The Polish Watercolour Society was registered in 2011 in Warsaw. A year later PWS became a member of the ECWS (European Confederation of Watercolour Societies) in Genoa. Our members represent a variety of professions, they are academics, architects, professional painters – art school graduates, but also doctors, lawyers, a policeman and a former soldier. We are enthusiasts who treat watercolour as an autonomous technique, not a quick method of putting down an idea, a sketch for an oil painting or an architectural concept.

Members of our Society include artists admired all over the world. PWS watercolour painters are frequently referred to in Polish as well as foreign press articles. We are active in international competitions as members of the jury, prize winners and participants of numerous international exhibitions. We have our own fanpage and Instagram profile. The PWS publishes catalgues to document its artistic activity.

In 2018 we initiated a project consisting of a joint members’ exhibition that will be “travelling” all over Poland. Our cyclical catalogue is a proof of uninterrupted activity of the Polish Watercolour Society. Apart from that, PWS members participate in annual ECWS conferences organised in member states of the Confederation. In 2018 the PWS undertook to organise an annual conference in Kraków, which was a great success. Various events took place during the conference such as the international watercolour exhibition in the Palace of Art (a prestigious art gallery in downtown Kraków), the PWS exhibition in Galeria Pryzmat, collective painting in the streets of Kraków and Lanckorona, workshops and painting demonstrations by masters of Polish watercolour. A total of 250 participants from all over Europe attended the conference.

Apart from meetings of international rank we paint together several times a year at plein-air outings organised by the PWS in locations such as Pruszków, Łagów, Bielsko Biała, Uroczysko Zaborek. The PWS Board puts in a great deal of effort to acquire financial as well as media sponsors such as the commune of Pruszków and the Sułkowski Museum in Bielsko Biała (Julian Fałat Museum).


The Society as described by one of its founders …

In 2009 a unique organisation was created in Kazimierz Dolny, on the initiative of Krzysztof Ludwin and Ryszard Rogala: the Polish Watercolour Society (SAP - Stowarzyszenie Akwarelistów Polskich). It is a non-profit organisation aimed to encourage social activity and, like elsewhere in the world, it is apolitical, people, nature and animal friendly. Hundreds of such „watercolour” organisations bring together groups of enthusiasts who spend their free time engaging in one of the most democratic and difficult painting techniques.

Initially the PWS had some 27 members, mainly architects, its founders. Today we bring together people normally working in different professions: doctors, architects, policemen, lawyers, public servants, and of course painters, art school graduates. They meet in social groups or formal associations; competition is friendly, healthy, combined with a feeling of envy that is permeated with kindness and admiration and creates an imperative to intensify your effort. We promote individuality, originality and diversity in our work. We paint together in various social set-ups, meeting at plein-airs and chosen interesting locations in Poland and abroad. This enables our members to get away from their professional and personal problems.

Members of the watercolour family have a similar mentality, a certain fragility and sensitivity. For them the sun may always shine on paper; this type of painting teaches the art of looking, empathy and observation (frequently out in the open). For watercolour enthusiasts the painting technique is an analogue articulation of extra-sensual dreams in the form of colour energy on paper or canvas (as we also paint on canvas, using the technique of the old masters). A deliberate build-up of formal elements in a watercolour painting deprives the anecdote of its realism (the fact that a painting may look as realistic as a photograph is only the beholder’s subjective perception); its main medium is transparent, clear colour that creates space which brings fulfilment and mental peace for the artist. This is how “watercolourism” is created. After spending many hours in the company of watercolour painters let me risk saying this: the blank page syndrome is well known. Each painter knows this feeling, when the objective is achieved according to expectations. A smile lights up your face. This is what the game is all about.

Krzysztof Ludwin

© SAP - Stowarzyszenie Akwarelistów Polskich 2022 Stowarzyszenie Akwarelistów Polskich.