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The Joys of Painting ~ AAPI May Celebration

Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islanders Heritage Month at local libraries around the Bay Area: Painting with Pauline Tsui – The Joys of Painting is a hands-on workshop that explores the main concept and basic techniques of Chinese brush painting. Participants will learn how to paint flowers and small animals with a paint brush, and create lines and washes using Chinese ink and watercolors.

This workshop is for beginners and intermediate level learners, from ages 6 to 90+. Participants will paint seasonal flowers, fruits, and small animals. All art materials will be provided. Preregistration is required, sign up online or call the librarians.

As of Today 5/22, ALL the May programs have been filled. There are more painting workshops with Pauline in June and in September. See link below if you want to sign up for ‘The Mindful Brush’ at Pleasant Hill Library on June 17.

Alameda County Libraries
Albany branch  5/13  Sat  Family program
Castro Valley branch 5/16 Tue Children
San Lorenzo branch 5/15 Mon Adult program
Centerville branch 5/24 Wed Family program (as of 5/22, this event is full)
Dublin branch 5/4 Thurs Adult program
Dublin branch 5/15 Mon Family program
Fremont Main 5/25 Thurs Family program (Full)
Fremont Main 5/28 Sun  Adult  program (Full)
Union City 5/27 Sat Adult program (as of 5/22, this event is full)
Age Well Center South Fremont 5/22 Monday (Full)
Other Libraries
Alameda Free Library 5/20 Sat All ages
Berkeley West Library 5/18 Thurs Introduction (Full)
Mountain View Library 5/27 Sat Adults program (Full)
Pleasant Hill Library 6/17  Sat Family program (12 spaces left …)

More workshops in May, at Fremont Library, Centerville Library, Mountain View Library, for Adults and Families, have all be filled, contact the libraries to be put on wait lists, note: it does not guarantee that you will have a spot if you are on the wait list.

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Lunar New Year Celebration at JPMC

Year of the Rabbit

Place: JPMC Silicon Valley Tech Center, Hanover Street, Palo Alto

Date: February 9th, Thursday, 2023

Time: 3:00 – 5:30 pm

Join us for a slideshow and art talk on ‘The Customs & Origins of Lunar New Year’, presented by artist and Asian Art Museum docent Pauline Tsui. Find out the meaning of the lion dance, and why people wear red on New Year’s day.

After the talk, Pauline will demonstrate and teach how to use a Chinese brush to paint auspicious flowers and a zodiac animal. Participants will create a lucky painting to bring home. Pre-registration is required, no prior art experience is required.

Bio: Pauline Tsui is an artist, a writer, and a docent of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. She studied traditional Chinese brush painting with renowned masters in Hong Kong and China; attended Mills College in Oakland, California, National School of Fine Arts in Paris, and Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Pauline teaches painting and calligraphy workshops in museums, libraries, etc., and offers online classes to individuals and private groups. Pauline’s East-meets-West approach, as well as her methodical teaching style, appeal to a broad audience of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

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Four Gentlemen ~ A Brush Painting Workshop for Beginners

Learn to paint in 5 easy lessons! Learn the basics in Chinese brush painting, explore different techniques in rendering Orchids, Chrysanthemums, Bamboo, Plum Blossoms, and Landscape. This program is for beginner to intermediate level learners who are interested to deepen their appreciation of art and culture.

Experience the Joys of Chinese brush painting in the comfort of your home with expertise instructions and practical hands-on lessons:

~ Paint with Instructor Pauline Tsui on zoom, every Thursday at 2:00-3:30 pm, Pacific Time.

~ Or, learn to paint on your own time with pre-recorded zoom videos, lesson guidelines and summary.

Fees: $135 for five 90-minute sessions.

Materials and Supplies: Chinese brushes, black Chinese or Sumi ink, rice paper or Chinese xuan paper, and Chinese watercolors. See Art Kit for more details.

Register here.


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Brush Painting Workshop at Mountain View Library

Enjoy the joys of Chinese Brush Painting and learn to create beautiful works in ink and colors. Artist-instructor Pauline Tsui presents a hands-on workshop with easy steps on how to paint flowers and bamboo. Art supplies such as, brushes, papers, ink and colors will be provided. This class is for beginner level participants, registration is now closed. More info …

Where: Mountain View Public Library, Program Room, 1st Floor.

