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Joan Rasp, “Ryujo”
STELLA TING,  “Ryu Gyoku”


Friends of Sumi-e (FOS) is an art-based group in San Diego, California.

Our purpose is to carry on the tradition and teaching of traditional Japanese brush painting, called sumi-e or suiboku-ga.

Friends of Sumi-e Logo.png

It is a form of Asian painting that seeks to capture the essence or spirit of a subject with elegant, well formed brush strokes, each purposefully loaded to create multiple tones of ink or color within a single stroke. It requires only ink (pine soot and glue) or color, rice paper, brush, and water.

Friends of Sumi-e was founded in 2023 with the merger of two brush painting groups, Washu-Kai, founded in 2000 and the Taka Sumi-e Society, founded in 2002.  It has about 80 members.


Click HERE for more information on Friends of Sumi-e.

Paintings by Friends of Sumi-e Members

This Website has a new name, "Friends of Sumi-e", and a new URL address:

If you enter the URL you are now redirected to this new URL address.

Please update your browser Bookmark for our new Website name and internet address.

Current Events and News

Workshops and Newsletter
  • The next Friends of Sumi-e's monthly Open Studio painting experience meeting is on Wednesday, March1st from 9:00am until Noon in Room 104, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park.

  • Friends of Sumi-e's monthly Workshop is the Annual 3-Ring Circus – Stretching/Mounting (Wet & Dry), Matting & Framing led by our "Fearless Leaders" in preparation for the Annual Spring Art Exhibition.  The workshop is on Saturday, March 4th from 9am to Noon in Room 104, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park.  See the Newsletter for details on suggested materials for the workshop.  Note that Mat Cutting instructions have been added to the website's How To page at the bottom.  Click to view: Stretching, Mounting, Mat Cutting.  No ZOOM for this workshop.

  • Tuesday Painters is a group of FOS members and sumi-e students who meet to paint outdoors.  The informal group is now meeting 4 Tuesdays each month, usually twice on Zoom and twice at a San Diego location.   For more information click HERE.

  • Friends of Sumi-e Newsletters are available here under the Events & Meetings menu.  To view the current Newsletter, Click HERE.

Wet Stretching with No Backing Sheet Video

A 35 minute video of Cliff Brown demonstrating Wet Stretching with no backing sheet during our March Stretching, Mounting and Mat Cutting workshop is available HERE.

Our 2023 Annual Spring Art Exhibition

Friends of Sumi-e's 20th Annual Spring Art Exhibition (formerly for the Taka Sumi-e Society) will be held on Saturday March 25 and Sunday 26th in Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park.  

See the February Newsletter for show details and participation instructions.

For a Show Flyer, click HERE.

2023 Membership

Membership information and our newest Membership Form for 2023 is available HERE.

Our fee is $10 and the Membership year is from October 1 to June 30th to accommodate the merger of Taka Sumi-e and Washu-Kai societies.

Washu-Kai 2022 Annual Sumi-e Exhibition

The 47th Annual Washu-Kai Art Exhibition, celebrated November 19-20, in Room 101 of Casa del Prado, Balboa Park, was a beautiful event with some nostalgic things and some new things. The art was beautiful, the tea table and experiential tables were well received by the public. Performances by Odori dancers and Taiko drums from the Buddhist Temple were a new addition, as were all the small flower arrangements sprinkled around the artworks.

Recent Virtual Art Exhibitions
  • Washu-Kai's 2022 47th Annual Art Exhibition is available as a 7 minute long Virtual Show.  Click HERE to view the Show on YouTube.

  • Taka Sumi-e Society's 2022 Annual Art Exhibition is available as a 10 minute long Virtual Show.  Click HERE for virtual show viewing instructions and a link to the Virtual Show.

  • Taka Sumi-e Society's 2021 Annual Art Exhibition is available as a 15 minute long Virtual Show.  Click HERE to view the Show.

  • Washu-Kai 's 2021 46th Annual Art Exhibition is available as a 11 minute long virtual art show.  Click HERE to view the Show on YouTube.

  • Washu-Kai 's 2020 45th Annual Art Exhibition is available as a 6 minute long virtual art show.  Click HERE to view the Show on YouTube.

Virtual Shows include music.  These are best viewed on a PC with its large screen.​

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