On Saturday, October 30, the National Watercolor Society held its 90th Annual Exhibition and Awards Ceremony.
I am proud and honored to say that my painting, St. Mark’s Plaza, Venice (2010) was included in this year’s show. Additionally, I attained Signature status with one of the most prestigious watercolor societies in the country! Wow. As I have learned during the last two days, speaking with many artists during the ceremony and reception, it is by no means an easy feat to accomplish! To think that I was accepted on my first try should really give me confidence in my art, talent and career. As Mike Bailey, current president of the NWS said in his introductory speech, becoming a member of the NWS is a significant point in a watercolor artist’s career. It still has to sink in.
Saturday was also the official opening and ribbon cutting of the new NWS building, which is located in San Pedro, California. I had the pleasure of meeting the aforementioned Mike Bailey, as well as Exhibitions Director Nancy Shiershke and Membership/Communications Director Loa Sprung. I also met the great John Salminen and was able to attend a five-hour demonstration of his magic!
This year’s exhibition is truly amazing and if you have a chance, go see it. There are so many great works of art to admire: watercolor at its finest! All in one room you encounter a wide range of styles, concepts, and subject matter. Sizes ranging from 10″ x 14″ to well over 48″. What a truly wonderful exhibit.
I must mention the people I met there. One of the most memorable experiences was meeting the amazing Roland Lee and his wife Nellie from Utah. His rendering of water in his submitted piece is simply breathtaking. I’m proud to say that Angela Chang, whom I shared a table with at lunch, is now my friend! She was featured on the Artists Network as one of 2010’s watercolor one’s to watch. A truly magnificent, generous artist, and we both agreed to stay in touch and paint sometime soon. I also finally met the great Keiko Tanabe whom I am friends with on the Facebook network. Not only was she awarded Signature status, her submission won a prestigious award, deservedly so.
Last but not least, I met Pam Hudson, the most pleasant, wittiest, and outgoing person you’ll ever meet. She represents Daniel Smith art supplies, and Canson and Arches papers. She thought it was the greatest thing that I had lived and painted close to the original Arches mill in the south of France, and to have one of my plein air works of Avignon on my business card.
All in all, it was a very memorable experience which hopefully will help me find good representation for my art in the near future. Also it was a very humbling, but at the same time, an inspiring experience, to see all the great art works in the show and to be part of this great organization. I consider myself a lucky man!
Here’s to watercolor, the greatest medium!
Frank Eber, NWS