Sussex Watercolour society

I’m delighted to be able to share the news that I am now officially a signed up bona fide member of the Sussex Watercolour Society (SWS)! For anyone wondering what the SWS is, here’s some brief information that I’ve taken from the society’s website:

“The Sussex Watercolour Society (SWS) was formed in 1977 with the idea of creating a regional society of professional standing and of the same calibre as the London Art Societies. Its objectives as a forward-looking society were to maintain the highest possible standards in watercolour and water-based media and to hold at least one public exhibition a year.

This aspiration of attracting highly talented artists has not changed and society continues to encourage new and experimental work within the range of water-based media as well as the more traditional styles. Members of the SWS also continue to exhibit at least once a year creating varied and interesting exhibitions in various venues across East and West Sussex.”

I’m really pleased to be joining the SWS for a number of reasons. First and foremost is the recognition that my paintings are of sufficiently high standards in watercolour to merit my membership. The society is still a relatively small and select group that already features two members of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour. To see my name alongside such an illustrious rollcall of watercolour artists is a real privilege.

Aside from the recognition, membership in the SWS will also open up a number of opportunities to exhibit my work alongside other members and hopefully reach new audiences. I have already been afforded two opportunities to participate in group exhibitions later this year.

I’m also much looking forward to meeting and getting to know some members of the group and am sure I’ll have more SWS news to share in the months ahead!

My Oydessy into greens

I’ve just submitted my homework for the fifth and final session of my course Using green in watercolour with Paul Talbot-Greaves. The main theme for this session was temperature and how to mix and use cool and warm greens.

First up are my two attempts following Paul’s demonstration painting:

Aside from the focus of the workshop on the greens, this was also a really interesting challenge with controlling ‘edges’, especially with the wet on wet mixes for the background hills and the foreground trees. Another challenge was creating enough visual interest in the foreground area. I was quite pleased with the second version of this and hoped to be able to replicate some of the qualities achieved with the homework exercise view that we were set.

My homework

The expansive foreground takes up two-thirds of this painting so again, making this work and leading the viewer into the painting was quite a challenge, and I’m not sure that it’s a challenge that I fully met!

Overall though, I was quite pleased with how this painting turned out and look forward to receiving Paul’s comments towards the end of the week.

I’ve so enjoyed this course and am certain that I’ll become a better painter because of it! I’ve already noticed that my awareness of potential views and scenes has changed too. I feel more confident in my ability to tackle views of this green and pleasant land! I’m still a long way off Paul’s level of mastery – but I feel that the foundations that I’ll be building on from this point forward are much stronger than before!

Thoughts on Sussex Watercolour society

6 thoughts on “Sussex Watercolour society”

  1. No doubt it’s thoroughly deserved, John, so may I add my congratulations. Yesterday I spent some of my day helping in the process of choosing new members for the Cambridge Drawing Society (not just drawing, I hasten to add). My role was to hold up new paintings to be judged; more amusing than actually judging, I reckon. We have our spring exhibition next week.
    Glad to hear you’ve made full use of your greens course; no matter what the content, just to be forced to focus on something like that for a period of weeks must be good for you. I look forward to seeing some green pavements in your future work!

    1. Hi Rob and thanks for this. Your day as a gallery assistant sounds good (it reminds me of seeing a very similar process when I worked at the National Portrait Gallery and spend a bit of time watching the selection panel’s first round selection for the Portrait Award). As it was the first round, the panel were ruthlessly efficient/brutal! I hope your spring exhibition goes well. I have really enjoyed a change of focus these past few months and, while I doubt you’re in for any green pavements, there might be a few more landscapes ahead!

  2. See, I told you your work was excellent!😂 Congratulations, very well deserved and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the membership!

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have about this

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