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Old 08-23-2009, 08:56 PM
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Watercolor? Watermedia?

As moderator for Watermedia, I am starting this thread for those who wish to delve into what Watercolor and Watermedia are in the contemporary art world, and what that means for sharing our art and learning here at Wet Canvas.

Why? Because there continues to be confusion and irritation (let's be honest, eh?) about why we have both Watercolor and Watermedia forums (not to mention some of the other forums for water-based, water-soluble media ) here at Wet Canvas, where works of art belong, and how our forums do/do not reflect what is accepted by major national and international societies, exhibitions, etc.

Oh no, not that old contentious topic, AGAIN?

Attention, please!
This is NOT, I repeat NOT, a grassroots vote or participative decision making in how the forums here at Wet Canvas should be defined and organized. This is simply a conversation among the curious and the passionate.

This is NOT a critique thread on how any Wet Canvas forum is moderated or a place to trash a member or mod you disagree with.
(I will zap any comments that go there.)


Offer up definitions......the way watercolor / watermedia materials and techniques are evolving.....how the greater art world is responding to this change.....the cutting edge of watercolor/watermedia....which artists are doing what, and how the work is regarded....is there a difference in perceived value of watercolor vs other watermedia....where does acrylic fit...what are the challenges and opportunities of the newer materials?

And what does this mean for how we share our work and push our learning here at Wet Canvas? In what ways does it matter or not matter whether Wet Canvas mirrors the greater art world....forum definitions are part of this, but what else?

These questions come from various posts I've read and PM's I've received. And from a variety of viewpoints and people. Just thought I would establish a "home thread" for them, and whatever more you feel is related.

Keep on topic. Keep it clean. Make it a conversation worthy of your art.

Jen
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Last edited by rue d'oak : 01-12-2010 at 10:00 AM. Reason: reopened
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:04 PM
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Re: Watercolor? Watermedia?

(This comes from Mary Lou (faafil), and was posted in another thread. Thought it might be a good kick start to this. Jen)

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From the National Watercolor Society 2009 Annual Show Prospectus:

The 89th Annual Exhibition is open to all water media artists. Paintings must be done on a paper surface and unvarnished. Water media must be the dominant element.

From American Watercolor Society: ENTRY INFORMATION


The Annual Exhibition is open to all artists working in water soluble media: watercolor, acrylic, casein, gouache and egg tempera on paper. Canvas is not accepted.

From the Royal Watercolour Society:

The medium of watercolour (which by our definition embraces all water-based painting) can convey in visual terms both the most delicate and the most powerful feelings. Through drawing and through colour and design it can describe the world in particular ways unlike any other description. Richard Sorrell, Former President

Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours:


Acceptable media: Watercolour or any water soluble colour, any use of acrylic must be handled as a watercolour; paintings must be glazed and should not be executed on hardboard.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:33 PM
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Re: Watercolor? Watermedia?

Thanks for copying that here, Jen. I don't spend alot of time in Watercolor except to lurk in the Learning Zone and maybe pick up tips, so I never would have seen it.

I'm just happy to have found a home on Wetcanvas for Chinese ink, which is basically used like black watercolor.

Do these watercolor societies then exclude "ink and (water) wash" or "ink and watercolor" from their shows or competitions? Do they get classified as mixed media? I think I've seen Chinese Brush painting in these shows, even with Chinese ink. It confuses me where they draw the line. Even in open competion, I've seen Chinese Brush paintings classified as watercolor.

At any rate, I just like it here because I'm an art supply junkie and sketchaholic. I love anything watersoluble and I haven't met a sketchbook I didn't like...ok, not exactly true but I can't resist padding my art store trips with an extra sketchbook.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:44 AM
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Re: Watercolor? Watermedia?

'If you separate the word watercolor you end up with "water" and "color", which would encompass all aqueous media.' - Donna Watson

Personally, I find it interesting that the two "mother societies" AWS & NWS, are more inclusive of water based media, rather than exclusive, such as the Transparent Watercolor Society of America:

Transparent Watercolor Society of America
SPECIFICATIONS. Due to the specific nature of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, please carefully read the following to guide you:

ACCEPTABLE ENTRIES: Transparent watercolor applied in a transparent manner on a single sheet of untreated 100% rag or cotton paper, free of pigment and/or embedded materials with the use of pencil for planning marks only.
UNACCEPTABLE ENTRIES: Paintings created with the use of white paint, acrylic, gouache, ink, pastel, metallic/iridescent paint, collage or surface constructions; the use of gesso, priming, embossing or varnishing as well as Yupo or any other type of alternative surface.

