If you are in the local area - that wide swath of Florida in between the FSU Seminoles and the Miami Dolphins.. then I want you to know that a local, Watercolor Society exists and is ready to embrace you with open arms ! Floridians may want to look into art schools in Florida when they want to pursue more art knowledge.
The Central Florida Watercolor Society (CFWS) may not have their new website up and running - but they are over 200 members strong and running and encourage new members to join.
First and foremost, artists (even people who run screaming from that name, and will assure you they just "dabble" or "doodle") need to be around like minded people occasionally. Forget the stereotype of the poor, tortured soul who enjoys hours of solitary confinement slavishly working their canvas only to keep it hidden until their anguished demise. That's a Hollywood exaggeration, a romanticism. Sometimes we do get lost in the moment and forget time, but it's not because we abhor human contact. And we do love to nosh and talk about what we're doing, or what we wish to do.
Or sometimes we need the courage to start and believe in ourselves. That's where a community of like minded artists helps.
Secondly, virtually every monthly meeting offers a demonstration workshop! As I get ready to post this (and I am a new member), I know of only their annual December holiday party where there is not already some working artist lined up to demonstrate a technique, process or medium. Go to a few meetings, and you will have already paid for your membership. If you are new to painting, this experience will be invaluable to you. Even if you are not, it will surely serve as a way to fill your artistic well of creative ideas.
Third, they have incredible workshops available to their members - usually at a very reasonable price. Very. I believe it is the group discount idea. I am hoping that next year I will get to utilize this invaluable resource.
Fourth, they have a lending library of books, video tapes, and DVDs! Our Seminole County library system doesn't have the VHS/DVD lending ability - so this is HUGE. I am a firm believer in the try-before-you-buy system.
Fifth, networking. Members run the gamut from brand new painters and hobbyists on up to professionals and national award winners. The CFWS was formed to promote the art of watercolor, not to be an exclusive club. It encourages growth and learning in a very social atmosphere.
I am certain that if you don't live in the wide, middle swath of Florida you might have a similar painting society nearby. It's essential to connect with other like minded souls. To encourage others and be encouraged.
But, I wanted anyone looking for the CFWS to know that we are alive and well - if currently a little mysterious on our website presence!