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This painting was named in honor of my mentor, teacher and friend Prof. I-Hsiung Ju.  I named "Heavenly Journey" in rememberance.

About Charlene M. Fuhrman-Schulz


I have always had an interest in art and all things oriental. I began studying Chinese Brush painting in 1989, when I took my first class at the Smithsonian. What started as an interest in watercolor and ink painting became an all consuming passion - a life-time vocation. In 1989 I began studying with Painting Master I-Hsiung Ju (1923-2012). As part of my study of both Chinese culture and painting, I traveled with him to China in 1993, 2001, 2004 and again in 2006 followed by a trip to Taiwan in 2007. We visited many scenic areas and gardens throughout both China and Taiwan and experienced the fantastic Chinese landscapes seen in paintings firsthand. Both China and Taiwan can be described as a land of mist, with thin mountainous spires rising through the clouds, and when the mist lifts, sheer drops of up to 3000 feet or greater appear. Pines cling to the cliff sides, along with a few monasteries. This is the China seen in many traditional Chinese paintings, and this is the China that inspires many of my new paintings. 


My subject matter is nature, whether it is a traditional landscape or a bird and flower painting. I use traditional materials, ink and brush on rice paper, to capture movement and life - making the brush dance and the ink sing.  Everything is captured in the spontaneous dance and movement of the brush as it meets the rice paper. There is no going back and correcting when painting with ink and rice paper.  This love of spontaneous Chinese painting has provided a unique segue for my exploration of more abstract techniques of Oriental painting such as “Splashing Ink” or “PoMo”.  These techniques entail pouring color and creating an image from the abstract through the use of traditional brush work.   At this point my work ranges from the very traditional to abstract and a blending of the two. 


I share my passion of oriental painting by teaching and currently teach Sumi-e painting at the Art League (Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA) – both for beginners and advanced students.  I have demonstrated Chinese brush painting to many groups ranging from the National Sumi-e meeting in May 2012 to the Internal Children’s Festival, Wolf Trap Park in 1996.  Currently I have work on exhibit at the Providence District Supervisor’s Office in Fairfax, at the Encore Color Studio and through the League of Reston Artists, in various locations throughout Reston.  I am currently a member of the League of Reston Arts (treasurer) and the National Sumi-e Society of America. 





Heavenly Journey


This painting was named in remembrance of my mentor, teacher and friend Prof. I-Hsiung Ju. 



In addition to my life-time vocation as an artist, I have a full-time professional career as a Land Use Planner and I currently work for the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Redevelopment Authority.  I received my Masters degree in Urban Administration from Washington University in St. Louis



Professor I-Hsiung Ju (1923 – 2012) was my mentor and teacher until his passing in 2012. 

I have also studied with Professor Yifie Gan and calligraphy master John Wang as well as Painting Masters Mr. Wang and Mr. Han.  I have studied with a number of other artists including Ning Yee, Diana Kan, Henry Wo Yue-Kee. 


MA, Urban Administration, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 

BA, Urban Studies, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri  



League of Reston Artists - Treasurer

Sumi-e Society of America

Sumi-e Society - National Capital Chapter



2014: Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center, Northern Virginia Community College – Annandale Campus, First                 Place, Trudi Van Dyke, Judge

2013: Founders Day LRA exhibition juried show, Third Place (Lotus Dreams) Patricia Macintyre, Judge 

2012: 4th Quarter Parkridge LRA exhibition, Best in Show (Migration), Gwen Bragg, Judge 

August 2012: USGS Art & Beyond LRA, Honorable Mention (Painted Desert), Carolyn Gawaarecki, Judge 

2012: 3rd Quarter Parkridge LRA exhibition, First Place (Summer Clouds) Trish Tatliff, Judge 

2012: 2nd Quarter Parkridge LRA exhibition, Second Place (Cascading), Elizabeth Robinson, Judge 



July 2013 - Reston Association, Reston, VA 

2011/2012 – Encore Color Studio, Fairfax, VA – solo exhibits. 

May 2005, May 2002, May 2000: U.S. Geological Survey, National Gallery, Reston, Virginia 

2004 – to present (semi-permanent display): Providence Magisterial District Office, 8739 Lee Highway, Fairfax, Virginia 

2002 – 2007 Spirited Collections (Occoquan, Virginia)  several exhibits 

2004 – 2012: Mount Vernon Magisterial District Office, 2511 Parkers Lane, Alexandria, Virginia 

November 2000 - January  2001, The Manor House Gallery at Green Spring Gardens Park, Alexandria, Virginia, “Oriental Gardens” 

November 1998 - January 1999, The Manor House Gallery at Green Spring Gardens Park, Alexandria, Virginia 

Summer 1998: Fairfax Council of Arts - Corporate Arts Exhibition Program - Mason District Government Center, Fairfax, Virginia


Charlene M. Fuhrman-Schulz

Traditional Chinese Brush Painting and Contemporary Watercolors

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