When: Saturday, October 22, 2022

Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Bio: Pauline Tsui is an artist, a writer, and a docent of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. She studied traditional Chinese brush painting with renowned masters in Hong Kong and China; attended Mills College in Oakland, CA., National School of Fine Arts in Paris, and Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Pauline teaches painting and calligraphy workshops in museums, libraries, etc., and offers online classes to individuals and private groups.

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Calligraphy class with Pauline Tsui 2022 – 2023

The Art of Calligraphy ~ is the art of writing beautiful characters. Chinese Calligraphy goes back 5,000 years and it is a written language that is still in use today. Learn the joys of writing and breathe life into the beautiful calligraphic strokes in this art form.

Zhī zú zhǎng lè, Contentment brings Happiness

Starting October 11, every second Tuesday of each month from 2:00 – 3:15 pm (PST), October to February 2023. Each month will be a standalone class, with the first 15 minutes as introduction to tools, basic strokes, stroke order, and pronunciation guide. This will be followed by lessons to write Chinese phrases, proverbs, and poetry in various classical font styles. There will be suggested assignments for learners to follow as part of their training and practice.

Supplies: Chinese brush, black Chinese or Sumi ink, calligraphy paper and grid paper. See Art Kit for more details.

Fees: $26 per person per class. Sign up here.

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Chinese Calligraphy Drop-In Workshop ~ California Historical Society on Aug 13, Saturday

Chinese calligraphic writing goes back over 5,000 years and is still in use today. Artist-instructor Pauline Tsui tells the story of how Chinese writing evolved from pictographs into various character styles. Chinese Calligraphy is not only an art form that goes hand-in-hand with painting and poetry, its practice is also a mindful approach to improving one’s focus and creativity. 

Learn to write Chinese characters and bring home a piece of art to energize your wall space. In Tsui’s drop-in, hands-on Chinese Calligraphy workshop, participants will learn basic strokes and simple character-phrases. Chinese and non-Chinese participants of all ages and levels are welcome. Time: 12:00–4:00 pm. In between Calligraphy practices, Pauline will give mini talks to share stories and demonstrate the Dao of Calligraphy—the art of writing beautiful characters. Read more on event programs



Hours on Saturday, 12:00pm – 5:30pm

Pauline Tsui has aspired to become an artist since the age of 3. At age 12, she studied Chinese brush painting under Master Cheung Shiu Shek, a lead artist of the Lingnan School and specialist in painting Peonies. When Tsui joined the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco as a volunteer and docent, she rekindled her interest in Asian art and painting. From the early 2010s, she began hosting workshops of Chinese brush painting and calligraphy throughout the Bay Area and occasionally in Southern California.

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Calligraphy with Pauline ~

for Beginners, both Chinese and Non-Chinese learners

Chinese writing has a history of over 5,000 years. Amazingly it is a written language that is still in use today. The Art of Calligraphy ~ the art of writing beautiful characters, is an art form that has been compared to a dance of the brush, the taichi of ink, etc. Those who appreciate Calligraphy understand that the handwritten characters can breathe life, and steer our minds on a path to vitality and longevity.

Hundred Blessings with Thousand Good Fortune 百福千祥

In this class we focus on hands-on writing exercises to (i) develop Qi (pronounced as chi), a quiet force and flow of positive energy, and (ii) to appreciate what is beautiful writing. Students will learn the pinyin pronunciation of Chinese words and phrases (in Mandarin), they will also practice how to write their names in Chinese. Click here to sign up, please specify which Option/day of the week you select.

  • Introduction to tools, supplies, and templates
  • Origins of Chinese writing, famous calligraphers
  • 5 classical fonts in Chinese writing, plus the simplified font
  • Basic makeup as a language: stroke order, radical and components, pronunciation guide, etc.
  • How to write your names in Chinese
  • Write 4-character phrases and poetry
  • Relationship with Calligraphy and Ink Painting

Dates and Time:

Option A : 2nd Tuesdays of every month, at 5:00 – 6:30 pm PST (April 12)

Option B : 2nd Wednesdays of every month, at 11:00 am – 12:30 pm PST (April 13)

Start dates: April 12th for Option A, start on April 13th for Option B, students only need to attend one time slot per month.