Although a venue for that legitimate (exclusive) point of view, John Singer Sargent's watercolors would not pass their careful scrutiny.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:58 AM
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Re: Watercolor? Watermedia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabbitt
Do these watercolor societies then exclude "ink and (water) wash" or "ink and watercolor" from their shows or competitions? Do they get classified as mixed media? I think I've seen Chinese Brush painting in these shows, even with Chinese ink. It confuses me where they draw the line. Even in open competion, I've seen Chinese Brush paintings classified as watercolor.

Most welcome on the info -- thanks really goes to Mary Lou who researched and shared the info. It is quite interesting. As is the additional info on the Transparent Watercolor Society of America.

I have not practiced watercolor long enough to know if this is a trend toward specialization -- my sense it is, given the early watercolor painters, like Sargent, who worked in things other than what we now term transparent watercolor.

But to the question about the Chinese ink: Anyone out there really know?

Jen
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:58 AM
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Re: Watercolor? Watermedia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabbitt
Thanks for copying that here, Jen. I don't spend alot of time in Watercolor except to lurk in the Learning Zone and maybe pick up tips, so I never would have seen it.

I'm just happy to have found a home on Wetcanvas for Chinese ink, which is basically used like black watercolor.

Do these watercolor societies then exclude "ink and (water) wash" or "ink and watercolor" from their shows or competitions? Do they get classified as mixed media? I think I've seen Chinese Brush painting in these shows, even with Chinese ink. It confuses me where they draw the line. Even in open competion, I've seen Chinese Brush paintings classified as watercolor.

At any rate, I just like it here because I'm an art supply junkie and sketchaholic. I love anything watersoluble and I haven't met a sketchbook I didn't like...ok, not exactly true but I can't resist padding my art store trips with an extra sketchbook.

Hi Julie!

Each society has different specifications. I found a list of most of the major ones for the US here:

http://www.artistsnetwork.com/articl...societies.asp/

But it looks as if you'd qualify for the Royal Watercolour Society
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Last edited by Faafil : 08-24-2009 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:15 PM
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Re: Watercolor? Watermedia?

Thanks for the thread and the info Jen (and Mary Lou). I think there's every reason to be INclusive here at Wetcanvas what with the very wide variety of experience, skills, etc. I think a very inclusive definition lets all of us see and learn as much as possible from as many as possible. I think it will still be very helpful if posters are required, or asked, to post information as to exactly what materials were used, etc. because that also helps the learning process. I would think separate forums would be unnecessary but maybe could be provided as optional in case some want to focus their "studies" but I don't think any certain watermedia should be separated because it seems that it will work as Watermedia has, and will prevent many members from seeing all there is to see and benefit from.

Mike
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:35 PM
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Re: Watercolor? Watermedia?

By the way, Jennifer, I think this thread should also be posted in the Watercolors forum. It obviously gets much more traffic and we'd get a many more opinions and perhaps even a consensous that could be taken into account when any future decisions are made.

Mike
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:28 PM
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Re: Watercolor? Watermedia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterMike
By the way, Jennifer, I think this thread should also be posted in the Watercolors forum. It obviously gets much more traffic and we'd get a many more opinions and perhaps even a consensus that could be taken into account when any future decisions are made.

Mike

And how about the Acrylic, and Casein, Egg Tempera and Gouache Forums??
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:07 PM
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Re: Watercolor? Watermedia?

Water mixable oils?
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Old 08-27-2009, 04:02 AM
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Re: Watercolor? Watermedia?

Jen, my opinion for what it is worth seeing as my previous thread may of had something to do with prompting this one.

My comments are based solely on what goes on in this forum as the watercolour world in general has very different views of what is a watercolour work and are moving with the times. I feel they are totally correct to be going in such a way and perhaps this forum should follow their lead.

So that said, I recently had a painting moved from the watercolor gallery to watermedia as, apparantly it was "acrylics"???? Even though I had stated that I had used watercolour/acrylic watercolour to paint it - I did not state it was acrylic. Funnily enough if it had been a 100% acrylic painting I think I am intelligent enough not to have posted it in a watercolour gallery here (even though I still could have entered it in several watercolour society's competitions) The only explanation I was given for the move was that "depends on the amount of the second medium. If you use an acrylic wash it renders it waterproof" eh????? How was it known how much of the second medium I had used????? For information the amount of the "second" medium used, which I assume referred to the acrylic element, was minimal and certainly did not make the work waterproof - indeed as I explained when I put a final layer of water on the painting all my hard work on the leaves washed away because the majority of the work was painted with transparent watercolour. This statement opens up a can of worms with me - how can my work be classed as waterproof because I used a tad of acrylic - what about the ink in pen/wash??? I think the pen is waterproof - no???? The words pen/ink do not seem to be included in what is classed as watercolour with the watercolour societies. Should a work with pen and ink even be classed as a watercolour work/painting at all???

What is so wrong with this site is that for some reason there seems to be one rule for one and one for another going on and that is not acceptable in my opinion in any way.

