The Way of the Brush

June 24 - 28

The Way of the Brush

Thank you for your interest, but this course had to be cancelled due to low registration.

WEEK ONE (5-day): June 24 – 28, 2019   Classes run from 9 am – 4 pm each day and students are welcome to stay late in their studio.

The Way of the Brush

Come and experience the beautiful and sensual art of Japanese painting, called sumi-e (‘painting with ink’). Ink has life – it engages all the senses and completely captures the attention. Ink has its own magic, its own way of moving and creating a bond between the brush, the paper and heart of the painter.

You will learn to ‘dance with the brush’ as you develop a relationship with the extraordinary powers of brush and ink together. Sumi-e and Zen calligraphy go far beyond the traditional and embrace the impressionistic, the gestural and the avant-garde using an art form that is thousands of years old. It is the energy of line expressed through the brush and ink that captures the spirit of a subject.

In this five-day journey, and using the “Four Treasures”, you will experience the way of the brush as you learn to paint subjects such as the pine, plum and chrysanthemum, along with Zen calligraphy and landscape painting, called “mountains and rivers”. It is a journey of expressing our relationship with nature through the ‘sumi-e eye’. The most important takeaway is an understanding of how the brush moves and how it connects to the body, heart and mind of the painter. This fundamental concept enables you to create pieces that are original and personal.

Along with working in shades of ink, you will experience how colour is used to enhance sumi-e. The use of colour is a wonderful option for sumi-e artists and is often combined with ink for exciting results.

The last day of the course features a mounting workshop! Learn how to mount your paintings on canvas and wood panel, thus expanding the options for displaying paintings. The end result of creating ready-to-hang paintings will amaze and delight you.

All levels welcome, come with correct supplies and an open heart

  • STUDENT SUPPLY LIST (Click HERE): All students are responsible for bringing their own supplies.
  • COURSE COST: $694 (Includes $681 tuition and a $13 material fee for extra supplies)

Tuition also includes daily lunch and snacks.  Prices are listed in Canadian Dollars and are inclusive of all applicable taxes. An accommodation package is available in QUAD or DOUBLE occupancy and includes breakfast and dinner. Click here for further details.


Heather MacDonald

Heather’s journey into the world of ink painting and calligraphy began when she was quite young. Reading the works of ancient Chinese and Japanese poets and philosophers was a natural beginning that eventually led to painting. Over the years she has taken many formal courses in drawing and painting, along with mixed media, calligraphy and paper arts, and her work has been commissioned for various projects.

She is also a (sometimes) published haiku poet, but her passion and focus remains firmly rooted in sumi-e and shodo (calligraphy).  During the last 20 years in Ottawa, she has studied under several Japanese and Chinese masters and was mentored to become a teacher herself. Now in her eighth year of teaching at the Ottawa School of Art, Heather strives to continually inspire her students as they travel together along the way of the brush.


Workshops will not run until sufficient enrollment has been met. Please register before April 15th to avoid disappointment.  

This workshop has been cancelled and is not available for purchase.


Classes are open to students at least 19 years of age at the start of their registered workshop


Refunds will be issued within 30 days of confirmed receipt of MISSA’s online withdrawal form and will be processed through PayPal.

Click HERE for the form.

BEFORE April 15: for each course withdrawal, a refund inclusive of tuition and any applicable supply fee will be issued, minus a $50 admin fee.

AFTER April 15: for each course withdrawal, a tuition credit for MISSA 2020 will be issued, minus a $50 admin fee. Any applicable supply fee will be refunded. As a courtesy, a full refund will be issued if withdrawal application is received within 48 hours of an initial purchase (up until June 7, 2019).

If MISSA must cancel a workshop, a full refund (tuition, supply fee and accommodation) will be issued. Transferring into another workshop is a possibility. On-Campus accommodations can be canceled at any time prior to arrival and will be refunded within 30 days after receipt of the cancellation form.