pursuit for her students. Many are award winning artists and some are teaching this discipline in other parts of the United States.
     This exhibit at the JFG Exhibit Hall is to show case what Jean looks for: creativity and joy. Each of the students' original paintings are chosen to be in the show because they have captured a sense of joyfulness through a few dancing ink lines, such as a turtle conversing with a snail, or the deep richness of colors and ink of bird, lotus flowers and koi hidden under the water. 
     Jean is the author of the book, The Dance of the Brush, A Non-traditional Method of Learning Chinese Brush Painting.  She has exhibited in Asia and in different parts of the United States. Her paintings are collected nationally and internationally.
     For more information about classes, please contact Jean at To view her paintings, calligraphy, slide shows of her exhibits, her students' exhibits, and to read about her teaching philosophy, please visit