NIHONGA: THEN and NOW Upcoming Workshops

with Judith Kruger


Wisdom House, Litchfield, CT- June 22-25, 2017 (4 days and visit to JK Studio) (FULL)

Wisdom House, Litchfield, CT- August 24-27, 2017 (4 days and visit to JK Studio) (4 spots open)

$700 Workshop Fee- $180 materials fee

 Traditional and Abstract Painters Welcome

This workshop is a basic Nihonga (traditional Japanese mineral pigment painting) class with the addition of instructor’s ecological paint applications. Students will make paint and grounds from organic and inorganic matter like cured shells, precious minerals, soils, pine soot, indigo, insect secretions and silica with natural glue and plant binders. Metallic leafing and oxidation techniques will be covered as well as traditional Japanese paper sizing and mounting. Emphasis will be on the creation of multi-layered paintings stemming from non-toxic, ancient practices that embody the power to nurture the spirit. 



Abstract Alchemy- Black, White and Warm Metallics

July 3-7, 2017 (5 day)

Contact Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts, Victoria BC for website registration


 1 Week Master Abstraction Workshop in Residence with Judith Kruger

($1600 including private studio and lodging) Studios of MassMoCA North Adams, MA  

              Session #1: April 28-May 4, 2017 (FULL)

       Session #2: July 28-August 3, 2017 (FULL)


2018 Workshops are currently being planned- tentative schedule as follows:

Southern California- February

 Spartenburg, SC (5 days Abstract Alchemy) March

Penland School of Crafts, NC ( 2 weeks Nihonga: Then and Now) May 27- June 8

Wisdom House, Litchfield, CT- June

Pacific Northwest Art School, Whidbey Island, WA- August 13-17


For more details, please submit the form below. I will answer as soon as possible. 

If you would like to host a workshop in your area, feel free to contact me for specifics. 

For info on an intensive One-on-One JK Studio Residency click here.  One opening for winter 2017-18.


Workshop Testimonials:

I not only learned so much more than what I expected from attending Judith’s workshop, but I also felt as though the experience answered many of the questions I have had in my studio practice through the last several years. Judith is a highly knowledgeable teacher who is willing to share her wisdom with her students. I appreciated her generosity with her time and expertise, and am grateful that I had this unique opportunity of learning alongside her and other students. Although the workshop is advertised as intro-level Nihonga, it is intensive and comprehensive, and appropriate for professional artists who have a clear sense of their style and craftsmanship.

      Yuko Oda, Visual Artist, Associate Professor, Brooklyn, NY, Yuko's website

I made contact with Judy online in 2013 while desparately looking for answers to a practice I had been working on, mostly experiments, which had a number of resemblances with Nihonga. I believe she was the teacher/mentor I was looking for all this while and feel fortunate that we crossed ways. It was almost a year of interactions, long distance critiques where she took time to understand my practice while patiently introducing me to the tenets of Nihonga. She was particularly encouraging to keep sanctity of ones own course. She not only helped me with unknotting a million doubts that I had in my newly discovered path, but also helped for a foundation to my art practice and opened many more avenues for explorations. In the Fall of 2014,  Judy was generous to invite me to her Nihonga workshop in Connecticut on a scholarship. It is a gesture that I will always owe to her, given my need at that point to be able to learn the art in person and to see her demonstrate. Judy has a vast knowledge about her subject and what I like most is that she is a person who loves to break the rules and follow her own path and encourage students to do the same. Her particular teaching that I will carry with me for a long time is that "in Art (as in life) there is no right or wrong, it's just cause and effect". Judy's deep concern for her students' well being and her passion to spread her learning with sincerity and honesty is something in her  that I highly respect. She is a beautiful addition to your art practice in case you want to learn about Nihonga, alchemy or are interested in delving into natural media. She is someone who will always hold a special position in my art practice and I owe her a lot of what I know as an artist today.

      Gunjan Kumar, Visual Artist, Chicago, IL, Gunjan's website

I attended one of Judith Kruger’s nihonga workshops to learn more about the medium. The weekend proved to be an unpressured environment for learning with plenty of time for discovery. Judith is a wealth of information, generous in her teaching and in sharing her own personal discoveries. She clearly demonstrated the use of materials and painting techniques. She helped me to learn and understand the finer points of the medium both artistically and technically. I am now equipped with a broader knowledge base of the fundamentals of nihonga and a foundation for further growth.

      Delro Rosco, Visual Artist, Hawai’i, Delro's website

Although Nihonga involves a technique which, no doubt, would require years of practice to master, in four days Judy lays down a thorough foundation. She explains the qualities and composition of the natural pigments, how to prepare the paint binder and the paper size, how to stretch and mount handmade paper, the application of silver leaf and how to oxidize it, painting techniques and much else. We were introduced to historical and contemporary masterpieces of Nihonga and the artists who painted them. And then, Judy gave each student a twenty minute consultation, advising how Nihonga techniques could be integrated into our personal art practices. We left with notes, painting samples and a head full of new ideas. My world feels more expansive having taken this workshop with Judith Kruger.

      P.C.Turczyn, Visual Artist, Brooklyn, NY (see her Nihonga-referenced art here)

Taking Judith Kruger's Nihonga Painting Workshop was an absolutely fascinating and completely rewarding artistic experience! I have been painting and teaching at the university level for over twenty-five years, so I recognize the traits of a gifted inspired teacher. She was extremely generous with her wealth of knowledge, a great demonstrator, and covered a wide range of both technical and conceptual material. Judith has designed a unique workshop valuable to artists from any background. I know this great experience will continue to feed my painting ideas for years to come!

      Allison B. Cooke, Visual Artist, Adjunct Professor, Milwaukee, WI, Allison's website

I took Judith Kruger's Nihonga workshop primarily as a way of letting the medium take me to a different place. I had been on a trajectory towards abstraction for sometime but needed the impetuous to travel into my unconscious to go into pure abstraction; Nihonga and Judy helped me get there. First, the extraordinary attention paid to process was in itself hypnotic, and then, with Judy's encouragement , the free association and transcendence. Since the Nihonga workshop I have gained the confidence to let go and explore the potential of my imagination. The simplicity and beauty of the Japanese artform paired with the complexity of the ancient medium, inspired me to go beyond the workshop to a new and exciting realm.

      Roni Sherman Ramos, Visual Artist, Brooklyn, NY, Roni's Website

For a number of years I have been admiring Japanese painting, always finding my way to it at museums. But it isn't solely the images that have caught my attention--though they are exquisite, as are the various color effects and the compositions--but the paint itself, the magnificent surface created by the minerals, inks, and metallics, is what led me to search the internet for a learning opportunity. I wasn't sure what I would do with nihonga personally; I simply wanted to learn enough technique to help me figure out an approach. Initially my search was unsuccessful, but I did have an opportunity to see an exhibition of work by Makoto Fujimura. Here was someone who was taking directions of his own, and the results were mesmerizing. Continuing my search for instruction, I eventually stumbled on Judith Kruger's website. Not only did her work speak to my own aesthetic sensibilities, but she was about to move to New England where she was planning to offer workshops. I attended one. I learned so much! And I do hope to work with her again soon.

      Theresa Couture, Visual Artist and University Gallery Director, Nashua, NH

Blog Post Savannah Nihonga Workshop Review by Julian Pena, Visual Artist, Tacoma, WA

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