Goward House

A Seniors' Activity Centre in Victoria, BC


NOVEMBER 25 2016 TO JANUARY 25 2017

The Studio of Harmonious Endeavours presents…

Works of the Chinese Brush Painters


The Artists




Click on image to enlarge


Spontaneous, free form calligraphy brush work course at Pearson started me on a quest.  It led to Monterey and John Nip who taught  Chinese painting and elegant calligraphy.  Later, at Goward House, Nenagh Molson taught an exuberant style based on traditional  discipline.  Both “retired” teachers still keep us in line.  We are a dedicated group of learners–and tea drinkers.


After retiring from many years of teaching Fine Arts at the secondary school level, I was delighted to discover the delights of Chinese Brush Painting.It was inspiring to learn the traditional techniques and philosophies of this ancient art from Nenagh Molson and John Nip.

The direct approach to brushwork, the awareness of composition and colour, the use of unique papers, and the intricacies of mounting the finished paintings …..all present challenges which intrigue and continue to captivate my interest.


Barbara is a native Victorian and a Chartered Accountant, now retired.

I’ve been a keen photographer all my life and this interest led me into painting. About 25 years ago, I began pencil drawing and watercolour painting, eventually turning to Chinese Brush Painting in the early 1990’s and Chinese calligraphy a few years ago. My fascination with this inspirational and challenging medium continues today. Fortunately, I have been able to study under many wonderful artists, most recently under Mr. John Nip and Nenagh Molson.

I have participated in many local art shows and sales, and am looking forward to continuing to share my work through the shows.


Born in Victoria, I was educated and spent my adult life here, raising our family and assisting my husband with our family business. In 1998 I became interested in pursuing the art of Chinese Brush Painting under the tutelage of Barb Elford, but needed to return to work in 2000 for a few years. Once again retired, I took classes from Kileasa Wong and John Nip. Meeting with the group at Goward House encourages my continuing interest in this art form.


Born in Ontario I was educated in Winnipeg at the University of Manitoba spending many years in social work, finally assisting my husband in his business. I have always painted in all mediums, finally pursuing the art of Chinese brush painting. I have worked with Andy Lu enjoying his classes and also with Nenagh Molson.

I have found this artform very interesting, so many varieties of painting and very logical. Thoroughly enjoyable.


I was born in Victoria and educated in Victoria and Vancouver but lived “away” for almost forty years before returning home to retire.  Before retiring I studied drawing with Michael Cavanaugh and Elizabeth Spragg and print making with Vesa Peltonen.  After returning to Victoria I was able to study Chinese Brush painting with Nenagh Molson, John Nip and Andy Lou.  They taught me the variety that can be achieved with simple materials, the challenge of working in a medium that allows no correction and the satisfaction that comes when ideas and reality meet.


John is the Executive Director of Spirit Bear Art Farm, a Canadian artist and writers retreat on the West coast of Vancouver Island. For over 12 years, he has been studying with the distinguished John Nip in the tradition of Chinese Brush Painting.  He is a member of The Studio for Perseverance in Study of Calligraphy and Art, and The Studio of Harmonious Endeavors.  His work can be found at The Gallery of Great Things in Waimea, Hawaii and at Living Arts Gallery in Hawi, Hawaii. He has been selected to be one of the Artisans of Mauna Kea.

“I consider my work to be in the tradition of an ancient contemplative art. The practice and creation of these works are a kind of meditation and are a connection to the mysterious and the sublime. The works can be objects of art as well as personal objects of contemplation.”


Born, schooled, worked and retired in Victoria.

Took up Chinese Brush painting forty five years ago from a teacher who studied in the Lingnan School of painting in China.

After forty five years I decided to pick up the brush in January 2016.


I started Chinese Brush Stroke painting in early 2016 with lessons from Andy Lou.  Joining the Goward House & Monterey painting groups has been a delight for me.  Painting with such a lovely group of people who absolutely love Chinese Brush Stroke painting & are so helpful is very inspiring for me.

This painting called, you guessed it, “Sunflowers” is the first painting I actually liked.  It is also special to me because the Chinese Calligraphy was written by John Nip.


Chinese brush painting has become one of my favorite pursuits now that I am fully retired.  I am drawn to the simplicity of black ink on rice paper, and am interested in learning the history and traditions associated with this art form.  After a few introductory lessons my studies have been mostly self-directed.  Figure painting and animals such as the monkey, horse and felines of any kind are my favorite subjects.

I keep an art blog about my artistic journey ’click’ on: www.followmybrushmarks.com.


Nenagh was originally trained in art and design at the Vancouver School of Art. She continued to study at the Cunningham School of Art in California and Beaux Arts in Montreal, Quebec. In 1964, she was commissioned to design the commemorative seal and stamp for the McGill University Medical Expedition to Faster Island and designed and painted sets for numerous theatre and ballet productions.

In 1967, after living and travelling in Europe, Nenagh returned to Victoria where she continued to paint, but it was not until 1975 that she met teacher Stephen Sham who sparked her interest in Chinese Painting. For eight years, under his guidance, she learned the traditional disciplines of ink brush on rice paper, mounting techniques and aesthetics.

Following these years of study, Nenagh devoted herself to teaching Chinese Brush Painting classes and workshops at the Greater Victoria Art Gallery, the Canadian College for Chinese Studies and Camosun College. She presently teaches at Goward House in Victoria.

Since 1985, Nenagh’s Chinese paintings have been exhibited in various galleries throughout Victoria and a few pieces are featured in private collections in Hong Kong, London, Montreal, Calgary and Hawaii.


I was born in England but have lived in Victoria since 1968.  After a busy career in the health services, raising a family and doing volunteer work, I became interested in learning to express myself through art.  I was drawn to study oriental painting by the use of white space, and the methods used to express the chi of the subject through a minimum of brush strokes, and the beauty of the calligraphy.  I have studied with professional artist Nenagh Molson and with noted calligrapher John Nip.  Chinese brush painting is my passion, I have collected a number of books on the subject and my goal is to improve my skills through constant practice.

Goward House