Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Transparent Watercolor" is Important: Why, I don't Know

Transparent Watercolor Society of America

History and Statement of Purpose

"In 1976, Nora Stevens and Sybil Olson attended an Ed Whitney workshop, discovered a passion for transparent watercolor and decided to begin a society for their region, the Midwest Watercolor Society. The first annual meeting was held on August 6, 1977 at the Tweed Museum of Art in Duluth, Minnesota where Nora Stevens presided as President....

"...In 1977 the first annual exhibition of transparent watercolors was held and through the years has been juried by some of the most respected watercolor painters of all time. In 2003 the President, Tom Francesconi, recognized that the society had grown from regional to national status and the Midwest Watercolor Society became the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. From a membership of 185 artists the first year, TWSA moved into the new millennium with well over 1,000 members and includes artists from across North America, all with a common dedication to transparent watercolor...."

"...TWSA recognizes an important distinction between 'transparent watercolor' and 'water-based mediums,' and as such moves forward with its mission, to preserve and promote the unique character of transparent watercolor as a major medium."

I did not know that there was "transparent watercolor" and other sorts. And I certainly didn't know that the distinction was important to over 1,000 people.

Unhappily, I didn't find an explanation for what "transparent watercolor" is, or why it's important to distinguish that from other "water-based mediums." Too bad. Maybe they'll put something about that on their website next year.


Brigid said...

I thought all watercolor was transparent. Or at least translucent.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


Me, too: but the Transparent Watercolor folks didn't, to the best of my knowledge, say what the distinction is.

I rather wish they'd bothered to explain what it was that they believed was so important.

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