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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 is no September Workshop.  Join us for our Annual Gathering at Casa Lingley on September 2nd

  • The next Friends of Sumi-e's monthly Open Studio painting experience meeting is on Wednesday, September 6th from 9:00am until Noon in Room 104, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park.  Bring your sketching/painting materials and teacup and join in the fun. 

  • 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.   Plein air meetings are on-site 9:30am(ish) to Noon.  ZOOM meetings start at 12:30 pm.  Watch for weekly email notices.   For more information click HERE.

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

  • Annual Membership Fee Deadline - Our 2023 membership renewal begins now.  Membership runs from July 1st to the following June 30th and is only $20.  To join or renew your membership, complete the Membership Registration Form and mail the form and your check to Treasurer Cindy Morgan.

Casa del Prado Map and Directions

For a Balboa Park map, including directions to Casa del Prado Room 104, click HERE.

Japanese Friendship Garden July Outreach Event

We returned to the Japanese Friendship Garden with our demo table at the Tanabata Festival on Friday July 7th.  Once again, we started at the beginning of the day (9:30am) and wrapped up a little before 4:00 pm.  


Our outreach event at the Tanabata Festival was super successful. 

Many thanks to Sylvia for her coordination with the Japanese Friendship Garden, and to Cindy, Cynthia, Beverly, Gaye, Naoko and our Chinese Brush Painting friend, Carmen Mannarino, for “womanning” the tables.  The tables were full the entire day!  These women had a great time spreading a little joy and knowledge about Sumi-e painting to the public.

Below are pictures from our wonderful outreach event.  With 9 stations next to the scenic Koi Pond, we had over 200 visitors try their hand at Sumi-e painting.

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2023 iPad 30 Day Challenge eBook

Cliff Brown has added his most recent PDF eBook titled "2023 iPad Forest" to his shared Google Drive. 

This was a 30-day challenge to paint/draw from The Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting, as edited by Mai-Mai Sze.


Cliff did all of these drawings on an Apple IPad Pro with a 12.9 inch screen, a Apple Pencil and the Procreate application.

You can view this and many more of Cliff's e-Books here on our BOOKS Menu.

Society Art Exhibitions

48th Annual Japanese Brush Painting Fall Art Exhibition

Friends of Sumi-e's 48th Annual Fall Art Exhibition (formerly for Washu-Kai) is schedule for November 18th and 19th.  It will be held in Casa del Prado, Room 101 from 11:00am to 4:00pm both days.  Please see the Newsletter for more details.​​

Our 2023 Annual Spring Art Exhibition

Friends of Sumi-e's 20th Annual Spring Art Exhibition (formerly for the Taka Sumi-e Society) was held on Saturday March 25 and Sunday 26th.  The show was GREAT, just like we never had a three-year hiatus....  Thank you to everyone who participated in the show, and to our guests for joining us as we share our work.​​​​​​​​

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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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