Joanna Brown

US United States
Portland, Oregon
Origin Story:

I was born in South Shields, a North East coastal town in England.

My love for Chinese Brush Painting started a few years ago, when my brother, who was teaching in China, returned home with a fabulous gift for me. Xuan paper, inks and brushes. From the first moment I painted I was captivated.

I gained my first degree in Art in 1995, where I specialised in Printmaking. Printmaking, for me, was about mark making and no going back once the process had started and Chinese Brush Painting evokes a similar emotion, freedom and thought. I get lost in the process!

I taught myself to be a  Chinese Brush Painter by watching videos on you tube by Henri Li and Nan Rae, and following The Chinese Brush Painting Bible by Jane Dwight, which my daughter bought me for Mother’s Day, when she knew I had fallen in love with the art. My husband visited Japan and bought me soap stones, on which I carved my own, unique signature seals. I would love, however, to have a Chinese signature seal and a Chinese name to compliment my work. You can say that my family are my greatest motivators, as they encourage me at any opportunity to keep painting!

I developed my painting style when I joined the British Chinese Brush Painters Society and attended the North East of England workshops. The workshops were offered by Gwendolynn Healy, who taught me gongbi style and gave me good advice on developing my freestyle techniques.

I have recently relocated to the USA and have continued my self learning by following a book called Japanese Ink Painting- The Art of Sumi-e by Naomi Okamoto. I love the spontaneous and expressive style of Sumi-e painting. I continue to learn and perfect my painting techniques. The wonderful scenery, flowers and wildlife of Oregon are now my inspiration.


I paint using Sumi-e, gongbi  ( meticulous) and xieyi (freestyle) techniques. I particularly enjoy loading the brush with three colours or tones of black ink. I also like to blend back the inks.

Art Work to sell: I accept commissions.


I can recommend the British Chinese Brush Painting Society workshops and Nan Rae and Henri Li Chinese Brush Painting videos on You Tube.

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