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Whilst painting in watercolour has been described as a “truly English Art” There is a fine tradition of painting in this medium in Wales going back to the late 18th. Century. It is therefore surprising that it was not until 1959 that an Arts Society was formed to recognise and encourage the proud heritage of watercolour painting in Wales.

The Royal Watercolour Society of Wales was formed by six like-minded artists, living in and around Cardiff, to exhibit and promote this medium by holding regular exhibitions of their work throughout Wales. The first exhibition was held in 1959 at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. Today the Society has around 40 members all professional artists living and working in Wales and entry to the Society is by election, and in this way the Society maintains high standards of work as well as attracting new talent to its ranks.

The Society holds two exhibitions every year throughout Wales showing the landscape and life of Wales in all forms and these exhibitions are always varied, colourful and stimulating.
In 2007 The Society was honoured when the Prince of Wales agreed to become its Patron having exhibited with us for some years. A further honour followed in 2013 when Her Majesty the Queen agreed that the name of the Watercolour Society of Wales be changed to the Royal Watercolour Society.

We are always interested in attracting new members, so please contact us by eMail if you are interested in joining the Society.
A booklet about the last 50years of the Society is available, at a small charge, by contacting the Secretary.

Guidelines for Artists seeking Membership of The Royal Watercolour Society of Wales

 1)      The Society

The Royal Watercolour Society of Wales is a national Society which aims to provide its membership with regular opportunities to exhibit paintings of high quality and contemporary relevance at prestigious galleries. The Society exists to exhibit, encourage and promote the craft of watercolour in its many different guises. 

  2)      Membership

Becoming a member of the Society is subject to invitation by its committee or by selection from applicants.

 3)      Applications

 Applicants for membership should submit six recent paintings to the Society for consideration by its selection committee. All work should be mounted but not framed. Works submitted to support a membership application or for inclusion in Society exhibitions shall be water based and it will be apparent in visual terms that the use of water has been fundamental to the production of the painting.  Paintings for Society exhibitions shall be glazed. Applications are considered normally once a year, and should be submitted to the Secretary of the Society. The work should collectively show coherent evidence of the Applicant’s maturity, originality, vision and technical competence. The six works should be accompanied by a brief list of personal details, relevant experience and accomplishment, with a short statement about personal values, general intentions as a painter and links to Wales.

 4)      The Selection Committee will endeavour to apply consistent values and criteria to the selection process, and will communicate its decision in writing to the Applicant as soon as possible, but the Society reserves the right not to enter in to any correspondence or discussion to explain its decision.

  November 2012.

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