Class meets once a month for interactive learning. Additionally, weekly assignments will be given; students will watch some videos, use guide sheets and templates to work on calligraphy assignments and submit finished work digitally to receive feedback from instructor.


$150 for six class meetings over a 6 months period, payable every 3 months at the beginning of every month. Students who misses a class date may be able to watch a recording of the class (available for 6 months after the class date)

Note ~ $25 per month x 3 months = $75 is due in April; $25 x 3 = $75 is due in July.

Materials for this class:

Students are responsible for purchasing their own supplies, which include 1-2 Chinese calligraphy brushes, Chinese ink, plain calligraphy paper and grid calligraphy paper. A detailed list of suggested items and where to purchase them will be sent to the students once they enroll for class.

Questions or Sign up for this class, please put ‘Calligraphy class’ in your submission box.

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The Sights, Sounds, and Tastes of Lunar New Year

Celebrate 2022 Year of the Tiger ~~ See families in their best new clothes, adults handing out red envelopes to children and their friends… Line up to cheer for the lion dancers, sounds of the drum and gong during the New Year Parade … Get a glimpse of the colorful lanterns against the night sky, oh, it is the Chinese Valentine’s Day.

Pauline is inviting you to a visual feast and hands-on workshop!

  • Learn to make a Calligraphy decoration, write Tiger in Chinese
  • Paint the Gold Fish, a symbol for Abundance and Happiness
  • Paint the Three Friends of Winter (Bamboo, , Pine, and Plum Blossoms )
  • Paint a Tiger and a Peony, for Strength and Good Fortune

Programs usually takes about 60 or 90 minutes. May Heritage Month is just around the corner, let Pauline help you plan the next workshop! Contact us for more information.

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Painting with Pauline – Zoom class samplers

Pauline teaches simple techniques in Chinese painting and demonstrates ways to use a small and large Chinese paint brush to interpret clippings of nature as seen in the photos below (photos by RCStay)

See a 3-Part sampler of how to paint a large monstera leaf, a floral arrangement of Birds of Paradise and a large leaf. Click on Part 1 to view a zoom recording to learn simple ways to paint a large green leaf. Part 2 shows how to paint the Birds of Paradise plant, Part 3 shares some finishing suggestions.

Part 1 sampler – how to paint a large monstera leaf.

Part 2 sampler – how to paint a Birds of Paradise floral arrangement.

Part 3 sampler – some finishing suggestions.

Weekly virtual classes on Chinese brush painting and Chinese calligraphy are available to small groups or individual classes by appointment. Contact us to learn more.

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Multicultural Event: Brush Up for Paint Night!

An interactive workshop: Learn about the culture and techniques of Asian Brush Painting, and paint a few flowers and a small animal to show off at your desk when you return to the office! This is a private event, pre-registration required.

When: August 30th, starting at 7:00 pm EST. Where: Virtual.

Here is what you do to Prepare your tools and Setup your table space for brush painting:

1) Use table covering to avoid the mess of ink stains, protect the surface where you will be doing the painting. You can use a plastic cover, or old newspaper.
2) Have a few jars of clear cold water for wetting and washing your brushes. Never use hot or warm water. Clean the brushes carefully after the art session, do not touch the hair with your fingers, wipe them lightly on a paper towel then air dry.
3) Small mixing plate or wax-coated paper dish for mixing ink and colors.
4) Have some paper towels on the side for testing the paint. Brush rest (optional), so the loaded brush will not stain the painting surface.

How to set up your new brushes and after care:

5) To prepare your new brushes, here is what you do to before you begin painting:
– Soak the paint brush in a cup filled with cold water for 10 – 20 minutes, until the hair of the brush is opened up (for the glue that holds the hair together to melt away), rinse in cold water and let dry.

As a rule of thumb, never leave brushes alone soaking in water EXCEPT for the first time. Then lift the brush out of the water and gently wipe them on a clean paper towel. You can put them to dry on a flat surface, or if you have a brush hanger/holder then the brushes can be left top-down or upright. DO NOT touch the brush hair with your fingers.
– Do not try to put the brushes back in their plastic caps once the glue has melted. 
– When cleaning your brushes, always use cold water. Brushes are made with animal hair that can shrink if put in warm or hot water.  

Need more information? Contact: paulinpodesign@gmail.com