Now, what got me particulary upset in all this is that having my work moved and taking the above into account prompted me to have a good trawl through the "watercolour" gallery and I noticed how much artwork is posted there that contains ink, pastel, watercolor pencils etc etc - are these being moved??? Nope. Based on the explanation I was given surely these works must be moved too as they should also be classed as waterproof because a second medium has been used that will render areas to be waterproof??? This is ridiculous, apply the rules to all! No one person on here can simply make a decision as to what "second medium" is and is not acceptable to keep a watercolour work a watercolour work!!!! Follow the expert's (society's) lead.

Whatever way you look at this, in the real world (watercolour societies being the judge) my use of acrylic in my work would still have my work classed as a watercolour but not on here. In the real world a pen/wash work would not be classed as a watercolour but it is on here! Therefore, the only way I see to go round this on this forum would be to bring it up to date in line with what is acceptable with the major watercolour societies. Have a watercolour forum that embraces works as defined by the societies. Anything else should go somewhere else and certainly should not be classed as watercolour. Watercolour has moved on so should this site.

I also strongly agree with Mike, that this thread should be posted say in Palette talk so that everyone gets a chance to comment, I don't think watermedia forum is the best place for this type of thread to get a good cross section of opinions.

Regards.

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Old 08-27-2009, 04:18 AM
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Re: Watercolor? Watermedia?

Amanda, forgive me for saying so, but you are venting your spleen in the wrong place. Why not send a private message to all the mods of the *watercolor* forum, who were the ones instrumental in the move. (I know, Jen moderates there, too, but I suspect she was the one who actually moved it.) Sounds to me more like a misunderstanding and perhaps misreading of your thread...as I recall, you didn't even really mention what paints you used. You might have just explained your position calmly and privately. Just an option. Catch more flies with honey than vinegar, so to speak.

Either way, I see no reason to call out the people *here* and offend those who do post here on their own volition. I'm afraid I really did find offense in the comments in your thread, as if the members who post here are just not good enough for you.

Now, back to the *actual topic* of this thread, I find it very interesting to note the various rules of the various societies. It is not something that I am terribly up on, apparently, as I did not figure they were generally that inclusive.

I suspect I thought that because back home where there's a fairly healthy art guild--and MANY MANY MANY watercolor painters (in fact, I think my home state has the most watercolorists per capita than just about any other, when looking at society memberships, and us with a lower population all around to boot)--the feeling *is* a less-inclusive one to the point that, if an artist wanted a white highlight in a painting, they would rip the paper to get it instead of using a touch of gouache or the like.

~!Carey
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Last edited by Carey Griffel : 08-27-2009 at 04:21 AM.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:08 AM
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Re: Watercolor? Watermedia?

Venting my spleen - no. In the wrong place - yep this thread is definitely in the wrong place. It is about watercolour and should be in the watercolour arena.

This is a debate where people have been asked for their opinons - please read Jen's starting post. I may be wrong but I believe debates should be open and honest, there is no place for private messages which often contain opinions that are actually opposite to what is said in public! I don't do this, I find your suggestion I should have done this incredulous! Most of your post is personal about me - you certainly should have taken your own advice and messaged me that privately! Insinuating that people here (I assume this means the people who post in watermedia?) are not good enough for me does not belong in a debate on watercolour!? I have no idea how anyone would feel like this if all the posts/previous thread is read. My comments relate to what is going on in watercolour and to why my work was moved when it is considered a watercolour I make no comments about individuals or people in the watermedia forum?!

In my original thread although I did not mention the colours I used (not sure if many people do) I certainly mentioned the mediums and Jen certainly did not move the original thread and this is also clear from the posts. Perhaps if anyone wants to specifically comment on my post above, please read the original thread moved from the WATERCOLOUR gallery to here and then Jen's post above before commenting on the issues I raise without attacking me personally!!

Thanks.

Now, can we continue debating watercolour today and how the watercolour gallery on here needs to be brought bang up to date or maybe this is just my opinion!
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:44 AM
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Re: Watercolor? Watermedia?

Yes, well, as is clear in the first post, the *point* of this thread is not *about* the forum itself.

~!Carey
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Old 08-27-2009, 11:42 AM
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Re: Watercolor? Watermedia?

Carey, you confuse me are we reading the correct post by Jen? I think what she says would include discussion about the forums??????

Jen's post says: .............."for those who wish to delve into what Watercolor and Watermedia are in the contemporary art world, and what that means for sharing our art and learning here at Wet Canvas.

Why? Because there continues to be confusion and irritation (let's be honest, eh?) about why we have both Watercolor and Watermedia forums (not to mention some of the other forums for water-based, water-soluble media ) here at Wet Canvas, where works of art belong, and how our forums do/do not reflect what is accepted by major national and international societies, exhibitions, etc."
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