Chinese Brush Painting
Chinese Brush Painting

             Winnie Lai  ~  Chinese Brush Painting

Chinese Brush Painting  


Chinese Brush Painting is China’s traditional art.  It emphasizes the combination of literature, calligraphy, poetry, seal engraving and painting.  It uses mainly water and ink to paint on Xuan paper 宣 紙 with its unique technique and style to form a special art.


Chinese Brush Painting aims to capture the essence rather than to create an exact image. A painting is influenced by the artist’s mood and spirit to express the interpretation of the subject.  The three main subject areas in Chinese Brush Painting are figure, landscape, and bird and flower (included animal and plant.)  There is much symbolism in the paintings and hidden meanings.  For instance, a painting of a pine tree and crane represents a wish for longevity.


There are two main styles of Chinese Brush Painting: Gongbi 工 筆 , it is created with fine lines and many washes on meticulous (nonabsorbent) paper.  The effect is highly decorative.   Free style painting, Xieyi  寫 意 uses free brush strokes and spirited that conveys the vitality and character of the subject on absorbent paper.


Our Chinese Brush Painting class will focus on free style painting Xieyi 寫 意

When you get ready with everything, you would practice strokes and color loading.  Until you are confident, you would start with the first lesson.  As a beginner, learning Chinese Brush Painting is copying.  Once you have absorbed the techniques by working through the practice, go on to create your own project.

Madame Winnie Lai

Chinese Brush Painting & Calligraphy Artist


Madame Winnie Lai ( 慧 倫) began her formal Chinese Brush Painting and Calligraphy studies in 1970 while in Hong Kong. She actually began learning Chinese Calligraphy at the age of 3 years old from her mother. Then as a teenager, Winnie began her formal Chinese Calligraphy lessons from the distinguished artist Master Wei, Han-zhang ( ). Moreover, Madame Winnie Lai was privileged to formally study Chinese Brush Painting from the well-known Master Lin, Bai-liang ( ) while in Hong Kong. After relocating to California, Winnie continued to refine her Chinese Brush Painting & Calligraphy skills under the tutelage of the famous artist Grand Master Madeleine Fu ( ).

She was taught the brush style of Grand Master Chang, Dai-chien who was one of the most prodigious Chinese artists of the twentieth century. He was notoriously legendary for his ability to recreate works from diverse periods, emulating and even improving upon the work of other artists.


Madame Winnie was privileged to be selected by Grand Master Madeleine Fu in 2008, 2009 and 2011 to exhibit her Chinese Brush Paintings & Calligraphy at the Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco in Chinatown. Some of Madame Winnie Lai’s paintings were exhibited and sold at the Chinese Cultural Center of SF’s Art Gallery in the Hilton Hotel.


Madame Winnie Lai artistic talents have been featured by the Contra Costa Times, and also the Chinese media for her Chinese Brush Painting & Calligraphy. She presented  classes in Concord for the Chinese Cultural Center of California, in Martinez for the Martinez Arts Association, and in Pinole for the Pinole Artisans. Madame Lai has also demonstrated her Chinese Brush Painting & Calligraphy on behalf of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Concord, the Pinole Artisans in Old Town Pinole, the Martinez Arts Association in downtown Martinez, and at the Diamond Terrace Senior Living Center in Clayton, California.

More recently, after relocating to New York City, New York - she taught Chinese Brush Painting and Caligraphy at GM Li's Academy of Kung Fu & Taiji in Long Island. Madame Winnie currently teaches only private classes.



A gallery of Madame Winnie Lai’s Chinese Brush Paintings & Calligraphy can be viewed on-line at her website and you may contact her via email


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© James Chin